David Stratton is the curator and patron of the inaugural Great Britain Retro Film Festival.

Nineteen classic British films, rarely seen on the big screen, will feature in the festival from August 6-19 at the Hayden Orpheum Cremorne, Melbourne's Cinema Nova and the Windsor in Perth.

Stratton says there will be many highlights, not least the opportunity to see some of these classic films painstakingly digitally restored and presented for the first time in Australia in the 4K format.

“I’m really excited about this retrospective film festival, particularly as I spent my first twenty years in Britain and have always been very fond of British movies. To see this collection of films, on the big screen, as they were intended to be seen, is indeed a rare pleasure," he says.

Highlights of the inaugural Great Britain Retro Film Festival include:

• Australian premiere screenings of The Tales of Hoffmann (1951), the 4K digitally restored Powell/Pressburger classic featuring six minutes of never-before-seen footage, preceded by a 3-minute filmed introduction by Martin Scorsese who was instrumental in the restoration.

• Australian premiere screenings of The Third Man (1949), the 4K digitally restored Carol Reed masterpiece, for which Australian Robert Krasker won an Oscar® for his black and white cinematography. It was voted the greatest British film of all time by a British Film Institute poll.

• The 4K Director’s Final Cut of Lawrence of Arabia (1962), digitally restored by David Lean. Stratton says, “If ever a film demanded to be seen on a big screen, it’s Lean’s epic about the extraordinary career of T.E. Lawrence."

• Stanley Kubrick’s digitally restored 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), which Stratton rates as  “still the most visionary and challenging science fiction movie ever produced."

• Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now,  named best British film ever in Time Out's 100 Best British Films list in 2011 by a panel including Sam Mendes, Wes Anderson and Sally Hawkins. Stratton highlights the film’s ‘complex and consummate’ editing style by Australian Graeme Clifford.

The program includes a classic  Ealing comedy, an Ivory-Merchant literary adaptation and modern classics including Brassed Off and Slumdog Millionaire, plus five titles from the Powell/Pressburger Library.

Full list of films in the festival:

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) * A Man for All Seasons (1966) * A Room with a View (1986) * Black Narcissus (1947) * Brassed Off (1996) * Brief Encounter (1945) * Don’t Look Now (1973) * Gosford Park (2001) * Great Expectations (1946) * I Know Where I’m Going! (1945) * Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) * Lawrence of Arabia (1962) * Peeping Tom (1960) * Sense and Sensibility (1995) * Slumdog Millionaire (2008) * The 39 Steps (1935) * The Red Shoes (1948) * The Tales of Hoffmann (1951) * The Third Man (1949) *

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