Women in Film Season is Just the Ticket for Bury St Edmunds Festival

Marking 100 years of votes for women, Abbeygate Cinema celebrates inspiring female characters on screen and behind the camera.  

With one film showing every day of the Bury St Edmunds Festival, the women in film season features strong female characters, celebrates female directors and writers and showcases the work of some of our greatest actresses including Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver, Carey Mulligan, and Octavia Spencer.

The season at Abbeygate Cinema kicks off on Friday 18 May with Suffragette (12). A fantastic ensemble of British actresses including Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne-Marie Duff and Romola Garai star in this drama that follows the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement as they risk everything in their fight for equality.

Hidden Figures

The inspiring true story of the vital role that three African American female mathematicians at NASA played in the early years of the US space programme features in Hidden Figures (PG) on Saturday 19 May. Featuring three incredible central performances by Taraji P Henson, Janelle Monae and Octavia Spencer, who won a best supporting Oscar for her role.

Julie Andrews shines as everyone’s favourite magical nanny in this children’s classic that has been at the heart of family viewing for more than 50 years. The screening of Mary Poppins (U) on Sunday 20 May will be practically perfect in every way.

Mary Poppins

On Monday 21 May Abbeygate Cinema will be showing Erin Brockovich (15). Julia Roberts won an Oscar for her outstanding performance as the indomitable Erin Brockovich who almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city’s water supply

The Young Victoria (PG) sees Emily Blunt portray one of history’s most famous women in the early turbulent years of her reign on Tuesday 22 May.

Sydney Pollack’s classic 1986 film Out of Africa (PG) based on the memoirs of the intrepid Karen Blixen will be screened on Wednesday 23 May. It’s an Oscar-nominated performance by Meryl Streep as she tries to balance love and independence in the searing heat of Kenya.

For the ultimate kick-ass woman, look no further than Sigourney Weaver as Ripley in the first of Ridley Scott’s science fiction horror series Alien (15). Weaver’s compelling performance was one of the first female action heroes and continues to retain an important place in cinema history. See it on the big screen again on Thursday 24 May.


The true story of Karen Silkwood, a nuclear whistleblower and union activist, who tried to uncover wrongdoing at the plutonium plant where she worked is told in Silkwood (15) showing on Friday 25 May. It features an Oscar-winning performance by Meryl Streep and the screenplay is by the incredible Nora Ephron (When Harry met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle) and Alice Arlen.

Sigourney Weaver portrays the determination of Dian Fossey, whose work to document and protect the mountain gorillas of Rwanda was vital to their survival from extinction in Gorillas in the Mist (15) on Saturday 26 May.


The season ends with Belle (PG), the second feature film from Amma Asante, one of the UK’s most talented directors and screenwriters on Sunday 27 May. Based on the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate daughter of a Royal Navy Captain and an African slave, who was raised at Kenwood House in London by her aristocratic great uncle.

Coming to Bury St Edmunds for the Festival? We know you’ll want to stay longer. So check out our Festival guide to plan your short break.