British stars dine out in Dinard

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Dinard is not a name that springs to mind when thinking about the world's great international film festivals. Yet, this glamorous seaside town in Brittany, just a stone's throw (or ten minute water bus ride) from St Malo has hosted just such an event for the last 27 years. And it's a very British affair.

The Dinard British Film Festival was launched in 1989 with the aim of bringing British and Irish films to a French audience. Over five days at the end of September, directors, actors, film-fans and holiday makers mingle happily on the beaches, in the cafes and restaurants - and around five big screens, each within easy walking distance from one another. None is more than five minute walk from the charming Plage de l'Ecluse beach, upon which the Welsh football team relaxed last June when based here for the European championships.

The temperature may not be as high as in Cannes, but the welcome is at least as warm. The menu of films is mouth-watering too.

Highlights this year included War on Everyone, a violent cop comedy, directed by John Michael McDonagh and Alice Lowe's directorial debut Prevenge. A disturbing thriller, it stars a woman driven to acts of murder by her unborn child. On the lighter side, the festival also hosted Bridget Jones' Baby while Irish musical comedy Sing Street, played to delighted crowds.

Indeed it was the cast of Sing Street who arrived to the biggest cheers on the red carpet when awards night came on Saturday night. At the end of the ceremony, it was director John Carney who walked away with the greatest number of accolades too, winning in critics' and audience categories.

However, perhaps the real star of the film festival is Dinard itself. Famous for its sandy beaches, blue-striped changing tents, fabulous market, cliff-top villas and casino, this delightful Edwardian resort is a film set in itself.

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