AN ACCLAIMED actress will head up the list of speakers at a Bridport film festival.

Gemma Jones will appear at the virtual From Page to Screen festival next week, where she will be in conversation on Saturday, April 24 with co-founder Nic Jeune after a screening of the Lyme Regis-based Ammonite, in which she plays Mary Anning's mother.

She has been on stage and screen for nearly sixty years and counting, and sticking with the book-to-screen theme of the festival has appeared in numerous adaptations including Sense And Sensibility as Mrs Dashwood, starred as Bridget Jones's mother throughout the trilogy and appeared as Madam Poppy Pomfrey in the Harry Potter series.

The event will take place from Thursday, April 22 to Saturday, April 24 and will see two film screenings a day along with a number of talks from industry professionals.

The films being shown alongside Ammonite at the event are The Father starring Anthony Hopkins, Oliver Sacks, The Mauritanian, Beats and The Personal History of David Copperfield.

Kicking off the festival after the screening of The Mauritanian on Thursday, Edith Bowman will be talking to director Kevin Macdonald, checking in from Wales with Mohamedou Ould Slahi, speaking from Mauritania, about how Mr Slahi's memoir 'Guantanamo Diary' - documenting the 14 years he spent without charge and experiencing torture in the US detention camp - inspired Macdonald's new film 'The Mauritanian'.

Friday will see Sir Christopher Hampton CBE joining writer and broadcaster Francine Stock to discuss his career in theatre and film, including his latest BAFTA-winning screenplay for The Father - which will be shown on Friday evening.

Nic Jeune said: "This year From Page To Screen has to be online and though we'll miss being amid those lively, live audiences in the Bridport Arts Centre and the Electric Palace, a silver-lining is being able to invite brilliant speakers from wherever they are to give the festival the inside story on their films and careers.

"I'm really looking forward to speaking to the wonderful actress Gemma Jones about her six decades of stage and film, including beloved cinematic adaptations like Sense and Sensibility, and the Bridget Jones and Harry Potter films. She most recently in Ammonite as Mary Anning's mother - re-uniting with 'on-screen daughter' Kate Winslet twenty five years after they played Jane Austen's Dashwood family together."