WINCHESTER Film Festival has announced a new format as it returns for its 12th year.

The city’s cinematic window into the best contemporary award-winning short and feature films from across the globe normally takes place once a year.

However, this year, the festival will be split into two parts.

%image('17361918', type="article-full", alt="This year's Winchester Film Festival will be split into two parts, taking place in November and February")Festival director John Hayes explained: “Part one takes place in November and focuses on providing audiences with an immersive, interactive and informal film night out, with screenings taking place in unique, non-traditional venues. Part two will be in February, offering a more deeper and informative experience, with Q&As, film panels and screening introductions from directors and guest speakers.

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“The central theme for the 12th edition of the festival is ‘On the Edge of Reason’, with a selection of films that invite viewers to experience life through the eyes of fellow human beings who, after reaching the ‘edge of reason’, are confronted with a variety of choices and consequences - which can be funny, sad, scary, empowering, or even absurd. But all are transformative.

 “The festival will also be expanding its commitment to screening films from countries where censorship forces filmmakers to take huge risks in order to make and screen films. This year’s ‘censored films’ explore the hugely pertinent themes of freedom, gender, faith, retribution and escape.”

%image('17361920', type="article-full", alt="The second part of the festival, in February, will feature Q&As, film panels and more")SEE ALSO: Roman remains discovered on proposed Hampshire pipeline route

The first screening of the festival is on Saturday, November 18 at The Lido in Winchester, once host to The Rolling Stones and The Stranglers.

On the slate for November is a selection of absurdist short films that the festival promises will short-circuit the mind and ignite the soul, enhanced by a few cultural sideshows. The Lido Experience is an annual Winchester Film Festival event which combines film, art, poetry and music.

Screening details and tickets are available on the Winchester Film Festival website.