This year marks 80 years since the iconic film A Canterbury Tale was first shown in cinemas.

Now considered a masterpiece of British cinematic history, the film was written, directed and produced by the film-making partnership of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.

Powell and Pressburger made a series of influential films in the 1940s and 19050s and their contribution to British and world cinema cannot be overestimated. Their influence can be seen in the works of many of today's leading filmmakers including Martin Scorsese and Wes Anderson.

To celebrate this anniversary Canterbury Christ Church University’s School of Creative Arts and Industries will be hosting a series of events, including an exhibition, introduced screening, conference and a very special event in conversation with multi-Oscar winning film editor Thelma Schoonmaker Powell.

Thelma Schoonmaker Powell has had a career as an editor spanning over 40 years. She has worked closely with Martin Scorsese on all his films from Raging Bull to Killers of the Flower Moon and has won numerous awards including 3 Oscars, 2 BAFTAs, 4 ACE Editing Awards, in addition to receiving the BAFTA Fellowship in 2019 and Honorary Fellowship of Canterbury Christ Church University. She will bring a wealth of industry experience and insight to her own work, that of Martin Scorsese and her late husband Michael Powell.

Joining Thelma for the event will be Ian Christie, a renowned British film and media historian and curator. He is currently Professor of Film and Media History at Birkbeck, University of London and lecturer at the National Film and Television School. He has been active in promoting the work of Powell and Pressburger since organising the first full-scale Powell-Pressburger retrospective at the British Film Institute in 1978 and most recently contributed to the BFI’s The Cinema of Powell and Pressburger: Romantic Imaginations.

Eddie MacMillan, Senior Lecturer in Film Practice and Theory, said: “This event is an opportunity for students, staff and the wider public to be part of the University’s School of Creative Arts and Industries’ vibrant film community; to engage in an inspiring conversation about Powell and Pressburger’s work, its enduring importance and relevance today.

A Canterbury Tale was filmed in and around Canterbury and its environs, referencing and re-working Chaucer’s great story and creates an image of Canterbury that has lasted through the years and has become part of our inherited visual culture. Powell and Pressburger’s film marks the invention of Canterbury as a city of the imagination for the twentieth century. It creates for the viewer a sense of continuity between the stories and landscape of the past and the events and landscape of Britain during WWII. It also reflects Michael Powell’s childhood in Canterbury and Kent and his love of landscape.

“Together with their other critically acclaimed films of the forties (The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, I Know Where I’m Going, A Matter of Life and Death, Black Narcissus, The Red Shoes, The Small Back Room and Gone to Earth) A Canterbury Tale represents a series of reflections and comments on the great social and cultural themes and issues of the 1940s that remain relevant today.”

In Conversation: Thelma Schoonmaker Powell, takes place on Saturday 15 June, 1-3pm, Powell Lecture Theatre, Canterbury Christ Church University, CT1 1 QU. Visit here for more information and to book a place.

Get more information on the conference, Every Age is a Canterbury Pilgrimage - Powell and Pressburger’s A Canterbury Tale 1944 and 2024, Friday June 14 and Saturday June 15 here