ADDICTED to Sheep! There’s no two ways about it, that’s top of my must-see list.

Technically, that should be must see ‘again’, so I can say with some authority that if you didn’t catch it first time round, honestly, don’t miss it, not when the good folk at the Forum Cinema are giving you a second chance.

This time round it will be part and parcel of Tyne Valley Film Festival 2019, a fresh take on the Wide Skies Film Festival run in previous years.

Between March 22 and 31, there will be 26 screenings across 12 venues, together offering a programme of film classics, historical film-shorts drawn from regional archives and little-known films made by undiscovered or forgotten talents.

Programme and marketing manager David Nixon said: “Forum Cinema Hexham is proud to be leading Tyne Valley Film Festival, which aims to bring together communities, societies and film fans the length of the Tyne Valley to celebrate the history of film.

“With a diverse programme that embraces the whole of the Tyne Valley, we believe there is something for everyone, whether you’re a certified cinephile or simply an occasional cinema-goer.”

The team were delighted to have attracted a battery of expert commentators, directors and musicians – among them Sir Sydney Samuelson, Pamela Hutchinson, Magali Pettier, Jonathan Eyre and Michael Nolan – to talk at some of the events.

“They are coming from all over the country to the North-East for this cultural event,” said David.

Highlights include A Couple of Down and Outs, made in 1924. It will be screened in the cinema to the accompaniment of a live piano score, played by Michael Nolan.

Sir Sydney Samuelson, son of the film’s producer, G.B. Samuelson, will introduce the film.

Organist Jonathan Eyre will accompany another 1920s film, The Passion of Joan of Arc, when it is shown in Hexham Abbey, a venue that is as atmospheric as they come.

The Living Wall, made half-a-century later, is a documentary, but the subject is another historical icon – Hadrian’s Wall – and the lives of the people who resided and worked in its shadows in the 1970s.

The screening, in the Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre at Once Brewed, will be followed by a guided walk along a section of the Wall, so people will have seen it then and now.

March 24 has been ring-fenced as the preserve of pioneering female filmmakers. Charlie Chaplin’s and Buster Keaton’s names have travelled through the decades, but where did the women of silent film comedy go?

David said: “Finally, the once trailblazing Mabel Normand, who starred in 167 shorts and 23 features, will get her long overdue moment in the spotlight when we screen four of her short films.”

Lois Webber’s Shoes (1916) will also be shown, and there will be an illustrated talk by film critic Pamela Hutchinson.

Later in the week, two more films will fly the flag for female filmmakers – Margarette von Trotta’s The German Sisters, made in 1981, and Agnès Varda’s Cleo from 5 to 7, made in 1962.

“Margarette von Trotta and Agnès Varda are not just two of the most important female filmmakers, but two of the most important filmmakers in cinema history,” said David.

Sandwiched in between there will be the welcome return of another film that went down a treat first time round – basically a compilation of old television footage of Hexham and the wider Tyne Valley pulled together by the North-East Film Archive service.

The biopic Bobby Robson: More Than a Manager has also had recourse to archive footage, in that it contains clips of a Newcastle v Sunderland match played in 1913. That film will be shown in the Fuse Cinema in Prudhoe.

Britain on Film: LGBT Britain is a montage that spans 1909 to 1994 and includes some of the earliest known representations of LGBT people on screen.

It documents a century in which homosexuality went from crime to Pride, via decades of profoundly courageous activism.

The Wizard of Oz is the film that’s been chosen for this year’s outdoor screening, again at the Bandstand in Hexham. It is being shown in collaboration with Queen’s Hall Arts Centre.

But for a real blast from the past, how about George Formby in Keep Your Seats, Please, made in 1936. It was the first ever film shown at the Forum Cinema when it opened the following year.

Then there’s a double bill of sci-fi classics that were made nearly 100 years apart - Georges Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon (1902) and Steven Spielberg’s A.I. (2001).

But I’m going to end as I started, with Addicted to Sheep. A documentary filmed in the North Pennines, it portrays a year in the life of tenant hill farmers Tom and Kay Hutchinson as they try to breed the perfect sheep. Director Magali Pettier will be there for a post film Q&A. And I’ll be there... again.