Matilda fans will flock to over 40 sites this summer to uncover secret smells, from fresh chocolate cake to whiffy fish paste sandwiches, in an interactive cinema experience to celebrate Roald Dahl 100.
For the very first time, the 1991 adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic book Matilda, is being brought to audiences on the big screen, with an extra special, scented twist.
Working with ‘Scratch ‘n Sniff Cinema presents’, 43 screenings will run UK wide during August and September 2016, launching at Chapter, Cardiff on the 12th August. These special events are part of the Roald Dahl on Film season, developed by Film Hub Wales and Chapter in association with the Roald Dahl Literary Estate, to celebrate Roald Dahl 100 – the centenary year of Roald Dahl’s birth. The project is supported by the BFI (British Film Institute), awarding funds from the National Lottery.
Fans of the family favourite can almost taste Bruce Bogtrotter’s giant chocolate cake and wrinkle their noses at the stink of fish paste sandwiches, as they join in the experience. The rest of the scents are being kept under wraps until the screening.
Based on the cinema and TV technology introduced in the late 70s and early 80s, audiences will be given a special scratch card containing ten weird and wonderful odours that link to key scenes within the film. When prompted, viewers are invited to scratch and sniff the gel odour.
Sources of the smells are named on the card, but not the actual scent, meaning viewers will have to guess and compare notes with their friends.
Over 40 Scratch ‘n Sniff screenings of Matilda have already been confirmed across the UK and will coincide with the 20th anniversary of the film. Matilda is available on DVD, courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
These fun and far-from-ordinary showings of Matilda are the brainchild of Scratch ‘n Sniff Cinema, set-up by producer and artist Bren O’Callaghan and illustrator Simon Misra. The pair have previously launched scent accompaniments to 6 films, including The Wicker Man, The Goonies and Gregory’s Girl, but taking part in Roald Dahl on Film will be their first nation-wide project.
Bren O’Callaghan said: “Smell is often ignored as a stimulus for playful response, but it’s a powerful emotional trigger. It can remind us of a person, a place, or transport us to a sun-soaked day long since passed.
“Our techniques are deliberately silly and old-fashioned, using placards, a torch and scent-soaked scratch cards. You’re even encouraged to chat to the person next to you, as different noses make different conclusions!
“We think Roald Dahl would approve of our playing and acting daft in a space where we’re supposed to behave, sit still and be quiet. If anyone encouraged children to unleash their imagination, he did.”
Hana Lewis of Film Hub Wales, said: “Our team, partners and audiences are all immensely excited about the arrival of Matilda Scratch ‘n Sniff, as part of the official Roald Dahl on Film season. We’re excited to offer a unique and exciting event for families, young audiences and even the adults over the summer months, in cinemas of all shapes and sizes and in different parts of the country, where audiences might not otherwise get a chance to see it.
“We also have a host of Roald Dahl inspired resources designed to encourage film appreciation, programme notes written by young people and fun ways for people to feed back. They can play the game online or do the Oxford University Press selfie challenge!”
“Tickets are limited for the events, so we do advise everyone to book early to avoid disappointment. I know I don’t want to miss it!”
Scratch ‘n Sniff Matilda is being shown at the following venues:
Chapter (launch): 12th, 13th and 14th August and 13th September
Penarth Pier Pavilion: 26th, 28th and 30th August
Magic Lantern, Tywyn: 11th September
Coastline Film Festival, Ysgol Bryn Elian, Conwy: 13th September (school screening)
Wicked 16, Wales International Youth Film Festival: 22nd September
North West Central
They Eat Culture: 13th August
Home, Manchester: 14th August
Dukes, Lancaster: 3rd September
Picturehouse at FACT: 10th September (kids club)
Broadway Nottingham: 29th August
Cinema City, Norwich: 10th September (kids club)
Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge: 10th September (kids club)
Phoenix Cinema Orkney: 27th and 28th August
Belmont Filmhouse Aberdeen: 3rd September
Edinburgh Filmhouse: 4th September
Way Out West Picturehouse: 16th September
Birks Aberfeldy: 17th September
Falkirk Community Trust: 16th (school screening) & 17th September
Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre: 17th and 19th September (school screenings)
Macroberts Arts Centre: 24th September
Wigtown Book Festival: 25th September
Cinemagic: 10th September
South West & West Midlands
Watershed, Bristol: 13th & 14th August
The Acorn, Penzance: 20th August
Pound Arts, Wiltshire: 24th August
Blackheath Library, Birmingham (Sandwell Libraries in partnership with Flatpack Film Festival): 31st August
Cube Cinema, Bristol: 28th August
Watermark, Ivybridge: 10th September
Curzon Clevedon: 17th September
Duke of York, Brighton: 10th September (kids club)
Blue Door Cinema: 17th September
East Dulwich Picturehouse: 10th September (kids club)