AS the new year arrives, cinema fans can look forward to one of the spring’s highlights – Borderlines Film Festival, for which booking opens on January 21.

The UK’s largest rural film festival, Borderlines springs into a second decade with its distinctive brand of the very best of worldwide cinema screened in venues small and large, over 2,000 square miles and three counties.

The festival has built up a tremendous momentum since it was founded in 2003 and with attendances in excess of 18,000 in 2012, now attracts visitors from all over the country as well as inspiring strong loyalty from local audiences.

Over 17 days this spring, Borderlines will screen about 75 films and events in 40 venues from the glass and steel arts centres, to historic assembly rooms, village halls and the back rooms of pubs.

Naomi Vera-Sanso, who has steered the festival from the outset, now steps into the role of festival director. “I’m very excited at the programme for the 11th edition of Borderlines,” she says, “particularly by the calibre and range of guests.

“We are particularly delighted by the appearance of our two festival patrons, Chris Menges, one of the finest and most distinguished cinematographers in the world, and broadcaster and novelist Francine Stock from Radio 4’s The Film Programme and also by renowned actor Sir Derek Jacobi talking about his career on screen, including Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon.”

“Once again we’ll be offering our audiences a remarkable diversity of films and events, from walks above Symonds Yat to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Shadowlands to some lively events on world cinema and documentary for young people at Wem Town Hall in North Shropshire.”

Borderlines also has a new film programmer for 2013, David Sin, who is head of cinemas at Independent Cinema Office.

David has an enormous range of experience as a film programmer, consultant, distributor and teacher that has taken him to virtually every county in England and many places beyond. He has programmed Birmingham International Film and Television Festival and London's Institute of Contemporary Arts as well as working for the British Film Institute and as a consultant on projects in China and Iran.

He also has experience of rural cinema through his involvement in co-ordinating a consortium of cinemas in Lincolnshire and the setting up of a community cinema in Saffron Walden, Essex.

“It’s an honour to be programming the 2013 Borderlines Film Festival, which has become a well-established highlight in the national festivals calendar and I am looking forward to continuing and extending a great tradition of bringing together the very best of cinema from all over the world for a specific, discerning and appreciative audience,” he said.

Among the new films to be screened this year will be previews of In the House (Dans la Maison) starring Kristin Scott Thomas, A Late Quartet, Post Tenebras Lux, Wadjda – which tells the story of a young girl in Saudi Arabia who challenges her country’s traditions – Village at the Edge of the World and a simulcast of Spirit of ’45, the latest film by Ken Loach. There will also be a Chris Menges retrospective featuring Kes, The Killing Fields (for which he won an Oscar) and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.

The full Borderlines Film Festival programme will be published online and tickets will be on sale from January 21 at