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28 April 2011, 06:00
More than 300 people will be at the Odeon cinema in town for tonight's opening gala.
The Long Good Friday's been chosen to kick things off this year as the film celebrates its 30th anniversary.
Celebrities, including local actor and new patron of the biggest film festival in Essex, Ray Winstone will be in Southend this evening (Thursday 28 April).
More than 50 movies are being screened during this year's festival which runs until Wednesday 4 May.
For a full list on what's being shown when click here.