FROM horror movies at a shopping centre to top tips from filmmakers, a town is looking to impress the critics with its first film festival.

The new Eastleigh Film Festival promises a mixture of experiences and films screened at venues around the town.

In a week-long celebration of movies, highlights will include a suitably creepy out-of-hours screening of Romero’s horror classic Dawn of the Dead at the Swan Shopping Centre.

The drama kicks off on September 22 with an innovative audience-picked gala at the Vue cinema, in Eastleigh.

The Coen Brothers’ cult favourite The Big Lebowski will be screened at AMF Bowling, while aspiring filmmakers can meet and question the experts at a specialist industry day on September 25 which features workshops, talks and Q&As.

But film buffs will also have the chance to shape the festival themselves by picking their favourite movie from a selection including The Fly, The Shining and The Long Good Friday.

A public vote will decide the top three , which will be screened at the Vue cinema.

BBC Film 2014 critic Danny Leigh has helped shape the festival and has picked the films to go forward to the public vote.

The festival is part of the Recreate programme, an initiative involving 11 cities and areas from northern France and the south and east coast of England, of which Eastleigh Borough Council is a leading partner.

Festival organiser Crispian Cook said: “Eastleigh Film Festival encourages audiences to experience film differently, offering exciting film screenings around the town in all sorts of unlikely locations.”

Tickets are on sale now.

Running alongside the festival will be a short film competition with professional development and funding opportunities valued at £5,000.

The winner will be announced at the industry da y.