THE 7th edition of the Winchester Film Festival secured for the City this year the UK premiere of the feature film Carga.

The Portuguese film, billed as “a painfully brave, visually stunning, provocative and brutal look into the hidden realities of human trafficking networks” opened the festival on Saturday at the John Stripe auditorium.

Director Bruno Gascon - flown in for the premiere - introduced the film, which was followed by a discussion on the film’s theme by Professor Andrew Melrose and Baljit Soroya, from the University of Winchester.

Carga is due to be screened at 26 theatres in Portugal this month and has been sold to both China and America.

Festival co-coordinator Zuzanna Lis said: “It’s an amazing coup for Winchester to secure the UK premiere of such a pertinent and important film. Carga is one of many UK and European premieres the festival has secured for 2018 and 2019. We chose Carga to open the festival because it offers everything the festival promises - a window into other people’s worlds, seen through other people’s eyes, in a way that entertains and makes us ask questions about ourselves and the world. All made possible by the festival’s socially responsible partners, sponsors and supporters. ”