A POPULAR film festival will be helping the fight against dementia in honour of its film and TV star patron.

This year’s Leigh Short Film Festival, a not-for-profit celebration of flicks run entirely by volunteers, is supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK.

As well as being a patron of the festival, which this year will be held on Friday and Saturday, October 6 and 7, British actor Christopher Eccleston is a supporter of the dementia research charity.

His dad Ronnie died in 2012 following a 14-year battle with vascular dementia.

There will be bucket collections at the festival and all community film events for the charity.

The festival will also show the charity’s Share The Orange animation, a 90-second film fronted by the former Dr Who star that challenges misconceptions about dementia.

Leigh Short Film Festival chairman Paul Costello said: “Alzheimer’s Research UK is our nominated charity for 2017.

“With Christopher Eccleston being our patron and a supporter of Alzheimer’s Research UK it gives us great pleasure to support this charity.

“As part of this year’s film festival we are planning lots of community film screening events, for example an eco cinema based at an allotment or watching a Disney film while swimming at a local pool.

“Collections for Alzheimer’s Research UK will be made at all film events.”

Gillian Edwards, north west regional fundraising officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We are so grateful to Leigh Film Society for supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK.

“Dementia affects a huge proportion of the population – one in three people over 65 in the UK will die with some form of the condition.

“Fantastic fundraising efforts like this will help us to defeat dementia sooner.”

Organiser Leigh Film Society runs a Classic Cinema Club for people living with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and mental health issues as well as those who simply enjoy classic movies.

Paul added: “We have seen for ourselves the benefits that engaging with cinema can bring.”

For more information about the community cinema projects visit leighfilmsociety.com or leighfilmfestival.com.

To find out more about the film festival call 07969 647466 or e-mail enquiries@leighfilmsociety.com.