Film Festival Director, Leoni Kibbey, shares with us her thoughts on the Film Festival last year and what she has in store for 2014.
In early March this year the fledgling St Albans International Film Festival soared onto the calendar of St Albans. Visitors in their thousands flocked from as far as the USA to attend the inaugural event. Greeted by over a hundred smiling volunteers (made up of enthusiastic St Albans city folk & students from University of Hertfordshire) film fans were guided to one of the twenty-two venues across the city, where they could immerse themselves in a multitude of events. These included; feature film premieres, ‘in competition’ short films selected from around four hundred entries (..and sent in from thirty countries around the world!) or to take part in fantastic creative workshops.
Alongside the programme of films and educational workshops was a plethora of culture and entertainment; the Clocktower became an immersive cinema experience, the Culture Cart’s very own Tom- a posh gentleman on a bike, had people lino printing film themed artwork; local poet Anthony Adler helped our festival go-er explore the inner mind of a film character; live music was performed by a selection of the bands from our music video competition, guests sampled the special ‘Mothers Milk’ concoction served by a seven foot tall Droog at our Clockwork Orange themed ‘Milk Bar’ and there was even a film pub quiz that lasted a marathon 5 hours!
The glamorous closing ceremony hosted by DJ Martin Collins of Magic FM awarded over £3000 worth of prizes and the sponsors; University of Hertfordshire, Blanco, XLN Business Services & Top Talent Acting agency gave out awards to the commendable winners.
It was an astonishing sight to see screenings packed full, working relationships and friendships being forged and most of all to see the community come together to create the solid foundations for a successful annual cultural event. We had spread our wings and successfully flown.
St Albans Film Festival is important for many reasons. Not only does it celebrate local filmmaking talent, but it promotes tourism and boosts local trade. It also educates and inspires the next generation of filmmakers as well.
The festival recently won the St Albans Mayors Pride ‘Cultural Innovation Award,’ which is a huge boost to moral as we gear up for festival number two.
May 1st – 4th 2014 is the date for the Second International St Albans Film Festival and we are delighted to announce that the theme for next year’s festival is BIRDS: by birds we mean women in film as well as the feathered kind! We will be announcing the programme over the coming months.
If you would like to take the leap and enter the festival, then the deadline for sending in your short film (max 20mins– but the shorter the better) is February 2013. Anyone can enter a short film into the competition and we welcome films of any genre and about any subject. Our categories this year include: Short Films, Music Videos, Animations, Student Films and there is a special category for films made by budding film makers aged between 5 – 15! As we all know, the months fly by, so get creating!
For more information on the upcoming festival or to find out details of how to enter and be a part of our next festival head to http://www.stalbansfilmfestival.com