Hi, I’m Lauren, I’m about to be a University of Hertfordshire Event Management graduate, which is equal parts terrifying and exciting. I’m ecstatic to announce that I am this year’s official St Albans Film Festival blogger. Kate did a great job last year and I promise to keep you informed of all the activities going on around the festival as well as all the busy goings-on at festival HQ this year! With just ONE MONTH left till the festival weekend is upon us lets take a look what’s in store. Drum roll, please..
The festival will kick off with a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds on Thursday evening. Is there a better way to start our 2nd annual Film Festival than with Alfred Hitchcock?
On Friday there are two all day workshops to choose between, the first is ‘Pitching & Developing Ideas’ with Sion Hughes from Rights TV. Last year this workshop was a complete sell out and this year is expected to be no different, so make sure you secure you place early if you want to attend!
Our second all day workshop is ‘The Art of Writing Screenplays’ with Robin Mukherjee. At the end of the day, certain screenplays will be performed by actors, so this workshop could be your chance to see your worked performed live! Your ticket cost covers a signed copy of Robin’s book and a free ticket to the evening ‘Birds, Books & Gin’ event at Waterstones, and yes not only do you get to see scripts performed live it also includes free Two Birds Gin and cake!
If an all-day commitment isn’t possible for you, there are plenty of other shorter events taking place over the weekend, some especially for families. The King & The Mockingbird screening on Saturday is one of our feature films; it’s an adaptation of one of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales and is quite frankly a masterpiece of French animation! You will not want to miss it and neither will your little ones.
If your hoping to entertain kids a little bit older on Saturday we also have a one hour Harry Potter ‘Costume Characterisation’ workshop for 7-12 year olds. A team from the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter will reveal how there is no costume without a character. They’re even planning to bring along the original mood boards and a selection of costumes from the Harry Potter film series.
We have a number of feature films spread out over the festival weekend. One of our feature films ‘Ricky’ is being screened on Friday, it’s a French language love story which is more than capable of brightening anyone’s day and finishes just in time for the school run!
Lars Von Triers ‘Nymphomaniac’ is probably one of the most controversial films on the festival circuit this year hence why it’s one of our feature films and both volumes are going to be screened on Friday. Leave the kids at home, but bring a friend because you’ll definitely want someone to discuss it with on the way home!
Let’s just admit it, we all secretly want to know what it’s like to be in a band. The Paddy Lincoln Gang, another of our feature films, gives you access to everything: the sex, drugs and the rock’n’roll. On Saturday you’ll have a chance to be a part of the UK Premier Cast & Crew Screening a month before its release date! Plus, you’ll get an exclusive performance from the band who will play live following the film & Q&A. If that’s not value for money, what is?
Our closing feature film, screened on Sunday, is Muse of Fire follows two actors, Giles Terera and Dan Poole who directed and produced the film, that aims to demystify and illuminate Shakespeare’s work for everyone. There is a host of celebrities involved including Dame Judi Dench, Ewan McGregor, Sir Ian McKellan, Jude Law and Tom Hiddleston!
We have a whole host of panel events and workshops running throughout the festival, including ‘Alive’ at the Natural History Museum on Saturday with Director Dan Smith & Producer Mike Davis, who have just created an incredible 3D programme for Sky starring Sir David Attenborough. They even have some clips of the very first prehistoric bird!
There is also ‘On Your Marks, Get Set, Ghibli’ also on Saturday, where you’ll get a chance to see rarely seen short Studio Ghibli films & listen to experts Colin Odell and Michelle Le Blanc who have written books on Studio Ghibli and Anime followed by a 1 hour Q&A.
We also have a panel discussion on Women in Film & Media and ‘The Bechdel Test’ on Friday evening. Where you can join a panel of filmmakers, listen to the debate and share your views on the future of women in the film industry. Even though it’s all about the girls, there is definitely a place for boys here too!
It’s great that the festival can appeal to everyone, but it also has significance for those future filmmakers out there. Last years short film programme was an undeniable success and this years looks set to beat it! We’ve had entries from 500 filmmakers from 35 countries all around the world. Not only will our shortlisted films be screened during the festival a lot of the film talent or directors will also be at the festival so you’ll have a chance to meet the stars of tomorrow and to pick their brains.
The shortlisted films and their categories are:
MAIN SHORT FILM
The programme of Main Shorts is in Two Parts: Beauty & Futility.
PART 1. BEAUTY
Twitcher Dir. Jane Gull
Dotty Dir. Ben Edwards
Dust & Waltz Dir. Darren Bransford
Valentine Dir. Kate Herron
All of Time Dir. Ben Roper
Balcony Dir. Lendita Zeqiraj
Woodwoo Dir Jonathan Blagrove
Forget Me Not Dir. Michael Beddoes
Looking for England Dir. Matt Jamie
Dekaos Dir. Olly Ginelli
The Daisy Chain Dir. Ken Williams
PART 2. FUTILITY
Tokko Shigan (Suicide Volunteers) Dir.Kenshow Onodera
Are you Albert? Dir. Dan Hodgson
Man In Fear Dir. Will Jewell
Gift From God Dir. Merlin Merton
Traces Dir. Anthony Sutcliffe
Rab Da Vaasta Dir. Chakravarty Devulapalli
The Baron Dir. Gareth Tunley
The Futility of War Dir. Sam Barron
OVER 18’s SHORTS
Monomania Dir. Ben Vokes
Cold Turkey Dir. Thor Arnarsson
Satans Parish Dir. Mathew Radway
Three’s a Crowd Dir. Trevor Hardy
Insoma Dir. Dan Poole
Battlecock Dir. Ben Mallaby
Salient Dir. Oliver Guy-Watkins
Makeover Dir.Mike Tack
Night of the Loving Dead Dir. Anna Humphries
Sun Dir. Jesse D Lawrence
Grandpa & Me Dir. Johan Palmgren
Li Wei: Weightless Dir. George Sinfield
Ô Divin Bovin (Oh Holy Cow) Dir. Alexandre Rufin
A Game of Numbers Dir. Kris Hoffman
Invisible People Dir. Michelle Becker
The Lake Dir. Geoff Tompkinson
From Care to Where Dir. Geoff Searle
Secret Garden Dir. Michelle Becker
Mothers Song Dir. Linda McCarthy
Zweibettzimmer (Double Occupancy) Dir. Fabian Giessler
Angels & Ghosts Dir. Sara Kenney
Technical Hitch Dir. Joe Blaxland
Espero (Hope) Dir. Simone Giampaolo
Me, My Wife & Our Cow Dir. Azadeh Moezzi
Mum Can You Wipe My Bum Dir. Vicky Arlidge
Upstairs Dir. Matthias Hoegg
Another Birth Dir. Siamak Takalloo
Little Boxes Dir. Jon Anderson
Isaac & Quincy Dir. Tea & Cheese
Dear Someone Dir. Tetsuo Kamata
Masheenee Alcketiara Dir. Ema Shah
The Man Who Was Forever Haunted By His Head Dir. Claudio Sichel
Come Back to Me Now Dir. Adam Heath
Vertigo Dir. Rita Tarin
Out of My Head Dir. Richard Allen
Peace & Quiet Dir. Daniel Bahrami-Jenkins
Just Another Day Dir. Ryan Goff
River Dee Dir. Caroline Oliver
Sweetlove Butterfly Dir. Daniel Gentely
Guilty Secrets Dir. Vicky Arlidge
Every Time I See You I Go Wild Dir Paul D.
That’s St Albans Dir. Michael Dias
Big In L.A. Dir. Norman Cambridge
Shmelvis Style Dir. Michael Dias
Z Dir. Spyros Kopanitsos
Timothy Dir. Marc Martinez Jordan
Keepsake Dir. Callum Oakaby Wright
Uoldisnei Dir. Andrea Della Monica
Miles to Go Dir. Emily Coupland
Flip Dir. Rupert Rixon
Girl in Red Dir. Aaron Dunleavy
Perseverance Beyond Doubt Dir. Jonathan Brough
To The New Ukraine Dir. Chris Cunningham
How Winnie Got Her False Teeth Dir. Nat Urwin
Just Like You Dir. Isabel Garrett
Cells Happen Dir. Shelley Nichols
Orpheus Dir. Jennifer Haugen
Wombmates Dir. J D Dean
Manhood Dir. John Goodhead
Aloha Oi Dir. Remus Buznea
Karolina Dir. Naomi Cant
The entire festival is filled to the brim with exciting interesting content that brings the film industry to everyone, whether you’re a child, a film student or just an avid filmgoer. Whatever event you choose to attend, you will not be disappointed!
To book tickets find us on Eventbrite: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/st-albans-film-festival-6181420157
And for any other info check out the website: http://www.stalbansfilmfestival.com
Hope to see you all at the festival!
And leave us a comment to let us know what your most excited about! Hearing you guys get excited about the festival makes our day.