Tag Archives: birds

The Birds!

Yesterday we kicked off the opening event of the Film Festival, with a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ at the spectacular St Albans Cathedral. Not only was the abbey all dressed up in purple and black but we also had a few feathered friends who swooped above the heads of the audience prior to the screening. Hedwig suffered from a little bit of stage fright when it was time for her big moment but during the pre show she was definitely a fan favourite!


We also had amazing crow puppets created by Whole Hog Theatre. They added the perfect amount of gorgeous but slightly creepy to the atmosphere of the evening.


We also had two fantastic choirs to kick off the event Big Sing initially and then The Correno Singers who definitely got everyone in the spirit of the evening.


And then finally we started ‘The Birds’ which is scary enough on it’s own but add to that the haunting backdrop of the abbey and all the decor it made for quite an exciting viewing.

All in all, the night went fantastically everyone had a great time. We couldn’t have found a better way to start what is going to be a really exciting festival weekend!

We have plenty of events on throughout the rest of the weekend, if your still looking for events to attend have a look at our programme here!

Hope to see you around the festival! Let me know what your planning to see.

Lauren 🙂


The 2014 programme is here!

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:


The programme of Main Shorts is in Two Parts: Beauty & Futility.


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


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



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



An Undertaking

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.

 Lauren 🙂





Introducing the St Albans Film Festival 2014 Character

Last year’s film festival became instantly recognisable on posters, t-shirts and online, thanks to its purple branding and Droog character, which represented the festivals’ underlying theme; Stanley Kubrick.

Kubrick lived and filmed most of his work in the area and the late film director/ screenwriter’s wife, Christiane Kubrick became the festivals first Patron after opening the 2013 debut festival, with inspiring words of support.

Christiane Kubrick, opening the festival

Christiane Kubrick, opening the festival

Each year, the festival will celebrate a new theme but keep the distinct purple branding.

birds hitchcock

As announced on our previous blog post, this year’s film festival theme is Birds, the feathered kind in – homage to Alfred Hitchcock and also women, in film and film-making and we can now reveal the character for this year.

st albans fim festival 2014 character

Expect: Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds to be screened; a ‘Birds themed cocktail bar’; appearance by St Albans Director Dan Smith, currently directing for Sir David Attenborough a 3D Animated film where Natural History Dinosaurs come to life, including the very first birds; a live demonstration of remote control heli-camera/drones that are used widely in blockbusters to capture amazing aerial shots; screenings of films featuring amazing women such as Judi Dench in the new Shakespeare film Muse of Fire, and lots lots more.



May 1st – 4th 2014 is the date for the 2nd International St Albans Film Festival and entries have already started flying in from as far as Japan, Brazil, Australia & Iceland.

If you would like to take the leap and enter the next festival you could be in with the chance of winning part of the £3000 cash prize, a crafted trophy and respect from your clan!  Anyone can enter a short film of maximum 20 mins in length into one of 7 categories, listed below:

MAIN SHORT FILM – Any short narrative film that is a work of fiction eg: drama, comedy, romance, thriller. Last years’ winner was from France – Fabrice Braq’s film ‘Time to Split’ a relationship drama which cleverly used a split screen process.

DOCUMENTARY – Any short documentary film about any subject at all from big world issues to personal stories that matter to you. We even had a beautifully shot film in year one by director Michelle Becker which showed us how to bake a really tasty cake!

MUSIC VIDEO – Any music video from any artist, band or performer around the world. The Artists from the music videos that get accepted are asked whether they would like to perform live at the festival, a great way to build your audience and fan base!

ANIMATION – Any animation short, whether it’s suitable for children, adults or both. St Albans born and bred Arthur Melbourne-Cooper made the first ever animation over 100 years ago so this category is very significant for those who enter to be part of the City’s animation heritage.

OVER 18S – Any type of film whether it’s a work of fiction, documentary, animation or music video that deals with subjects suitable for an over 18 audience only. This could be for example horror, violence, adult language, erotica. Last year’s festival saw some really great entries – an interesting one that caught our attention was ‘Phone sex Grandma!’ by Jack Truman, USA.

STUDENT FILM – Any film by a student age 16+  Perhaps you are at film school and are carving your filmmaking career or maybe you are studying something else at school or college and just have a passion for film and filmmaking?

YOUNG STUDENT FILM – A film made by a child age 5 – 15, about any subject, it can be documentary, animation, drama.. whatever you like. Last year we had films entered from USA, Scotland and all across the UK in this category and a special children’s red carpet awards ceremony.

It costs £30 to enter a film, £20 for a student & £10 for a child. If you keep an eye on the Facebook & Twitter accounts @StAlbansFF there are often chances to win a free entry. Everyone whose film gets selected for screening will get a pass worth £40 to attend the festival events so it’s really worth entering.

The deadline for sending in your short film is 1st February 2013 so get creating and see the website to find out details of how to enter and be a part of the next spectacular St Albans International Film Festival as it takes over the City once again.  www.stalbansfilmfestival.com

Film Festival Takes Off!

Film Festival Director, Leoni Kibbey, shares with us her thoughts on the Film Festival last year and what she has in store for 2014.

ImageIn 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