Tag Archives: film festivals

Film Festival Day 1!

So on my first full day of the festival yesterday , I was busy non-stop all day and it was really fun!

My first stop  was at the parent and toddler sing-a-long screening of Mamma Mia. When I checked in it was a lot quieter than I expected for a room full of toddlers but everyone seemed to be having the BEST time. All of the parents looked relaxed and happy to be able enjoy the film without worrying about the kids making noise. I even spied a couple of the toddlers dancing along, which as you can imagine was completely adorable.

My next event was the screening of the French film ‘Ricky’ for which St Albans Town Hall was transformed into a very Parisian cinema set up. I only got to see the first half of ‘Ricky’ since I had to rush to another event but the concept was really intriguing – a baby who grows fully functioning wings.

The reason I had to miss the last half of ‘Ricky’ was to catch the first part of Lars Von Triers ‘Nymphomanic’. I was looking forward to this film from the second I knew it was being screened at the festival and I can honestly say I wasn’t disappointed! As an added bonus, due to some technical issues we were treated to an impromptu intro by Miranda Kane star of another of our feature films ‘Confessions of a Sex Worker’. Let me just say, Miranda was hilarious! Her intro was perfect for the film and I think made sure everyone felt slightly more comfortable for the upcoming film. On to the film, it was strangely emotional at times which I for one really wasn’t expecting, at point I might have been a bit misty eyed..

I then popped over to ‘St Albans Connection’ which was a series of short films either made by St Alban’s filmmakers or having a link to the local area. It was great to see recognisable places in some of the films or even recognise names and faces of those involved. It was the perfect event for a St Albans native or even someone just hoping to learn more about the area.

My day didn’t stop there and I then went to view the Over 18’s short film competition. The films were varied to say the least, there were dramas, comedies and even a parody to boot. There wasn’t a single film that I didn’t enjoy and from what I noted the rest of the audience felt similarly.

Finally on to my two evening events, the first was the ‘Women in Film and the Bechdel Test Panel’. The representation of women in film or any medium really is a subject close to my heart and a key theme of this years Film Festival so it was great to see such a strong turn out. The inclusion of audience discussion meant that there was a lively debate for the entire event and it was really great to hear the opinions of film industry insiders on the representation of women.

The last event I attended was the ‘Birds, Books and Gin’ event where we were given a really in depth look at Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ and to hear some of the reasoning behind his decision making process. There were also cupcakes and free gin cocktails, which were very popular (I only had one, I promise!)

Let me know what events you’ve attended/are planning to attend and how you found them!

Lauren 🙂

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For a good cause!

I promised to bring you guys updates on the goings on at St Albans Film Festival HQ and I’m here to deliver! As if she wasn’t busy enough putting together the amazing festival programme, Leoni our festival director is also going to be running the London Marathon this year for the charity Shelter! Of course we’re going to be cheering her on but she’d love your support too so read the article below to see how you can help out and what your support means for the festival! 

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‘Festival Director runs for Shelter

…and not just from the relentless weather we’ve had this term. While we might all have been grateful recently to run for the shelter of our own homes, there are thousands of homeless people around the UK – and even here in ‘comfortable’ St Albans – who simply don’t have that option.

That’s where housing and homeless charity Shelter comes in. People become homeless for all sorts of reasons and sometimes even those with a home need help. Shelter reminds us that home isn’t just a roof over your head. It’s a place that provides security, privacy, and links to a community and support. Shelter is not going to stop its tireless work until everybody in the UK has access to this.

Our own Festival Director, Leoni Kibbey, won’t stop either! She is raising money for Shelter by running this year’s London Marathon on Sunday 13th April. In spite of the fact that this is her first marathon, she’s aiming to complete it in under four hours. And, incredibly, it’s all taking place just a few weeks before the second annual St Albans Film Festival, of which Leoni is the director, driving force, instigator and brains. As you might imagine, this has been keeping her pretty busy, which is why she needs your support! 

All next week Leoni will be wearing her Shelter running top around the city as she is dashing around putting plans in place for the next film festival, so if you see her, please do make a donation if you can. She’ll have a bucket with her, or you can give online via the Just Giving website: https://www.justgiving.com/Leoni-Kibbey

As a thank you for your support Leoni is promising to provide some free events at the Festival – including a fantastic demonstration from the RAF Falcons – Red Arrows Parachute Display Team who will be dropping into Verulamium Park on Sunday 4th May. 

Through her work in the film industry and as St Albans Film Festival Director Leoni will be starting at the Celebrity Start at the marathon on 13th April so look out for her on the telly-box as she runs 26.2 miles for SHELTER!’