Tag Archives: short film

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


Animation Bootcamp – 27th August

Following the success of the St Albans Film Festival film bootcamp at the start of the month, the second week of summer holiday events kicks off on Tuesday 27th August, after the back holiday weekend.anibootcamp

This four-day animation workshop gives attendees a chance to make their own short films, try their hand at stop motion production and even animate themselves.

During this week, animator Richard Shaw will be teaching the animation course for 8 – 16 year olds.


Richard recently worked with children at a music festival, delivering a short Pixilation workshop – see some of the fun stuff they got up to here:

We are looking forward to sharing stories and short films from the animation week soon.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Film Maker Bootcamp – 29th July

In just over a week (from the 29th July) the first of the St Albans Film Festival summer workshops will begin with the 5-day Film Maker Bootcamp. This workshop focuses on making a mini movie in the space of just one week, with films covering genres including Superheroes, Sci-fi Comedy, Western, Drama and even Zombie movies. The week will conclude with a family and friends premiere screening.

filmbootcampThis is the second event of the Post-‘St Albans Film Festival 2013’ calendar, following a rare screening of Colour Me Kubrick in May, which included a brilliant ‘meet the screen writer’ Q&A session. Colour Me Kubrick was not released in the UK as it received no funding from the British Film Institute, and so the DVD for the screening was sent from Czech Republic, making the event all the more exclusive.


Writer Tony Frewin, spent a long time answering the questions of the audience at the Maltings Arts Theatre (St Albans) and claimed the film had ‘written itself’ as it was based on the true story of confidence artist Alan Conway. The aptly named Conway, who impersonated film maker Stanley Kubrick for several years, was played by film legend John Malkovich – who Tony says was his first choice for the part, as he has the range needed to play such a role. Tony says his claim was supported by Malkovich’s work ethic: he was always on time and had the confidence to creatively add his own spin to the role; introducing the many accents his character uses and even cheekily adding a line about himself [John Malkovich] in.

Writer Tony Ferwin

Writer Tony Ferwin

These kinds of events are a great way to hear behind-the-scene seldom told facts and anecdotes. Tony Frewin, who also worked with Kubrick on 2001: A Space Odyssey, recalls Mr Kubrick’s reaction to Alan Conway; saying he jokingly called him an ‘ingrate’ for only watching a bit of one of his films (and not liking it!) and claimed he would get him back by impersonating him in return.

Iris Zaki, director of My Kosher Shifts

Iris Zaki, director of My Kosher Shifts

To show a continued commitment to the St Albans Film Festival competition entrants, the Colour Me Kubrick screening opened with a viewing of the short film; My Kosher Shifts by director Iris Zaki.

We look forward to more events like this over the coming year in the lead up to St Albans Film Festival 2014, and wish all those attending the Film Maker bootcamp this month the best of luck with your debut films!

The Film Competition

The main eventcompetition flyer of this year’s St Albans Film Festival is the short film competition.

The competition will be the element of the festival that brings in international visitors to the city, as the 350 entries were submitted from 30 different countries, as far and wide as Australia, Singapore, Greece and the US.

Festival director Leoni Kibbey expects that the weekend of the 8th-10th March will bring in guests from America and Europe especially, and has labelled it a truly international event.

There were six categories in short film competition, which have been whittled down to those to be screened over the festival weekend at a number of quirky and unique venues across the city.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The six categories in the short film competition are:

  • Short Film – short narrative live action film between 1 and 20 minutes long
  • Student Film – short film made by a student of any age from 5 to 95.
  • Music Video – under 6 minutes.
  • Documentary – inspiring short documentary film.
  • Children’s Film – U Certificate films for family audiences, aimed at children.
  • Over 18s Films – Something for the grown-ups!

The professional film makers had to submit their entries by the end of December 2012, and the mini student films had to be completed by January. There is a £500 award for the winner of each category, with the awards ceremony taking place 7pm on Sunday 10th at the Havana venue.

competition flyer