Worcestershire Film Festival was held 15-17th November over three venues in Worcester City. We welcomed just over 1,300 visitors to our screenings and workshops, which is around 250 more than the 2012 inaugural event.
A well attended opening session at The Hive, started the Film Festival on the Friday evening. It started with a screening of Happy Birthday, Dear Universe by Lauren Hatchard which was a celebration of life and storytelling. This was followed by a keynote and then a special screening of Hawking, a new documentary about Stephen Hawking. A Q&A was then held with the editor of the film, Tim Lovell.
Meanwhile at Worcester Arts Workshop, the first of two ‘After Dark’ sessions ran. These consisted of four horror films being played that wouldn’t be suitable for a daytime audience. Each film was followed by a Q&A with the maker.
Jenny Lind Room
On the City Campus of the University, we based all our workshops. The aim of the workshops is to help inspire participants to think about their own interests and encourage them to pick up cameras and tell their own stories. They also allow people to network and discuss projects.
Storyboard Artist, Tony Chance pulled in a good audience, as did James Fair, a filmmaker promoting 72hour film challenges. On Sunday, Paul Elliot spoke about the impact of film and cinema on the public, rounded off with a special showing of Georges Méliès Journey To The Moon. We were also lucky to host a discussion around film and its’ future with the Radical Film Network.
The Hive was the central hub of the Film Festival a friendly information point was manned throughout the weekend. The studio room screened feature films such as The Quickener, an original medieval story with hip-hop rap as the dialogue and the locally made comedy caper, How To Become A Criminal Mastermind.
On Saturday evening, a special event took place where two films were screened about civil war re-enactors, one from Worcester, UK and another from Worcester, Massachusetts in the US. An audience in Massachusetts also watched both films and following that, a q&a was held with both audiences and both directors with help of a video link. Both audiences had some dressed up re-enactors present and this hopes to be the first of many collaborations between Worcestershire Film Festival (UK) and Worcester Film Festival (US).
Worcester Arts Workshop
If The Hive was the central hub, Worcester Arts Workshop was the bohemian centre of the Festival. From 11am to 5pm, short films were played in half hour slots along with q&a’s and intro videos from the filmmakers. Here, a vibrant show of high quality films were screened covering all kinds of genres and methods of storytelling. Many were locally produced such as the playful fantasy ‘Lights‘ and some we’re international such as the award winning ‘Salt & Pepper‘ (Norway). Worcester Arts Workshop provided a great venue for filmmakers to meet up and talk shop.
The second After Dark session was also held here on the Saturday evening and featured Slasher House, a feature made in Preston. The filmmakers travelled down especially for the screening, which had a good audience.
This year there were three awards : judged best short, judged best feature and best public vote. An independent panel of judges viewed every film and cast their judgments.
Judged Best Short : Lights by Dave Tomlin
Judged Best Feature : Vodka & Chips by Lex Dovak
Voted By The Public : How To Become A Criminal Mastermind by Henry Scriven
2014 & Beyond
Worcestershire Film Festival is in a stronger position than ever for next year with several new initiatives being planned, partnership with Worcester in Massachusetts and the relationships forged during this Festival, the future is looking bright for filmmaking in the area.