Monday, 20 April 2009

[174] UK Film Festival Previews for April

Here is my UK Film Festivals column for April. To see the nice, fully-formatted, slightly sub-edited version from the issue of Film & Festivals Magazine, please go to their website here.


Glimmer 2009: The 7th Hull International Short Film Festival

April 21-26

The Hull International Short Film Festival, titled Glimmer, returns in April for 6 days packed to bursting with screenings and events. This year, the East Yorkshire festival will be introducing the Anthony Minghella Awards for Best International and Best UK Short, to be presented at the festival in the memory of the late filmmaker and University of Hull alumnus. Over the course of the festival, various shorts will be screened in competition for these awards.

These competitive selections will be sharing space with out of competition screenings and events. Glimmer will be hosting retrospectives dedicated to two short filmmakers, avant-garde artist John Smith and Internet flash-based animator David Firth (Salad Fingers), as well as cherry picking notable films that were nominated for short film BAFTA awards in 2009 and the best in student-created short cinema in the STUDENTFEST programme. There will also be selections along thematic lines, such as the Country in Focus: Israel and Figuring Landscapes series.

Accompanying the screenings in the event calendar are talks, presentations and panel discussions on topical subjects about the film industry. What Happens Next? will tackle the challenges facing a filmmaker after the shoot is over, including how to handle reviews, marketing and print budgeting, and Pay to Play will discuss issues related to low paid and voluntary work in the film industry, as well as the often exclusive entry fees for festivals.

For more information, including the full programme, see:


Cambridge International Super 8 Festival
April 29 - May 2

Since 2007, the Cambridge International Super 8 Festival has been championing the small film format. After it's successful second edition in 2008, where 88 films were screened, all points indicate to another great line-up at the end of April. At the heart of the festival are its four competitive awards, the Jury Prize, Audience Prize, Development Prize, Best UK Film and Special Jury Prize. Winners of these awards will be promoted by the festival team, and will tour around the UK and other selected countries.

The in-competition selection will be presented in a series of programmes throughout the festival, and will include films such as Dead Joe, directed by John Aldridge, an absurdly comic deformation of film noir, and Four Kilos of Memories (4 Kilos de Recuerdos), by Mexican filmmaker Faride Schroeder, a meticulously planned feature that required no editing or postproduction. Although primarily focused on the opportunities granted to Super 8 filmmakers by the digital revolutions of the last decade, this year the festival will premiere its Cambridge Memories programme. This selection feature unearthed family films from the Cambridge area, providing perspectives and insight from the last 40 years that were made possible by the format's affordability.

Also, previous Audience Prize winner Dagie Brundert will be heading a masterclass on filmmaking in Super 8, as well as participating in a retrospective of her work. Additionally, there will be an Industy Panel, discussing the role of Super 8 in the wider film industry, titled 'Super 8, another paintbrush for filmmakers?'

For more information, see


Sci-Fi London
April 29 - May 4

London's top Science Fiction-oriented festival is back this month, providing a smorgasbord of geekery. Now into its 8th year, the festival straddles the borderline between April and May with a selection of screenings and events. Housed at the Apollo West End cinema, Sci-Fi London will be holding UK premieres for films such as Canadian zombie flick Yesterday, mockumentary The Mother of Invention and Stingray Sam, a bizarre mix of western, sci-fi and musical.

Esteemed guests this year include Marc Caro, co-director/writer of Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children, and Kevin O'Neill, artist for comic books such as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, who will both be participating in Q&A sessions and screenings of their work.

For those nocturnal film fans, the festival will be offering a series of All Nighter events, centered around genres, themes and topics such as Star Trek, Italian Horror, and Anime. Outside of these screenings, Sci-Fi London will also be holding a variety of discussion panels on the literary, stylistic and scientific backgrounds to the science fiction culture, as well as handing out the Arthur C. Clarke Award for the best science fiction novel of the previous year.

The festival will be preceded by a 48 hour film competition, where entrants are invited to create a 5 minute sci-fi film in between the 4th and 6th of April. The competition will be judged by a panel featuring Marc Caro and Franklyn director Gerald McMorrow. With more details yet to be announced, Sci-Fi London is shaping up to be a varied treat for all fans of fantastical film. For up to date information, see

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