Elizabeth Costello of the Leigh Film Festival and the Leigh Film Society, shares all 'need to know' information about this year's event!
What sets the Leigh Film Festival apart from other film festivals?
We are a Not for Profit project entirely run by Volunteers, we wish to highlight local film makers and showcase low budget films. It’s a short film festival with films less than 20 minutes long. The films can be animations and various genres.
What can attendees expect from this year's event?
We are now in our third year. This year we have received sponsorship which has supported the event on the night. All volunteers will wear uniforms so people attending will know who to ask any questions. We have a special guest attending who cannot be named until two weeks before the event. We have invested in surround sound. The car park is next to the venue and is free after 6pm. There is disabled access to the premises. There is a bar serving alcohol and soft drinks.
There is a team of volunteers who work all year round to deliver what we believe is a very well organised professional film festival.
You just announced this year's nominees. Is there something in particular that you look for in submissions? Or are there multiple factors?
When we first started we wanted to celebrate and showcase northern filmmakers. We soon realized that when submissions came from across the country and worldwide we decided to open it to everyone. We look for films less than 20 mins. This enables us to showcase as many short films as possible on the night. We look for quality production on a low budget. We ask if films are chosen that the director and production team attend the event and give and intro to their film followed by an audience Q&A.
Do you have an interesting memory of a previous festival?
Our first Festival in September 2014 will always be the best. We screened four northern short films with all the directors attended. The event was smooth, professional and transformed our Town to put Leigh on the map for Film. The second film festival we showed some animated films which was well received by the audience. The second film festival we had an on-line audience vote. Awarding the director of the audience vote with a trophy. The third year 2016 we will award the winning film with £200.00 prize.
How is your festival received by the local film community?
Our second festival in 2015 we did a twitter – thunder Clap the whole of the town joined in, it was amazing. All sponsors are local; the majority of the audience is locally based. The festival as a twitter account and accesses local Facebook groups one being Leigh Old Photographs which has in excess of 12,000 members.
Where do you see or would like to see your Festival in 5 years?
Expanding to a full weekend using unusual venues like Churches, libraries, creative spaces and open spaces. We will appeal nationwide.
Can you give Indie Filmmakers some advice on producing their first film?
Keep true to yourself. Make the film how you want it to be. Do not be influenced by current trends. On a low budget use family, friends and ask for help from local business. Many people want to get involved they just need to be asked.
Keep an eye on funding streams, there are plenty out there. Make appointments with leading filmmakers you will be surprised how many want to offer advice and pass on their knowledge.