Harrogate Film Festival is celebrating a successful third year, a view shared by its audience, organisers, filmmakers, and sponsors, as plans were also revealed for further growth at next year’s event.

The festival enjoyed eight sold out events and audience numbers exceeded previous years; recording an all-time festival high. 15 filmmakers attended the festival from across the world and critically acclaimed filmmaker Mark Cousins said, “The role of a film festival is to engage audiences, give people confidence, connect them to other filmmakers and Harrogate Film Festival is doing a very good job of all of those things.”

In the independent filmmakers’ competition, British filmmaker, Clancie Brennan took home three awards. The ‘Audience Choice Award’, ‘Critics Choice’ and ‘Best Drama’ for the film Early Days. A short film about a new mother, Kate, (Maimie McCoy), it tells the story of the days following her return from hospital, where she’s rocked after finding her world altered beyond recognition. The film has previously seen success at the Raindance Film Festival.

Swedish filmmaker Viktor Hertz won the ‘Best Film’ and ‘Best Comedy’ awards with his hilarious film, How it Feels to be Hungover.

Other highlights included a workshop from storyboard artist and animator, David Bunting, best-known for his work on “The Tigger Movie” and “Shaun the Sheep”. This was a huge hit with families, and children had the opportunity to learn the basics of animation, on a Mary Poppins theme. The festivals experience events, taking over venues across the town were also hugely popular during the weekend.

The festival has also announced its future growth plans. The event, which is currently held over four days, expands in 2020 to a ten-day Festival. The programme and range of events for next year is set to be even broader. One-off events and competitions are also on the agenda throughout the year, the first of which will be announced officially at the end of March. But as a teaser, filmmakers and musicians will be playing a large part!

“This has been our biggest and best festival yet. The events were better attended than ever before and I would like to congratulate everybody who has helped to make Harrogate Film Festival such a success. I’m also delighted to announce a ten-day Festival in 2020, spanning two weekends, and enabling even more film-based experiences to be brought to Harrogate.”

Commenting on the weekend’s activities, Adam Chandler, Managing Director of Harrogate Film Festival