Dan Weldon, Senior Lecturer, Northern Film School, Leeds School of Arts, Leeds BeckettUniversity
There are many different kinds of film festivals - about 3000 of them the last time I counted. Big festivals, little festivals, there are ones for films about mountains and swimming there’s even one for films about bicycles (we won an award at the one).
Film festivals are good for filmmakers and they're especially good for our students. If you’re lucky enough to get your film into one you get to show your work to an audience, which is the ultimate goal of every filmmaker. If you win an award, it can launch a career, as it has done for a number of our students and alumni at the Northern Film School.
Going to a film festival is a good way to meet other filmmakers and to hear what they have to say. It is a place to see new work and to think about ideas because filmmaking is an art form like any other art form - the ground is constantly shifting in how they are made and new stories are told. Film festivals show the best and the most recent work.
The Harrogate Film Festival, alongside Aesthetica, Leeds International, Bolton, and Kino Film Festival in Manchester is an important event for filmmaking and films in the North showcasing the best and most interesting work on the festival circuit today. There’s a ton of other film centric stuff happening too, you should take a look.
A big highlight was a screening of ‘Sorry We Missed You’ by the one and only Ken Loach. Like many people, I’ve lived with his films my entire life. Kes made a significant impact on me, not least because of the portrayal of the loneliness of being in goal mid-winter (I was always in goal). Still, the film opened my eyes as a child to the inequalities around us that we choose to ignore. Fifty years later, things haven’t changed much, they just look different. ‘Sorry We Missed You’ is a powerful, angry film. I am excited and a little nervous too - I the venue was sold out!
The Northern Film School showcase screening happens tomorrow at midday at the Everyman Cinema. Please come and see the best of the work we do.