Q/A with Polterheist director, David Gilbank

Back to Blog

So, tell us a bit about the journey since you won at Harrogate?

So much has happened. After Harrogate, both winning short films (Polterheist and Working Late) continued on their way winning a few more gongs all over the world. Then in 2017 we decided to convert the short film version of Polterheist into a feature film. It was a long and winding road to get to where we are today, but it was certainly worth it. The feature film has followed the trajectory of the short film and is doing well on the festival circuit.

Tell us a bit about the film?

Essentially, it’s the same story as the short film but with a load more characters and settings. Two low-level Yorkshire gangsters are given 72 hours to find a load of money that their colleague, Frank, stole from the local godfather. There’s just one problem: they accidentally killed Frank. So, they come up with the bright idea of kidnapping a psychic medium to help them find the money. Instead they unleash a vengeful demon who wants his revenge.

How is it being received?

It’s been received very well. The reviews have been terrific and its screened all over the world at international film festivals. It’s won a swag of awards (12 so far, but who’s counting 😉) since we finished post-production in May 2018.

Give us some of your successes?

I’m extremely proud that its won a variety of different categories, including Best British Film, Best Emsemble Cast, Best Actress and most of all: Best Screenplay. My co-screenwriter Gemma Head (who also appears in the film) died in October 2018 and it was a fitting tribute to her skill as a writer that we won that award. She, Paul Renhard and I worked very hard on that damned screenplay.

You were on the red carpet in London and Mexico no?

We had a London Premiere at Leicester Square and I was fortunate enough to travel to Mexico to see it screened at the legendary Feratum International Fantastic Film Festival. I had a such a great time at that festival. I made a load of friends with some awesome directors and I was privileged to meet the legendary Lloyd Kaufman, famed director of the cult film, The Toxic Avenger. He is such a top bloke and a real gentleman. I was so honoured when Llloyd and his wonderful wife, Pat watched the film with a packed audience. It was one of those great life moments. The Mexicans went wild for Polterheist!

How would you say Harrogate Film Festival helped you?

The Harrogate Film Festival was integral to the success of the short film, and consequently, the feature film. The accolades we won in Harrogate played no small part in the momentum and buzz we built about the short film. I’ll never forget the encouragement and confidence I felt the night we won the awards in Harrogate. I’ll never stop trying to make the next film. Harrogate played a big part in me developing that attitude. We are now working on developing the next film which is far more ambitious than Polterheist.  Its set in America and the screenplay is a killer.

Looking forward to coming back in March?

I really can’t wait.  I haven’t been back since the awards a couple of years ago, so I can’t wait to meet up with all the great and good of the UK Film Industry. Harrogate Film Festival is great for networking.