Ambitious plans for the first Colchester Film Festival were announced @15QueenStreet on Thursday evening. Scheduled to take place during the first weekend in October 2012, the celebration of both hyperlocal and the wider world of film is being organised by @FilmColchester.
“There will be a shorts based film festival over one weekend. We will be asking for submissions from filmmakers. Surrounding the main screenings, we will have fringe events – workshops, talks and many other film based eactivities.
We are provisionally booked in at firstsite, which is quite exciting to be using the new auditorium. We are also hoping to put on pop up screenings elsewhere. This is very much a collaborative project for anyone involved in the project.”
Film Colchester launched just over a year ago, with the aim of bringing together local filmmakers, actors and writers. Weekly meetings are held @15QueenStreet, with the emphasis very much on collaboration with the many different skills that can be found within the town. The Colchester Film Festival will be a celebration of the work that has been achieved so far, as well as looking at new ways of working moving forward.
“We want to bring together filmmakers, actors and writers to collaborate on projects and to make films. We hold meetings, workshops, guest speakers as well as screening films. We are very much locally based. Most of our members come from the area. Most of our projects are filmed in the town centre. We love to cover local history.”
Details of the first Colchester Film Festival are currently being finalised. The event will launch with a new website next month, inviting submissions to be shown over the course of the festival weekend.
It is hoped that the project will encourage more collaboration around the town. Tristian and the other festival organisers are keen to make informal contact with anyone in Colchester who may have something to offer, or perhaps might want to learn a new skill. You can contact the group over here, or follow updates via Twitter.
Elsewhere on Thursday evening @15QueenStreet and the monthly Creative in Colchester meet up heard from other local groups working within film. Colchester based Signals Media gave an illuminating presentation about how local Colchester school children have been able to challenge their creative talent through working with the organisation.
Based in the Dutch Quarter, Signals Media has the broad community aim of:
“Promoting understanding of film and media and encourage participation. Signals core programme includes a wide range of educational activities which are aimed at a wide cross section of the community, from first time youth involvement to supporting developing artists work.”
Future projects include working with Colchester schools to help capture on film the once in a lifetime opportunity of seeing the Olympic Torch travel through the streets of Colchester. Volunteers are always required to support Signals. One young mother present @15QueenStreet spoke of how the organisation has installed confidence within her son.
Open Cinema also had representation on Thursday evening. This is a national based loose network of filmmakers and promoters that help to empower members of society that may be living on the margins of society. Using the medium of film, homeless folk, the elderly, victims of domestic violence and prisoners are given the opportunity to challenge their energy through film production.
Around fifteen films are produced each year by Open Cinema, and then screened at pop up spaces or local community facilities. The aim is to make a connection and to make a difference. Film is seen as a brilliant medium in which to achieve this.
The monthly Creative in Colchester meet up @15QueenStreet is but one strand of the many collaborative sessions that take place in the Cultural Quarter. The schedule is growing each month, with twenty-six evening events in the diary for April. You can find out more about the open activities @15QueenStreet over here, or just pop in for a friendly chat during the day.