Lancashire International Film Festival
UCLan’s Media Factory paid host to renowned filmmakers at the first Lancashire International Film Festival this weekend.
The festival, running until 9pm today and continuing tomorrow, brings together nascent local talent alongside more experienced film-makers.
Mike Ward, UCLan’s head of Journalism, Media and Communication, said: “This is the culmination of 2 years work, and will be something very important in years to come.”
The festival showcases 120 short films, as well as a range of workshops and film-related discussion groups. Also available are “Speed Pitching Sessions”, allowing people the opportunity to pitch their ideas to producers from the broadcast industry and giving instant feedback and guidance.
Co-ordinator, Ric Michael on the festival:
The film festival is the completion of many months of hard work, and a collaboration between various bodies within UCLan to create a truly diverse and international feeling to the film festival. The fact that new graduates share exhibition space with films starring the likes of Sir Ian McKellan is a testament to the melting pot of ideas and production on display.
Below are my choice picks of the comedy films on show today:
HIV, The Musical, Dir. Joe Patrick
Martin Freeman (The Office) and Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh) star in this dry comedy depicting a playwright torn between commercialism and art. Freeman plays aspiring writer James, who submits a script to producer Myles. It depicts the devastating effects of the AIDS virus on a foreign aid worker, but Myles has other ideas. Barratt is his typical kooky and cynical self, and his Myles is unconcerned with ethics or a moral message, merely about creating a cash cow out of James’ play, changing it so much that eventually it’s rendered unrecognisable. At a little over ten minutes long, this was deftly timed and injected just the right amount of irony, with both leads playing solid roles.
Stand and Deliver, Dir. Ian Bell
This again, focuses on two leads, the protagonist peasant woman, and her antagonist, the crooning highwayman. The highwayman attempts to first steal from, barter with and finally woo the woman, all portrayed in a bonkers musical style.
31 to Savick, Dir. James Powdrill
James Powdrill directs, edits and stars in this monlogue about his local bus shelter. His dry wit and occasionally locquacious language had much of the audience in stitches, as he attempts to find meaning in a bus shelter no one ever uses. A short trip to Savick is escalated to a pilgrim-like journey, with Powdrill’s excellent observations and adept use of music and visuals creating a truly enjoyable eight minutes. Probably my favourite from today.
The Good, the Bad & the Chorley, Dir. Krystal Gault
Easily wins the award for best title, this recreation of Sergio Leone’s masterpiece via Lancashire is full of brilliant vignettes and homages. Leone’s Dollars trilogy is one my favourite pieces of film-making, and to send it up so well without ever looking embarrassing or corny was a great feat. Very well done on what was clearly a shoestring budget.
The Preston International Film Festival runs until 10pm tomorrow. Be sure to pop down (it’s free) and help support what will surely become a successful part of local culture in years to come.