Making Connections

11:30 – 12:45 | Playhouse

PrintFilm Festivals rely on huge amounts of different resources in order to be realised. Often there are major barriers to overcome with little infrastructure to make it happen. A local film festival relies on a range of support – whether it’s partnership working, sponsorship, local or national funding – that can all help to make the event meaningful for the community. We’ll be discussing ways to think innovatively about your resources, identify the strengths you can bring to a partnership, and how to stay true to your vision whilst working collaboratively.

Confirmed speakers are:

Alison Strauss, Director of the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema in Bo’ness

Alison Strauss has an MA in Film Archiving and worked at the BFI National Archive for seven years.  She went on to work in Arts Development for local authorities in England and Scotland, specialising in Creative Industries, Voluntary Arts and Film.  Alison was one of 8 participants in the ICO’s inaugural Women’s Leadership Programme.  She is currently the Arts Development Officer (Film and Media) at Falkirk Community Trust and programmer of the Hippodrome Bo’ness.  She established and is the Director of the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema.  She serves on the board of RSS the Scottish Youth Film Festival, as well as the team of advisors for the FAN’s Advice and Experience Scheme.

Louise Carney of Aberfeldy Film Festival and Heartland Film Society

Louise joined Lambeth Film Society at the age of 15, where she developed a taste for the art house movies of Pasolini, Fellini, Buñuel, Fassbinder and Bertolucci. Quite a few years, countries, jobs and film clubs later Louise moved to Aberfeldy just as the Birks Community Cinema was opening it’s doors. Heartland Film Society could now view films on state of the art equipment in the comfort of a new cinema … and also had to prove it was still relevant! As a new enthusiastic member of HFS Louise soon found herself involved in the running of the annual Aberfeldy Film Festival, and eventually became the chair of HFS.

Ema Lea, Director of Whitley Bay Film Festival.

Ema Lea grew up in Newcastle Upon Tyne and has lived in Whitley Bay for over 20 years. Her early professional background was in music, working as a composer and session singer in a number of busy studios in the North East.  After years of dabbling in animation and film, Ema embarked on a Degree course in media production studying all aspects of film production and in 2007 went on to set up a small, not for profit film production company with 5 other directors/filmmakers – Primate Productions Ltd. Some of their documentary shorts achieved broadcast credits, international film festival screenings and were nominated twice at the regional RTS awards.

Ema finds Directing a film festival very similar to producing a film – finding the right location, creating the right environment and attracting audiences through creative means. Whitley Bay Film Festival is a platform in which independent film makers in the region, of all abilities can screen their work. It was set up in 2010 by a small group of people with a mission to stage something extraordinary in their seaside town. It maintains a grass roots and a fiercely independent approach to film and arts programming.

Image courtesy of Whitley Bay Film Festival