St Leonards film festival to showcase talent from near and far

THE first St Leonards International Film Festival promises to be a feast for the eyes and ears.

Taking place at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery tomorrow (Saturday, July 14), the event, organised by Endwell Productions and the St Leonards Film Society, presents an evening of celuloid-based films, and is expected to be a sell-out.

A highlight will be a showcase of films selected for Straight 8, an international film festival where each entry is shot on one cartridge of super 8 - maximum length 3 minutes 20 seconds - without second takes, outside-camera editing or post-production.

To add another level of difficulty the sound is recorded and submitted completely separately.

These include Speak & Spell in St Leonards, a film shot locally and directed by Mauricio Vincenzi and Darren Morris, aka The Bohemia Club Film Collective, which was screened during the prestigious Cannes Lions festival last month.

Seven other entries shot locally will have their worldwide première on the night.

Also on the programme is The Reel Thing, super 8 projections with live improvised music by Hugh Metcalfe on grand piano, a specially curated selection of archive footage of Hastings and St Leonards, and a homage to the late Jeff Keen, a Brighton-based avant-garde filmmaker.

Mauricio, one of the festival organisers, said: “It is a really varied sort of programme, there are some funny pieces, there are some beautiful pieces.

“The selection of other entries adds to the international element, although there is a focus on local filmmakers.

“We are part of this huge international community.”

The festival has received support from local businesses, straight 8, and the BFI, and the idea is for it to become a permanent feature in the calendar of local cultural events.

The festival starts at 8pm tomorrow (doors at 7.15pm), and admission is £12 on the door and £8 in advance from Plenty Provisions (Grand Parade, St Leonards), LOVE Café (Norman Road, St Leonards), and Pomegranate (George Street).