Celebrating town’s film-makers with new festival

Hastings filmmakers. From left: Nichola Bruce, Rebecca Marshall, Richard Heslop, Bindu de Stoppani, Nick Pilton, Toby Tatum, David Jackson and Mark French.
Hastings filmmakers. From left: Nichola Bruce, Rebecca Marshall, Richard Heslop, Bindu de Stoppani, Nick Pilton, Toby Tatum, David Jackson and Mark French.

A NEW festival celebrates the work of some of the town’s top film-makers some of which is being shown for the very first time.

Hastings Film-makers Festival, from April 26 to 28, will include a selection of features and short films, along with opportunities to meet the directors.

From black comedy to social satire, experimental to drama, with a jazz documentary and an opera reworked as film fantasy, there is a broad spectrum of work included.

The festival has grown from an evening of short films curated by film-maker Mark French Arrow in the Eye, which was screened at the Electric Palace Cinema last year.

Mark said: “I discovered that we had all these full length feature films made in the last year, with all the directors coming from the town. There is a scene that is starting to emerge.”

On Friday, April 26, is the premiere of opera film Alcina, directed by Sam Sharples and Nichola Bruce, showing at Christ Church Parish Centre, London Road, St Leonards. It is adapted from Handel’s work by the Barefoot Opera Company.

On Saturday, April 27, Electric Palace Cinema, in High Street will be showing Bindu de Stoppani’s Jump, Andrew Kotting’s Swandown, and the premiere of Richard Heslop’s Frank, the story of an outsider who finds friends in the strangest places.

At Electric Palace Cinema on Sunday, April 28, will be Interference by Nick Pilton, Edge by Carol Morley, and the premiere of Mark French’s profile of legendary saxophone player and Hastings resident Trevor Watts, Hear Now.

On the same day at the Jerwood Gallery is a screening of a selection of the best short films to have been made in the Hastings area in the last year.

Mark said of the ‘Hastings’ style: “A focus on the fringes of society and the ‘outsider’ character is something which is common to a lot of the films, and obviously the local landscape has inspired the look of the films.”

All screenings have a £5 entry fee, and it is advisable to purchase tickets well in advance. For screenings at the Electric Palace Cinema, call 01424 720393 or visit www.electricpalacecinema.com, for tickets to Alcina visit www.stleaonardsfilmsoc.co.uk, and for Hastings Shorts call 01424 728377.