Bafta entries add to glamour of city’s growing festival of film

HULL’S reputation as a centre of innovative film-making will be further enhanced next month with the strongest programme yet assembled for its short film festival.

Entries from 25 countries will be shown at Glimmer 2011, the ninth staging of the annual four-day event, which will be screened at a range of venues from October 6.

As well as showing all the short films nominated for this year’s Baftas, there is a vibrant Yorkshire section and what organisers have described as the best showing in the festival’s history for movies by Hull-based auteurs.

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It will for the third year see Anthony Minghella Awards for best international short and best UK short, in memory of the Oscar-winning director who both studied and taught at Hull University, which sponsors the awards.

Acting festival director Espen Jensen said the event was now one of the most influential in Europe.

“We are the biggest dedicated short film festival in the North of England, we have got a lot of recognition with that, and nationally and internationally we are getting more and more recognition, especially over the last couple of years,” he said.

“If you talk to people (at festivals) in Hamburg and Cracow they do follow us to see what we are doing and a lot of other festivals will keep an eye on what films we have selected and show them there.

“We do have quite a reputation for picking out new talent that will go on to festivals around the world.”

In total 131 films will be shown, 45 of which will be competing for awards – a number which includes 10 world premieres and 10 UK premieres.

Seven shorts will be vying for the title of best Hull film, including the Dave Lee-directed Bridge for the Living, based on the poem of the same name by Philip Larkin.

The poem was written by the Hull-based wordsmith in anticipation of the Humber Bridge’s opening 30 years ago and the film re-examines the verse now.

The other Hull entries are: Power/Struggle, by Neil Watling, about two people making their way through the ruins of the world; Yesterday, by Joseph Monahan; Paul’s Piano, by Neal Coulman; A Short Story, by Ian Burnett; Tao of the Dead, by Edward Hunter; and Cloth by Cool Fun, directed by Jay Moy.

Mr Jensen said: “There were 16 or 17 entries for the Hull section, which is more than previous years and it was quite a pick.

“One thing is the story they are trying to tell, but there’s also the production values and the overall quality of the films is amazing, really good. They can quite easily stand up to the rest of the competition films on show.”

A first for this year’s festival is the 48-hour film challenge, which will see a brief delivered to filmmakers at the festival’s launch event, and they will then have to write, cast, shoot and edit it in time for screening at the festival’s close on October 9.

The competitions will be judged by industry professionals with prizes ranging from £500 to £1,000 each for the two Minghella awards.

Other highlights include the international premiere of Twenty Dollars by Chinese director Lam See Chit, and a retrospective of the work of pioneering film-maker and artist Tony Hill, who has enjoyed a near 40-year career in the avant-garde.

The festival base this year will be a “pop-up” cinema installed at the Methodist Hall in Prospect Street, with the New Adelphi Club, and Fruit and the Museum of Club Culture, both in Humber Street, among the other venues.

Mr Jensen added: “The programme this year is truly eclectic, spanning most genres, and with new additions such as the new commissions, online competition and our 48-hour film challenge, we believe this Glimmer will be the most exciting and engaging yet.

“Come join us and experience great films in unusual places and enjoy the ride - I know I will.”

Tickets will be available shortly. For the full programme and other details visit www.hullfilm.co.uk.