Hebden Bridge Film Festival 2020 is now accepting submissions

Hebden Bridge. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Hebden Bridge. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Submissions are being accepted for the second Hebden Bridge Film Festival (HBFF) next year.

The March 2020 event will explore the concept of 'the Other', and organisers say that with "over 500 years of non-conformism in the Calder valley, the theme is fitting".

Hebden Bridge Picture House, which is a main venue for the fesitval. Picture: Charles Round.

Hebden Bridge Picture House, which is a main venue for the fesitval. Picture: Charles Round.

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It will celebrate films by or about those who "dare to be different, whether they exist in the margins, sit outside the mainstream or just plain don’t fit in".

Organisers are now accepting submissions for feature length and short films, which can be either drama or documentary, and is particularly encouraging entries from women directors.

HBFF is partnering with the restored Hebden Bridge Picture House cinema and Town Hall, which will be used as its Film Festival Hub.

The event will show a programme of world cinema, UK and US Independent features and shorts, as well Q&As, masterclasses, and panel discussions with the filmmakers.

Maxine Peake.

Maxine Peake.

Cash prizes are also offered for winning entries, with £1,000 for best feature, £500 for best short and £300 for the best young person's film.

All entries must have been completed between January 1 2018 and February 8 2020, and features must be between 60 and 120 minutes, while shorts need to be between one and 20 minutes.

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To qualify for the young person’s short the director must be between 18 and 26.

The final deadline for entries is February 9 2020 ahead of the event on March 27 and 29.

Actress Maxine Peake, star of British film Funny Cow and TV show Shameless, is a patron of the festival.

BAFTA winner Nicole Taylor, writer of last year’s hit Wild Rose, has previously described the event as "the friendliest festival on earth".

"We were made so welcome by everyone involved in the Festival and indeed the whole town," she said.

"The atmosphere on opening night was electric and ever since I’ve been looking for an excuse to return to Hebden Bridge."

Steve Sullivan, winner of the HBFF audience award for Being Frank, added: "The festival and cinema staff went out of their way to make my screening a success, from getting a near capacity audience to attend through to even helping me run my merch stall. It’s a beautiful town, populated by passionate cineastes and I can’t wait to return.”

Praise for the festival has also been posted online from filmmakers and visitors who attended the inaugural event.

Manuel Tera said: "Amazing festival in lovely Hebden Bridge, so well organized and welcoming for both filmmakers and audiences.

"I had a wonderful experience attending there with my film. Louise, Jay and the staff were all so kind and enthusiastic, and the atmosphere was of truly celebration of filmmaking. I would definitely love to be back with my next work."

HBFF is an F-rated Film Festival due to its commitment towards promoting women filmmakers.

An F-Rating is given to any film written by a woman, directed by a woman or featuring women in significant on-screen roles.

Any film that meets all three criteria is awarded a Triple F-Rating and also there is no requirement for films screened at HBFF to have the rating, the event aims for at least half its entries to be so.

It also follows British Film Institute diversity standards, focusing on under-representation on screen, behind the camera and in film audiences, in relation to age, disability, ethnicity, gender and the LGBT+ community.