St Albans has always been known for its powerful women, since 60AD when the mighty Celt Queen Bouddica of the Iceni tribe stood up to the force of the invading Romans and took the city.
For one long weekend a year this English city is now being taken by another woman with fire in her belly, Leoni Kibbey – working mum, actress & director of the St Albans International Film Festival who plans to rock the city with film. The first festival was launched last year and successfully smashed on to the festival circuit. With around 400 films sent in from 30 countries around the world there were packed screenings, cool filmmaking workshops, glam parties and events for all ages across twenty-two venues in our stunning Roman City just 20mins from London, which is now fully restored from Boudicca’s destructive triumph!
St Albans has proved to be the perfect location for a festival with its strong film heritage and has gained support from its first Patron, another incredible woman artist & actress Christiane Kubrick, wife of the late Stanley Kubrick who lived and filmed most of his work in the area. Christiane opened the inaugural film festival with inspiring words of support.
It has been shown recently that in film women are not always represented fairly as there are far less female crew given the top jobs or decent acting roles for women, so St Albans will be making Boudicca proud this year by selecting all of its ‘non-competition’ feature films from those that pass something called ‘The Bechdel Test’, a simple test for films with 3 criteria: 1) It must feature at least two women 2) who talk to each other 3) about something other than a man. Many contemporary works fail this test of gender bias and it’s simply amazing what we have got used to watching on screen. In real life women are intelligent, independent, sometimes even warriors.
So this year it’s about encouraging a fair representation of women which works well for the festival theme for 2014 – Birds the feathered kind and also women, in film and film-making. Expect: Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds to be screened; a ‘Birds themed cocktail bar’; appearance by St Albans Director Dan Smith, currently directing for Sir David Attenborough a 3D Animated film where Natural History Dinosaurs come to life, including the very first birds; a live demonstration of remote control heli-camera/drones that are used widely inblockbusters to capture amazing aerial shots; screenings of films featuring amazing women such as Judi Dench in thenew Shakespeare film Muse of Fire, and lots lots more.
May 1st – 4th 2014 is the date for the 2nd International St Albans Film Festival and entries have already started flying in from as far as Japan, Brazil, Australia & Iceland.
If you would like to take the leap and enter the next festival you could be in with the chance of winning part of the £3000 cash prize, a crafted trophy and respect from your clan! Anyone can enter a short film of maximum 20 mins in length into one of 7 categories, listed below:
MAIN SHORT FILM – Any short narrative film that is a work of fiction eg: drama, comedy, romance, thriller. Last years winner was from France – Fabrice Braq’s film ‘Time to Split’ a relationship drama which cleverly used a split screen process.
DOCUMENTARY – Any short documentary film about any subject at all from big world issues to personal stories that matter to you. We even had a beautifully shot film in year one by director Michelle Becker which showed us how to bake a really tasty cake!
MUSIC VIDEO – Any music video from any artist, band or performer around the world. The Artists from the music videos that get accepted are asked whether they would like to perform live at the festival, a great way to build your audience and fan base!
ANIMATION – Any animation short, whether it’s suitable for children, adults or both. St Albans born and bred Arthur Melbourne-Cooper made the first ever animation over 100 years ago so this category is very significant for those who enter to be part of the City’s animation heritage.
OVER 18S – Any type of film whether it’s a work of fiction, documentary, animation or music video that deals with subjects suitable for an over 18 audience only. This could be for example horror, violence, adult language, erotica. Last year’s festival saw some really great entries – an interesting one that caught our attention was ‘Phone sex Grandma!’ by Jack Truman, USA.
STUDENT FILM – Any film by a student age 16+ Perhaps you are at film school and are carving your filmmaking career or maybe you are studying something else at school or college and just have a passion for film and filmmaking?
YOUNG STUDENT FILM – A film made by a child age 5 – 15, about any subject, it can be documentary, animation, drama.. whatever you like. Last year we had films entered from USA, Scotland and all across the UK in this category and a special children’s red carpet awards ceremony.
It costs £30 to enter a film, £20 for a student & £10 for a child. If you keep an eye on the Facebook & Twitter accounts @StAlbansFF there are often chances to win a free entry. Everyone whose film gets selected for screening will get a pass worth £40 to attend the festival events so it’s really worth entering.
The deadline for sending in your short film is 1st February 2013 so get creating and see the website to find out details of how to enter and be a part of the next spectacular St Albans International Film Festival as it takes over the City once again. www.stalbansfilmfestival.com
Festival Enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Press Enquiries: Loudbird PR – email@example.com
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