Lights, camera, Preston

A film extravanganza 
descends on Preston this weekend when the 
Lancashire International Film Festival comes to Uclan.

Film extravanganza
Film extravanganza

The film festival returns for a fourth year, which includes an array of film exhibitions and an appearance from an Oscar nominee.

It starts on Friday, ending Saturday night, and boasts masterclasses from industry experts, newly-commissioned work and a symposium delivered from some of animation’s most influential women.

Uclan’s Greenbank lecture theatre and The Media Factory’s pop-up cinemas will host the festival – all events are free but capacity is limited.

Festival director Ric Michael said: “The idea behind the festival when it began four years ago was to showcase what had been 10 years of production at UClan and try to give the students and professionals working here a chance to work with filmmakers in the city and from around the world.

“It’s that whole idea that it all comes back to Lancashire, back to Preston, because there’s no reason we can’t be influential and successful in the world of film.”

Uclan graduate and Oscar nominee Mark Gill will be present, showcasing his films in partnership with Baldwin Li, The Voorman Problem and Full-Time, before discussing the formation of Honlodge productions.

Mark originally tried to enlist Hollywood star Kevin Spacey to feature in his film, The Voorman Problem.

Unfortunately for Mark, Kevin was unavailable, but he helped recruit Pirates of the Caribbean star Tom Hollander, who in turn brought along Sherlock’s 
Martin Freeman.

‘A man walks in to a bar’ is this year’s theme for the annual 100-hour challenge – the winner will be announced on Saturday evening – creative students are challenged to produce a short film in 100 hours that includes the line “c’est la vie”.

A symposium – Women in Animation – will feature executive producer of CBeebies Jackie Edwards, the writer of Timmy Time, and Sarah Kenedy, the voice of Miss Rabbit in Peppa Pig and Nanny Plum in Ben and Holly.

Budding film makers will have the opportunity to draw from the wealth of talent on offer as the festival features one to one sessions with one of Britain’s most exciting writers and directors, Simon Powell – a masterclass from producer/director Ed Greenberg and finally from the wonderfully-named Mycho Micro-budget Massacre Masterclass presented by award-winning Slasher maestro MJ Dixon.

Grab your chance to witness some excellent future film makers airing their exclusive productions including a feature screening of Girl Shaped Love Drug that will be followed by a Q&A with director Simon Powell.

The festival offers you the opportunity to produce a 90 second master piece as well as a chance to win prizes in a host of competitions.

Ric added: “I think the highlight will probably be the opening night; it sums up exactly what we do here.

“We’ve got an Oscar-nominated graduate alongside a first film which shows the work of uclan students working alongside graduate film makers”.

“So what it’s got is everything we want in it and people who have got a link to Lancashire who are holding their own in the world.”

A detailed version of events can be found on the festivals programme at:

Ben Smith