Preston can look forward to three days of excellent film-related events spread across the city, says Ric Michael – the coordinator of the Lancashire International Film Festival.
Following on from the festival that debuted last year, the event has now been commissioned for the next two years. Michael says that this year’s festival (held from the 8th to the 10th April) is “going to be great, and next year for Preston Guild, with it being the third year of the festival, you’ll start to see the big events coming together with the other celebrations in the city”.
Michael, whose background is in television and festival organising, insists that it’s important to remember that “festivals take years to develop” but that the scope provided by this year’s extra venues is cause for celebration. Films, workshops and Q & As will still be run at UCLan’s Media Factory, but there will also be screenings at the Mitchell & Kenyon Cinema as well as the New Continental.
“Whereas last year we announced ourselves to the students, hopefully this year we’ve genuinely made some links to the city.
“It’s through people like They Eat Culture and Preston Sync and through dealing with the Guild and the City Council that I think we’re starting to make inroads into making that a reality”.
The learning and participatory element that was present at last year’s festival is strongly emphasised for 2011, with a stipulation that everyone showing a film at the festival must also participate in a Q & A session, a masterclass or a script surgery. This year’s festival will also bring together established and familiar names in the form of a screening of the Mighty Boosh tour video starring Noel Fielding and Julian Barrett, as well as emerging filmmakers.
“I think it’s going to be one of those festivals where in five years people will say ‘I was there in 2010 and 2011, when for example, Simon Powell talked about his first film’.
“It’s going to be a fantastic event but one that doesn’t necessarily have too many household names”
“There’s a genuine desire to engage people with the event, and I also want to have some fun!” says Michael.
This is the first in a series of articles focusing on film. If you’d like your work to be showcased or be interviewed for the forthcoming film podcast, email joseph(at)blogpreston.co.uk.