The first ever Horsham Film Festival culminated in a celebratory awards night, which was held at Christ’s Hospital Theatre, Horsham, on Thursday, February 21.
The evening featured comedies, dramas, documentaries and animations, as well as live music from the Big Notes choir.
It was organised by Silver Tip Films and staged with support from the Horsham District Year of Culture 2019.
More than 120 people attended the event – shortlisted filmmakers, family, friends, supporters and Sussex business figures – and Horsham District representation was impressive.
The winning films were:
Horsham Park Run. Winning Over 18 Best Documentary with its heart-warming story about the Horsham Park Run community. Directed by Mike Hibberd – a first time filmmaker.
Til Tomorrow. Winning Under 18 Best Drama with a touching story about loss and its impact on a young man and his family and friends. Directed by Mattie Boys, star of SKY 1’s In The Long Run and also a first-time filmmaker.
Sussex Sites. Taking the Under 18 Best Documentary award for its stunning aerial landscape shots of famous Sussex locations. Directed by Luke Whatley-Bigg.
Project Kino. Winning the Under 18 Your District film for its clever and funny story about two people trying to make a film to enter into a film festival…and winning. Directed by Tom Gerrard and starring pupils from Tanbridge House School.
Prey. Winning the Over 18 Your District film for its slow burn tension, culminating in a genuine shock moment. Filmed in Horsham by local photographer and first time filmmaker Eric Storey.
The other winning films included:
The Waters Edge. A visually stunning, underwater-shot short from filmmaker Nick Sneath, which took Over 18 Best Drama.
Sticks. A witty realisation of childhood games with twigs and sticks and the many usages for them. Directed by Syd Heather, taking Over 18 Best Comedy.
Flicker. A mix of 2D and 3D animation with beautiful, stunning visuals from filmmaker Conrad Moody, which took Over 18 Best Animation.
The Dark Triad. An ’80s spoof action comedy with bad dubbing, from Jake Robinson which took Under 18 Best Comedy.
The Bridge. A lovingly animated hand drawn piece from children at Maple Walk and Faraday Schools, taking Under 18 Best Animation.
Commenting on the success of the festival, Horsham District Council Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure Cllr Jonathan Chowen said: “This event was a real triumph and encapsulated all that the Year of Culture is about.
“A first for our District, it served as the perfect platform to showcase unique local talent in film making and to highlight many endearing features of our area, its landscape and communities.
“This particular Year of Culture event has attracted the largest levels of participation so far with literally thousands of people working many, many hours towards their entries for the overall competition.
“It has created a blue print for future film festivals and will create a legacy from the Year of Culture long after the year of celebrations.”
Director of Silvertip Films Geoff Cockwill said: “One of the aims of this festival was to put a focus on the people and stories of the Horsham District and inspire local filmmakers and first time filmmakers to make a film about something close to their hearts.
“To have achieved the massive number of entries – and of such high quality – was fantastic.
“The event would not have been possible without the support of the Horsham District Year of Culture and we would like to thank everyone involved for supporting the festival.”
A number of the winners were on hand to receive their awards and prizes, which included items from the festival’s sponsors including: camera equipment from Manfrotto, camera bag equipment from OrcaBags, books from Michael Wiese Publications, books from Waterstones Horsham, vouchers from Cineworld, vouchers from Smith and Western Restaurants, vouchers for bowling from The Rec in Horsham, beer, brewery tours and video commissions from Firebird Brewery in Rudgwick, studio time at Square 1 Studio in Dorking, sailing holidays to Greece plus video commissions from Seafarer Sailing Holidays and an overnight stay, plus use of the new spa at South Lodge Hotel in Horsham.
The Awards Night was also raising funds via a percentage of each ticket sold for Silvertip Films’ charity partner Springboard. Around £400 was raised for them on the night and the team were on hand to work the Front of House at the theatre and tell people about the excellent work they do for children in West Sussex.
The Horsham Film Festival will return in 2020.
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