Plans in 'action' for return of Mansfield film festival after 'successful' launch this year
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After an incredibly successful year – Mansfield Town Film Festival – will return to the Palace Theatre between July 26 and 28, 2024.
The festival, platforming diverse working class talent, took place back in July and attracted the attention of BAFTA-winning filmmaker Ken Loach, who opened the festival.
He said: “We tend to get forgotten when the grants are dished out and never seem to get the big events like this one that we should have.
“Art is important. Films are worth more than just the commercial events we get in the multiplexes.
“Films show us many different cultures, different experiences, and different backgrounds.
“It’s important because we see our world better when we see it reflected on the big screen.”
Films of all genres were shown, and screenings with a focus on female and LGBTQIA+ voices took centre stage.
This year, the best documentary went to Mansfield boxing legend Steve Ward and his film – The Champ of Champs.
Mansfield-born composer Chris Miggells won best music video for Stone Giant, filmed at Clipstone Headstocks.
Jay Martin, festival director, said: “Our festival is here to stay and we hope even more people will join us in 2024.
“Our team is growing and we are actively seeking people to join us to make Mansfield the biggest film festival in the East Midlands.
“We already have some amazing celebrity guests confirmed for next year which we will be announcing in due course.
“We are currently accepting film submissions worldwide until May 1, 2024.”
Jay said the first film festival formed after a “chance encounter” with Executive Mayor Andy Abrahams at the premiere of REDt’BLUE – a documentary on Mansfield’s political shift from a Labour-stronghold to a Conservative majority in the 2015 general election.
“I’ve been to a lot of festivals, I love attending and working at them, and the atmosphere at this festival was just so exciting.
“It felt like it was my first ever festival again,” said Ciaran Shea, a filmmaker from Nottingham.
Mayor Andy Abrahams said: “It was brilliant to see how after meeting with Jay, it led to this fantastic festival.
“It is the perfect example of how we want Mansfield to see itself – aiming high and with its name in lights.
“I am delighted to know this film festival was not a one-hit wonder but something that will return and on which we can all build and make Mansfield a place where creative success is achievable and can be celebrated.”
The film festival was made possible after Mansfield Council was awarded more than £1.7m from Arts Council England to deliver creative and cultural activity in the community.
Sian Booth, cultural manager at Mansfield Council, said: “The buzz at the film festival was amazing last year.
“It was a great atmosphere with so much entertainment on offer.
“The team are committed to championing film makers from working class and less connected backgrounds to give communities a voice, something which is urgently needed.”