Tell us why you love Mansfield - on film

.The Launch of I  love Mansfield film festival
.The Launch of I love Mansfield film festival

THERE is always something about an area with a special place in our hearts – and this is your chance to tell us what you love about Mansfield.

As part of a film festival being run by Vision West Notts – formerly West Notts College – folk are being invited to make a short film about why they love the town and what makes it so special.

Budding film-makers can use anything from a mobile phone to a video camera in a 30-second to three-minute film which can take any form – from a play to a documentary about your favourite pub or shop.

The I Heart Mansfield Film Festival is taking place in partnership with Chad, Linney Group and The Mansfield Business Improvement District (BID).

College media tutor Michael Rhodes is the brains behind the festival, and he says he hopes townsfolk will rise to the challenge and celebrate all that is good about Mansfield.

“There is a lot of doom and gloom across the country at the moment and I wanted to create something positive that really celebrates Mansfield and makes people feel good about the town,” he said.

“I want this to be a good news story as opposed to redundancies and crime, which often grab the headlines.

“It has to be something people absolutely love about the place where they live, work or visit.”

Michael is one of five judges who will choose the best film clips, which will be combined to make a final 45-minute feature. Also on the judging panel are Chad news editor Ashley Booker, Linney Group’s creative director John Kay and head of multimedia Iain Swales, and Mansfield BID co-ordinator Sue Rogers.

The film will be premiered at Vison West Notts’ all-new, multi-million pound Create facility.

Winners will be given the full red carpet treatment, win various prizes and be featured in the film’s end credits.

The first public screening of the film will be in Mansfield Market Place as part of the Olympiad Cultural Events Week to be held between 7th and 14th July.

Your film should be about a part of Mansfield you particularly love – this could be your local park, shop, pub or club – or any place that means something to you.

It might be about your favourite local attraction, your place of work or a local business.

You could try doing a short piece of acting that illustrates why you love our town and district so much – or you, your family or friends could simply talk about it on camera.

The entry can be either with or without sound and there are some sample films you can watch to get an idea by visiting the film festival website

Below are a few pointers on what judges will be looking for:

l Footage must be shot in Mansfield – see website for full area map.

l Your film should be a personal story about why you love Mansfield.

l Footage should show what you are talking about – so if you are talking about Berry Hill Park, film it.

l Your film must tell a story and keep the audience gripped.

l If you are using sound, the audio must clear so judges can hear what is going on.

l Your film must not contain any copyrighted music, close-ups of famous trademarks or images from film or television.

l It must not put you or others in harm’s way.

You can enter by uploading your film using YouTube, but you will have to create your own YouTube account first by following simple instructions on the film festival website.

Then register your film and enter the competition by visiting The I Heart Mansfield Film Festival website

Alternatively, you can send your film to I Heart Mansfield Film Festival, Vision West Notts, Derby Road, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, NG18 5BH.

Entrants must provide a title and a description of their film to make it easy to search for. The entrant’s name should be included in the title. For example: Michael Jones – Life in Mansfield.

All films submitted by post, in person or uploaded through YouTube will appear on the iheartfilmfestival YouTube channel – so keep your eyes on this to see your film appear.

Films can be submitted from 23rd January until the competition closes at 4pm on 30th March.

Entrants will be told if their film has made it through via text message, email or post by 1st June.

Visit the film festival website for an entry form and full terms and conditions.

There are a host of great prizes up for grabs, which will be split between three categories, with a winner and runner-up in each:

Overall best film


iPad 2

Sony DVD Handycam camcorder

Tuff-Cam child-friendly 3MP digital movie/still camera


iPod Touch 4th generation 64GB

Tuff-Cam child-friendly 3MP digital movie/still camera

Under 18


Sony DVD Handycam camcorder


Sony Cyber-shot 12.1MP digital still camera

Over 18


Sony DVD Handycam camcorder


Sanyo 12MP digital still camera

Prizes have been donated by Gem Vending, Stone Group, Konica Minolta Business Solutions East and Phoenix Computers.

Vision West Notts is offering free workshops about film-making from 6th February and you can book your place by contacting Carole Littlewood on Mansfield 413310.

But here are Michael’s film-making tips:

Start off with a shot of exactly where you are – and keep your camera still if you can. Try to avoid pan or zoom shots (like in the Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield) as audiences can find this confusing.

Don’t film your subject in front of bright lights (i.e. the sun), as they will appear dark. Make sure any bright lights are behind you.

Have a trial run of your shots and review them so you know what you did right and if there’s anything you need to change.

If you are filming yourself make sure the camera’s fixed in the right place – whether it is in a tripod or in your hand.

If you are not experienced in using a video camera to film, use the auto button, which will focus and zoom for you.

Try to plan before the event so you achieve the highest-quality film possible.

Audio quality is really important if using sound. Try to avoid situations where background noises drown out the message.

Have fun and show your love of Mansfield!