First ever competition will see 11 prizes and special audience award
Remembrance by Mark Jepson, one of the Officially Selected films
Organisers of Ealing's first Film Festival (EFF) have released details of the "Officially Selected'' short films now available for viewing and audience vote.
The Festival, the first of its kind in the borough, home to the historical Ealing Studios, was originally intended to be an event taking place in real life, but due to the Covid pandemic new plans were quickly made and, like many other things in this challenging year, the Ealing Film Festival had to change its focus.
Despite many obstacles, local residents and festival organisers Annemarie Flanagan, Peter Gould and Alan Granley were determined to see it through and successfully launched - online.
They say it hasn't deterred anyone and have been overwhelmed by the number and calibre of entries.
When the deadline closed on December 2nd, 160 short films from 20 countries on five continents had been submitted.
Programme Director Alan Granley said: '' We began this process just wanting to help all the filmmakers and provide an opportunity and platform to show off their creativity during this difficult time, but, because of Covid didn't expect it to go ahead. We quickly rethought and went online but never in a million years did we anticipate that EFF would go global and attract such amazing films from throughout the world. It's been thrilling to be part of.''
Mel Giedroyc - EFF Comedy Judge
The films have been viewed by a panel of emminent industry judges including Ealing funny girl Mel Giedroyc, and a total of 70 have been selected. They were chosen from different genres, categories: drama, comedy, scif-fi, student, smartphone, documentary, experimental, animation,documentary, horror, environmental and Homegown - a special prize for those who live or feature the borough in their film. Prizes are being provided through sponsorship by St George, A2 Dominion, Hampton by Hilton, social enterprise We Coproduce, Ealing Gin and John Martin Estates.
Artistic Director Peter Gould said: " Our judges have been amazed by the variety and quality of the films submitted. These are difficult times for everyone, but even under the present restrictions, people are still managing to be creative. And platforms such as Ealing Film Festival are vital in supporting the next generation of filmmakers."
The winners will be announced on 31st December. Meanwhile, all the selected films can be viewed for free and voting has begun on the Ealing Film Festival website for a special audience award to be presented to the movie with the highest number of votes.
Festival Director, Annemarie Flanagan, said: '' Huge thanks to all the Judges and Sponsors and everyone who has helped us in this memorable, inaugural year. There has been such incredible support over the last few months and a real buzz of excitement. Obviously we want to hold Ealing Film Festival in real life and have big plans for 2021 which we think will provide an injection of much needed positivity for Ealing and Acton and for creatives throughout the borough, London, the UK and the world. We are delighted that Ealing finally has a film festival!"
16th December 2021 (updated 21st)