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Move over Cannes – It’s the Cornwall Film Festival

Film lovers everywhere are starting to realise that the Cornish Film Festival is now regarded as one of the highlights of the film making year.
The Cornwall Film Festival in Newquay is now a month-long event starting the last Friday in October and running until November 30. Now in its 13th year, it attracts a surprisingly large number of people.

The very fact that the patron of this particular festival is the highly acclaimed director Mike Leigh, goes some way to show you the high esteem in which the Cornish Film Festival is held by many within the industry. Leigh has now handed over the reins to Louise Fox who will be the new director of the festival from 2014.

As the name may suggest, it is Cornish film making which is celebrated here. The aim of the Cornwall Film Festival is to promote the enjoyment of film as it screens a range of feature films, shorts and other events focusing on British, World, Independent and Art House offerings. Highlights will be celebrating the award winners from the Cannes, Venice, Sundance and London Film Festivals.

The main venue for the event was formerly the state-of-the-art in . However, from 2014 events will take place in several cinemas across the county owned by Merlin Cinemas Group. The new venues will be at the , Redruth; , St Ives; , Penzance and the in Falmouth.

Notably, this is the only film festival which successfully brings together the works of students as well as established filmmakers. Many of the films that are being shown at the festival have not been seen elsewhere and anyone with any interest in film production should consider the Cornwall Film Festival as a ‘must attend’ event.

Volunteering at the Cornwall Film Festival

There are numerous workshops during the festival which cover all types of film making as well as lectures from some of the leading lights within the industry. Whether you are a keen amateur or an aspiring film maker, some of the high points of the festival are the parties that go on until the small hours in and around Newquay.

The opportunities to network are endless and as many of the leading filmmaking professionals are always in attendance there is definitely no shortage of opportunities to make those all-important connections. The festival includes guest speakers, casting and auditions along with screenings of many full-length feature films and 90-second films using the Cornish language with cash prizes for the best.

If you are someone who really would like to get involved in the festival there are opportunities to volunteer. Even though these positions are unpaid, they come with lots of benefits. Free tickets to the screenings of some of the films as well as invites to some of the more exclusive parties are par for the course, so volunteering is well worth considering.

Affordable out of season accommodation in Newquay for the Film Festival

It goes without saying that unless you live in the local area you will be thinking about staying in Newquay for part of all of the festival. One of the reasons why the local council is among the sponsors of this event is because it brings visitors to the area at what would usually be a quiet period. Fortunately holiday rentals in Newquay can be picked up very cheaply in November and if you play your cards right you will be partying most of the nights anyway!

For any of the younger generation who has an interest in filmmaking there is now an event which runs alongside the main festival. Screen Actions is held on the Thursday which is the opening day of the festival. It comprises of a series of short films, workshops and social events, all aimed at young people. During 2013 the Cornwall Film Festival charity “Screen Actions” attracted over 350 young people.

All in all the Cornwall Film Festival is a great event and you don’t necessarily have to be interested in film making to make the most out of it. As long as you enjoy watching a good film, satisfaction in Newquay in November is virtually guaranteed.

Are there any other film festivals you know of that have a specific agenda, such as this one which promotes Cornwall and the Cornish language. We’d love some feedback from any film buffs who have attended the Cornwall Film Festival in past years.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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