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LB Film Fest 2023

During one week in September, Leighton Buzzard became the centre of indie filmmaking in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. With 11 events celebrating local filmmakers, learning new skills, inspiring talks and networking, there was something for everyone.

We started our week with the opening night in the pub garden of the Ship Inn. Here were screened 7 films made by young filmmakers and filmmakers from Leighton Buzzard. It was a selection of funny, creative and touching films. After the films, we had the chance to speak to some filmmakers for interesting insights into the filmmaking process.

On Monday we continued talking about filmmaking and growing your own work with Joseph Millson, Sarah-Jane Potts and Andy Jackson at the Crooked Crow Bar. Their film Care was one of the films screened at our opening night. It was an inspiring and insightful conversation, giving a realistic insight into the film industry and motivating filmmakers to take the lead in their own future.

One thing they highlighted was the value of connections and networking.

This was put into action during the lunchtime speed networking event. Actors, writers, camera operators and directors came together to meet, chat and create new initiatives.

In the evening it was time to get inspired again, this time by our LB Film Fest Favourites. The films that we thought stood out the most of all submissions. We screened these films on the big screen at the library theatre and were once again enlightened with fascinating stories and anecdotes during the Q&A.

Our Experimental Film Gallery was a new type of event that turned out to be a great success. We really enjoyed collaborating with the Leighton Buzzard. The beer garden of the Golden Bell had transformed into an interactive gallery for one afternoon. In the outdoor bar a selection of experimental films were screened while outside paintings from artists were put on display. People were able to express their own creativity by creating something for the collaborative art work.

In the meantime, Craig Gambell and his team were busy transforming Canal Street Coffee to be the location of the ARRI lighting workshop. Craig shared his knowledge about different types of lights and showed how to use them to create a particular effect or mood for a scene.

We were very happy to be back in the Crooked Crow Bar for our Documentary Night. We had a selection of 4 very different documentaries around social issues and personal portraits. As a special guest we were very grateful for Paul and Rosie who ran the former Black Horse Homeless shelter charity and ex-resident Paul, to tell us more about the work of the homeless shelter.

Nick Read joined us at the workspaces in Mimic Gifts to tell us about the ins-and-outs of editing. And interesting evening with tips, tricks and analysing edits. After the workshop some of the participants went straight into the 48 hour film challenge.

While the 48 hour challenge filmmakers were working hard, others gathered once again at Canal Street Coffee for an Afternoon with Gavin Spokes. For 1.5, Gavin delighted us with fantastic anecdotes, lessons he has learned as an actor and his experiences in the industry.

A film challenge where they had to make a film in 48 hours based no three prompts. Script line: The objects here have memories Prop: Translucent gel Location: An eerie shop (in Leighton Buzzard)

The films were screened during our closing night. We received 8 amazing short films each extremely creative, thoughtful and others funny and inventive. With help of our judges: Nick Read, Gavin Spokes and Craig Gambell we were very pleased to award the films for: Best Acting Best Storytelling Best Cinematography Audience's Favourite Best Film

The awards were handmade by the very talented Anthony Smith.

With that we closed an amazing LB Film Fest 2023. It was a week full of inspiration, meeting new people and learning new skills and of course getting challenged.

We hope to see you again next year!


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