Film Festival success at The Mercury
The Romford Film Festival was a five day event
showcasing 120 international films held at The Premiere Cinema at The Mercury,
for independent film makers to showcase their work to a cinema audience.
The festival in the heart of Romford has already
gained brilliant reviews from critics, film makers, locals, audience members
and even politicians! Following on from the success of last year’s festival, The
Mercury was ready for the red carpet to be rolled out again with the festival
awards finishing on a high on the evening of Monday 28th May.
The festival opened with packed audiences with
‘Welcome to Essex’. The film focuses on a young woman as she struggles through
the day to day existence of living in Brentwood, the film stars Russell Brand. Also ‘ Mumatar’ which won ‘ Best Havering Film
Award’. Students from Havering College also attended the event as part of the
work experience area for their courses, they helped to run the festival and
give out awards. The red carpet event was attended by new Havering major Dilip
Patel who gave out the award for best animation.
This year the festival offered a mixed bag of movies to cater
for all tastes, we had family animation with Let Them Stand, offered an
exclusive opportunity to see the supressed Crowhurst, discover the hidden
stories of the Rockerfellers in Drawing Home which starred Kate Mulgrew (Star
Trek Voyager), Wallace Shawn (the Princess Bride) and Rutger Hauer (Blade
Runner) the later of whom won best supporting actor; at night we offered the
best in underground cinema with a retrospective of director Shane Ryan, one of
the most controversial directors in American history.
There were at least four Q&A sessions per day which
included Coz Greenop one of the UK’s most hotly regarded directors in cinema
who is currently working on House Red with Doug Milsom (Full Metal Jacket, A
Clockwork Orange and the Shining). Lifetime achievement awards were given to
Tony Klinger and Simon Rumley.
Super exclusives included the first ever UK showing of Blue
based on a true story of the director, a moving drama about depression starring
Callie Schuttera and directed by Gabriela Ledesma who both flew in from LA to
show their movie, Callie also picked up the best actress award on Monday night.
Festival favourite My Bloody Banjo offered the festival a special Romford cut
which was greeted by hysterical laughter from the audience.
As well as over 50 full length features, there were 70 short
Festival programmer Spencer Hawken said;’ ‘This year was an
exercise in delivering the very best the whole world had to offer, movies from
25 countries, 15 world premieres and some of the best actors independent
cinemas has to offer, Hawken also interviewed all of those who showed to
represent their films, all of which will go live on Youtube and the festival
Facebook page over the next few weeks. The Film Festival will return next year
and we have already secured places with directors, we can’t wait for next