Resilient Festival Showcases Over 200 Films!

Resilient Festival Showcases Over 200 Films!

The Romford Film Festival’s fifth annual event went ahead last week despite a second year of Covid-19 restrictions to large audiences travelling the UK to see their films on the big screen.  



Showing over 200 films on three screens to a reduced audience of c.1500 over five days. The Romford Film Festival team created a timetable suitable for a maximum of 100 guests per screen – encouraging cinema goers to re-experience film.  



“Although travel restrictions prevented international audiences form attending the festival – we have had our biggest UK audience ever” - says festival director and film maker Spencer Hawken. “By uploading interviews for filmmakers online and interviewing international film makers through ‘Nerdly’ podcasts, our team have ensured that the festival vibe has been inclusive of all of our filmmakers, and that we keep providing international content to our UK audience.”  



The event’s films drew a star-studded audience this year – including Sean Cronin (Mission Impossible) and James Payton (Harry Potter / Avengers) while the Eurasian Film Festival running as part of the programme drew dignitaries from the Embassies of Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.  


With over a 1000 submissions to the festival this year, Spencer commented that only the very best could be screened.   Despite the economic climate, there is still a thirst for film in the area – with local companies Premiere Cinemas, The Mercury Shopping Centre, NRA Roofing, Bidvest Noonan and The Havering Daily supporting the event.    “The event was hugely supported by a community of festival volunteers” says Natalie Bays, Festival Co-founder. “We are hugely grateful for our young film making team, our front of house team, selection committee and logistical organisers – the level of professionalism from them shows how important local people feel about the festival”   Concluding the festival on Monday evening, 12 awards were given in a black tie event attended by London dignitaries, The Mayor of Havering and important cultural representatives from the area.  





The winners were:  

 Best Director – Helen Alexis Yonov - The Gesture and The Word (USA)  

Best Actor – Lee Hunter – On My Own (UK)  

Best Actress – Cristina Spruell – Queen Luck (USA)  

Best Supporting Actor – Josef Altin – Officer Down (UK)  

Best Supporting Actress – Caroline Ward – Stalling It (UK)  

Best Score – The Smuggler (Romania)  

Best Short Film – The Gesture and The Word (USA)  

Best Cinematography – The Snow Maze (UK)  

Best Local Film – Rom Boys: 40 Years of RAD (UK)  

Best Screenplay – The Blue Tooth Virgin (UK)  

Best Documentary – More Than Mayagi (USA)  

Best Feature Film - Maquis (Spain)  


Jury Prizes –

·         The Most Dangerous Man In Europe (Austria)

·         Blud

·         The Two of Us At the Edge of the World

·         A New Leash on Life (USA)

·         My Darling Christopher

·         The Ghosts of Borley Rectory (UK)

·         Autumn Never Dies (UK)

·         Proxy

·         Single Line Theory

·         I Am Vengeance: Retaliation (UK)    


The Romford Film Festival is now open for its sixth year, and will be showing five days of international, independent and ingenious film in May 2022.   Film makers from all over the world are invited to submit their film to show through:  


To find out more information about The Romford Film Festival, please visit: 


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