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Promotion – Barnes Film Festival 2016 Press Day


Posted July 11, 2016 by

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Having just returned from the Children’s Media Conference in Sheffield, my head buzzing with three days’ worth of dialogue about ways in which we in the industry should be serving and representing young people, it was fantastic to be invited to a press day breakfast, ahead of the launch of the inaugural Barnes Film Festival.

To be held in various venues around Barnes from 2nd to 4th September this year, the festival will showcase films with an environmental theme, and will include competition winning works from young filmmakers aged under 25 in three categories – 12 and under, 13-17 and 18-25. The festival also boasts high-profile patrons including actors Stanley Tucci and George MacKay.

The breakfast, held in the gorgeous surroundings of the Olympic Cinema’s Members’ Club, was a chance to meet those involved with getting the festival off the ground, as well as local figures such as the mayor, David Linnette, who spoke of his pride of Richmond as the London borough which hosts more cultural events than any other, and director of the Barnes Children’s Literature Festival, Amanda Brettargh.

After coffee, we moved into the Olympic Cinema, which was restored to its filmic roots in 2013, having been a legendary recording facility for the latter half of the twentieth century, and watched a short video detailing the history of the venue and some of the iconic acts who laid down albums there, such as Prince, Bowie, and The Rolling Stones.

We then saw a trailer for the festival itself, which despite having no footage of previous events to draw on, manages to convey the vibrant green, local, and community-minded spirit of the festival:

We also previewed a short animation by Rory Campbell, a talented former student of festival founder, Samuel Cullis, which gave some indication as to the quality of competition entries we can expect from the young filmmaking community.

Samuel Cullis speaking at the Barnes Film Festival Press Day

Samuel Cullis speaking at the Barnes Film Festival Press Day

The festival will open on 2nd September with a Gala Opening Night, to be held at the Wetlands Centre and the Olympic. Guests are encouraged to support the Eco-Age Green Carpet #30DaysWear Challenge, by donning clothes that have been worn more than thirty times, with prizes given for the best dressed attendees. The stellar line-up includes Lucy Siegle presenting the feature-length documentary The True Cost, which explores the impact of the fashion industry on people and the planet, and Dr Brian May of Queen fame, will be also speaking at the opening of the festival.


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Katie Young
Katie Young – Author
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