On Sunday 14th October the crew at D5 Media trekked across the Pennines for the Screen Stockport Independent Short Film & Television Festival. We value an outing to the cinema to get the creative juices flowing; meeting with friends, the resonant sounds of anticipation, while fixating our eyes on the big screen for some voyeuristic pleasure. The hosting venue for the event was the Plaza Super Cinema in Mersey Square. Our festival entry ‘Katz On Sci-Fi’,  the drum n’ bass track by DamRiteSean was competing in the Music Video category, which follows two gangster cats on a satirical dance of urban Salford. Keep your eyes peeled as we will be posting the video on our website very soon.

Other categories on the day included, North West Short Film, Short Film & International Short Film. Event organiser, 18-year-old Joe Barratt, launched the festival in 2011 with the intention to give local filmmakers a platform to meet like-minded creative’s, network with industry professionals and to be inspired by a wide selection of short films across many genres. Since its inception the festival has gathered real momentum thanks to the help of key film industry figures including a donation from IMDB Founder Col Needham.

This year the festival boasted a multitude of guest speakers including Head of CBBC Productions Helen Bullough, Independent Filmmaker Danny Lacey, Producer/Director Len Brown, Digital Entrepreneur Andy Wood. However, the coo of the festival was award winning director Mat Whitecross, whose work includes Coldplay’s Paradise, Lovers in Japan, Charlie Brown, documentary feature with Michael Winterbottom The Shock Doctrine, Road To Guantanamo, feature film Sex n Drugs n Rock n Roll and the forth coming Spike Island. The Q&A discussion with Mat was inspiring, insightful and honest as he talked about his youthful filmmaking days with friends to a crazy spontaneous 12hr video shoot in South Africa with Coldplay to co-working with a legend of British cinema Michael Winterbottom.

General admission on the day was only £10 and £5 for students. Where else would you get the opportunity to watch over 30 productions, for the price of a blockbuster? On entering the venue we were greeted by mature and immaculately dressed old style ushers, opening our door to the auditorium. Inside the cinema the ornate balconies and old creaky wooden seats lent itself beautifully to the Indie vibe. The only disappointment was the lack of numbers that turned out, although throughout the day there was a lively energy inside the auditorium and upstairs in the cafe where we networked.

The standard of the festival entries was extremely high and competitive across the categories. Unfortunately on this occasion we couldn’t get our hands on an award as we came up against some talented opposition. Spooky Caravan proved a worthy winner in the Music Video Category with its eclectic characters, thoughtful set design and creative cinematography. Other notable entries on the day were, Welcome to Leathermill, Love Struck, Crow Feathers and the highly impressive “82” by Turn The Slate Productions staring Nick Moran, definitely ones to look out for.

Once the production teams had collected their deserving awards, the D5 crew made haste stage left, I have to say we felt inspired. Screen Stockport has a long way to go to fulfill the potential of its creator but without doubt the festival endears some wholesome qualities. What I loved was the diverse mixture of ideas and the varying scale of quality on show, yet the underlying respect for local involvement. There was nothing pretentious about Screen Stockport it felt inclusive to one and all and that is a quality unrivaled. Credit to young Joe Barratt, for what he has achieved in the past two years is commendable. The future of this festival is bright and next year the numbers are sure to increase along with the competition and all I can say is D5 will be back fighting for gold.