Film festival set to be biggest and the best

Leigh Film Festival 2015
Leigh Film Festival 2015

The countdown to the borough’s biggest celebration of cinema is on as the glitz and glamour of film festivals returns to Leigh.

The Leigh Short Film Festival 2016 will showcase a host of up-and-coming talent at the Turnpike Centre next month and organisers hope this year’s will be the biggest and best event yet.

“The event has gone from strength to strength and we are working on making it bigger and better every year.”

Elizabeth Costello

Around a dozen films, ranging from brief animations to dramas up to 20 minutes long, will be shown, with the line-up announced at the start of September.

Following the success of last year’s festival the event is continuing to grow, with budding film-makers supported by prestigious organisations such as Creative England submitting works and the creator of the evening’s best film winning a cash prize of £200.

The event is also supported by local celebrities with Leigh actress Katya Greer, who has appeared in films such as The Antwerp Dolls, visiting as this year’s special guest and presenting the first prize to the winner.

The festival on September 24 is organised by the Leigh Film Society, which also puts on monthly screenings of arthouse, non-mainstream and foreign language films at the Turnpike Centre.

Society treasurer Elizabeth Costello said: “The films submitted this year are once again raising the bar for quality and we are very honoured to have submissions from Creative England as this proves we are reaching a higher level with the festival.

“The event has gone from strength to strength and we are working on making it bigger and better every year.

“It has been recognised in the community and we have put Leigh on the map for film. We are now being asked for advice by people all over the country on setting up film societies and festivals, which when we’re only in our third year is a remarkable achievement.”

The final selection of films for the night is being made by Nag Nag Productions, a trio of film-makers from the borough who have produced full-length movie Echoes and short feature Suffer Well.

The festival’s organising team, which is made up entirely of volunteer film enthusiasts, have been looking through more than 30 submissions ranging from science fiction to animations and comedies to serious dramas tackling issues such as mental health.

The festival is also hoping some of the directors will travel to Leigh on the night and hold question-and-answer sessions with the audience after their work has been screened.

The event has attracted considerable local support with sponsors including the Leigh Sports Village (LSV) 
and Singleton Day solicitors alongside community organisations and grass-roots arts groups.

Leigh Film Society is also looking to expand, with a new project involving regular screenings at Leigh Hackspace starting in October and plans for 2017 to showcase cinema at other venues around the borough.

The Leigh Short Film Festival 2016 is on Saturday September 24 at the Turnpike Centre.

Doors open at 6pm and the event, which is only open to over 16s, starts at 7pm.

Tickets are £5, available by ringing 07969 647466 or visiting the online box office at www.leighfilmfestival.com