Movie magic at film festival

The team behind Leigh Short Film Festival

“Lights, camera, action!” will be the cry this weekend as the borough’s biggest celebration of cinema returns for its most spectacular event yet.

The Leigh Short Film Festival once again takes over the Turnpike tomorrow night with a sold-out audience of around 140 people expected to enjoy a night of movie-making from local and international talent.

However, the festival is also expanding this year with the film fiesta kicking off tonight at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (Alra) North near Wigan Pier.

Young film-makers from across the region will battle it out to win the category for new talent and secure a place on the Leigh bill 24 hours later.

That promises to be a star-studded event with many of the directors who have entered travelling to Leigh to introduce their work and take questions.

Organisers also hope acting superstar and festival patron Christopher Eccleston will open the event.

Leigh Short Film Festival chair Paul Costello said: "The number of tickets bought by people from outside the area and the number of directors coming to Leigh show we are attracting business into the town.

"We have definitely put Leigh on the map for film this year. We have created interest and seeing how many top-quality directors are coming to the event puts us in a position to expand for next year.

"We are going into different markets, increasing awareness of film and showing the impact of community cinema.

"It is already bigger and better than last year."

The Leigh line-up is an eclectic mix with gritty dramas rubbing shoulders with animations and thought-provoking experimental work.

There will be a charity collection with proceeds going to Alzheimer’s Research UK, whose promotional video Share The Orange including Christopher Eccleston will be screened during the evening.

The festival is already under way as The Pelican Centre in Tyldesley screened Disney film Moana in the pool and This Sporting Life was shown at Leigh Sports Village (LSV). The parish church is also screening cult film Jesus de Montreal next week.

Tickets for the Alra event tonight are still available. For more information visit www.leighfilmfestival.com

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