Yes, I know. I’m a filmmaker. It’d be strange if I DIDN’T want a film festival in Medway. But the fact is, Medway needs a film festival and what’s more there are some very pertinent reasons why:
1/ Strategy – One of Medway council’s priorities is to harness the creative industries to bring cash and other nice things into the area. What better way to do that than to set-up a festival that draws punters in and gets them drinking and eating in local venues? Good for creativity, good for the local economy.
2/ Skills sharing – It’s not just about money either. It’s about building confidence, skills, pride and hearing voices. Local people from all walks of life can get involved, from the volunteers who help set it up to the local talent who can display their hard work. Alongside this, local and not so local filmmakers can share skills with a variety of local communities in order to develop voices, to develop the Medway story, if you will.
3/ Special times, special measures – As I have been arguing in these articles, Medway is in a special place artistically right now. This needs to be capitalised on. Film festivals mean creative guests, means more networking, means more creativity. It’s a win, win situation.
4/ Prestige – Most self-respecting places the size of Medway have film festivals. And I believe we are more creative than most. Many of these festivals start off small, some even remain small. But the point is, knowing your town will be hosting a selection of the best moving pictures from around the world AND running them side by side with local work that’s equally as effecting can only be a good thing.
5/ Promoting and watching film – I don’t mean the standard Odeon fare. That’s easy to see. Just go to the Odeon or pop the tele on if that’s your bag. I mean the more leftfield stuff, the challenging films that build from the film festivals to become important pieces of cinema. Surely we want to be part of that? Surely we want access to films not available at the cinema chains?
6/ Education – What better way to convince the next generation, or even this generation of film fans, that there is more to life than chain cinema films? Independent features, international documentaries, short films, music videos…you can almost taste the excitement can’t you?
7/ It’s already started – Yeah, I couldn’t resist. I’ve already set up the webpage www.medwayvisions.tumblr.com in the hope that the creative people of Medway come on board and that the audience will be willing to come and watch. My film company The Moon The Eye will run the show but I can’t do it on my own. Heck, I wouldn’t even want to try. It needs people, organisations on board to lend a hand in whatever way they know how. Yes, it NEEDS you. It’s here, but it will only work if we ALL get involved.
So, who’s with me?