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A new film festival for Jersey
By Ryan Morrison
A new International Film Festival has been announced for Jersey and it will take place at the end of September.
If you look at the events section of the Jersey Tourism website you’ll see a long list of island festivals. There are some for food, some for the sea, some for music and even two or three for films.
Last year we had the open air film festival, the short film festival, the Polish film festival and the human rights film festival – well now there’s a new one coming.
The Jersey International Film Festival will take place over the last weekend of September from Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th September to be exact.
So what makes it different to the other film festivals taking place in Jersey? And what makes it stand out as an event in an island full of big events?
Well it has a name – it’s being called the Branchage festival. It has some big sponsors including home grown online retailer Play.com, Jersey Trust and Spearpoint Limited.
It also has the support of the Jersey Heritage Trust, Jersey Tourism and the Jersey Arts Trust.
A range of purposes
One of the reasons the festival has such wide support is the number of different purposes it serves.
As well as being a world class film festival for people in Jersey to go to and enjoy – it’s also a showcase for the island to film makers who might be looking for a venue for their next movie.
John Davey, one of the festival organisers, explained that “it’s an opportunity for businesses in the island and it’s an opportunity for the island to promote itself as a possible location for the filming of films.
“We want to highlight the attractions of the island as physical location for future films and a fiscal location as well.”
It’s also a potentially large draw for film fans from around the world and a showcase for the islands own talented film makers.
In fact showcasing local talent is one of the key objectives the organisers have set out for the festival.
As well as a competition open to Channel Island residents with a prize of £10,000 and the chance to have your film shown at the festival – there will also be other films by local film makers on show as well as film making workshops with experts from the industry.
Branchage is a boutique festival – yes it will have films, some short, some long, some big and some small but it won’t be playing them in cinemas.
All the films will be played out in quirky and unusual venues. These will include the Old Magistrates Court, the Jersey Museum, the War Tunnels and the Town Hall – among others.
Group one filming their movie with Steve
John Davey explained the reason behind the quirky venues was to make the event different.
He told us: “Obviously we’ve got cinemas in Jersey; people go to the cinema as a regular event. We’re trying to make the film festival different and unusual.
“A bit of that will be about the location, a bit about the films and a bit will be about the films that go on around the festival.”
There will also be a special venue set up at the new Weighbridge Park.
This will be the main, central venue and will feature a special tent made of glass, wood and mirror called the Spiegeltent, will be set up to house a café and meeting place during the day and parties at night. It will also house the box office.
Films and the extras
There will be a number of different film strands at the festival including Eastern European, South American and Music Documentary strands.
As well as playing films there will also be other events around the film festival including film making workshops, live music and more.
One event the organisers have announced will take place at the Jersey Opera House and will feature a silent animation with a live score performed by the Kings Chamber Orchestra.
Full details of the films being shown and other events will be announced over the next few months as deals are signed.
Festival Creative Director, Xanthe Hamilton explained the reason they couldn’t announce the line-up yet was because “we probably won’t secure the programme until August because a lot of the films we will get won’t be completed at the moment.
“Also we’ll be competing with other festivals, like London festival, as to which premieres we are likely to get so it’s a fluid thing that will develop towards August.”
last updated: 28/04/2008 at 12:49
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