Witchcraft, villainy and mischief the winners at Northampton film awards ceremony

Chris Saunders and the cast and crew of Villainy with their Public Vote award

Chris Saunders and the cast and crew of Villainy with their Public Vote award

Films made in Northamptonshire have been celebrated at the annual Film Northants ceremony.

Across two evenings, 15 shortlisted films – all made in the county – were screened at Errol Flynn Filmhouse, Northampton, in front of full houses.

Awards and prizes were presented to the winners of the Under 16s and Over 16s categories which included film workshops, mentoring and funding towards future projects.

The winner of the Under 16s category was Bridgewater Primary School Film Club with their mischievous short Dimension Dilemma.

Their prize included training with TV and stage actor Ian Reddington who has appeared on top shows Eastenders, Coronation Street, Doctor Who and The Bill.

Anastasia Rose, one of the pupils who made Dimension Dilemma, said: “I feel really astonished and surprised but quite sad because we are leaving school now. But I hope we’ll get together sometime and make a sequel.”

Fellow pupil, Kiera Caskell, added: “It felt amazing when the announcement came and I’m really proud of the work we did and just very excited about the whole night.”

The Under 16s second place winner was Egyptian adventure Trapped! made by pupils at Chipping Warden Primary Academy.

The winner of the Over 16s Public Vote was comedy short Villainy made by Chris Saunders, Chris Milner, Ryan Loebell and Ross Bayes.

Director Mr Saunders said: “We feel now like we want to pursue film-making as a career and this award means we can do that more easily.

“I would say to anyone who is thinking of getting into films to enter this competition, but make sure you make something you believe in; it works.”

Double award-winner Joe Burden picked up the second place prize for the Public Vote as well as the coveted Judges’ Choice award for his film Beneath the Wormwood Trees.

He said: “It was terrifying to sit there having done something quite personal and wait to see whether an audience liked it. So to have both the public and judges both look at it and see something they liked was really amazing.

“Seeing the other films that entered, there was some pretty astonishing stuff there, and some of that didn’t even make it to the finals. That shows you the standard Film Northants generates now.”

It was the first time the event – which has been running for seven years - had been held at the Errol Flynn Filmhouse.

The two awards nights included a Q&A with film makers, a talk by veteran producer/director Tony Klinger and the screening of out-of-competition films.

Mr Klinger said: “When film makers start out they are normally thinking TV, which is no good. These guys are already thinking of big concepts to fill a cinema screen and that is wonderful. I can see there’s burgeoning film talent in Northamptonshire and it’s something I wouldn’t associate myself with otherwise.”

Jan Willis, finance director of Royal & Derngate, said Errol Flynn Filmhouse was delighted to host the awards, and added: “Film Northants is a path for local film makers to come together and showcase their work and Northamptonshire. It is a hidden gem in England.

“It is great to have films made here that can potentially reach out over the world.”




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