University hopes to inspire fans at film festival

Cinema fans will be able to see an eclectic mix of movies and gain advice from industry experts at the third annual Plymouth Film Festival.

Taking place from May 13-15, the event – founded by Plymouth University graduates William Jenkins and Ben Hancock – will feature over 70 short films shown over three days at the Plymouth Arts Centre.

There will also be the annual awards ceremony, including the Roger Deakins Award, chosen by the 13-time Oscar nominated cinematographer himself, and another, the Sharpham Audience Choice Award, selected by festival goers.

And, thanks to a creative and cultural partnership with the University’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities, there will be two workshops led by filmmaker and best-selling author Chris Jones, designed to spark debate and share knowledge about the film industry.

The festival was initially established as a local event, but has rapidly grown to include both national and international films alongside some of the very best filmmakers from the South West.

The 2016 festival is being supported by Arts and Media With Plymouth University, with additional support from The Plymouth Arts Centre, Deuce Studio, and Aletalk Productions.

William and Ben, who graduated in 2013 from the BA (Hons) Media Arts course, said:

“The standard of short films we've had the opportunity to programme has once again been exceptional, and it's an eclectic mix of all types of genres with some particularly outstanding comedies. The increase in entries from UK filmmakers this year has allowed us to program many more British films, including some exceptional shorts from filmmakers based in the South West. It's also really exciting to see the festival continue to grow, and coming into our third edition we've extended the event by an extra day to provide our attendees with more screening sessions, a welcoming party, film-making workshops and other networking events.”

Integrated within the festival this year will be two Arts and Media Ideas Sessions led by Chris Jones, regarded as a guru of budget filmmaking and the author of the Guerilla Filmmaker Guide books.

They will be taking place between 10am and 3pm on Saturday 14 May at Plymouth Arts Centre and aim to act as a catalyst for debate, creativity, knowledge transfer and growth, bringing innovative thought leaders to discuss their approach with emerging and established talent.

David Hotchkiss, Centre Manager at Affinity with Plymouth University, said:

“Plymouth Film Festival has established itself as a key feature of the creative and cultural calendar of the city. Through its diverse range of film screenings, workshops and opportunities it is playing a great role in enlivening and encouraging cinematic debate. We are excited to support this year’s festival and the integration of the Ideas Sessions within the programme is an added element to our relationship.”

A full line-up for the Plymouth Film Festival, including details about screenings and tickets, can be found at

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