Film festival returns to The Dukes in Lancaster

LA1 Shorts film festival co founders Lucie Carrington (left) and Steve Fairclough (right) with last year's winner Izzy Pye and her award. Picture: Darren Andrews.
LA1 Shorts film festival co founders Lucie Carrington (left) and Steve Fairclough (right) with last year's winner Izzy Pye and her award. Picture: Darren Andrews.
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Lancaster’s very own shorts film festival returns this Saturday for the third year.

LA1 Shorts is a celebration of local filmmakers which is growing in popularity each year.

LA1 Shorts film festival is at The Dukes this Saturday, April 28. Picture: Darren Andrews.

LA1 Shorts film festival is at The Dukes this Saturday, April 28. Picture: Darren Andrews.

Co-founder Steve Fairclough from Warton, near Carnforth, said: “Myself and co-founder Lucie Carrington went to The Dukes three years ago to talk about shorts films being screened in Lancaster. We showed six short films to 140 people and thought ‘this is great, we should do another but as a competition.’Last year was our first competitive festival which was won by Izzy Pye. The winner is decided by an audience vote. We are expanding again this year and have had entries from all around the country.

“The films have to be 15 minutes in length and we have to select 10 films to show on the night. There are two categories to win, audience choice and the LA1 festival winner. We’ve tried not to forget local filmmakers and our roots. “

The LA1 Shorts film festival has entries from filmmakers of any age submitted but the majority are from people of high school age upwards.

Steve said: “We’ve tried to pick a varied selection because we don’t want to pick films that are all the same. We want a variety, the time length varies . Everyone is given a voting slip with an envelope and you put a star next to the film you want to win. The UK category is selected by five judges.”

In the first year of the festival, 140 people attended, there were 150 in the second year and this year it is hoped more will attend, said Steve.

Entrants to the film festival have uploaded their films to a site called Film Freeway, which is a platform for filmmakers. Films are uploaded and then filmmakers can search for any film competitions to enter. Steve said: “It’s a worldwide resource that is accessible and easy to use. Last year’s festival winner Izzy Pye entered her film just before going to Manchester to university and her film won, which is fantastic for a local student and a great start to her film studies. “

Steve and Lucie are hoping to grow the festival year on year leading up to 2020, which will be the fifth year since they started the festival. Co-founder Lucie has also been instrumental in setting up the Lancaster Film Institute with David Chandler and Will Shelmerdine which as part of this year’s event is holding filmmakers talks on the day of the festival.

Lucie said: “We are trying to make the film industry more accessible. The LFI is hosting a filmmakers brunch which is hopefully the first stop to the film festival. We want to encourage people to come to Lancaster to make films, similar to the music festival held every year. At the brunch there will be six speakers talking about their experience in independent filmmaking.

“LA1 has been amazing, it set off with a strong audience and we are hoping to get 200 there this year. It is a lovely festival .”

The film festival is this Saturday, April 28, at 8.15.

Tickets for the whole day cost £15 to include brunch and a festival ticket or £5 just for the festival.

Call The Dukes on 01524 598500 or call into the box office to pick tickets up.Search LA1 Shorts on Facebook.