A new recruit to the film festival scene is heading to the North this autumn. Morecambe’s inaugural film festival will feature a Stanley Kubrick retrospective and his Full Metal Jacket film producer as the special guest at the first ever outing of The Bay International Film Festival on 27- 29 October 2023.
Intimate in scale and ambitious in its artistic scope, The Bay International Film Festival will bring independent short films from all over the world to the area for the first time and hopes to inspire local filmmakers and audiences.
Kubrick’s brother-in-law and producer Jan Harlan will take part in a Q&A following a gala screening of “Full Metal Jacket”. He was executive producer of the film and worked with Kubrick for more than 30 years. He is currently working with Steven Spielberg on the new HBO series of Kubrick's “Napoleon”.
With his particular interest in short films, Jan is also delivering a lecture at the festival’s opening which is seeking short films for its competition with 300 submissions from 43 countries already entered. The official selection by the festival judges will be screened at the event, being run in partnership with ‘Reel’ Cinema in Morecambe.
Jan said: "For a young filmmaker, a brilliant short film is the best calling card. A great short film is like a great short story - the end needs to be tied to the beginning. Not easy!! It has to be one statement one does not forget."
Local filmmakers from Lancashire and Cumbria will benefit from a reduced fee and their short films will join the growing community of international voices already entered. Along with hundreds of thought provoking short films exploring social issues, there is a specific category “The Impacts of War”. The programme will also include a mini-conference on anti-war films and a number of networking events for filmmakers and guests.
Awards include The Best Film Award; Special Award Winner (best film on ”The Impacts of War”); Best Storytelling Award; Best Performance Award; Best Cinematography Award; Best Editing Award and Best Soundscape Award.
The festival has been co-founded by Anna Kumacheva, an award-winning filmmaker, Lancaster University film lecturer and ex-judge at the Edinburgh Short Film Festival and Darren Henderson, a film production company director and filmmaker. They are working with events coordinator Matt Panesh, award-winning performer and founder of the Morecambe Fringe and Poetry Festivals, and Artistic Director of the West End Playhouse.
The rest of the team is made up of award-winning filmmakers, producers, directors and film students. Festival director Darren Henderson said: “It's exciting to have our festival in this wonderful location and be part of the much deserved cultural and economic growth of Morecambe and the area.”
Festival producer Anna Kumacheva said: “I always knew that one day I would start my own film festival. I think that the timing is perfect now, and so is the location - a unique northern bay with no film festivals on its shores yet. I want to bring some amazing international short films to local audiences and invite talented filmmakers from all over the world to visit Morecambe Bay and have some exciting conversations.”
Festival events coordinator Matt Panesh said: "The natural beauty of Morecambe lends itself to festivals. Even though we started the project before the Eden Morecambe announcement, it fits a need for cultural renewal, and judging by the interest already shown behind the scenes, the festival will be a storming success. We're teaming up with Morecambe's Poetry and Fringe festivals to help make Morecambe a town of festivals.”
Tickets go on sale at the end of April. The festival is currently looking to add to the growing number of individuals and businesses who wish to collaborate or support the festival. To find out how to get involved or to offer support, contact firstname.lastname@example.org For more information.