Innovative new festival in Harrogate is to give overlooked talent a voice for the first time this week

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The first-ever Short+Sweet Festival will take place in Harrogate this week to give new – or overlooked – talent a rare platform on stage, including people who had been cruelly told to give up their creative dreams.

Supported by Harrogate Theatre, Harrogate Film Society and The Writers Collective, the Short+Sweet Festival Yorkshire will enable talented actors, writers, directors to showcase their skills.

The heats, which will be held this Friday and Saturday at St Wilfrid’s Church Hall in Harrogate, will see 20 pieces of new theatre lasting ten minutes each performed.

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The eight winners will then go forward to the final on Saturday, June 29.

Successful screenwriter and producer Fiona Georgiou Hunt began Short +Sweet Festival Yorkshire as an extension to running the Writers Collective in Harrogate. (Picture contributed)Successful screenwriter and producer Fiona Georgiou Hunt began Short +Sweet Festival Yorkshire as an extension to running the Writers Collective in Harrogate. (Picture contributed)
Successful screenwriter and producer Fiona Georgiou Hunt began Short +Sweet Festival Yorkshire as an extension to running the Writers Collective in Harrogate. (Picture contributed)

As well as being fun, the inspiration behind Short+Sweet Festival Yorkshire is to give an outlet to people in the community whose talents have been denied or overlooked.

Successful screenwriter and producer Fiona Georgiou Hunt began Short +Sweet Yorkshire as an extension to running the Writers Collective, a vibrant community of writers dedicated to fostering creativity which she launched in 2021.

The untapped talent in Harrogate – and beyond – is extraordinary, says this dynamic figure.

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”We have people in the Writers Collective in Harrogate who hadn’t written for 20 years,” she said.

"We have one member who always wanted to be a writer and was told at school to forget about it.

"Now that person has been published in our anthology, written a short film and is working on a novel.

"It’s all about giving people a voice – with friendly and supportive guidance.

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"Short+Sweet Festival has the same goals as the the Writers Collective, plus ten minutes is a great way to get started.

"We also aim to offer a safe place for professionals to test work or try new things without risk.”

Also running right now is Short + Sweet Short Film Festival Film Yorkshire – the companion cinematic event to the Short+Sweet Festival for theatre.

The event will see winning short films screened at Everyman Harrogate on July 4.

The Writers Collective runs fortnightly in Harrogate at the North Bar on Cheltenham Parade.

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