How Harrogate Film Festival is putting town on UK map

Returning to Harrogate Film Festival this year is successful independent filmmaker David Gilbank.
Returning to Harrogate Film Festival this year is successful independent filmmaker David Gilbank.

As well as big films such as Mary Poppins, Cocktail and Pulp Fiction, this year's Harrogate Film Festival will be a powerful demonstation of how quickly it has built up a reputation as a serious player on the scene.

So much so that, after only three years, this independent event’s annual short film competition now attracts hundreds of entries from around the world.

Organised each year by Harrogate man Adam Chandler, it’s also serving as an effective platform for new filmmakers.

In fact, one early winner has seen his short film Polterheist developed into a feature-length film after winning the Raworths Audience Choice Award at the inaugural Harrogate Film Festival.

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This year’s festival, which runs from March 1 to March 4, will see Bradford’s David Gilbank, the filmmaker behind this gangster-comedy-horror shot partly in the Harrogate area, return to the festival.

Combined with an exclusive ‘In Conversation with’ leading British filmmaker Mark Cousins, the festival’s founder Adam Chandler believes the festival is helping put Harrogate on the map.

Adam said: “The fact we provide support and publicity for independent filmmakers is one of the main reasons we launched the competition.

“To welcome back a local filmmaker who has done so well is amazing.”

Having received investment after his Harrogate Film Festival success, David Gilbank says his rapid progress would not have happened without the festival.

David said: “The support from Harrogate Film Festival helped spread awareness and gave us a platform to seek funding to move the project forward. I’m excited to be coming back to Harrogate.”

Exclusive event at Harrogate Film Festival

As for the festival’s coup with the charismatic Mark Cousins, whose films are shown regularly on BBC4 and BBC 2, the event will take place on Monday, March 4 in conjunction with Graham Chalmers of the Harrogate Advertiser and the Harrogate Film Society.

The event will feature a Q&A plus a screening of his film The Eyes of Orson Welles, which won an award at last year's Cannes Film Festival.

The latter boasts one of the largest film society memberships in the north.

Tickets for all Harrogate Film Festival are now on sale online at www.harrogatefilm.co.uk or at Harrogate Box Office on 01423 502116.