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Romford Film Festival ‘blazes a trail’ as one of first physical events to go ahead

PUBLISHED: 17:44 19 August 2020 | UPDATED: 19:49 19 August 2020

Social Bubble - Nick, Gill, Charlotte and Natalie Bays (volunteers and guests). Picture: Romford Film Festival

Social Bubble - Nick, Gill, Charlotte and Natalie Bays (volunteers and guests). Picture: Romford Film Festival

Romford Film Festival

Last night (August 18) Romford Film Festival concluded four days of films from across the globe.

Marat, organiser of Eurasian Film Festivals. Picture: Romford Film FestivalMarat, organiser of Eurasian Film Festivals. Picture: Romford Film Festival

With meticulous planning the organisers were able to keep it Covid-secure. Every other row in Premiere Cinemas was taped off, masks required and social distancing.

Like last year, the festival collaborated with the Euroasian Creative Guild, bringing to the big screen of some the best films from Kazakstan, Armenuia, Belarus, Russia, Georgia and Uzbekistan.

What else was different for this year’s festival?

Organiser Natalie Bays said that while the normal social events were obviously minimised, film sales were higher than expected. The range of viewers for the films was also more diverse than usual.

International Press, husband and wife team from Epicture TV. Picture: Romford Film FestivalInternational Press, husband and wife team from Epicture TV. Picture: Romford Film Festival

Normally, film buffs from all over seek out the festival to find the latest in uncovered films, however this year saw a rise in locals attending. Including lots of teenagers just turning up and asking “what’s on?”

The festival also managed to grab some very high-profile films as prestigious festivals, like Raindance, which hadn’t been able to go ahead and couldn’t show them.

Founder of the festival, Spencer Hawken said: “We truly blazed a trail this year and next year we will continue to grow the quality, this year we stole films from the big festivals because we had the ability to move forward, others are not so fortunate, but we were the “little engine that could” and really delivered on all our promises.”

What can we expect for next year?

Anusha and Kyle, Havering residents and  festival goers. Picture: Romford Film FestivalAnusha and Kyle, Havering residents and festival goers. Picture: Romford Film Festival

Spencer said: “The plans for next year are to return to our usual format, slightly fewer days and make it much more immersive again. We are a four year festival and I think we are doing pretty well given the challenges we have faced.

“Its been truly wonderful to not be so immersed into the world of Covid-19 for a few days and our audience has enjoyed the films and the escapism.”

Socially-distant screen placement. Picture: Romford Film FestivalSocially-distant screen placement. Picture: Romford Film Festival

Anusha and Kyle, Havering residents and  festival goers. Picture: Romford Film FestivalAnusha and Kyle, Havering residents and festival goers. Picture: Romford Film Festival

You may also want to watch:

Anusha and Kyle, Havering residents and  festival goers. Picture: Romford Film FestivalAnusha and Kyle, Havering residents and festival goers. Picture: Romford Film Festival


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