Romford Film Festival returns as one of the first physical festivals to go ahead

The organisers and directors celebrating the Romford Film Festival in 2019. Picture: Mark Sepple

The organisers and directors celebrating the Romford Film Festival in 2019. Picture: Mark Sepple - Credit: Mark Sepple

Romford Film Festival is back – one of the first to take place physically since the coronavirus crisis began.

It takes place from August 13-19.

Expect 200 films on the big screen ranging from budgets of just a few pounds and stretching up to several million. And once again Romford has teamed up the Eurasian Film Festival bringing a mix of English and foreign language films.

Co-founder Spencer Hawken says the team, working with Premiere Cinemas, has found a solution to make sure everyone can attend safely.

The usual Q&As will be carried out in an external studio, while all social aspects will need to be removed. Those attending will have a specified seat, and there will be significant spaces between them.

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Spencer said: “This year we have our best ever line-up – touching documentaries, hilarious comedy, magnificent martial arts and the very best indie horror movie offerings, with a heady mix of romantic drama.

“Each day has been specifically devised to appeal to the widest possible audience, luring people into new genres and educating about the world, travel and sports activities.

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“Our judges have had a terrific time watching movies, but a tough time voting on them.”

Havering wrestler Will Ospreay stars in a documentary which follows his journey to becoming the number one name in the world of wrestling, in Ospreay: Rise Of An International Pro Wrestler.

And Sam Strike from Southend, known for playing Johnny Carter in EastEnders plays the lead role in Wisdom Tooth, a story about a man’s decline into depression in New York.

This year’s festival will also feature various UK premieres including Kings of Mulberry Street, a family film about two young boys who work to expose a local crime boss and Puppet Killer, a comedy horror tale about a boy’s lifelong love for a puppet, the film features a surprising set of cameos.

Multi-award winning actress Susan Sarandon is the focus of American Mirror, a documentary that looks at our obsession with social media. And Home Fires is a creation of young filmmaker Sam Weeks that shows life on the front line during the First World War.

Due to the lack of all social events at the festival, the team have managed to slot in an extra 30 films and full festival passes (seven days) are on sale for £30, £10 for a day pass and £4 for a session pass which lasts two hours.

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