Suffolk: County’s new international film festival set to start next week

Creative Media Production pupils Alex Hermon and Alex Parnell are creative advisors at the Suffolk F

Creative Media Production pupils Alex Hermon and Alex Parnell are creative advisors at the Suffolk Film Festival founded by their teacher from Suffolk One Darren Meitiner-Harvey, which will run July 11-13 with special screenings at the Ipswich Cineworld on July 15 and 22. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk is set to make its mark on the movie world as it prepares to stage its very own version of the Cannes Film Festival next month.

Attracting more than 400 film entries from across the world, the first ever Suffolk International Film Festival is set to become a magnet for those in the industry.

The event, which takes place in Ipswich between July 11 and 13, is being organised by One Film Society, a voluntary group who are dedicated to education, developing local film making, and the notion that film making can enrich both culturally and economically.

Darren Meitiner-Harvey, director and founder of the festival, said: “We are following the format of a standard film festival. We had 430 films submitted from around the world.

“Students from around the area were also invited to submit films.

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“I was very surprised by the number of entries. It’s quite tough to get something like this off the ground so we thought we might get about 200 films. It has exceeded our expectations.

“This festival has never happened in this area on this scale before.”

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Around 40 films have been shortlisted and are in with a chance of winning some of the 11 awards up for grabs, which include Best Narrative Film, Best Student Short and Best Documentary.

They range from animations to documentaries.

The judges are made up of respected people from the industry, including film critic Mark Adams and arts editor of The Express Caroline Jowett.

One Film Society, which was formed in 2011 by a group of passionate film fans and makers, wanted to build a film scene in the region so began planning the festival.

Mr Meitiner-Harvey, whose day job is a media studies and English teacher at Suffolk One, added: “The standard has been amazing.

“For the films that win, they become more high profile and it puts Suffolk on the map.

“We hope to make it even bigger next year.”

There are several events spread over a few days. On Thursday, July 11, between 6.30pm and 9.30pm, there will be the Rising Star Showcase and Awards at Suffolk One.

The Suffolk International Film Festival awards evening will be held on Friday between 6.30pm and 9.30pm at Suffolk One.

The following day there will be a children’s workshop on practical stop motion session and animation screening. Also all the award-winning films will be played in full throughout the day at UCS, as well as on Monday, July 15 and Monday, July 22 at Cineworld.

On Saturday night from 6pm to 8pm at UCS’s Waterfront Building there will be a screening and Q&A with composer Michael Price and Tammy Riley-Smith

If you are interested in attending any of the events, email or for more information visit

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