International film festival seeks funding to expand

Croydon International Film Festival 2015 Pic: Michael To

Croydon International Film Festival 2015 Pic: Michael To

Organisers of Croydon’s leading International Film Festival are appealing for funds to expand the event after a third successful year.

People from the film and arts industries, as well as local audiences, turned out to the Studio Theatre in Matthews Yard at the end of last month to enjoy a series of short films from different countries around the world including the UK, Australia, Italy, U.S. and South Korea.

The festival, organised and run purely by volunteers, screened a mixture of documentary and animation-style films with a factual theme. Selections favoured films with a quirky and entertaining edge.

Donna Lipowitz, the festival’s director, said her aim was to capture the “fun” in film. She added: “What is important to me as a filmmaker is enjoying films.”

The festival included 27 short films and 2 audio documentaries competing to win three separate category awards.

The best documentary award went to Keeping Balance by Bernhard Wenger, which tells how a girl experiencing a difficult childhood found therapy on a ride in an amusement park.

The best animated factual film award went to Mitchell Crawford for his film Beams, which described two individuals’ experiences of contacting aliens.

The award for best rising star went to Peter Coulthard’s, whose film Redcap was based on a heroic Gnome.

Even though the festival takes a lot of work and preparation to organise and staff and organisers give their time for no pay, the festival organisers explained how happy they were to have real audiences who gather in a room just to interact with films.

“The feeling of being in a room with people laughing is really wonderful,” said Lipowitz.

Lipowitz, born in Australia, chose Croydon as the place to host the event because, unlike bigger festivals, she felt she was connecting with “real” audiences. She hopes to eventually hand the festival on to the younger generation.

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