I have had quite a fun filled weekend, what with my Dad’s birthday meal (Happy Birthday Dad) and the recording of my radio show – however, what I want to blog about this post is the first instalment of Harrogate International Film Festival.

1st Harrogate Film Festival: A Local’s Response ::

At the time of going on sale, Harrogate International Film Festival had over 708 submissions from 56 countries worldwide across six competitions – as a local this is not to be missed. However, I was perplexed by how little there was in the way of media coverage – I mean, the Film Festival barely hits on the first page of Google and I had to find out about the film festival via intrepid News Hound, Graham Chalmers, Tweet.

So, there was a film festival between Friday 3rd of March and Sunday 5th of March – but what of it? Was it just going to be a rehash of old classics framed oh so quirky” against the back drop of a town I am enamored with? I am sad to say that for most of the festival it was a rehash of films that have been over played but set in pubs. Shaun Of The Dead in a pub that has an aging clientele? Scarface in a chain bar that plays on Cuban Nationalism? No thanks – I came for art.

Thankfully, there was plenty of what I sought at the Independent Filmakers Competition 2017 – Documentary At Everyman Cinema.”

Tickets were a bargain at £8 a pop and you were welcomed with your own complimentary tote bag, pens, voting forms and magazines. Me and the good wife made it through the Yorkshire weather to the Everyman Cinema in ample time to have a sit down and order some food in Screen 5.

Antipasti ::

The Antipasti was second to none – although the idea of a sharer combo on a two person sofa in the dark made for a bit of a mess – I managed to polish of a good portion by the time the credits were rolling on the first documentary. But what was the first documentary?

The documentaries were only last 10 to 15 minutes and played consequentially – there was no time to reach for the humus of the ample sharing platter as the short mini-documentaries played out one after the other in quick succession. The seats were all very comfortable and, as I have pointed out in a previous blog post – Everyman is a custom built modern cinema – it is amazing for Harrogate, although I will always have a soft-spot for the art-deco Odeon.

Independent Filmakers Competition 2017 – Documentary At Everyman Cinema ::

The first mini-documentary was Brazilian and interviewed Brazilian comic book writers. It talked about the role of Super heroes to pubescent teens – how Peter Parker never quite gets the girl, has to wear glasses and goofs up a lot of the time – having lost his parents too – and that it is okay to be a tool as you find your own identity – you will never be completely perfect, but you can still be super awesome. It was life affirming stuff.

The second documentary, Green Way, got my wife’s vote – she was more than happy to vote for a short film that showed the culture of the interior of Turkey. Thing is, this documentary was against the building of a highway that would carve up the innards of Turkey – leaving a trail of devastation behind. It was touchingly told from the perspective of an elderly woman.

The third documentary came from Columbia: Categoría V” could have proved to be one of the more interesting films. However, it was not subtitled and I do not speak Spanish – I was frustrated that I could not share in this dream-scape of hitch-hiking along with a long-distance lorry driver as he delivered goods too and from the docks to the interior.

The documentary Perpetuum Mobile” got my vote for the Audience’s Choice award – it featured the story of an inter-war brotherly quest to build a machine that would just run by itself. Humerus, insightful, poignant and very witty – this had me beaming. It traced the story of a family’s search for a machine that ran by itself – a self powering machine: I loved it.

Then there was A Man’s Got To Do What A Man’s Got To Do” – I took this as a bit of a sad film – it portrayed a lost German looking to shoot someone in the name of defending somebody. He spent his time at the shooting range – deftly setting his scopes on the paper target. He admitted that he would love to be a bodyguard, but, at the age of 53 (?) he thought he was a bit too old – humerus and slyly done so.

Afterwards ::

I have Cottage Pie waiting for me – Kathryn is busy cooking up a feast and it is high time I hot tailed it to the kitchen to give her a hand instead of Blogging. I am sat, after a brief call to Major Tom’s merry and in my Pyjamas – Life is good.


Andrew Backhouse is a Yorkshire-based artist working with time-based media and digital collage. He is a self-confessed radio geek and he hopes to share his wonder. He also wants to share his naivety and enthusiasm for finding something interesting. Henri Chopin, AGF, and RuPaul influence Andrew’s artistic enquiry. Documenting “The new shiny thing,” Andrew tries to share his excitement for it. But, he also asks about its authenticity and worth.

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