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BIAFF 2013 - Hosted by CEMRIAC

18th - 21st April 2013 at The Chesterfield Hotel, Malkin St, Chesterfield S41 7UA


After a long bleak winter, there were signs of Spring as we arrived in Chesterfield - or was that just the anticipation of a few days with good films, friends old and new and another BIAFF festival? We settled in to the creaky-floored, shabby gentility of the hotel and felt lucky to be there. Demand for places was so high that many delegates were in other hotels around town.
People came from England, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and South Korea.

Thursday

Alan Atkinson started us off with a talk about his experience as a judge at the last UNICA festival in Ruse, Bulgaria. He illustrated his words with screenings of some of the most interesting films from that festival. He talked about the problems of working with an international jury and the different attitudes to film they had. His experience was exhausting but rewarding. Long jury discussions in private led to agreement on the merits of each film.

Among the films Alan chose to show us those you can see online are Breath, Luminaris and The Oars. Click on each title to watch the film.

Alan introduced the overall best film at that UNICA, Lunch which had everyone involved in its intense story of an old man in a quiet island community. He finds a lunch date with his son and the son's avaricious wife turns into an attempt to make him sign away his home. Only this short extract is available online.

Evening

Marion Waine and John Rowell presented to a large audience a selection of winners from the 2013 IAC Peter Coles International contest. There had been 65 entries from 12 countries, which were judged by Richard Brown FRPS FIPF EFIAP APAGB, Julie England ARPS DPAGB AV-AFIAP and Sheila Davies DPAGB.
We watched:
  • For The Sake Of Example by Keith Leedham
  • Tony Bramham  by Colin Balls
  • Grease, Gaskets & Gears by Keith & Kate Brown
  • Nant Gwrtheyrn by Ron Davies
  • and the overall champion, a science-fiction tale, Beewun by Patrick Rottiers.

The Browns and Ron Davies were present and after the show were surrounded by people asking for details of Bugati car engines and Welsh language teaching respectively!

Saturday

Mini-cinemas presented a wide range of films from this year's IAC International Amateur Film Competition. During every break the corridors were buzzing with discussion of the merits and otherwise of each film. CEMRIAC did a great job of presenting the films - not an easy task given the variety of formats and aspect ratios involved. You can see a range of films from the competition (not all of which were shown at BIAFF) here.


Though the Chesterfield Hotel has a fine swimming pool it was hard to find time for a plunge.

Youth Show

For many delegates a highlight was the programme of films by younger film makers. These were not the sex-drugs-violence movies often ascribed to young directors.
Many were films from school teams - who brought their actors and crew along for the show. There were great comedies like The Test and touching stories including the one which received the accolade as Best British Entry on the Sunday Gala show.

Sam Brown - presenter of the  Youth Show.
Sam Brown
(left) introduced the Youth Programme with a light, amusing style.
The stars of 'War of Words'.
On the right are the stars of War of Words which can be seen along with others from the school here. Their film won Best Under 16 film award in the Special Young People's Competition.

Two films from the Youth Programme were reprised at the Sunday Gala: Mindbreak by Florian Arndt and No Regrets by Alfie Barker.

Most talked about film of the session was the gentle romance Across the Tracks by Rebecca Stewart which can be seen here.

Gala Dinner

The room was packed with people happily chatting to one another over the meal.

Honours

After the meal, IAC Fellowships were presented to Geoff Caudwell and Frank Parker for their many contributions to our organisation and the hobby in general. The UNICA Medal for outstanding services was presented to Brian Saberton.
Portrait of Paul Kittel.

Guest of Honour

The after-dinner speaker was Paul Kittel - television producer, amateur film maker and a BIAFF judge for the last few years. He spoke with great humour about some of the horrendous things that happened when making Unreported World series programmes with just him as director/cameraman and a presenter in remote and often dangerous trouble spots.

He recommend the Insight Guides for travel advice.

Paul's wife looked surprised at several points and told us later she only hears about the things that went wrong when Paul gives a talk.

Sunday

The Gala Show brought everyone together in one huge cinema. Projection by Simon Sumner, John Gibbs and Rob Day was excellent.

New IAC Chairman, Ivor Rose was master of ceremonies and IAC President, Linda Gough presented the awards.
Not all the winners were present - but many were and some absentees sent greetings on video.
Reg Lancaster and Alfie Barker. Right: Reg Lancaster discusses framing shots with Alfie Barker - maker of the Best British Entry.

Alfie was a popular winner and modest despite his amazing range of successes in the last couple of years. He was even interviewed on TV by Danny Boyle.
Portrait of John Roberts.Most enthusiastic first-time BIAFF visitor was probably John Roberts whose film Thinking Time (here) won an IAC Diamond and the Best Editing Award.Writing on the forum afterwards he commented:
Having just 'come down' from my first ever BIAFF I would like to take this opportunity to say what a wonderful experience I had over the weekend and to thank many far more capable film-makers than I for taking out some of their valuable time in the coffee breaks to chat with me and make me feel very welcome.


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Page updated on 19 March 2014
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