Curtain Raiser for Film Festival
A pop-up cinema at the Airedale Shopping Centre was a preview to a film festival.
Movie buffs joined shoppers at the mall to get a taste of what's on offer at the movie event backed by cinema legend David Puttnam.
Airedale Shopping Centre hosted the pop-up cinema showcasing many of the 60-plus shortlisted entrants for River Aire Ten Minute Amateur Film Festival (RATMA).
Visitors made voluntary donations towards Cancer Research UK to watch the films on offer.
It was a taste of what's on offer at RATMA, which gets underway this Saturday, April 25, when Keighley Campus of Leeds City College is turned into a multiplex.
The event, which has brought entries from around the globe, culminates in a red carpet awards ceremony at Keighley Picture House, plus Lord Puttnam's own screen debut on film - a video for Paul McCartney's solo single Maybe I'm Amazed, filmed in the 1970s.
Gareth Thomas, of Keighley-based video company Clockwork Eye who helps organise the RATMA festival, says the Airedale Shopping Centre pop-up cinema proved a big hit.
He said: "It's been brilliant and really helped us get the message out there that the film festival is on. We have had a constant stream of visitors watching the films and everyone seems really impressed.
"We have been showing the winning entries from last year's festival as well as a sample of what's on offer this year."
He added: "It's fantastic that the Airedale Shopping Centre continues to support the festival, this is the third year we have had a pop-up cinema in the shopping centre.
"The festival is helping put Keighley on the map, especially as we have so many international entries and the Airedale Shopping Centre has certainly played a part.
"Last year four times as many people visited the festival as the year before and we hope to see a similar increase again this year.
"And we raise money every year for cancer charities and have a lot of local fundraisers involved which is great. In fact the initial idea of the very first festival was to raise money for Cancer Research UK."
Airedale Shopping Centre manager Steve Seymour said: "It is fantastic news that a film icon such as Lord Puttnam is backing this year's event, and it looks as though the festival will get even bigger next year, with plans for a spin-off event.
"The pop up cinema has given shoppers an opportunity to sit down and watch a short film or two during the visit to the shopping centre and the feedback we have had is that the vast majority of visitors have really enjoyed it."
"The pop-up cinema is a great way to give people a taste of what's on offer with the festival whilst raising money for Cancer Research UK. I wish them every success for this year's event."
Keighley amateur film-maker Sam Stebbings, 21, who helped out at the Airedale Shopping Centre pop-up cinema, has entered his own film into this year's festival.
He said: "It's a film called The Man Who Can't Present and is a comedy about a radio presenter trying to make it on TV as a presenter but things go very badly for him.
"It's only a very short film, just two minutes long, which it is well within the strict 10 minute timeframe you are allowed. I just love making films and hope my film is received well at the festival."
Sam, who is currently studying media at Craven College Skipton but will start a degree in Media and TV at the University of Bradford in September, added: "The thing is no one really expects a town like Keighley to have such a thing as a film festival.
"Handing out flyers to people, they are really surprised but have then come along to the pop up cinema to have a closer look.
It's brilliant and really helped raise awareness of what the festival is all about and what it's trying to achieve.
"And it's absolutely fantastic that the management of the Airedale Shopping Centre have been so enthusiastic in supporting the event through the pop up cinema.
"It's a brilliant community event and, as one of the amateur film makers who has entered this year's festival, I'm really grateful the Airedale Shopping centre is yet again backing the festival."
Amateur film maker Jim Walker, 71, a retired civil engineer, dropped in on the pop up cinema and says he's devastated he won't be able to attend this year's event as he will be out of the country.
He said: "It's an amazing festival and is definitely growing year on year and it's now attracting a great many international entries. I noticed one of the films showing at the Airedale Centre today was in Spanish with English sub-titles.
"Making short 10 minute films takes a huge amount of work. I have won awards at Austrian, German and UK film festivals for my work.
And I'll definitely be entering a film next year.
"In fact, it is already made to be honest - but it's 10 minutes 20 seconds long so I need to edit out 20 seconds and that will take time. It's a comedy called Cheapair and is something like Ryanair meets the 1980 satirical comedy Airplane!
"The pop up cinema is such a good idea as it really boosts interest and raises awareness of the festival. So few people know about the festival so it's good to get the message across and show people what's on offer."
And Jim says making a short 10 minute film is a project that can sometimes takes the best part of a year to complete.
He said: "I first write the script then edit and refine it and draw up storyboards. Then I need to find locations and sort out props. I use professional actors and have a friend who acts as my cameraman while I direct
"Everything is shot digitally nowadays but it all has to be edited. Let's just say it's a real labour of love!"
Lord Puttnam, who spearheaded the revival of the British movie industry in the 1980s, is the first of several film-world notables who have pledged support for RATMA.
These include Steve Abbott, Monty Python's manager and the producer films like A Fish Called Wanda, and Mark Herman, director of British hits like Brassed Off and Little Voice.
Both men are likely to be heavily involved in a spin-off event at the 2016 RATMA festival, My First Film, which will screen debut short movies of nationally-known directors and producers.
Admission to RATMA is by donation, with proceeds going to Cancer Research UK. Visit www.ratmaff.weebly.com for further information.
- News Editor
- Keighley Local News