Last-minute entries from all over the world pushed the total number of submissions up to 268. That’s a significant increase on last year. But it’s the quality of the entries that is really impressive. It was not an easy job for judges to narrow down the categories.
Over two days, we pretty much filled the place. To our delight, many of our filmmakers showed up in person, from all over the UK and Europe, including one who came all the way from Los Angeles.
It was great to see everyone together under one roof, talking about their films and sharing their ideas. This is what film festivals are all about.
We offer our heartfelt thanks to all our filmmakers. You sent us an amazing 269 films from 35 countries on six continents. That’s nearly twice as many entries as we received in 2020. Truly, we have become an international festival.
The award for best film of 2021 went to Finding Tyler, a documentary from the United States being given its UK premiere.
Two outstanding entries shared the top award in the narrative category. We were touched by The Secret Life of Tom Lightfoot, made by a group of actors from Shropshire with learning difficulties, who express their creativity through film.
We were also impressed by the storytelling in Ido, a film from Iraq about the prejudice faced by refugees. Two very different films, but each demonstrating the power of cinema.
You can read all about it, see photos and some films on these links:
2021 Additional commendations
2021 Festival Dec 5th & 6th
2021 Festival gallery
Here are the key stats…
The largest number of entries came from the UK, with a total of 119 (44 per cent) followed by the United States with 57 (21 per cent).
Overall, we had submissions from 36 countries on six continents, from Iceland to Peru, Iraq to Trinidad. Narrative / Drama was the most popular category with 50 films, but we had another 43 in the Lockdown category, showing how the pandemic is still affecting our lives.
A heartfelt thank you everyone, wherever you are in the world, for your support. It’s your films that make our festival.