Many interesting films, lots of energy, tons of special events on the side and a legend. That’s how I would describe the 2nd Cardiff Independent Film Festival, known as CIFF 2015.
This year’s success, yes it was indeed a major success, was built on last year’s successful recipe. CIFF 2015 launched at Porter’s, featuring selective short films for 3 whole days, or nights to be more precise. Chapter hosted the festival over the weekend. The masterclass and the Hook up was not to be missed by any amatuer or pro film lover. Sorry if that was the case for you.
I’ll be honest. I was a bit sceptical about the films’ concept and quality. If this article was a film, the next scene would’ve been me pleasantly surprised. I don’t know much technical stuff about films myself but I do know what I like and what I don’t. Art might be subjective but I can tell for sure that most of the films were exceptional in every way. Watch the MANISLAM and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
Anthony James (Festival Director of operations) shared with me, for almost an hour, his thoughts and ambitions not only about CIFF but also about the filmmakers scene in Cardiff in general. The BAFTA accreditation was one big step forward and AJ hopes that next year even more distributors will join the festival. The highlight of our talk surely was that the festival is a self-sustained organisation with no public funding whatsoever. Everything has come into life through personal work, private sponsors and memberships.
I also talked with Alistair Parkhurst (Festival Director and Chairman) about what’s the next big thing. Ally said they are already in talks and are planning to organise smaller events throughout the year. They will include festival film re-screenings that could also work as networking events. The idea is to maintain interest for the CIFF and increase the anticipation for next year.
I also promised you a legend but I left it for last. I’ll tell you this: I met John Boorman ( Deliverance, Exorcist II, Hope and Glory, Tailor of Panama etc.). Well, I sat next to him and had the chance to photograph him. His latest film, QUEEN AND COUNTRY, premiered in Wales in CIFF 2015. The screening was followed by a Q&A session. Boorman accepted the CIFF 2015 invitation and despite his 82 years, travelled from Belfast all the way to Cardiff to share his experience and passion for filming. A true gentleman and a real legend.
If you ask me who won the awards I’ll tell you… I don’t know. It was not the most important thing for me.
Hope we see more of the CIFF throughout the year. Cardiff needs to be more cultural and such events can give it a boost. We are getting there but still lots of work to be done.
Until next time. C ya