The year may be coming to an end, but there’s still time for new beginnings! The inaugural Scarborough Film Festival will take place at The Stephen Joseph Theatre (and additional venues) from November 9th-12th.
We caught up with the festival’s founders, Elizabeth Boag and Martha Cattell.
Hello Ladies! First of all, how did you two meet?
Hello! We first connected over Facebook as we had a shared interest in film and setting up a festival here in Scarborough, but we soon met up in Eat Me at the Stephen Joseph Theatre where we shared our ideas, interests and at that point only dreams of a festival! So, it is now so exciting to be going back to the same building where it all began and hosting the first Scarborough film festival.
Why is it important that Scarborough hosts a film festival?
Scarborough has a rich cultural and film history with buildings hiding in plain sight that were once saturated with audiences and 35mm film. This extends to today with Scarborough being highly cinematic and used frequently as a backdrop, most recently for Rose Glass’s ‘St Maud’ (2019).
There are so many great venues such as the SeaGrown boat, Railway Club and Woodend Studios and Gallery, which we are using alongside the SJT as this year’s venues.
We also think it is so important to make sure screenings are accessible and support the community.
I started out doing pop-up short film events in the amazing Koda Coffee and an immersive film and music night in Scarborough Market Vaults and I see working with people and the rich communities of the town as an exciting part of why the festival needs to happen.
We hope it will encourage filmmakers and people interested in film to have a go. Hopefully the festival might act as an inspiration for others.
The programme is very impressive! What in the programme are you most excited for people to see?
Oh, great question! There is so much! I think Can I Live? With the live Q&A (with actor and climate activist Fehinti Balogun) – we face many climate issues in Scarborough due to the coastal location, so it is such an important conversation to keep having.
I cannot wait for Caribbean Shorts. We’ve worked with Denyce Blackman and Caribbean International Film Festival to bring a series of shorts that speak of coastal locations and stories in the Caribbean to explore similarities and differences to our own coastal space in Scarborough.
I am also excited for Revive, our live performance event with archive film featuring some very talented local performers. Scarborough has a thriving music scene, so it is great to be able to showcase some home-grown talent!
Can you tell us a bit about the selection process? What things are you looking out for?
Putting together a festival can feel like a mammoth task, but for me it is about responding to places, thinking of how you can tell stories that have relevance and provoke conversations.
Also, it is important to talk to people, see what they want and what is missing and go and watch things, attend other festivals, events and gain inspiration. So, looking both outwards and inwards.
What are your plans for the festival’s future?
Oh, lots! It’s been great to see the response so far. We would love to do events all year round and use some more of the amazing venues in town. We’d also love to help facilitate people’s ideas so do get in touch if you’re interested in taking part.
To book tickets and festival passes, click below:
Locl Properties are proud sponsors of Scarborough Film Festival.
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