Attending the first ever Cheltenham International Film Festival

12 Jun 2019

5 mins
Into Film reporters Archie & Ewan at Cheltenham International Film Festival
Into Film reporters Archie & Ewan at Cheltenham International Film Festival

When people hear the words 'Cheltenham Festival' they probably jump straight to the famous horse racing event, but now the town has its very own film festival as well. The inaugural Cheltenham International Film Festival took place from 27 May to 1 June this year, and our reporters Archie and Ewan were in attendance. Below, Archie recounts his experience the UK's newest film festival. 

This week I had a blast at the Cheltenham International Film Festival, attending a number of events, all of which were great opportunities to hear inspiring industry professionals talk about their work. I also got to see a foreign language film on the big screen that I wouldn't usually choose to watch! 

The first day was a great selection of talks covering costumes, make-up effects, composing music for film and cinematography. All of the speakers were entertaining and had fascinating stories to tell; they also gave vital tips for anyone wishing to follow any of these areas as a career. A particular highlight for me was the costume design talk with Caroline Harris. She was very interesting and talked at length about her work on A Knight's Tale, a film that I really enjoy!

It was very entertaining (if a little gruesome) to watch how boils are applied to actors in the make-up demonstration. The cinematography talk was also really informative. I always appreciate when a film is shot and lit in a particularly unique way, but I never realised how much preparation goes into these aspects of a movie. Learning about how music is composed for films was another really engaging experience. Even though I know next-to-nothing about music, I learnt loads about how film scores are put together!

I also attended a programming workshop that focused on film festival programming. This was a very interesting event - it was fun to watch several short films and have the opportunity to discuss them in a group.

I enjoyed watching A Coach's Daughter followed by a Q&A with Polish director Lukasz Grzegorzek. The film was good - it featured gripping performances, a compelling narrative and some surprisingly eye-catching shots. Afterwards, the director spoke about how the film was inspired by his own life; this is very evident in the film as the characters came across as real people. I would recommend this film to anyone who likes foreign films, road trip movies or family dramas.

The Cheltenham International Film Festival was an amazing experience! I would highly recommend attending a film festival if there is one near you. They give you the opportunity to watch and discuss lesser-known films and witness how complex and time-consuming the filmmaking process is. I'll definitely go again next year!

Reporters Archie & Ewan at Cheltenham Film Festival SFX Workshop
Reporters Ewan and Archie at a Cheltenham International Film Festival SFX workshop

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