Once again most of the beginnings of my new year were taken up getting ready for Keswick Film Festival which took place last weekend. I’ve run the website for Keswick Film Club and the annual festival for over 10 years and the festival is one of the few opportunities I get to join in with the rest of the club and see some films.
It all started on Thursday evening with a party and a screening of the film version of A Passionate Woman, I’d already seen it on TV last year but it seemed to work better as a film. It may have been improved by the atmosphere or by having writer and director Key Mellor there for a Q&A afterwards. Mellor was a great guest, she stayed for most of the weekend and it was good to see her talking to other festival goers.
On Friday I saw Vagabond, A Screaming Man and Trainspotting. Vagabond was great introduction to Agnes Varda, one of the strands at the festival and made me want to see her other films. Trainspotting is still amazing 15 years later, it’s a shame more people didn’t come to see it on the big screen. I struggled with A Screaming Man but only because I’d started to worry about the Osprey Short Film Awards taking place the following morning.
Once again I was co-ordinating the judging for the short film awards and once again the high standard of all the entries meant selecting the winners was extremely difficult. We’d more or less decided on all the winners but because all the judges are scattered across the country we thought we should sit down together to finalise the decisions. The judges had all separately arranged to meet their friends in The Square Orange after the final film so this seemed like the perfect opportunity for us to get together and finalise everything. It didn’t quite work out that way as the bar was packed with festival goers and some of the film makers in competition making discussion difficult. So we agreed in principle to what we’d already discussed and decided to get together again before the screening to finally finalise everything.
Somewhere amongst all these discussions I foolishly agreed to announce some of the winners and this was now also filling me with dread.