Festival Report 2022

The 2020 Festival was one of the last events to take place before lockdown and the 2022 Keswick Film Festival was one of the first events to happen as we started to emerge from those restrictions.

The Committee took a calculated risk to stage the Festival, knowing that a proportion of the audience would still not feel comfortable coming back to the cinema. Indeed, audiences were well down on previous years and a number of people who did buy passes then had to cancel due to Covid infections.

That said, the Festival was a great success, both financially and artistically. From the opening film Ali and Ava to the finale with The Worst Person in the World the audience rated the programme as excellent - testament again to David Miller's programming.

The Osprey Short Film Awards went ahead in the Theatre, with a remarkably accomplished set of films. The awards were presented by Carol Rennie on behalf of the judging panel and director Carl Hunter, who brought two of his own films as part of an afternoon of 'shorts'.

Organising the Festival was in no way straightforward. Enforced changes at the Theatre by the Lake meant that films could not be screened on Sunday, which in turn meant that we needed to find an alternative box office arrangement. Huge efforts were made to make the Alhambra's system work for the Festival and thanks are due to Carol and in particular, Jonathan for making it happen.

The need to offer viewing options on the Sunday of the Festival gave rise to a new partnership with Rheged, where we screened 3 films in the smaller auditorium. With funding from Film Hub North, we were able to put on a shuttle bus, which proved popular and a model for future years.

Film Hub North also provided grant aid towards our screening costs, as part of their initiative to get audiences back to the cinema and it was that support that enables the Club to proceed with arrangements for 2022 with more confidence.

As ever, thanks are due to our volunteers (ably marshalled by Bobbie Stainthorp with help from Elspeth Payne) who continue to make Keswick Film Festival a friendly and welcoming place to be.

The 2023 Festival will take place from 23rd - 26th February.

Ian Payne

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