Looking back, it’s hard to believe how Chagford Film Festival has grown into the spectacular, not-to-be-missed event it now is. Back in 2011 the film festival was born out of a love of cinema and a ‘can do’ attitude. A few interested film buffs formed a committee with the aim of putting on a local festival in the town. Since then our committee has grown from the initial six, to a team of ten who are all passionate about the festival and who have a love of film in common. We have experts in all aspects of cinema and staging events and this has allowed us to expand the festival to its current size.
In the first year, producer Gareth Unwin, who won an Academy Award for The King’s Speech, introduced the film to great acclaim. Since then, the festival has built a reputation for the prestigious film-makers and industry experts it attracts.
Locals and visitors alike often say that one of the best things about the festival is the welcoming, informal and quirky atmosphere. They also comment on the quality of the workshops and the interesting Q&A sessions with invited guests.
We have had very positive feedback from businesses in the town who benefit from the extra people around and are happy to support the festival in its plans to continue and grow.
Back in 2011 we did not realise that a chance conversation about film would take us on a six year roller-coaster ride, a journey that has been a steep learning curve and one that at times has been hard work but above all, a hugely enjoyable experience. We are always buzzing with ideas for every festival, so – look out Cannes – here we come!