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THE CHELTENHAM FILM FESTIVAL IS COMING!
From next year, Cheltenham will have a new festival to join the ranks of jazz, science, music and literary.
The Cheltenham Film Festival plans to launch on 25th March, 2019 and will feature five days of red carpet events across Montpelier, the Brewery, the Promenade and high street.
Asked what the Festival will feature, founder/director, Leslie Montgomery Sheldon said the focus is very much on directors. “We will look to discover and promote young, independent film makers and pay homage to film directors who have already achieved critical acclaim and commercial success by screening their early films; many of which are classics.
Sheldon went on to say that the Cheltenham Film Festival is a complement to the town’s other high profile festivals. “There is a gap in the Cheltenham festival calendar and we aim to correct this and in so doing, to draw worldwide attention to Cheltenham as a centre for cinema”.
“Film festivals have become omnipresent, providing a distribution channel, especially for young film makers. It seems strange that Cheltenham with its reputation for first class festivals does not have one devoted to film. In the event, we very much hope that the local community will get behind the Cheltenham Film Festival and give it the support it deserves”.
In particular, Sheldon told this newspaper that the festival has an eye on the audience. It is committed to leaving no audience behind in its effort to draw a wide cross section of the public to independent cinema as an alternative to the commercial film experience. To this end, Sheldon has said the Festival will be very inclusive, donating and subsidising tickets for students, pensioners, people on benefits. “It is important”, says Sheldon, “that our festival is there for all to enjoy”.
There will also be a strong business element to the festival, as film makers come to screen and sell their films to sales agents and distributors looking for the next Steven Spielberg. And, let’s not forget the celebrities. Sheldon would not comment at this time but he said that talks are going on to attract “name” actors and directors to interact and engage with festival goers.
Leslie Montgomery Sheldon