In Review: Barnes Film Festival 2019

The fourth Barnes Film Festival kicked off on Friday 27th October with a dazzling VIP evening at the iconic Olympic Cinema in Barnes.

Guests including Stanley Tucci, Daniel Battsek, and Kate Silverton were treated to a preview of Judy, starring Renée Zellweger as the legendary Judy Garland performing in London in 1968. That was ahead of its general release on October 2nd.

Next there was an interview with producer David Livingstone, who gave fascinating insights into the making of the film. Roger Taylor of Duran Duran rounded off the evening DJ-ing a party for guests into the early hours, with privileged access to the glamorous Olympic members bar.

With film screenings, including the sensational open-air screening of Bohemian Rhapsody (opened by Oscar-winning Tim Cavagin and rock royalty Brian May), workshops, and masterclasses, covering all areas of filmmaking.

Participants gained valuable wisdom and insight from film industry professionals who so generously support the Festival.

For many, the highlight of the Festival is the Short Film Competition. A panel of influential judges were challenged to decide on the winners from a very strong field of entrants in every category.

The film competition aims to promote, celebrate and support new talent in the film industry and draws in competitors from all backgrounds.

One of the fundamental principles of Barnes Film Festival is a focus on the environment; in particular, having a sustainable approach to filmmaking and showcasing environmental films from across the world.

A current and important topic, the festival wishes to give films surrounding environmental issues the exposure and platform to reach wider audiences.

The festival formulated An Afternoon of Impact Producing event on Sun 29th September 2019, taking place at the WWT London Wetland Centre at its newly built H2O Viewing Space.

The panel was expertly chaired by Cerecom’s Jo Sawicki. Speakers included Luke McMillan (Atlantic Whale and Dolphin Foundation, and London Eco Film Festival), Talia Woodin (Extinction Rebellion Youth), Ieva Balciute (Aequem), and Paul Cayford (Cayford Design).

The Festival came to a close on Sunday evening at the Olympic with Barnes-bred George MacKay in conversation. George, a long-time Patron of the Barnes Film Festival, was the perfect guest to bring this year's proceedings to a close.

Barnes Film Festival is a not-for-profit company, staffed entirely by volunteers. Festival Director and founder, Sam Cullis, teaches at The Harrodian School and provides the vision and inspiration for the themes and topics that make the Festival a magnet for film-lovers and devotees from all over the UK. He had this to say about the fourth annual event:

“The Barnes Film Festival 2019 is a celebration of the 7th Art and we hope that in this, our fourth year, we have put on our most exciting programme yet. Our aim is to empower young people – regardless of identity, background, gender and race by giving them the resources to develop the skills and confidence to pursue a career in film. Our programme curation has been very much influenced by this ethos."

Throughout this week, we’ll have posts documenting the festival. This includes a closer look at the competition entrants and event as a whole.