When producer Louise Rackham first commissioned me to make the film of The Great Fen Spitfire Excavation, she asked me how we might get it into a festival. I hadn’t a clue.
I created the first half-hour film about the week of the dig in time for a Great Fen event in April 2016 and assumed Louise had forgotten all about her festival ambitions.
Then in the summer I spotted a call for entries to a new film festival just down the road from the Great Fen, in the lovely market town of St Neots.
Festival organiser Melina was looking for films shorter than 20 minutes, so I made a few cuts and sent her the video file. The months passed and I heard nothing, so again I assumed the festival idea had slipped away.
So when I got an email from Melina saying that the film had been selected to be shown at the multiplex cinema during the festival week 7-11 November 2016, I was surprised and thrilled. Really thrilled.
Documentary evening was Thursday 10 November so I went along to watch my film on the big screen, along with some very accomplished other films. Not least, this from Adrian Storey:
You can imagine how amazed I was to be announced as the ‘winner’.
I’m not sure how I feel about film-making (or any creative pursuit, for that matter) being a competitive sport, but I won’t pretend I’m not very proud of the accolade.