Independent Directions (INDIs) Film Festival 2017 Comes To A Close

The first INDIs Film Festival has come to a close, after welcoming hundreds of guests over the weekend of 14 – 16 July to free events for creatives and filmmakers. The core of the festival was the INDIs Awards, now in its sixth year. After whittling 400 entries to 20 in the Official Selection, the INDIs Jury (Annabelle Pangbourne, Northern Film School; Jamie Hutchison, Studio 12; Bex Wolfendale, Into Film; Simon Sumner, The IAC) watched all films, offering feedback and critique before selecting the winning films for the four awards: Overall Winner 16-19, Overall Winner 20-25, Northern Film School Award and The IAC Award.

The INDIs Awards champions filmmakers aged 16-25, and their independently made short films under 15 minutes. The evening of the Awards saw animations, documentaries, fiction in comedy, drama and horror. Hannah Gautrey’s dystopian fiction Brainwash won two of the four awards on the night, the Overall Winner for the 16-19 age category, and The IAC Award. Previous award-winner at the 2017 Golden Owls, A Terribly Great Day by Michael R. Houghton was given a Special Mention in the 16-19 Category. David Rock’s emotional animated short film Walk won the hearts of the Jury, who awarded the filmmaker the Overall Winner of the 20-25 age category, while animator Jack Bennett’s Not the End of the World offered a humorous look at the highs and lows of love and romance in high school; and was given a Special Mention in the 20-25 category.

The INDIs Film Festival was host to a selection of industry professionals, who offered their advice in many free Q&A’s, Panel Discussions and Workshops. The INDIs welcomed VFX Director Ed Hall, known for his visual work on Skyfall, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and The Edge of Tomorrow in a Q&A with Into Film. A free Panel Discussion brought executives and representatives from Screen Yorkshire, Creative England, Into Film, The Northern Film School, University of Leeds, Studio 12, Access Moving Image and Leeds City College together to offer advice on how to progress in a career of film. The final day of the festival saw a free Screenwriting Workshop with BAFTA-Nominated Screenwriter Dean Cavanagh, a frequent collaborator with Trainspotting‘s Irvine Welsh, with Award-Winning Producer Craig Lawson from Access Moving Image, and Faisal A. Qureshi, Screenwriter and Producer on a number of independent films, including a Producer of Chris Morris’ Four Lions.

Many new films also Previewed and Premiered at The INDIs, including Brakes, which reunites The Mighty Boosh‘s Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt. Daisy Asquith’s Queerama previewed at the INDIs, following success as the Opening Night Film at Sheffield Doc/Fest last month. Australian indie LGBT* feature film Pulse also had its UK Premiere at the INDIs Film Festival after screening as part of Sydney Film Festival’s Selection.

The INDIs took place across a variety of venues over Leeds City Centre, from popular bar, restaurant, and gig space Headrow House to Restaurant/Bar, and Cinema The Reliance. The INDIs Film Festival highlights and showcases the best of young, independent talent while creating a platform for networking and collaboration of filmmakers and creatives.