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The shortlist for Northampton Film Festival 2021’s is announced but there’s still many ways to get involved this year

Written by on March 11, 2021

After a postponement in 2020 due to the pandemic, Northampton Film Festival is back with an online version in 2021. The festival centres around a competition of short films that have a connection to Northamptonshire, from being filmed in the county to being made by people born or living here.

Screen Northants, the organisers of the festival, are excited to announce the shortlist of films which have been judged by 2021’s judges Actor Colin Salmon (Bond, Resident Evil) and Comedian Hugh Dennis (Mock The Week), both of whom have lived in the county, and Actor Julie Hesmondhalgh (Coronation Street, Broadchurch). The shortlist includes films that are under 2 minutes in length up to 30 minutes, documentaries, musicals, animations and dramas.

The full line up is:

● Animation Three Witches directed by Colin O’Kane. Originally from Ireland, Colin came to Northampton aged 11 and has been here ever since. As well as holding down a ‘proper’ job, he also spends his spare time making animated films.

● Mark’d and Last Dance from Corby Director Danny Gibbons. Danny’s debut short film Mark’d won the Warner Brothers Short Film Festival in 2019, taking home the grand jury prize as well as the Audience Award. Last Dance is Danny’s follow up short film which has been selected at several festivals worldwide and will get its public release in late spring 2021.

● Lockdown directed by Doug Kennedy which won Screen Northants’ lockdown competition with the Grosvenor Centre in 2020

● Offside and Charity from Towcester Producer Ellie Gocher and directed by Jimmy Dean.

● The Dinner Party which was shot in Northamptonshire, from Northants Producer Olivia Foan. Olivia grew up in Northamptonshire, before training at The University of Bristol and The Oxford School of Drama. She now works in London as an actor and writer. She also stars in The Dinner Party.

● Stealth from Northants resident Writer/Director Gerald Zibengwa, who graduated recently from Farnham Film School.

● Time, and Again from Northants Writer/Actor/Producer Helen Crevel. Since the festival success of Time, and Again, she has written, produced and directed a feature length version of the story – Anamnesis – which is now in post-production. As an actor, Helen’s credits include Doctors (BBC), Pandemic (featuring Jenny Agutter), solo show Loop (Theatre in Black), 60 Miles by Road or Rail and Pippi Longstocking (both Royal & Derngate).

● Sheriff from Northampton-born Director James Adams starring Northants actor Henry Bosworth

● Satisfaction from Producer/Actor Lisa Ronaghan. Lisa grew up in Northampton and credits the ignition of her love of performance by attending The Royal and Derngate youth theatre groups and Northampton School for Boys in 6th form. She has since worked on numerous feature film projects in countries as diverse as Iraq, USA, Hungary and China. She has appeared on several TV shows, including Humans (Channel 4/AMC) and Emmerdale (ITV).

● Same Time Tomorrow which was made in lockdown by Northants born Director Lara Sugden. Jess and Emily are best friends, and when a deadly pandemic hits their Northamptonshire town, Emily struggles through it, with Jess there to comfort her; but beneath all the joy and laughter, lies a nightmare no-one can imagine.

● Space Prince by Northants-born Director Laurence Maybury of Jetboy Productions.

● Documentary Lost in Twinslation by Louise and Lucy Davies made during lockdown in 2020.

● Priority from University of Northampton graduate Director Lewis Pavlovic. After graduating from University, Lewis has directed an independent feature film and many short films, some of which have gone on to be showcased at film festivals around the world.

● Documentary DJ Dougal’s Dad by Tom Line. This short documentary profiles Garry Clarke a.k.a. Dj Dougal’s Dad, a photographer and videographer from Northampton. He first picked up a camera when his wife bought him a Yashica 24 camera and he began photographing local bands. He has since gone on to photograph some of music’s greats.

● Animation Parallel Woods by Northampton Director Tyler Atkinson

If you’d like to see the films and find out who has won, you will be able to watch the films online as part of the festival happening 12th – 19th May. The festival aims to celebrate Northampton and the county’s culture and creativity with a number of short film screenings, a schools competition, a Film careers fair, feature film screenings with Q&As and much more. To find out about the film festival you can visit or

If you are interested in making a film for the festival you can still enter via their free 48hr Film Challenges happening mid-March and also the last weekends in March and April. A theme is set on the last Friday of each month at 6pm by a guest judge, then you have 48 hours to make a film, upload it and send a link to Screen Northants for judging. The winner will go into a special Winner of Winners category at the 2021 festival. Due to the popularity of this event we at Screen Northants have added in an extra date in March. to find out more

information about the 48 hour film challenges please visit our social media pages (@screennorthants) or visit

Alternatively if you are a Northants young person and need a little more time than 48 hours, you can enter the Schools Competition either as an individual attending a Northants school or college up to 18yrs, or as a school group. You can find details of these competitions on the festival website or email [email protected] or [email protected]

Screen Northants offer free support to local people and free bespoke workshops or talks to schools to produce their own films. They are currently live streaming a webinar once a week where the public can ask questions to help people with inspiration, tips and general advice.

Northampton Film Festival is also running a recruitment drive for volunteers to assist in various different aspects of the festival from home, such as promotion, organising events or creating a short film as part of the festival itself. There are Zoom events on 15th and 17th March at 6pm for anyone interested in volunteering or to have their say at what should be shown at NFF 2021.

For more information on each visit or email [email protected]

The Northampton Film Festival has been made possible with support from Northampton Borough Council, Nenescape and Film Hub Midlands through funds from the National Lottery. Film Hub Midlands support people to watch, show, and make films in the Midlands. Screen Northants also receive on-going support from the Grosvenor Centre Northampton where they are based. To find out more visit or find @ScreenNorthants on social media.

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