Lights, Camera, Exeter!

If you’re a film fan and a budding filmmaker, there’s no better place in the UK to be in the autumn and winter months than Exeter. With a plethora of practical film making activities, workshops, competitions and screenings there’s plenty to keep you busy whether you’re new to the camera or a Steven Spielberg in the making.

Exeter is a historic city in Devon, near the coast in the south west of England. Just a two hour train journey from London Paddington, the city has excellent links with two train stations, an international airport and is very close to the M5. Once you’re in the heart of the city there is an abundance of central hotels to stay in for easy access to the film making activities on offer.

Now that you’re there, let’s get a film in the can!

Two Short Nights Film Festival
Now in its 11th year, the Two Short Nights Festival is the longest running short film festival in Exeter. It’s a celebration of short films and film making, and aims to bring together the best short films on offer around the world.

Taking place at the Exeter Phoenix arts and digital hub from 12th – 13th December, the festival will host a number of workshops, events and screenings. There will be six screenings across the two nights including a series of short live action and animated films from the BAFTAs and a selection of inspiring shorts created through online crowd funding.

One of the most anticipated events as part of the festival is the 48 Hour Film Challenge, which as the name suggests, invites teams to write, shoot and edit a film in just two days – the best of the bunch are also screened at the festival itself.

48 Hour Film Challenge
Aspiring filmmakers are invited to take part in this exciting challenge of a lifetime – scripting, filming and editing a short film to brief in 48 hours.

Entrants, either individually or as part of a larger team, will receive a vague brief explaining a theme and including a prop and sentence which must be incorporated in a film of no more than five minutes. No experience is necessary – just bring your thinking caps!

Team registration opens on 28th October and the challenge is scheduled to take place from 22nd – 24th November.

Here’s the winning entry from the 2012 challenge:

In last year’s competition, the brief specified that the film’s theme was ‘hero’, the prop was a key and the sentence to be included was ‘Keep watch for further signs of them. Hopefully a further sighting will occur in the not too distant future.’

Fantastic Film making Workshop
Younger would-be directors are not left out of the loop: In partnership with the National Youth Film Festival this workshop for 11-13 year olds teaches all the skills needed to produce a film.

Running over 28th – 29th October, the two day seminar costs just £20 and is a great way for imaginative teens to get their creative juices flowing during the half term. They will even be invited to watch a premiere screening of their own film at the Exeter Phoenix on 1st November. Find out more on the Exeter Phoenix website.

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