Home-grown talent triumphs at St Albans Film Festival 2017

Paul Hendy and Bob Golding with their trophies

Paul Hendy and Bob Golding with their trophies - Credit: Archant

Homegrown talent excelled at the St Albans Film Festival 2017, with awards going to two locals.

Actor Bob Golding, known for Noddy’s PC Plod, Horace Spendrich in ITV’s Mr Selfridge and locally in Christmas pantomimes at the Alban Arena, won the Best Actor award for his part in The Last Laugh, which also won Best Film. He played Eric Morecambe, speaking with Tommy Cooper and Bob Monkhouse about comedy in a dressing room - it was directed by Paul Hendy, who also produces the St Albans pantomimes.

The short film has already won best Comedy Drama at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards.

In his acceptance speech, Bob said: “I have called [St Albans] my home for 15 years, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Adding: “It would be remiss of me not to thank the great man himself. This ends a journey for me as my homage to Mr Morecambe and I’m very lucky to have become close friends with the family.”

Golding also played Morecambe in 2010 in a one-man play at the Duchess Theatre - winning an Olivier award for Best Entertainment and being Olivier-nominated as Best Actor.

Paul thanked Leoni Kibbey, director of the festival since 2013: “Without people like Leoni and the team, short films like my film just wouldn’t have a platform.”

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The winner of the Young Student award, Jamie Simmons, is also local. His film was called Mr Stickynotes and he was given the award by actress and singer Asha Banks, who opened the awards ceremony at The Odyssey cinema by singing an Oscar-nominated song from La La Land.

Festival director Leoni said: “The standard this year was unbelievable. I am genuinely so thankful to all the amazing filmmakers who entered their work into the festival.

“The job of the judges to pick winners from the phenomenal body of work we saw was incredibly hard.

“We received more than 500 entries from 40 countries this year and our panel were genuinely hugely impressed by the quality of filmmaking, creativity and talent.”

In the past four years the St Albans Film Festival has attracted more than 1,500 entries from filmmakers from 40 countries into its short film competition.