St Albans Film Festival 2014: It’s a wrap!

The St Albans Film Festival drew to a close on Sunday

The St Albans Film Festival drew to a close on Sunday - Credit: Archant

After hosting more than 50 events across four days the second St Albans Film Festival drew to a close on Sunday night with its awards ceremony finale.

Top Talent Agency's Warren Bacci and Heart FM's Natalie B present an award © Native Eye Darren Rumbl

Top Talent Agency's Warren Bacci and Heart FM's Natalie B present an award © Native Eye Darren Rumble - Credit: Archant

Established stars and those just making their first footsteps in the film world mingled at the party held at Havana in Victoria Street and celebrated their wins.

Jaws screening at Westminster Lodge - Photo by Katie Chell (Native Eye Team)

Jaws screening at Westminster Lodge - Photo by Katie Chell (Native Eye Team) - Credit: Archant

Olivier Award-winning actor Luke Treadaway, soon to feature in Angelina Jolie’s new film Unbroken, walked away with the Best Actor award and the film he starred in, Man in Fear, won best Main Short Film.

Local talent also won big on the night and photographer Michelle Becker and Heart FM DJ Natalie B won the Bechdel award for their documentary The Secret Garden.

Graham Kentsley, originally from the district and executive producer of The Paddy Lincoln Gang, which had its UK premiere at the festival said: “Festivals such as St Albans are so important as they give young filmmakers a platform for their movies, and it is important that we support Leoni and the St Albans Film Festival to ensure it goes from strength to strength.”

Festival director Leoni Kibbey said: “This year’s festival has really built on last year’s foundations and with the support of our headline sponsor London Luton Airport, SA Law, Blanco, Warner Bros and Curzon Home Cinemas, it enabled me to put together a really ambitious programme of events.

“The heart and soul of the festival is all about giving budding filmmakers the platform to get their films seen by audiences, and this is what I am really passionate about. I was thrilled to be able to present the award for the best Student Film to Jonathan Broughton for Perseverance Beyond Doubt.

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Jonathan contacted meningitis when he was only 19 which left him paralysed from the neck down. Perseverance Beyond Doubt is about his life now, and it is a emotive and inspirational film.”

St Albans Mayor Annie Brewster praised Leoni and her team: “They have done a remarkable job as the international St Albans Film Festival is in only its second year and is already one to be watched. The quirky venues showed off St Albans fully with events not just in regular theatres but the Cathedral, the Clock Tower and even the swimming pool. As a patron of the Festival, I have been extremely proud to welcome visitors to various events.”

The long weekend welcomed a wealth of workshops and events to the city including an opening screening of Hitchcock’s classic The Birds at the Cathedral.

Harry Potter’s owl Hedwig made a guest appearance at the event as did St Albans very own superstar, Philomena Lee.

A swim-in cinema at Westminster Lodge showing Jaws proved a star attraction as did an awe-inspiring free-fall display from the Red Arrows Falcons Parachute Display Team in Verulamium Park. Also popular was the sold-out screening for the young student films and their very own awards ceremony.

The winner in this category was The Test, which was made by Wales High School’s Film and Animation Club in Sheffield and was about a group of students that team up to cheat at a maths test.

Young student film and awards co-ordinator Hilary Greatorex said: “It was a brilliant day. I’m so proud of all of our Young Film Makers. It’s been a real pleasure to celebrate their amazing creativity and skill up on the big screen.”

Main short film

MAN IN FEAR, written & directed by Will Jewell

Student film

PERSEVERENCE BEYOND DOUBT, directed by Jonathan Brough

Music video

SWEETLOVE BUTTERFLY, directed by Daniel Gentely

Over 18s

NIGHT OF THE LOVING DEAD, directed by Anna Humphries


ANGELS AND GHOSTS, directed by Sara Kenney


GRANDPA & ME & A HELICOPTER TO HEAVEN, directed by Johan Palmgren

Young Student film


Best Actor

LUKE TREADAWAY in MAN IN FEAR (Oliver-award-winner and soon to appear in Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie)

St Albans filmmakers

Local filmmaker Vicky Hart came third in the Music Video category

Michelle Becker and Natalie B won the Bechdel award for The Secret Garden

Made in St Albans shortlist for films made by children aged 5-15 from St Albans

The Sleepover – Charlotte Blick

Road Safety – Fleetville Junior School

The Toy Box – Isabel Alexander

The Monster in the Woods – Lily Coldstream

The Hedgehog – Rupert Williams

Attack of the Blobs – Jamie Simmonds

Heeleys – Asha Banks

Alone – Ella Bettison