Joshua Freemantle and Patrick Johnson are co-founders of the first ever Lowestoft Film Festival, due to take place in October. And, on the eve of the festival opening for submissions, Joshua explains that it is something he has dreamt of for a long time
It was back in September of last year when Joshua Freemantle and Patrick Johnson, a couple of young film programmers based at Sunrise Studios in Lowestoft, first dreamt of supporting and showcasing independent film from across the region by creating the UK’s most easterly film festival. And that’s when the hard work began!
The last couple of years have been difficult for creatives in the region, especially the upcoming generation that might not have been able to utilise their studies or the creative freedom that comes with being a young filmmaker and creative alike. And so, the new Lowestoft Film Festival – due to take place in October – will provide an opportunity that people can absolutely grasp onto with both hands.
The film festival is co-produced by Joshua and Patrick, in partnership with The Young Film Programmers’ Network (South East) which is supported by a BFI Film Academy Grant.
The festival will host a variety of submission categories, with traditional categories like ‘Best Documentary’ and ‘Best British Short Film’ as well as newer categories like ‘The Best of Lowestoft Award’, ‘Best Experimental Short Film’ and ‘Best Two-minute movie’.
Early bird entries can be submitted from tomorrow (February 10), allowing people to upload their work at the lowest rates that will increase as the film submission deadline gets closer.
Not only will there be film screenings for shortlisted and nominated submissions, but an official awards ceremony will also be held in October. Finalists will be invited, along with industry professionals and the press, and prizes will be given out to the winners chosen by our judges.
Development Producer Joshua says: ‘I’ve always wanted Lowestoft to have its own film festival. There’s a rich heritage of cinema, art and film within the town and I feel like the creativity in our region isn’t given nearly enough credit. I think it’s so important to offer young people (and film makers of any age) the chance to showcase their brilliant work.
‘Whether it’s a group of students making their first short film, someone that’s discovered their passion through the pandemic or whether it’s a seasoned film maker showcasing their latest piece, I believe this festival can really help nurture what’s already been building in and around the town and as a catalyst to create platform for emerging talent.’
Patrick adds: ‘The idea seriously excites me! I’m passionate about the creative industries and I’m grateful to be working on a project that carries so many benefits to the area and its people.
‘I almost wish Lowestoft Film festival existed back when I was a full-time student. It’s the perfect excuse to try something new, get creative with what you have and have some fun.’
The closing date for submissions is August 11, 2022, so there’s plenty of time to spread the word, get together and create a film of your own over the next six months if you haven’t already created your very own masterpiece.
For more information on the festival, head to Lowestoft Film Festival or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @LWTFilmFest. Joshua and Patrick are based at Sunrise Studios, a community production company run by young people for young people – the social enterprise is part of Access Community Trust and supports disadvantaged young people with creative enrichment through cultural learning and training opportunities across Norfolk and Suffolk.
Featured image: Patrick Johnson (left) and Joshua Freemantle (right), co-founders of the first ever Lowestoft Film Festival