Since February we have been inviting film-makers to send us their work of under 20 minutes and over 250 of them from 47 countries have. Our judges have watched these films and selected the best of those to screen on the weekend of 15th and 16th October.
We are delighted to welcome the Mayor of Royal Tunbridge Wells, Councillor Godfrey Bland to present the awards in the first of three cinema presentations. All will be before a live audience at Sunnyside Community Hall and simultaneously streamed over Facebook and YouTube.
After each of the presentations there will be a discussion group where some of the film-makers will join with audience in a question and answer group; this will be live at Sunnyside Community Hall and also over Zoom. The presentations will be as follows:
Saturday 15th October.
2pm doors open for 2:30pm start.
4:45pm Presentation of awards by the Mayor followed by discussion group.
7pm doors open for 7:30pm start.
9:45pm Discussion group begins
Sunday 16th October.
On Sunday afternoon at 2:30pm (doors open 2pm) we will show the best submitted Iranian and Afghan films under the banner A Quiet Revolution: exploring contemporary Iranian cinema. Working in and outside the country, many explore Iranian women’s roles and life challenges in an often-surprising way. Most of the directors are young men. Join us to watch, enjoy and discuss five of these fascinating short films and hear from Jeanne Pope, a documentary film-maker who has lived and worked in Iran.
These films will be shown with English subtitles.
Bastani (Persian ice-cream) and baklava will be served in the interval.
Click here to see the list of selected films.
For our finale event on Sunday evening we will welcome one of the festival judges Phil Philmar to entertain us with stories from his fascinating career delivered to your home over Zoom. Philip Philmar is an actor, writer and performance poet. He has appeared in several films by Tim Burton: Slugworth in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mr. Fogg in Sweeney Todd, and Mr. Archer in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. He was also the Cook Giant in Jack the Giant Slayer, a shape-changing alien in Disney’s John Carter, and recently, a Spectre Agent in the Bond film, No Time to Die. He also has an improvised comedy podcast called Improv Noodes.
Tickets for all the screenings are available now via
Categories and Awards
• Festival Favourite
• People's Choice * 3
• Best Documentary
• Best Animated
• Best Live action
• Best Audio
• Best Acting
• Best Screenplay
£100 Festival Favourite
£25 Best in class
£10 Selected for screening
Laurel awards for all the above
Mark Oliver is a Film History and Communications graduate from London. Mark’s early career started at Sky TV making daytime and political shows in London’s Soho before working for Todd-AO Hollywood making films such as the BAFTA winning ‘An English Marriage’ and TV Dramas such as Taggart and Great Expectations for the BBC.
Mark has also held various retail management roles and is currently working for Marks and Spencer’s within their digital marketing team as a creative producer for Sparks Live, their live online food and cookery programmes with chefs such as Chris Baber, Francesco Mazzei and Tristan Welch. Mark also enjoys urban photography and street art.
Peter Kemp was born in Manchester and moved around the country over the years, coming to Rusthall almost ten years ago. His life's ambition is to own the complete Criterion Collection.
"My addiction to cinema started at school. By my early teens I was used to watching films by such directors as Reisz, Anderson, Kurosawa, Richardson, Truffaut, Reed and Schlesinger — all talented directors with something to say and the skill to put it on screen. That's what I continue to look for every time I sit down to watch a film...."
Karen Gardner is a visual artist having studied in the USA and in the UK where she earned her MA in Visual Arts. Her interest in the visual language of film is a result of watching foreign films with her mother while growing up near The Naro Cinema in Norfolk, Virginia.
Karen has tutored sculpture as well as Art History/Theory in Kent and West Sussex. She sees film not only as a form of story-telling but as production design.
Philip Philmar is an actor, writer and performance poet. He has appeared in several films by Tim Burton: Slugworth in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mr. Fogg in Sweeney Todd, and Mr. Archer in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. He was also the Cook Giant in Jack the Giant Slayer, a shape-changing alien in Disney’s John Carter, and recently, a Spectre Agent in the Bond film, No Time to Die.
He also has an improvised comedy podcast (with actor Peter Stern), called Improv Noodles (hear it on YouTube).
Jeanne Pope is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, storyteller and educator, a graduate of the Mel Hoppeinehim film of cinema, Montreal, Canada. A bit nomadic, she is Canadian-French-British and currently works for the Beijing Film Academy, Qingdao Campus, where she lived for 6 years. Since the pandemic, she teaches graduate students remotely. She gives workshops on digital storytelling, scrapbooking and documentary production and is currently finishing two documentaries, one in China and the other in Tunbridge Wells.
She has a passion for Victorian cemeteries, the veil between worlds and finding unusual subjects. "I love walking out to places I don't know, or taking random bus / train trips to get lost among the crowds, and find accidental new adventures and stories, which are waiting to be told."
Simon Troy and wife Chris have run Troy Film Agency since 1999 – the Agency being set up in 1980 by Ken Troy, a former Director of United Artists. They assist cinemas, universities, clubs and societies in obtaining screening licences, and help with upgrading from disc to DCP when required – a simple process as far as distribution is concerned owing to the long-standing relationship with all distributors.
Their close relationship with eOne, who appointed them as sole distributor for disc licences for Ken Loach’s ‘I, Daniel Blake’, introduced them to hundreds of smaller venues throughout the UK. As a very small organisation ourselves we like to support similarly small Distributors and venues. Simon owns the locomotive named ‘Sir Keith Park’ at Spa Valley Railway.
Anne Goldstein is a trustee of Rusthall Community Cinema and selects the popular diverse, international short films that accompany our main feature. She has been commended in the national Teaching Awards and is nationally known for her inspirational work with children with special needs. She has made uplifting films of their dance and movement work. Anne also spent over seven years teaching Film Studies in a London secondary school. Committed to interfaith understanding, she also leads an international women educators’ group.
Tom Sands dropped out of films school in 2010 and cut his teeth shooting and editing documentaries in eight countries including Indonesia, India, The Gambia and the US. These documentaries have since racked up more than two million views on YouTube.
In 2014, Tom produced and directed his first feature film - Backtrack, which starred Julian Glover and was picked up by Netflix in the UK. His second film The Holly Kane Experiment starred Nicky Henson and was released in North America, the UK, Germany and across Asia through 108 Media in 2017. His third film Rupert, Rupert & Rupert was released in the US and UK in 2019 by Global Digital Releasing and was nominated for Best Comedy at the National Film Awards in 2020. In 2021, Tom completed Decrypted with Sophia Myles, Amanda Abbington and Kevin McNally.