Northamptonshire short film festival Film Northants aspires to nurture home-grown talent in the county by showcasing the work of local film-makers. All entries into the competition have to be filmed within the county, within the past year. Rather than being another generic film festival that brings international films to a local audience, it aims to attract local films and share them with their communities. The knock on effect of this is that is inspires film-makers to go onto bigger projects, with a wider audience remit.
Previous winners of Film Northants have come from a mixture of amateur and professional backgrounds but they all have one thing in common – a love of film. Below is a selection of past winners who have gone on to set up production companies, make feature films and appear on national television.
David Easton (winner 2010)
David Easton of FanaticGroup Films won the 2010 Public Vote with his crime thriller Love is… Winning the festival spurred David and his team on to make their first feature length film entitled Bloodline. David worked again with scripwriter Colin Hill to produce a screenplay about a successful family man whose past catches up with him. The crew have been shooting Bloodline in Northampton during the past eight months with locations including former shoe factories and the Northampton Chronicle & Echo offices. A teaser trailer for the film can be seen at www.fanaticgroupfilms.com
Dean Twaites (winner 2008, 2010)
Dean Twaites won the Public Vote in the first ever Film Northants festival in 2008 for his horror flick Confined. Since then the post graduate film student has gone on to set up video production company TimeCode Pro with Jimmy Bricknell. Last year they filmed School of Life, an intergenerational project which concluded with a large scale music event at Royal & Derngate theatres in Northampton.
Other projects have included documenting the build of a replica Iron Age Round House situated at Stanwick Lakes in Northamptonshire. Dean is also working as an executive producer on the new paranormal television show Extreme Hauntings which will air on Sky Digital next year. More recently TimeCode Pro has made music videos for artists CoConi and Ekklesia. These have both appeared on various TV music channels. Dean returned to victory in Film Northants 2010 with his comedy Barney which scooped second prize in the Public Vote as well as the Judges’ Choice award.
Alex Nowak (winner 2009)
Alex Nowak won third prize in Film Northants 2009 for his film Death by Deafness. Since then Alex has turned his talents from directing to acting. As a deaf actor he has been cast in a number of shorts films including English and Deep into the Woods. Alex was also part of the ensemble cast of The End, which won best film at the Festival Clin D’Oeil 2011. The drama about deaf culture follows four deaf children from childhood in old age against a futuristic backdrop. It aired on the Community Channel in June 2011.
More recently Alex was a top billed actor on short film The Beach House, a family drama shot on the south west coast. Alex has also been involved in a variety of projects promoting the use of British Sign Language.
Stacey Swift (winner 2009)
Stacey Swift caught the eye of the judges in 2009 winning the first ever Judges’ Choice award with his political satire Tuhfah. The director and actor followed up his success by making feature length mockumentary Stabbing for Jesus. An executive producer has since offered to help Stacey turn it into a professional feature film. Stacey is currently finishing the script development process and is liaising with LA based director, Adam Mason, on the project.
His other projects include helping to produce TV documentary Bill Whitley, The Sinking of the Tirpitz and Me, directing short film noir The Coat, and the adaptation of a true life story into the film screenplay Junior Preddie, working with Reelscape Films.
Stacey was asked to join the Film Northants committee in 2011 and was appointed one of the festival judges. He also edited a short promotional trailer for the 2011 festival.