Suffolk Shorts celebrates local talent at new Ipswich Film Theatre festival

Boudicca written and starring Zoe Wells is a Suffolk film telling set in the present but reaching back into the past

Boudicca written and starring Zoe Wells is a Suffolk film telling a local tale set in the present with its roots reaching back into the past - Credit: Huw Brentnall

Suffolk is a creative county and what better way to celebrate homegrown talent than for the Ipswich Film Theatre, an independent venue, to host the first Suffolk short film festival.

The debut event this weekend will be screening more than 40 films from more than 28 countries with a special category celebrating East Anglian talent. The Suffolk Shorts Film Festival runs at the Ipswich Film Theatre from October 8-10.

Just a Girl, one of the films featured in the first Suffolk Short Film Festival at the Ipswich Film Theatre

Just a Girl, one of the films featured in the first Suffolk Short Film Festival at the Ipswich Film Theatre running from October 8-10 - Credit: Claudia Grace McKell

Among those being screened under the East Anglian film heading is Boadicea/Boudicca, written by and starring Zoë Wells and directed by Huw Brentnall who are both from Suffolk. This is a time bending tale of a mother making a final stand to save her land from developers.

The documentary KEITH tells the story of Keith Eldred and how he came to own RAF Barnham, on the Norfolk/Suffolk border, which housed Britain’s first nuclear deterrent.

There is also animation aimed at young adults as well as a satirical film, entitled ‘Ladies, Have We Progressed?’ which compares women of the 1920s and 2020s, looking at the moral relativism of politics, sport, beauty ideals and dating habits.

Ipswich Film Theatre will be hosting a three day Short Film Festival this October celebrating local

Ipswich Film Theatre will be hosting a three day Short Film Festival between October 8-10 celebrating local talent - Credit: Archant


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The Suffolk Shorts festival is the brainchild of former Film Four producer Claire Whittenbury who was so enthused by the idea of Suffolk short film festival that she registered the domain name for the event 10 years ago.

“Short films are an art-form in their own right. The way you tell a story in a short film, which may only be a couple of minutes long, is very different to the way you tell a story in a feature film but it is no less engaging, no less powerful – in fact it may be more so.

Oh My Friend one of the local films featured in the first Suffolk Short Film Festival running from October 8-10

Oh My Friend one of the local films featured in the first Suffolk Short Film Festival at the Ipswich Film Theatre running from October 8-10 - Credit: Louise C Galizia

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“We believe that short films are the future. Telling a story in a short film takes skill and determination, but it also frees you from the constraints and influences often associated with features or traditional commissioning.

"This means that we are looking for potential. We are looking for films that experiment, push boundaries, tell a story you haven't heard before and do so in a way that captivates the audience. We are not just looking for highly polished, big budget productions, we want to celebrate all filmmakers, regardless of their access to resources.”

She said that they also wanted the ticket pricing to be as inclusive as possible and so were offering a sliding scale of ticket prices.

“We won’t ask for any proof or ID, we just ask that you are honest and pay as much as you can afford.“

As with any film festival there will be prizes which will be announced over the weekend. The festival has five categories - Drama, Documentary, East Anglian Film, Art and Performance Film and Animation. The winner in each category will win a £1,000 award and there will be an additional award of £500 for the best Student short film submitted to any category.

Tickets are on sale at the Ipswich Film Theatre website 

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