Durham Film Festival 2024: its best year yet 

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Durham Film Festival is back, and better than ever. Indigo has sat down with Charlie, President of the Film Festival, and Sofia, Content Programmer/Creative Director, to talk about the week’s events, what makes this year’s festival unique, and how students can get involved. 

The festival begins this Sunday with a 48-hour film challenge, in which anyone can produce a short film over two days. DDF will provide filmmaking skills and script writing workshops to participants for free. It is a fantastic event for students who are interested in film making but haven’t yet had the opportunity to get started. 

On Tuesday a screening will take place of the short films chosen by the festival’s content programmers, which have been submitted over a two-month period by students from universities around the country, and all over the world. Phil Ilson, Artistic Director of the London Short Film Festival, who is returning for his third year at the festival, will judge the submissions along with the two student content programmers. 

On Wednesday there will be a social with film pub quiz, and a showing of films from the 48-hour film challenge. As the sun goes down on Thursday evening, students will be able to relax on the Hild Bede lawn, as a classic film decided on by students is shown on an outdoor projector screen. There will be popcorn and candy floss, and the college bar will also be open to take drinks out onto the lawn. 

The festival ends on Friday with a cinema concert, in which a live orchestra will play a compilation of famous film medleys as film scenes are screened simultaneously. This will take place at the beautiful Durham Masonic Hall.

This year’s festival has more events than ever: there is something for everyone to enjoy

After chatting to Charlie and Sofia it’s clear that there is something special about DDF 2024. The exec has focused on fostering its partnership with the British Film Institute, which has provided guidance on how to run a film festival, and secured Phil Ilson as a judge. DDF has also sought to establish relationships with Durham societies for the events, including the Hill Orchestra for the cinema concert, and the Hild Bede Film Society for the outdoor film screening. 

From the start, the exec had a clear vision of paving the way for DDF to grow in the years to come. And so, this year’s festival has more events than ever: there is something for everyone to enjoy. DDF demonstrates how important it is to have events that promote Durham’s art and filmmaking communities, which are often overlooked by the university and student body. 

To attend the festival next week, tickets are now available on the DDF Instagram account @durhamfilmfest through the FIXR link. Both the 48-hour film challenge and social are free to attend, and all other events are priced affordably. Students can either buy individual tickets or a package for the entire week. Applications to be a part of next year’s exec will also be opening soon. 

DDF 2024 is not something that you want to miss. 

Illustration: Sofia Brillembourg

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