More than 150 film-makers, supporters and local dignitaries attended the event which saw two BA (Hons) Media Production graduates from The University of Northampton pick up prizes.
Dark comedy Smoking Kills, by Dean Twaites, won the Public Vote award and startling drama Catch the Bus, directed by Cem Kaymaz-Yildiz, was awarded the Judges’ Choice award.
The red carpet event screened twelve shortlisted films (six adult, six Under 16s) all shot in the county, before the winners were announced.
Festival chair Lily Canter said:
We had a record number of entries this year which meant we could expand our awards ceremony. It was a fantastic night and it was so great to see film-makers young and old, amateur and professional sharing screen time and walking down the red carpet together. The standard of films just keeps rising and it really does make you proud of Northamptonshire and all its talent and great film locations.
Cem Kaymaz-Yildiz, director of judges’ choice winner Catch the Bus, added:
It was brilliant to win after entering previous times. I feel like we have really progressed. One thing I love is that community feel of the competition and that it feels like it really supports local film makers. It’s something all communities should be looking to do because it’s a great encouragement for film makers. This is a massive confidence boost and we really appreciate it. It will look brilliant on our CVs. Winning will definitely help our job prospects, whether that be in TV or film.
Dean Twaites, director of Smoking Kills, who previously won awards in 2008 and 2010, commented:
The quality of the entrants was amazing this year. We are always thinking about what to film next. If they let us, we’ll enter the festival for as long as we can.
Tim Coley, Senior Lecturer (Media, English and Culture), School of The Arts, The University of Northampton, concluded:
Both winners represent shining examples of Media Production students who have, on numerous occasions, risen to the challenge presented by the course and elsewhere. Both have produced exceptional production portfolios that will stand them in good stead for the future; this represents the icing on the cake. We wish them all the very best.
Prizes included entry to the Berlin Favourites Film Festival, free hire of a film studio, vouchers, cinema tickets, a film course placement and movie merchandise.
The winner of the new Under 16s category was Iron Man by Polebrook Primary School.
Second prize winners were silent film Speechless by Adam Mann (2nd Public Vote) and The Tiger Escapes by Southbrook Juniors Animation Club in Daventry (2nd Under 16s).
Photos, video footage and details are available at: www.filmnorthants.co.uk or join the Facebook group ‘Film Northants’.