SPIELBERGS in the making have walked the red carpet at an inaugural film festival.
The battle of the silver screen short film competition for youngsters was held at the Pavilion Suite in Chester Racecourse.
About 250 people saw 17 short films, including animations, documentaries, music videos and mini movies battle it out for the Lord Mayor’s Enigma Trophy.
The films were divided into three categories: Primary School, Secondary School and Advanced (sixth form, colleges and universities).
Four judges, including a BBC producer and costume designer, cast a critical gaze over the entries at the old Gateway Theatre.
Co-organiser Rick Smith said: “The evening was a fitting celebration of the film making talents of Chester’s young people. I was extremely proud to help co-ordinate and host the event.
“I was hugely impressed with all the films submitted to the competition.
“The feedback has been astounding. We are hoping to make this competition an annual event.”
The Lord and Lady Mayoress, Brian and Raewyn Bailey, formally opened the competition, handed out certificates and presented the winning trophy.
Chloe Jackson, 11, of Little Sutton Primary School was the Primary winner after Big Brother 2008, a short animation created with younger brother Lewis, impressed judges.
She said: “The competition was very exciting and extremely fun. I felt like a celebrity the whole time!
“I was so excited and over the moon when theŠjudges said our names as the winners of the primary category. I wasn’t expecting to win.”
The winner of the Secondary category, A Life of Opposites, was made by the Upton High Film School incorporating pupils from Upton High, Abbey Gate College, Neston High and Christleton High.
Amy Stoaks, 22, scooped the Advanced and Overall Winner of the Trophy for her short film, A Grimacing Day.
She said: “I didn’t really know what to expect, being my first competition. The atmosphere at the racecourse was really supportive and it was great to be nominated. Then to hear I won the first year of the competition was a great honour.”
Amy is now going to Salford University to pursue her dream of becoming a film scriptwriter.
The Battle of the Silver Screen was a co-production funded by Chester Midsummer Festivals and Rick’s Cutting Edge Arts.
Organiser of the Chester Midsummer Festival, Kristine Szulik, responded to Rick’s desire to have a film festival included in the programme of events.
She hailed the festival a roaring success: “The response was fantastic, there were some absolutely brilliant films. It’s already booked to be at the Pavilion again on June 19, 2009.”