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The Phase 4 Fiction Film Competition 2008

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:09 pm
by Ken Wilson
I thought that I had better make a re-appearance to make a mention on the site about our forthcoming film competition. 2008 will be our 4th fiction competition (not the 3rd which I incorrectly added to the promotional material I originally sent to Garth, editor of FVM.)
We have steadily increased the entries over the past 3 years and hope to do the same this time. So far things have been slow, but then they always are until the last couple of weeks before the closing date, which this year is Thursday October 9th.
As before, the competition is intended to encourage UK film makers to make fiction films, so we only accept entries made in this country. The (running) time limit this year has been reduced to 20 minutes, simply so that we have more flexibility at our show on November 15th. We have received several 30 minute films of a high standard in the past and as our festival is a one-night only event, we wanted to squeeze more films into the show.
As 2008 is also the 40th anniversary of my entry into the world of movie making, I also planned to screen a couple of our own films from the back catalogue along with new movies made this year.
The winning film into our competition will receive a trophy and £75 prize money and will be screened at the festival. Depending on time available, other entries will also be shown.
Please support the event by sending in your films for only a £6 entry fee. Full details are here on the IAC website.
Judges will include our very own Dave and Jan Watterson no less.
The show is held in a small theatre with the screen up on the stage, so no heads in the way! Admission is only £3 or £8 to include a buffet. (Pre-booking essential for the buffet option!)
For other details. e-mail me at:

Fiction is alive, well and visiting Dewsbury

Posted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:13 am
by Dave Watterson
We were privileged to join Ken and Carol Wilson last weekend assessing the entries in the Phase 4 British Fiction Film Competition. For ages people have complained that we are a nation of documentary makers - and we do make fine documentaries - but that we have lost the art of telling stories.

B * LL * CKS!

We were delighted to see so many fine stories on video. There are still great film makers, writers, actors and crews who can devise fascinating, funny, finely-crafted stories. 22 entries came from as far afield as Perth, Bristol and Worthing.They ranged from 1 minute to 20 minutes in length. We had comedy - broad and subtle, ghosts and frights, fan films and even a musically inclined cat.

Several of the best made real use of lighting and design to assist the drama of their stories. Acting was generally good. Scripts were often brilliant. It was a refreshing, exhilarating experience watching - no, better to say enjoying - this collection of stories.

We can't reveal the winner - that happens only on Saturday 15th November as part of the Phase 4 Premiere Night and Fiction Festival at Dewsbury Little Theatre, Yorkshire. It all begins at 7pm for 7.30pm tickets from £3 and information from Ken Wilson at

If you can be there ... do it!
Not only will you see the premiere of a brand new Phase 4 production - always an event in itself - and a brief retrospective of the films produced under that banner - but a selection of the best fiction films ... and the amazing winner.

Dave and Jan Watterson

Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:12 am
by fraught
Are all the films that were entered being shown?

Posted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:02 pm
by Ken Wilson
I would like to thank Dave and his wife Jan Watterson for coming to spend a day here with us to judge the 22 films we received. Numbers were slightly down as we had 27 last year and until the final few days I was concerned that we would not have enough movies for a decent competition. However, as Dave mentioned in his posting, many films were of a high standard and there was a lot of imagination on show here. Our reason for starting the competition in 2005, was to celebrate 20 years of films under our Phase 4 banner. It seemed appropriate to mark the anniversary with a fiction competition, although I have made documentaries, fiction is what Phase 4 is known for. There was no long term plan to make this an annual event, but such was the popularity of the competition and festival show, that we have repeated it each year since. But the huge problem is, as with the Cotswold festival, now no more, that the organising and running of the competition and show falls largely to a small team, namely myself with my wife Carol`s help. Many people enjoy the show, the competition and our own (P4) film making activities, but in common with many other events, helpers are not forthcoming. There are also constant complaints about how the event is run, who`s films are shown, what tickets cost and numerous other mini whinges. So the future of our little festival hangs in the balance. With my work load continually increasing, who knows what will happen from here. Also to answer Fraught`s question, no we cannot show ALL the films as they ran for over 3 hours this year. The show has a time slot of about 3 hours, but this includes our own new films (3) and a 40 minute buffet interval break etc. We DO have a good mixture of quality competition films to show though, so it`s not too late to get tickets. ( )

Posted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:53 am
by Brian Saberton
It would be a great shame if Ken felt unable to run his competition next year. I attended last years show and had a great night, and if it were not for a prior committment I'd be making the journey south to see this years show as well. Ken's problem is a common problem - the sheer amount of time, effort and cost that is involved in organising and staging a competition and the sad fact that there are people (usually with little or no understanding of what is involved) who take it upon themselves to moan, complain and niggle about the way things have been organised. Of course, these same people seldom offer any constructive suggestions and are usually nowhere to be found when there is any work to be done. If it's any consolation Ken we suffered the same sort of grumbles when we ran the Scottish 8.

Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:45 pm
by billyfromConsett
From an entrant's perspective, I was able to enter The Phase 4 Fiction Competition this year. Of my two films I entered, one was shown at the event, and they both received thorough crits from both the judges and also from Ken and Carole.

I didn't win the comp (this year) but I'm glad I entered. I'm glad because I got a number of crits that had some time put into them from proper film people.

It just wasn't possible for me to attend this year, and if it's not possible to go ahead with the comp next year, I'll feel we've missed out on a good competition because of a bunch of factors.

If loads of us make films every year, but don't send in a single movie to add to the working spirit that Ken and Carole (and the judges) have every week of the year, then we can chalk off another good fiction comp. North v South is another really good comp, of which fiction really helps it shine.

Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:22 pm
by fraught
I entered this year, and although my film wasn't shown, i got a cracking set of Judges Comments! Infact, i've entered about 10 film competitions this year so far with my film, and this was the first to send me any sort of feedback! So i'm really happy that i've finally got something to work with.

Thanks guys!

Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 9:14 pm
by Ken Wilson
Hi to Billy and to "Fraught." I am really glad that you are both happy with the feedback that you received. Each year that the competition and festival has run, both have been adjusted and re-adjusted to try to improve what we do, what we say and what feedback we give out and receive back. In other words, like film making itself, the aim from the start has been to get better. We wanted to do this by encouraging production of fiction films and also by doing this to aim to help us all improve standards.
Recruiting Dave and Jan (Watterson) as this years judges was a positive move which corrected the past problem with (sometimes) the lack of detailed comments. My thanks go to the both of them for all of their help and support.
Of course, like all festivals and competitions, the risk in taking on such a responsibilty is that not everyone will be pleased with the results. Not everyone can win and not all films can be shown, though we did squeeze in 8 films from the competition out of the 22 we had entered. And there were at least enough good movies to stage another festival show, which indicates that the judges did have a very entertaining viewing session watching them all. So winner or not, and whether your film was shown or not, a big thank you to all those who sent a film in and you can be rightly very pleased with all of your efforts.
I have written more about the show, it`s history and the hopes for it`s future in the next FVM. I still would like the event to continue if we can sort out a few problems.
Hopefully, there will be a short posting on the main IAC home page in due course. So thank once again to you all.
In the meantime, the winner of the competition was:
RENT-A-MATE by Nigel Barton from Southport Movie Makers.