BIAFF 2015 AND BEYOND

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Dave Watterson
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BIAFF 2015 AND BEYOND

Post by Dave Watterson »

The hotel problems for BIAFF 2014 and at some earlier BIAFFS throw open the question of where future festivals should be held.

SERIAC hosts BIAFF 2015 and has reserved a hotel in Sittingbourne, Kent for 17th-19th April 2015, so it is probably too late to influence that decision. But what about further ahead? Where should our premiere IAC event take place?

* ideally a venue which combines screening possibilities with overnight accommodation (people do not like/may have problems if they are not living on site.)
* a venue where the ceiling height allows screens to be high enough for subtitles to be read ... even better if there can be some tiered seating.
* reasonably accessible from most parts of UK and ideally from international ports of entry
* not too expensive (ruling out the centres of most major cities)
* be willing and able to provide screenings rooms, gala dinner space and catering, storage room at a reasonable price

We have to face the fact that most delegates are middle-aged to elderly. They expect a degree of comfort. On a fixed income they cannot spend too much.
In order to spread the load of organising - and to help spread any profits around - festivals are organised by different IAC Regions each year.

There have been experiments in the past with festivals in college campuses, using raked lecture theatres for shows and student rooms for accommodation. They usually demanded some walking between domestic blocks and lecture blocks and were not popular. But maybe that is worth another look.

Any more thoughts/suggestions?
col lamb
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Re: BIAFF 2015 AND BEYOND

Post by col lamb »

Dave

Why not a City Centre location?

Liverpool Adelphi 400 rooms, plenty of projection rooms available, I stayed there for a conference many years ago, character hotel next to railway station on edge of shopping, art gallery and museums with the Albert Dock 5 min in a taxi

Manchester
Portland St has Ibis, Travel Lodge, Piccadilly hotel, with the Midland and Hilton all within a 5 minute slow walk so plenty available and a block booking of 200 rooms must get a substantial discount if the IAC negotiates hard.

All are Close to shops, art gallery, museums, Old Trafford, Trafford Centre for hundreds of shops Peak District 3/4 hour away.

Railway stations close with oxford road being 5 min from Portland st and deansgate being behind the Midland and Hilton.

Blackpool
Norbreck Castle 400 plus rooms, can cater for 3000, it is huge and on the Sea front and close to the town but away from the bars and clubs

Morecambe
Broardway, Strathmore and Mayfair Hotels all next to each other and on the Promenade, the Art Deco Midland 5 minutes by car/taxi, many small B and B close by. Stunning views over Bay and Lakes 3/4 hour from Lake District

York
Many hotels in or close to City Centre, available activities and attractions are world class. Access good rail and motorway

Off the wall
How about taking over a Warner Leisure hotel such as Thoresby Hall near Nottingham, huge hotel with great rooms, facilities and superb location.
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Willy
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Re: BIAFF 2015 AND BEYOND

Post by Willy »

You are right, Col, but I think Liverpool, Blackpool and Morecambe are very far for foreigners and also for our friends who live in Guernsey. BIAFF is still an international film festival, unless you would like to change this.

Attending BIAFF is very expensive for people who live in the Netherlands, in Germany, in France, in Belgium... A ferry trip costs about £80 to £100 I think. Plus petrol for your car and plus a few nights in a B&B or hotel on your way to the venue and on your way back. Let's say another £300.

I am happy that BIAFF will take place in the County of Kent next year. Hopefully I will be able to attend it and then I will book a room for three or four nights in a B&B or in a Kentish guesthouse.
An example : I know one for only £65 (double room bed and breakfast). There are four or five rooms. Distance : about 10 to 15 miles from Sittingbourne.

Yes, the ceilings at the hotel must be high enough otherwise you are not able to read the subtitles, but maybe it is not necessary in the four rooms on Saturday. In each room there are about - let's guess - 30 to 50 people. So everybody can read the subtitles. That's what I think.

On Sunday, however, the ceiling must be high enough. Then there are about 200 to 300 people. Why not at an auditorium out of the hotel or in a hall with a podium? In Royal Tunbridge Wells the Winners' Show also took place outside the hotel.
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col lamb
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Re: BIAFF 2015 AND BEYOND

Post by col lamb »

I was only quoting places within my region with the exception of York.

Whilst Kent may be OK for visitors from France, Belgium, Holland etc they can probably get to Kent easier and cheaper than I can from Lancashire which is 330 miles from Folkestone and hence a no go.

Anything that involves the M25 is a no go for me, been there done that, hate it so much. Trains are a pain, those we have are so uncomfortable for distance travel, I went on a pendolino by Virgin to Birmingham with one change, could hardly walk.

No it has to be easy to get to by car and to park at the venue, two to three hours makes day visits manageable especially on two wheels.

BIAFF does need to be rotated around the Regions to be fair to all there have been too many occasions when it has been down South and too many times it has been at both Bedford and Chesterfield.

Looking through the past reports do not list all the locations but I only found that Harrogate held it in 1999 and 2011, even then Harrogate can take two hours to get too. Not once has it been held in the North West so it is due.
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Mike Shaw

Re: BIAFF 2015 AND BEYOND

Post by Mike Shaw »

there have been too many occasions when it has been down South
You must be joking!

I think we - in the SE anyway - feel the same way about coming 'up North' every year. Only once in the past 7 years has it been held in the SE (and due here again next year). The last down 'South' was over in Weymouth - roughly as far for us to go as it is to Chesterfield or Harrogate. It is as far from East to West (or West to East) 'down South' as it is to go up North.

I'm with you about the M25 - the world's biggest car park. In spite of having to throw a double six to get off it though, it is, believe it or not, still twice as quick as going across London. Yesterday - Sunday - from a venue just North of the M25, a crowd of us set off to return to our home town in South London (within the M25 circle) in two cars. The others went round the M25 - a 75 mile journey. Being a Sunday we thought - across London, a 30 mile journey, has to be quicker. They arrived home over an hour before us... and probably used far less petrol.

While griping, it would also be good for the BIAFF judges from the South if the judging weekend could be held down South for a change. It is always held in the North, usually in Durham these days. Bearing in mind judges pay their own travelling expenses, a venue nearer to home for the Southerners would be extremely welcome for a change. (Actually, won't affect me now because I won't be doing it any more anyway, but seems a little unfair on the Southern judges to have to make the long and costly trek every time).

Yes, good to move BIAFF around the Regions - if nothing else, the amount of organising and work involved means it would be extremely unfair for one Region to keep bearing the brunt. I was involved in the Tonbridge BIAFF (followed by the Worthing AGM a few years later), and can't believe just much work and planning is involved. I don't think many people realise - the Regional Committees or Councils work extremely hard and it all starts two years prior to the event. All the more reason to sympathise with the North Thames Region for being totally dropped in it by the Hotel.
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Dave Watterson
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Re: BIAFF 2015 AND BEYOND

Post by Dave Watterson »

2013 Chesterfield
2012 Weymouth
2011 Harrogate
2010 Bedford
2009 Chesterfield
2008 Harrogate
2007 Royal Tunbridge Wells
2006 Bedford
2005 Chesterfield
2004 Harrogate
2003 ?Norwich
2002 Chesterfield
2001 Bedford
2000 Buxton
1999 Harrogate
1998 Buxton
1997 Great Malvern
1996 Milton Keynes

Before about 1994 it was the London International Amateur Film Festival held in the capital - partly because that was fairly easy to access from most parts of Britain. It was run by a central committee, some from the other end of the country. It was expensive - London is always so - and very hard work each year for the same small group of organisers. So it was decided to let the event be hosted by a different IAC Regional each year, with the region sharing in the work and in any profit.

It depends on a region having a committee willing and able to organise it. As you can see in recent years the heaviest loads have fallen on North East, CEMRIAC and North Thames.
Ken Wilson
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Re: BIAFF 2015 AND BEYOND

Post by Ken Wilson »

Thanks to Dave for his methodical listing of all the IAC weekends "Movie xx" and BIAFFs. There have been some great festivals amongst those, usually on very hot days with the sun streaming in to the cinemas and blackouts struggling to cope.
We have been to all of these except for Weymouth, not due to distance I hasten to add, but because we were working on that Saturday and of course couldn`t go for part of the weekend. We were disappointed but there was no way around it. So one miss since Milton Keynes.
It`s only once a year and we treat it as a weekend away, so no problem where it is in the country and it`s good to see new parts of the UK.
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GtBFilms
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Re: BIAFF 2015 AND BEYOND

Post by GtBFilms »

Living in Edinburgh, I have to smile when I hear people talking about Yorkshire and Lancashire as 'way up North'!

My wife does it too! I guess it will always make sense to hold these events where the majority of the population is.

A word of warning about the Norbreck Castle, Blackpool though - it's a great venue for events, infact I'm going there next month, but don't ever be tempted to stay there! Currently rated #72 out of 73 hotels in Blackpool!

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Revi ... gland.html

Luckily there's plenty of alternative accomodation close by.

On the other hand, a visit will provide plenty of inspiration for a 'Fawlty Towers Tribute' Film!
Guest: What I'm suggesting is that this place is the... the crummiest, shoddiest, worst-run hotel in the whole of Western Europe.
The Major: No! No, I won't have that! There's a place in Eastbourne!
Lee Prescott
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Re: BIAFF 2015 AND BEYOND

Post by Lee Prescott »

:idea:

'Lo All,

Interesting thread about where to hold BIAFF (?) & the expense & organisation etc. involved...."ageism", "comfort", "foreign" travel et al! SO:

Why not follow the 21st. Century trend and put the entire thing "On Line"? That would save costly organisation, venue location,
all expenses and so on. After all, as far as I can detect, probably less than a quarter of the IaC total membership actually attends for the "Jollies"!

The "judging" so called, could also be done "On Line" - I and my colleague have already done one lot that way this year and a further one is now in the "pipe-line"!

You never know such might also attract new members to the IaC!

(Sorry if I'm "out of order" here)!!!

:P LEE.
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John Roberts
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Re: BIAFF 2015 AND BEYOND

Post by John Roberts »

Hi Lee :D

Do feel free to stick your entry in the post (or online), wait for your results by post (or via email) and watch the winning films (hopefully yours included) online after the event, but for me the chance to visit somewhere new, meet old friends and make new ones (even, God forbid, chat to people in person who are otherwise only ever seen in text on this forum), hopefully watch my own films amongst other films lovingly and artistically produced by far better filmmakers than I, all on a big screen, then actually make contact with other artists and socialise, swap tips, chat about the films we have just sat through, talk gear or whatever; it's what it's all about.

We do far too much sitting on office chairs staring at computer screens already, whilst we are editing our films! My most recent sub 5-minute effort involved 275 hours work, but I'll be blowed if I'm going to sit and watch the damned thing again from the same chair behind the same screen in an online competition. After that much work I want to watch it on a 10 foot screen and see (and hear) other filmmakers' reactions to it.

Here is a quote from the brilliant film 'The Prestige' which has always stayed with me: "The audience knows the truth: the world is simple. It's miserable, solid all the way through. But if you could fool them, even for a second, then you can make them wonder, and then you got to see something really special. It was the look on their faces..."

Unfortunately, not everything trending in the 21st Century is a good thing, but I do agree that online submissions should be considered as an additional entry means, and that's a topic that could be talked about on this forum or brought up at the AGM.

Kindest regards - John
Lee Prescott
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Re: BIAFF 2015 AND BEYOND

Post by Lee Prescott »

John Roberts wrote:for me the chance to visit somewhere new, meet old friends and make new ones (even, God forbid, chat to people in person who are otherwise only ever seen in text on this forum), hopefully watch my own films amongst other films lovingly and artistically produced by far better filmmakers than I, all on a big screen, then actually make contact with other artists and socialise, swap tips, chat about the films we have just sat through, talk gear or whatever; it's what it's all about.
:) John...once more a very good response and as usual your posting gives an acceptable and not-with-standing that which I posted, correctness.
Yes, we do spend probably far to much time squinting at computer screens coupled with video editing similarly.

It is also nice to meet people especially any one, one hasn't met before but from where I'm perched I think that I have met most or had contact with many of 'em over the years.....so I will not be attendiing BIAFF as it stands, no matter where it is mounted!

Of course I lose out to an extent because I'd would enjoy meeting and talking with Young Film Makers but there are other "avenues" open for that.

:P Best wishes John and every talent to your hands.
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TimStannard
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Re: BIAFF 2015 AND BEYOND

Post by TimStannard »

Lee Prescott wrote: Why not follow the 21st. Century trend and put the entire thing "On Line"? T
That would be a film competition rather than a festival, wouldn't it?
Tim
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Michael Slowe
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Re: BIAFF 2015 AND BEYOND

Post by Michael Slowe »

For heavens sake Lee, not more 'on line' please. It's bad enough having to shop, re order prescriptions, tax your car etc etc, without having to watch films as well. Films belong in the cinema, with a nice big screen and a live (?) audience. This terrible trend to films on line and viewed on a minute telephone is really depressing.

As to venues for BIAFF there have been intelligent suggestions but it is impossible to fulfil everyone's preferences. The old LAFF in the St Ermins Hotel in Westminster sufficed for many years (do you all remember that? I thought not), but expense and lack of car parking killed that. College campus satisfies the film presentation criteria but is inconvenient and uncomfortable. Someone suggested (was it Willy?) that a hotel could be used for all but the Sunday main shows, for that a cinema or specialist screening location could be used. It is important that these shows are properly presented and that cannot always be the case.

We are a small country (imagine the distances in America, or even France), it is not all that difficult for us Londoners to go to Yorkshire once in a while! I use the M25 constantly and, whilst it can be awful at the wrong times) it is perfectly viable and generally fast, with the computer controlled variable speed limit doing a great job in keeping things moving.

BIAFF is by far the most important event that the IAC mounts, in fact in my opinion it is its raison d'être (I'm sure my French is wrong), and we should do all we can to prolong its existence.
Brian Saberton
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Re: BIAFF 2015 AND BEYOND

Post by Brian Saberton »

I agree with John, and one of the other things I like about BIAFF, apart from everything that John has mentioned, is listening to the audience's reaction to films (my own or XDL) that I've been fortunate enough to have had shown. It doesn't half tell you a lot about how well or otherwise you have achieved your objectives!
Brian Saberton
Lee Prescott
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Re: BIAFF 2015 AND BEYOND

Post by Lee Prescott »

Sorry if I'm "out of order" here)!!! LEE.[/quote]

Yes Gents. I did include the above....and of course you're all quite right in what you all say. Sorry to you Michael, your'e remarks are "on the ball".

Mind you I will not contact DVLA on line, had enough trouble in 2010. Neither do I shop on line except for blank DVD discs etc. or do any of the other things you mention so: I'll admit I wrote what I did with "my tongue in my cheek"!

Keep smiling.

Lee. :)
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