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5 Film Events to Attend this Summer

If you’re in need of some inspiration over the summer, look no further than our guide. This summer, an array of exciting film events will captivate audiences. We select five film-related events over the coming months. From renowned festivals to mixers and parties, these will all put you in the room – or outdoors – with other like-minded people and get you inspired. Film lovers should get ready for an unforgettable season celebrating the art of cinema.

SAFAR Film Festival | 29 June – 9 July

Run by the Arab British Centre, the SAFAR Film Festival is the largest festival in the UK dedicated to cinema from the Arab world. With screenings in London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Hull, Liverpool, Manchester, Oxford and Plymouth, this year’s festival is an engaging and thought-provoking line-up. Among the films on show is Youssef Chebbi’s Ashkal, an eerie Tunisian drama which was unveiled at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. There’s also The Last Queen, a rousing 16th century Algerian period drama co-directed by director-actress Adila Bendimerad and French-Algerian director Damien Ounouri.

BFI Network Filmmaker Mixer, Sheffield | 27 July

The BFI Network Filmmaker Mixers are informal meet-ups for filmmakers based in the North of England. This July, those in the Sheffield area can pop along to the ground floor café bar at HOME, where you’ll be able to connect with industry peers. At the event, you’ll also find members of the Talent Development Team to answer any questions about funding and support available through Film Hub North. A member of the BFI Doc Society Fund team will also be present to talk about non-fiction filmmaking and offer guidance on Made of Truth: BFI Doc Society Short Film Fund.

Iris Summer Party | 29 July

The Iris Prize is a film and media organisation committed to increasing audiences for LGBTQAI+ stories. At their annual film festival, screened features are chosen from countries including Canada, Italy, Lebanon and Norway. Themes often revolve around coming of age and coming out; family obligations and societal issues in small communities. For those in glorious Cardiff this July, why not book a ticket for the annual summer party? Held at the picturesque St. Catherine’s Hall in Pontcanna, it’s a great way to soak up the sunshine and meet other like-minded folk. Iris members will receive complimentary drinks, so make sure you bring your digital membership to enjoy this benefit.

Edinburgh International Film Festival | 18 August – 23 August

The EIFF is back this August for a scaled-down “special one-year edition”, a six-day long festival curated by new programme director Kate Taylor. It provides a platform for the discovery of new talent and the celebration of diverse storytelling. This 76th edition will come as a huge relief to many following events last year, when the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI), the charity which runs the festival, filed for administration. The 2022 edition was a remarkable line-up, including the British premieres of Charlotte Wells’ Oscar-nominee Aftersun with Paul Mescal and Kogonada’s After Yang with Colin Farrell.

Encounters Short Film Festival | 26 September – 1 October

Launched in 1995, the Encounters Short Film Festival takes place in Bristol. The annual event provides a platform for emerging and established filmmakers from around the world and connects members of the industry with viewers. Encounters celebrates the creativity, diversity, and the impact of the short form moving image. The festival is a springboard for audiences to encounter rising talent and for artists to exchange knowledge, inform, learn and progress within the evolving global ecology. Last year’s winners included Daniel Cook’s The Bayview and Felicia Bergstrom’s Cycle of Violence.

Whether it’s a summer party offering a platform for light-hearted conversations or a grand international event highlighting the works of established directors, these gatherings provide an opportunity for filmmakers, industry professionals and audiences to come together, exchange ideas and appreciate the power of storytelling. Such initiatives not only promote cultural diversity and creative expression but also serve as a launching pad for emerging talent, offering them visibility and recognition in the industry.

Words: James Mottram