FEATURE: Sunderland Shorts Film Festival | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Sunderland Shorts Film Festival is back for its eighth year this October, showcasing a variety of local, national and global talent across the city.

Between Monday 16th-Sunday 22nd October, screenings will be held at a number of locations across Sunderland. With over 160 films set to premiere, there’s a wide range of genres and styles to suit everyone.

For those who’d like to get into the nitty gritty of filmmaking, there are opportunities to attend panel discussions with BFI Film Hub North and filmmaker Q&As after some screenings. Industry masterclasses and networking events are ideal for those wanting to take their first steps into the industry and meet likeminded peers.

With over 160 films set to premiere, there’s a wide range of genres and styles to suit everyone

The opening Social Cinema Screening (Monday 16th, Holy Trinity Church) features shorts from Yorkshire and North East Film Archives which explore social and political issues, from gender equality to climate justice; the Music Video Night and gig from the Young Musicians Project combines music videos from a wide variety of artists including Sparks, Liam Fender, Wolfred and The Union Choir, plus there’s live music from artists taking part in Sunderland’s Young Musicians Project (Wednesday 18th at Pop Recs Ltd.); the Comedy Showcase and Stand-Up Night features live stand-up sets alongside screenings of comedy shorts, with each of the films shown followed by a filmmaker Q&A, giving insight into the creative process behind them. Felt Nowt provide the live hilarity, with stand-up sets from Lee Kyle, Neil Harris, Kelly Edgar and Jack and Sam (Thursday 19th at Diego’s Joint); Sunderland Shorts x Film Hub North present a Northern Exposure screening in which a group of young and emerging filmmakers have curated a selection of short films from Northern artists (Friday 20th at Arts Centre Washington); DIY Filmmaking Challenge is a new project from Film Hub North as part of the BFI Film Academy, offering 16-25 year olds a chance to practice their filmmaking skills and create original short films in response to the theme of Challenge is the Environment (Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, Saturday 21st); and finally, a special screening will shine a spotlight on homegrown filmmakers, championing local talent and gaining an insight into their creative process with post-screening Q&As, followed by the 2023 Awards (Sir Tom Cowie Lecture Theatre, Sunday 22nd). The closing day of the festival will also see a networking event take place at the City Hall.

In addition, there are showcase screenings of short films which cover a vast array of genres across the weekend, with arty and experimental films and horror flicks at Arts Centre Washington on Friday 20th; animation shorts, documentaries, sci-fi and fantasy and drama at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens on Saturday 21st; and more documentaries and drama showcases at Sir Tom Cowie Lecture Theatre on Sunday 22nd.

There are a variety of ticket passes available, and the full listings and tickets for screenings can be found on the Sunderland Shorts website.

Sunderland Shorts Film Festival takes place at venues across Sunderland from Monday 16th-Sunday 22nd October.

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