Film Fest International is heading to Broadstairs with 100 movies on offer to view for free.
The film festival group was founded in 2005 by Thanet-based entrepreneur Carl Tooney and events take place in cities around the world, including London, Nice, Madrid, Antwerp, Milan, and now Broadstairs!
Film Fest International started with a single festival, in Tenerife, with a vision to offer a platform to independent filmmakers. It was a radical idea to start an international film event in another country, but the event did so well that the ‘one-off’ was taken further afield.
In 2007 the International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema was born in Margate. This was a ‘travelling festival’, hosted across the South East between 2007 and 2010, alongside the ones in Tenerife.
From 2011 the festival moved to London, to simplify travel for international participants. Over the course of the next decade FFI introduced festivals in Madrid, Nice, Milan, Berlin, and Amsterdam, as well as WICA – The World Independent Cinema Awards. The ‘best of the best’ showcase features nominees chosen from all events from the preceding 12 months.
The 13th London Filmmaker Festival in February 2020 was the last festival before the UK lockdown. The first Antwerp Festival was due to begin in late 2020, but this was thwarted by the pandemic. Film Fest International considered postponing everything for a year but instead chose to persevere and hosted the events virtually. In 2021 submissions were opened for new events in Edinburgh, Paris, Barcelona, Los Angeles and Vancouver.
With many barriers to international travel still in place, the team made the decision to bring together the 2021 Antwerp, Milan and WICA festivals into a special conglomeration hosted in the new destination of Broadstairs.
Taking place at 25 High Street (the old Tesco building), entry to the screenings will be free. From Tuesday, November 9 to Thursday, November 11, from 10am to 8pm every day, visitors will be able to book a timeslot to attend a choice of three screens.
Schedules will be made available nearer the time.
To reduce impact on neighbouring businesses, and improve audio quality for attendees, the event will make use of ‘silent disco’ technology, providing every attendee with wireless headphones.
The screenings will be followed by Q&A sessions with some of the filmmakers. The awards ceremony on Friday, November 12 is only open to participants, though everyone is welcome to the daily networking sessions, taking place every night of the festival in the Prince Albert pub from 8pm.
To book your free time slots, please visit www.broadstairsinternationalfilmfestival.com. It may be possible, as long as screenings aren’t fully booked, to attend as a ‘walk in’, but booking will guarantee you a seat.
For more information about the Festival, or if you’re interested in volunteering as a steward, please email firstname.lastname@example.org