“gobsmacked!” Whitley Bay Film Festival, Lands Best Event In Tyneside, Award.


Here at TNL, we’ve been big fans of the teeny, tiny, little annual Whitley Bay Film Festival, since it first raised its head in 2010 and have extolled the virtues of some of its many splendid moments over the past years. People still talk about Jaws on the Beach, as well as the jungle themed King Kong at the Dome, Dawn of The Dead, zombie-fest at the Shopping Centre, the haunting sights and sounds of a grand piano on the beach at sunset and… last year’s surprise visit by The Likely Lad himself, Mr Ian La Frenais, jetting in from LA, (as you do), for a pint in The Avalon and a chinwag with Chris Phipps at The Playhouse.

We knew it was good, we told you it was great fun and last night, it seems a big chunk of the North East have also agreed.  Because last night, in the lofty vaults of Durham Cathedral , the film festival that brings unique cinema experiences to the town without a cinema, only went and won Best Event in Tyneside 2012, as judged by The Journal Culture Awards.  What makes this an especially sweet victory, is the fact that it is put on by local volunteers and receives little to no funding.

And yet…for a week or so they  dress up and light up the town and still manage year on year, a rich programme of themed movie experiences in pop up cinemas,  showcasing everything from Hollywood blockbusters, B-Movie classics, local and community filmmakers, and even squeeze in live music events and a splash of avante garde artsy video, for those who like that sort of thing.

Well done guys from The Northern line.

Other winners in the region were the visually stunning tenty arts piece “Peace Camp” (Best Event, Northumberland), Legion, Kelly (Mariner 9) Richardson, (Best Event, Sunderland), Sign in Space, by John Kefala Kerr and The Forge for BRASS (Best Event, Durham) and Africa Express (Best Event, Teesside)

On site entertainment was provided by  Ray Laidlaw and Billy Mitchell offering a glimpse of the Lindisfarne Story and The Unthanks… doing some bits from their Songs From The Shipyards, to a moving shipbuilding movie montage (an audible intake of breath was heard when The Milk Snatcher, appeared on screen… nuff said.)

There was some chair arranging dance shenanigans from the “Bad Taste Cru”… yep… that’s how they spell it. (Bah)  and the Futureheads closed the show with a bit of an a cappella sing along.

Other winners, in the 3 hour award-a-thon included:

Jason Cook (Writer of the Year)

Ballet Lorent (Performance of the Year)

Hannabiell Sanders (Performing Artist of the Year)

Mariam Rezaei (Newcomer of the Year)

Richard Rigg (Visual Artist of the Year)

Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle (Renaissance Museums Award)

David Whetstone (Special Contribution to North East Arts and Culture)

The Unthanks and Richard Fenwick (Arts Council Award)

Northumbria University and New Writing North (Best of Arts and Business Partnership)

By Dave on April 23, 2013

Check out all the pics

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