While living in Belfast, I spent a lot of my time trying to meet as many local film-makers, artists, actors and creatives as I could. It was always a top priority of mine to build a strong list of contacts working in the professional industry and working on an indie level.
This isn't always an easy thing to do when you're completely new to the scene and know next to no-one. So I found it necessary to visit as many film festivals, screenings and events Belfast had to offer. But there was one in particular that stands out above the rest and has really played a massive role in developing my skills as a film-maker, meeting important contacts and gaining priceless friendships.
The Film Devour Short Film Festival.
In 2010 (when I was aged 16), I remember hearing through the grapevine about this brand new festival having its first ever event in a small arts center in the city. I thought this would be a great chance for me to showcase a short film I had made a few months previously named "Five Dreaded Stages." I emailed the organizer and festival Director, Brian Mulholland and was flattered by his response to my entry.
|Brian Mulholland (right) & Claire Caswell (left)|
The night came shortly after. A small room with no more than 30 people. The majority of short films were student-made and on shoe string budgets or none at all. As far as I remember, not many were that visually impressive (before the rise of the DIY film-makers delight; DSLR's) but they still presented glimmers of developing talent.
Mind you, mine was no better. But its been absolutely amazing to watch the festival mature and along with it, its content.
The second festival was organized only a matter of months later and a new, bigger venue was booked to accommodate the rapidly growing interest the event attracted through social media. It was great to see a more suiting venue and with it a far bigger crowd this time around.
Five festivals later and Devour celebrates its 8th installment in August 2012. I'm very glad that I can say I attended every one of them (and also had a film screen at every one). For the festivals regulars, who always had something new to show, it was easy to see the progression in quality and story each time they submitted.
I have the utmost respect and gratitude for what Brian and the rest of the Film Devour crew are doing for the film community in Northern Ireland. And I believe they deserve to be recognized!
I highly recommend the festival to all movie-lovers and makers. Help support local talent!
I know my films could not have progressed as they have without it. So thank you!
Until next time, thanks for reading.
|Myself and some of the regulars|
|The amazing Film Devour team|