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The festival took place at the Chesterfield Hotel, Chesterfield between 21st – 24th April. We had used this venue before for “Movie 2002” but since then the hotel had been completely refurbished. This year we wanted to make it better than ever. The organising sub-Committee had been working towards it for 18 months and now it was here!
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“Meet CEMRIAC Movie Makers” was the first event on Thursday evening. We first staged this in 2002 and it was well received then so it was decided to repeat it this year as an introduction to the Festival. Three film makers took part. Peter Jeffery, - who specialises in humorous mini-dramas, - screened some examples of his “Ju-Peter” productions that have been successful in the Cemriac region. This was followed by Geof. Caudwell’s clever animation in “Watch the Birdie”, - screened twice by request! Finally, David Newman explained how his amazing rock-climbing of “The Carstensz Pyramid” was achieved despite political unrest and the chance of being arrested! There were quite a number of questions and everyone who attended seemed to enjoy it.
Friday afternoon was taken up with the “Chesterfield guided town walk” organised for us by local club: Chesterfield Movie Makers. Fortunately it was a bright sunny day, - just right for walking. As well as seeing the sights, - including the crooked spire of St Mary and All Saints Church, the market etc. there was also a reception with the Mayor at the Town Hall.
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Friday evening, as usual, was the first national event of the Festival: - The Geoffrey Round Audio-Visual Competition Award Winners Show in the Ballroom. Peter Coles and his team screened no less than 16 sequences! The standard was high and, even speaking as a moviemaker, I found it very enjoyable although I disagreed with the winner! What else is new?
Saturday was the day of the mini-Cinemas. Four clubs: Lichfield Movie Makers, Chesterfield Movie Makers, W.A.V.E. at Long Eaton and Wulfrun Camcorder Club had answered the call to host the mini-Cinemas. This is a quite an undertaking when you think about it since each cinema not only had to have the necessary kit for projecting various formats, they also had to have back-up equipment in case anything went wrong. Fortunately this year everything ran like clockwork with no hitches.
The Gala Dinner in the Ballroom on Saturday evening was a highlight of the Festival. ‘Master of Ceremonies’: David Newman FACI, guided us through the evening splendidly. An FACI was presented to Alan Jordan of North West Region. Brian Groves provided accompanying background music during the meal, - very pleasant, - and a short enjoyable quiz-style presentation afterwards.
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Sunday was the main Award Winners’ Show. Compared by John Gibbs FACI, National IAC Chairman. This time I’m glad to say it ran perfectly, with no repeat of the breakdown we had in 2002. We held our regional breath at one point: the speaker: James Roberson of BBC Television only arrived just before the morning coffee break but his presentation still went well. Obviously luck was on our side. During the afternoon session an FACI(M) was presented to David Whitworth of North East Region. The winners were screened and presentations were made and it all worked very well.
And then it was over! Four days had passed by in a flash. I am pleased to report that even those of us who were working behind the scenes enjoyed it and we’ve received many messages of congratulation. Thanks to all those who attended and supported us this year and thanks to all those who contributed and made BIAFF 2005 such a success. Can’t wait for the next one.
- Rob. Day, CEMRIAC Chairman, June 2004
Some of the messages we have received:
“By common consent this was the best run, happiest, busiest festival for years. Technical problems were almost non-existent. The welcome and continued good-will throughout the weekend was exemplary. The dinner speeches and presentations were superb. Losing the contribution of CEMRIAC's vice-chairman for the event must have made things harder for you, as indeed must the occasional absence of the IAC President while she was looking after Alan, but that did not show.
Throughout the weekend you struck a balance between friendliness and formality which showed respect for members while also indicating that we were all there to relax and enjoy our hobby at its best. The programming was superb, especially for the difficult Sunday gala show which has often caused problems in the past.
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I spoke to a few people who were attending their first ever IAC national event. They were having a good time and indicated they would be likely to continue coming to national events. I am certain that all the regulars were impressed and will be looking forward to the next festival and especially to the next time CEMRIAC hosts it.”
“I feel I must congratulate you and the CEMRIAC team for the excellent staging of BIAFF 2005. It cannot have been an easy task to arrange the showing of so many films with such flawless efficiency – well done! This my first attendance at a BIAFF and I shall be singing its praises to my club…”
“Many thanks for your very friendly Film Festival. I will come again.”
“It was lovely to see you again at Chesterfield. I found it a most enjoyable weekend, very well organised. I also felt that the general standard of amateur movies was particularly high.”
"I just had to write to say how much we had both enjoyed BIAFF 2005 at Chesterfield. This was indeed a most successful festival. The whole organisation was so smooth and if there were any hitches, they were never seen by members. Altogether a great weekend and a great stimulus for amateur moviemaking."
“I would just like to mention how much we enjoyed our day at Chesterfield, it was most stimulating and rewarding to have seen such a diversity of excellent films. We found the people very friendly and you could spontaneously strike up a conversation with anyone you were near. In all a worthwhile experience and we wished we could have planned for the Sunday - hopefully next time.”
- Rob Day June 2005