The doors opened and the
crowds poured in. BIAFF was almost as busy as usual,
though several old friends could not attend for
various reasons. The lobby and bar were buzzing, films
discussed, meetings arranged, old friends greeted and
new ones made. Howard Smith and his team were
delighted to have three films on show including for
the first time one in the Sunday show.
The North Thames team coped admirably. A booking
foul-up by the hotel meant some people had to be
housed in another hotel, but shuttle buses and taxis
were arranged free of charge and after initial
misgivings most of those concerned were content with
the deal. Jack and Lorna Gill managed the registration
desk with their customary calm, good-humour.
On Friday night John
Rowell and Marion Waine introduced a selection of
winning A-V sequences from the IAC
Peter Coles International Competition
chose a wide range of styles with plenty to excite the
mainly film-making audience. As the two disciplines
grow closer there are plenty of good ideas to be
absorbed for later use.
|Liam Sanderson of
Wales High School.
(a new IAC fellow.)
Four screening rooms
were on offer, each with a carefully varied programme
to offer something for most tastes. It would have been
even better with more viewers on hand in each.
Projection was provided by North Thames clubs. There
was an annoying noise-bleed between two neighbouring
rooms - a consequence of the flimsy, removable
partition between them. In each cinema a member of IAC
National Council acted as master-of-ceremonies,
introduced the films and presented awards to the film
Each break for tea and coffee signalled a barrage of
conversation as people exchanged views about what they
had seen and planned what to watch next. Often film
makers were surrounded by admirers talking about their
Tony Grant having lived in Belgium for some years and
now back in Scotland enjoyed seeing the range of films
|Tony Grant (from
Belgium to Scotland)
(UNICA Medal winner)
(talking as usual)
congratulating Jim Whalley on
his becoming a Fellow of the IAC.
Saturday Gala Banquet
Often this can be a
"rubber chicken" type of meal, but not in Bedford. It
was very good indeed. To help break the ice at each
table there was a quiz which set everyone talking.
Brenda Granshaw as Chairman of North Thames was our
host. Canon John Howden said an intriguing grace,
which managed to involve: lights, camera and action!
Penny Love was the m-c. Gerald Mee raised a toast to
the IAC. After-dinner IAC Fellowships were bestowed on
Susan Moore, Jim Whalley and Freddy Beard in
recognition of their long-standing service to their
IAC regions. Alan Atkinson presented the UNICA Medal
for outstanding contribution to the IAC to David
In a special moment, Chairman Ivor Rose reported that
as the IAC Administrative Secretary, Pamela Harrison,
would be retiring later in the year, this was a last
public occasion to show our appreciation for her years
of service to the Institute. He presented her with
champagne and she received the longest round of
applause of the night.
Sunday Gala Show
|Brandon Fletcher, Max Marsh
and Neal Russell stars of
A Fistful of Conkers.
|Andy Holt maker of
|The table full of
|Stephanie Hazel received best
from Linda Gough for her role in Groupie.
A buzz of excitement
always accompanies the gala show when the main winners
are screened. David Newman had taken care to organise
a programme which mixed serious and light-hearted
films and included a range of star ratings. (Past
events have sometimes suffered from a surfeit of
heavyweight, serious films one after the other.)
After welcoming everyone, Ivor Rose (Chairman) handed
over to John Howden to present the films, which he did
with clear diction that helped our foreign friends,
good humour and a personal knowledge of many of the
films and their makers. Linda Gough (President)
presented the prizes and showed a knack of making
nervous recipients relax while their photos were
Of course not all the overseas winners could attend in
person, but Alessandro Riconda, whose film Shame
was first on screen
appeared in a 30-second greeting video. (Like many
others he has written about the making of his film - see
Inevitably the winners in the youth sections brought
most life and excitement to the day.
Williamson, Dominic Aitken, Natalie Wilmot and
the forces behind Still Falling.
young actor from
Jill Lampert having been on the final jury for the
first time enjoyed asking delegates what their
favourite film was and learning that every diamond
winner and several others all had their champions.
At the end of a wonderful programme of powerful films
it was revealed that the Best British Entry was A
Fistful of Conkers
by the Wales High
School Film and Animation Club and the Daily Mail
Challenge Trophy for best overall film went to Fabian
Grodde of Germany for his stunning animation Crossover
which you can watch here