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This year we celebrated the 10th birthday of our annual film festival with an action packed programme of 103 events over 9 days with a total festival attendance of 4450.

One of the main aims of the festival is to celebrate Shetland filmmakers. We were able to screen 19 new short films (under 4 minutes), 19 ‘Best of Home Made’ shorts from the past ten years, a full length film of the Shetland opera Hirda, a feature length documentary and 6 films between 7 and 20 minutes long, all made by Shetlanders.

We were also delighted to showcase work by Scottish filmmakers, including screening Moon Dogs, a Scottish ‘road movie’ that had made a big impact at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June. The producer and the screenwriters were in attendance to undertake a Q and A session after the screening. We also hosted the debut screening of The Badger, a 20-minute short film made by Madeira Films who are based in Edinburgh.

Another aim of the festival is to provide Shetland audiences with access to high calibre cinema professionals. As well as co-curators Mark Kermode and Linda Ruth Williams, this year’s guests included producers Iain Softley, Kathy Speirs and Marie-Clemence Paes, directors Kim Longinotto, Ken Wardrop (via Skype), Sarah Curtis, Amma Asante (right) and Cesar Paes, and writers Derek Boyle and Raymond Friel in Q and A sessions. We also hosted the incredibly talented Richard Hawley, who participated in a Q and A with Kim Longinotto before performing in the auditorium.

There were six free education screenings in Mareel, with a variety of films from across the world. 314 young people between the ages of 6 and 16 attended from all over Shetland. We were also able to provide outreach in schools, care homes and halls, which included a screening of Nine Lives with Steven Howarth in Scalloway, and the premiere of Follow the Fleet in Baltasound.

Surveymonkey comments:

  • “A thoroughly enjoyable week of great films. With difficult subjects handled beautifully. A real eye opener on what great cinema should be like rather than prescribed box office hits.”
  • “A brilliant smaller-scale festival, with a great variety of films and events and a wonderful atmosphere.”
  • “I think the team responsible for curating the festival did an excellent job & all staff at Mareel work very hard to make it a hugely pleasurable & enjoyable experience.”
  • “Thanks to the festival team and volunteers for all your hard work. It is a festival that grows and grows and one of the nicest events in the Shetland calender. I love the fact that local filmmaking is growing and that the festival caters for it, inspires it and then showcases it. There's a lot of creativity up here and it's great to see film following music and crafts in how people demonstrate that. The mix of guests is always great and I look forward to hearing plans for next year.”
  • “Just bring it on for next year! And huge thanks to all of you who got this off the ground and made it such a success.”

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