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Shetland Arts is delighted to announce the launch of the Hansel of Film website ‘A Hansel of Film – Shetland to Southampton and Back’ is a relay of screenings of short films made by the public from across the UK’s nations and regions. It is part of the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration from 21 June and running until 9 September 2012 bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK. The website gives members of the public a chance to get involved by submitting a film, volunteering to transport the films between venues, and/or attending an event.

The relay will begin in Shetland on 10th June alongside the arrival of the Olympic Torch Relay in the isles as it reaches its UK most northerly point. The films will be relayed between participating venues by ‘runners’; that is, creative and energetic individuals who will employ whatever means of transport they can devise to get the right films to the right venue on time. This will culminate in a marathon screening of over 100 short films at Shetland's annual film festival, Screenplay 2012, between 4th and 9th September.

The project will take films made by Shetlanders and others to twenty one venues around the country and will form a celebration of ‘home made’ short films similar to that which takes place annually at Screenplay.

Photograph: Billy Fox

Acclaimed film critic Mark Kermode and film historian Linda Ruth Williams, who are the curators of Screenplay, will be very active in promoting the project across the country, although they will not be able to attend all the events. They will be greeting the ‘runner’ at The Harbour Lights Cinema in Southampton at the project’s half-way point, and will visit some of the other participating venues in between.

Mark and Linda said: “We are delighted to be launching this exciting, nationally inclusive film relay, which will encompass many of the nations and regions of the UK and will spread the spirit of the London 2012 Festival from Shetland to Southampton and back again. We are looking forward to involving filmmakers, cinemas and arts venues who are as enthusiastic as we are about taking movies on the road to celebrate the summer of London’s hosting of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

The Hansel of Film website allows members of the public to submit films and get the chance to have them shown on the big screen. Hansel of Film welcomes submissions from people of all ages and walks of life. They can be about any subject, provided they are no longer than five minutes, and that they are suitable for general viewing. There is no theme, so users are invited to use their creative freedom - drama, documentary, comedy, animation, music videos, mysteries and histories – all are welcome!

Members of the public can also get involved by signing up to be a ‘runner’ on the website. The ‘runners’ are individuals who carry films from venue to venue in whatever imaginative ways they can devise. They can sign up as a representative of a team or just as an individual and Shetland Arts will help to meet any accommodation or expenses along the way.

Shetland Arts’ Hansel Project Manager, Kathy Hubbard said: “Hansel of Film is truly a coast-to-coast project and we are looking forward to the many new friends and relationships that will be made as we visit over twenty venues and communities. This is about celebrating the creativity of the public at large, and about bringing people together to enjoy films on screens large and small around the British Isles.”

Tickets for the events are free and can also be booked via the Hansel of Film website.

Shetland Arts would like to thank principle funders of the Hansel of Film project, the London 2012 Festival and Creative Scotland, for their support.

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