Keighley film fans flock to festival

Travel and tourism student Olivia Sutcliffe preparing the ice creams

Travel and tourism student Olivia Sutcliffe preparing the ice creams

First published in News by

Keighley teenagers shared the honours with international film makers at the town’s second Ratma film festival.

The youngsters also got to stand on the podium at the Picture House cinema to collect the festival’s top award.

They were invited up by director Danny Hardaker after he won the coveted Keighley News People’s Choice award for the short film #eatbrains.

Danny and the youngsters, from Keighley arts group Small World, filmed the zombie movie in the town centre last year.

Danny entered Ratma – which stands for River Aire Ten-Minute Amateur international film festival – along with 200 other film-makers from countries as far afield as Australia, Ecuador, Sweden, Spain and Israel.

As prizes were awarded in all the categories, Danny shared the award roster with directors from countries including Germany and Russia.

As he clutched the trophy, Danny paid tribute to the Small World members who devised and acted in #eatbrains.

He said: “It’s brilliant for the young people to share the screen with such a high class of international films.”

Ratma is run by the Keighley Campus of Leeds City College, with support from several local organisations and sponsorship from businesses.

College tutor Marcus Gregg founded the festival last year as an enterprise exercise for his motor maintenance students, and this year they were joined by the college’s travel and tourism students in hosting the event, which is already growing in stature.

Films in various categories, including sci-fi, drama, music and comedy, were screened to the public at the Keighley Campus during the day.

Prizewinners were announced that evening during a red carpet event at the Picture House, attended by about 70 people.

Mr Gregg said: “The college is keen to reach out to the community of Keighley, and this festival really fits the bill.

“I’m chuffed to bits. The festival has gone brilliantly. We had three or four times as many people as last year watching the films.

“Quite a lot of film-makers came along, including a couple from Berlin. The woman had made a beautiful film – in fact, the quality of all the films was fantastic.

“Ratma is something for the community. We want to get into the psyche of local people.”

Keighley’s deputy mayor, Councillor Judith Brooksbank, who presented the People’s Choice award, said she had “terrific fun” spending the day watching dozens of “marvellous” films.

She added: “I’d love this event to grow. It’s so special – the people who put it on worked really hard.”

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