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Sunderland is ready for its close up

Sunderland is ready for its close up

Sunderland is getting red-carpet-ready as the city reels in the talent for a film-screening spectacular ahead of this year’s short film festival.

The cream of the crop from last year’s Sunderland Shorts Film Festival are being shown across the city in special taster screenings to get the region excited about the four-day festival this summer, which will run from 30 June to 3 July.

Taster screenings range from hour-long evening screenings – suitable for anyone 16 and over – to family screenings, which last for 30 minutes to avoid young ones becoming restless and where the films have been specially selected to be suitable for younger viewers, ensuring there’s something for everyone on the run-up to the festival.

The first event will take place at PopRecs in the city centre on Friday, 18 March from 7pm. With refreshments and cakes available on the evening, organisers are also offering viewers the chance to win a ticket to one of the hotly-anticipated festival days to see this year’s films by competing in their Famous Lines from the Movies quiz.

Anne Tye, festival director, said: “Our first festival last year was a great success – we were really encouraged by the fantastic turn out to the four-day event, and by the amazing talent we saw in the submissions, so we’re upping our offer this year because we want to make sure no one misses out on the brilliant films we have to showcase.

“A lot of people don’t realise how great short films are – they come in all shapes and sizes, from an epic tale of romance told in twenty minutes, to short animations that can be real tear-jerkers. We hope people across the region join us at the taster screenings and take the chance to discover the fantastic entertainment short films can offer.”

The films being shown at the free screenings cover genres from romance and comedy to adventure and sci-fi, ranging from two minutes to 20 minutes in length.

Sunderland Shorts Film Festival is organised by Sunderland City Council, sponsored by See It Do It Sunderland, and is supported by MAC Trust and Bureau Design. The festival was created in collaboration with the prestigious DC Shorts Film Festival in Washington DC, to further develop cultural links between the two cities.

Paul Callaghan, of the MAC Trust, said: “It’s fantastic that as a city we can host events like these that really celebrate talent. Through Sunderland Shorts we’re able to offer the region a look at the budding Spielbergs, Tarantinos and Hitchcocks of our time, with submissions from across the North East and throughout the world. 

“Being able to expand the offer of Sunderland Shorts this year is great news for the city, as it continues to position itself as the heart of the cultural scene in the North East, celebrating local talent and bringing in talent from overseas.”

A timetable of future screenings can be found at Sunderland Shorts, with screenings taking place in venues including Canny Space, City Library, Back on The Map and Pallion Action Group, with more dates and venues to be confirmed.

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