A Summer of Firsts
The first ever First Light Festival was Suffolk Shorts’ first chance to put together a short film programme for an audience. The festival was mind-blowing and the added bonus of being part of another festival was being able to enjoy the whole event between screenings; swimming in the sea and watching the incredible talent that the First Light team had brought to Lowestoft to perform. The festival runs for 24 hours on the summer solstice weekend and the weather could not have been better for a massive party on the beach.
It all kicked off at noon with a parade (which Suffolk Shorts missed being busy blacking out the sun which was streaming in through the cracks in the drapes). The first screening – Family Friendly Festival Films had a small audience of children with their parents because…beach! Sun! By the time the East Anglian Stories programme was ready to screen word had spread and there was a queue waiting to get in. There was a quick scramble to find extra seats and there was just about standing room at the back.
Suffolk Shorts is particularly proud of the East Anglian programme because it’s our ultimate aim to support filmmaking in the region, Suffolk in particular.
Suffolk Shorts is particularly proud of the East Anglian programme because it’s our ultimate aim to support filmmaking in the region, Suffolk in particular. Our headline film of First Light Festival was Sylvia, an award winning drama directed by Richard Prendergast, that had really blown everyone away, and we were so happy to be able to screen it here. It’s based on a true story and shot not far from Lowestoft.
The Tides & Times Programme
The Tides and Times programme reflected the themes of the festival and included a 20 minute documentary about a tidal pool in Margate – Taking the Waters, by Kathryn Ferguson and Anna Hart which was universally liked and we had some great feedback from a group of swimmers, who now plan to make a pilgrimage there. As well as documentary, this screening had animation and drama, including The Old Woman and The Sea, a first film for Esmé Hicks.
In between programmes some of the team managed to savour the delights of the food trucks on the prom and briefly join the revellers at the main stage for Giles Peterson, but Suffolk Shortstech wizard Jim was working behind the scenes for that too.
At 2am the Pakefield man was set alight as archers fired flaming arrows at his heart, and there he stood at dawn, as Lowestoft claimed First Light and he claimed his land.
Throughout the 24 hour non-stop event the vibe was incredible and the festival goers all seemed so happy to be part of this first. So was Suffolk Shorts. But now we should probably get some sleep…