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Kendal Mountain Festival organisers create London film weekend
1:39pm Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in News
ORGANISERS of the Kendal Mountain Film Festival are set to enhance the Lake District’s reputation ‘as a major adventure and cultural destination’.
They have been asked to create a special mountain film weekend by the British Film Institute (BFI) based at Southbank in London.
Kendal Mountain Festival is now established as the world's top event of its type – it usually attracts more than 150 films into its international competition.
From this it will shortlist and screen 60 films and then award 11 prizes. Winning at Kendal is seen as a major achievement for any adventure film-maker.
The festival has worked with the BFI in the past by screening and promoting historic mountaineering films. But taking modern mountain film to the BFI Southbank is ‘a new and important step’.
In 2012 the Kendal festival attracted an audience of more than 10,000 from all over the UK and abroad. Festival goers could see more than 60 films, take in 45 ‘live’ events and were able to mingle with the world's leading adventurers and action film-makers.
Its achievements were recognised by Cumbria Tourism, which awarded the event its Tourism Event of the Year accolade.
The London event will be known as Kendal Mountain Festival @ BFI Southbank, and will take place in late November.
Robin Ashcroft, the festival's development director, said: “This is a significant achievement for Kendal. Taking mountain film to the heart of the UK's film culture is very exciting for us. It means we are now starting to be recognised by the mainstream – which is tremendous for a festival from a small market town.”
The weekend at Southbank, which is the world’s largest arts and cultural centre, will feature four screenings focusing on different aspects of adventure film-making. There will also be a film and panel session with three leading figures in the genre — Leo Dickinson, Paul Diffley and Alastair Lee.
Mr Ashcroft said there would be similarities with the Kendal festival but the Southbank event would focus more on film-making.
“We feel the audience who attend the BFI will be more interested in film, although there will be a lot of people interested in the outdoors.”
On top of this, the festival's Best of Kendal Film Tour took mountain film to audiences across Europe and to New Zealand, China, Australia and America.
“We know through the economic assessments we run that the 2012 festival generated about £2 million for the local economy over the festival weekend and we're on line to do the same for 2013,” said Mr Ashcroft.
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