Romford Film Festivals team have just returned from Tashkent, Uzbekistan where it led the first ever UK film delegation to the country, for the Tashkent film festival. Headed up by Spencer Hawken (Romford Film Festival) and Marat Akhmedjanov (ECG Film Festival) they took Peter Blunden a judge from both festivals and Oliver Guy Watkins creator of this year’s best documentary Who Is James Payton? Who also was able to screen his movie as part of the festival and hold a Q&A session.
Forming what will be a continual alliance, each year the festival will bring movies from Central Asia to Romford, whilst introducing filmmakers with similar sensibilities to Uzbeks, to the countries film industry, organizing trips and meetings with the most influential people in Uzbekistan.
A former soviet state Uzbekistan is a massively evolving country, spending billions making the country appealing to tourists with its 20-hour economy, lavish hotels and fast-moving retail and leisure scene. With considerable investment in making the country as green as possible, with huge solar farms the size of small towns, Uzbekistan has its eyes on the prize to become the new Dubai and its leaders think that significant investment in the film industry will help this.
“Through creating a lasting bond with Uzbekistan as a result with our collaboration with the ECG Film Festival, we’ll be able to take filmmakers to the country, to teach new skills and styles, make film and then bring these dual projects into the world.” Says festival director Spencer Hawken
“This is a very forward thinking, beautiful country that is thirsty to make its mark through the medium of cinema.”
During the UK Delegations stay, they were invited to the opening of Uzbek Film a venue that will train the next generation of film makers and the Palace Of Cinema which boats one of the largest auditoriums in the world. They also visited satellite film schools and attended a major closing event which was beamed live to the nation via ZOR TV. The team also saw a number of premieres which it hopes to bring to the Romford next May.
“For the last three years the Eurasian Creative Guild (ECG) has worked hard to promote Eurasian films in the UK, with the help of the Romford Film Festival” said Marat Akhmedjanov ECG Festival Director. “Our recent trip will really help to cement these relationships, showing a committed approach to helping each other’s movie industry!”
Each year the festivals judges will not just be looking at the usual judging criteria, they’ll be looking for filmmakers to champion in foreign shores.
During the Tashkent Film Festival the UK team appeared dozens of times on Uzbekistan and world television networks and met with cinema legends Luc Besson, Rob Minkoff, Gerard Depardieu, Steven Seagal, Franco Nero, Timur Bekmambetov and Bob Van Ronkel all of whom committed to working with the countries film industry.
Romford Film Festival returns in May and invites film makers from all over the world to submit their film to show through: https://filmfreeway.com/RomfordFilmFestival.
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