The first Pompeywood Film Festival is due to take place at the Groundlings Theater on the weekend of Saturday and Sunday October 22 and 23.
It’s the brainchild of acclaimed filmmaker and local festival director, Sam Mason Bell, and is curated by TrashArts Productions in partnership with HB Films.
Sam said: ‘TrashArts is primarily known for making horror films, as well as other artistic pursuits including open mic nights at local community venues, so we wanted to create a film festival around that. specific genre, but which was also open to entries for other film genres.
“I’ve been lucky enough to meet a lot of great independent filmmakers when I’ve been to other festivals around the country, so I wanted to create something that would be about showcasing those kinds of movies and getting people to come in Portsmouth so they can see what a great city it is. It should also be a great networking event.
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The festival will showcase a number of feature films throughout the weekend, including the work of cult Portsmouth-based filmmaker Michael J Murphy, who died in 2015. Murphy’s work is set to be celebrated in a big box set retrospective, but Pompeywood will have a rare screening of its 1982 horror Invitation to hell.
Sam added: “His films were made at a time when making films by small independent filmmakers without funding was considerably more difficult than it is now, so we want to use the festival to showcase his work. as well as the great films made today”.
Other screenings include Beyond the Fury directed by Darren Ward, devil mask by Richard Roundtree In the dark by Sam Mason Bell and India Kim, and Powertool Cheerleaders vs The Boyband of the Screeching Dead by Pat Higgins.
In the dark, Sam’s own film, with co-director India Kim, is an anthology documentary about other filmmakers. “Given the idea behind the festival, it seemed appropriate to show this rather than one of my narrative films,” added Sam.
Along with the screenings, there will also be a short film competition in the horror, non-horror, and trailer categories.
Festival administrator Martin W Payne said: “The philosophy of the Pompeywood Film Festival is to encourage as many filmmakers as possible to submit their short films for screening. Entry fees have therefore been kept at a very low level and ticket prices for screening sessions will also be kept as low as possible.
“We aim to encourage filmmakers from the UK and around the world to submit their work, but we pay particular attention to local Hampshire films.”
The winners will be announced on Sunday evening, with awards for best performance, best film, best sound and best makeup, among others. One of the last prizes to be decided will be the Audience Award for Best Film.
Tickets cost from £5 for a session, £8 a day or £15 for the whole weekend, and are available by calling (023) 9273 7370 or from groundlings.ticketsolve.com.