HOLMFIRTH could well have become England’s answer to Hollywood.
A vibrant film-making industry sprung up there, but was interrupted by the First World War and then the focus switched to making postcards.
But that tradition has been revived in fine style by the annual Holmfirth Film Festival that continues to thrive in these days of the internet, multiplex cinemas and masses of instant entertainment gadgets.
It was founded in 2010 under the leadership of author, researcher and Huddersfield University lecturer Stephen Dorril along with enthusiastic support from a committee, volunteers and the wider community.
The festival was nominated by Clem Bacon, who said: “The film festival would not have happened without Stephen’s drive, enthusiasm, sheer hard work and dedication. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of film which he puts to use producing an outstanding programme of the highest quality.
“The community really benefits from this festival and people are drawn from a wide area of Yorkshire and beyond.’’
Clem added: “The festival is establishing itself as a benchmark for community film festivals in the country and is run completely by dedicated volunteers. Ticket prices are kept to a minimum to ensure the festival is accessible to all with additional financial support coming from sponsorship within the community.
“The festival has over 40 events covering a broad range of interests and tastes. There are film events and film-making competitions for young people, workshops, talks and discussions, international films and local short films.’’
Stephen said: “We have moved up a step this year with 40 feature films in all and four events on each night in different venues across the Holme Valley. To put it into context, we started with about a dozen films but both the festival and its audience have both grown to make it such a success.
“While doing this I’ve become amazed as to how many people now living in Huddersfield and the Holme Valley have links to making feature films and Hollywood.
“We aim to bring to the valley the best of the year’s films both here and abroad – award-winning movies, the great films from last year that escaped attention, the lost gems of British cinema and those that we believe you have got to see.’’