The first ever Falkirk Indie House Film Festival was a great success last month.
Fittingly it took place at Coffee on Wooer – a cafe in Wooer Street in the town centre which has quickly become a haven to the local arts community in Falkirk, hosting regular music nights and giving a platform for local writers to read their latest works on the first Saturday of every month.
The enthusiasm of organisers was infectious and shared by the audience
The two organisers of the festival, Matthew Christie and Connall Bonner, are both 18-year-old ex-Graeme High students who are passionate about films.
“Filmmakers are isolated,” said Matthew.
“That is why we wanted to put a film festival together that is community based, to give them an opportunity for their films to get seen.”
The two friends advertised their idea on Facebook and Twitter and a couple of months on from their initial idea they realised their vision.
Connal said: “We just said, why can’t we do it? Why not?
“Before long we had eight films to show – two were even made by first time filmmakers and shot specifically for the festival.”
The confidence and enthusiasm of the two organisers was infectious, and it was shared with their young audience.
Both the filmmakers and viewers were mostly under 25 and the teenage film fans I spoke to had all heard of the festival through social media and word of mouth.
The short films them-selves did not disappoint.
Most were written and directed by local film makers and the eclectic mix was in evidence from the first film, a moody black and white crime short, The Secret Room by Joe Moore.
This was followed by Lucky Break, a morality tale set at Castlehead High in Glasgow and starring a range of Scottish actors including Claire Grogan and Sanjeev Singh Kohli.
The third film was a music video shot at Wooer for the hauntingly beautiful Fix Me by local teenage musicians Carmen and Niamh.
Humour was supplied by four very different, but effective, comedic shorts which included Zane Campbell’s teleporting Remotes and Kris and David’s hysterical sketch show.
The final film Nine Iron, by Nathan Shepka, was a violent revenge tale which provided a fitting loop back to the first film of the night.
The local talent on display was impressive and Connall and Matthew ably demonstrated how talented, social media savvy young filmmakers can quickly establish a network of like- minded enthusiasts.
This Indie House Film Festival was hopefully the first of many more.
It was yet another success for Falkirk’s rapidly expanding, vibrant art scene.