Lights, camera, action… Staffordshire Day hits the big screen

Grab your popcorn and see Staffordshire become a screen star this May when it turns the movie spotlight on itself with the first-ever film competition as part of a virtual celebration of the ‘creative county’.

Film-makers from Staffordshire and beyond are being encouraged to send in their short movies for what is set to be the star attraction of the sixth annual Staffordshire Day, 1 May 2021.

Normally it offers a host of events, competitions and activities right across the county, but as in 2020, this year’s annual promotion will be online-only, taking place on social media and the Enjoy Staffordshire website.

But despite going virtual, organisers Enjoy Staffordshire, with the help of Staffordshire County Council and other local authority partners, still aim to make the most of the county’s special day.

As well as featuring an online artisan market, a packed line-up of demonstrations, workshops, talks, plus arts & crafts activities, new for 2021 is the Staffordshire Day Film Competition.

Any movie which promotes the county can be submitted, as long as it was made within the last five years, and is no longer than 30 minutes. New projects can be submitted too, but makers must adhere to all Covid safety guidelines on mask-wearing, social distancing and remaining within their local area to film.

There are six categories: Drama/Comedy, Documentary, Animation/Experimental, Business in the Community, Mini-Movie and Young Film-Maker.

Entries will be judged by festival director Philip Kempson, the Staffordshire Film Archive’s Ray Johnson MBE, and film-maker Darren Teale MBE, with the overall winner scooping a £500 cheque from sponsors, Staffordshire Film Archive.

And all the winning entries will be screened at the virtual awards ceremony on Staffordshire Day, Saturday 1st May 2021.

Ray Johnson MBE said: “Staffordshire is a great county. Its reputation as a hub of creativity needs celebrating. For film makers it has every kind of townscape, village and countryside needed to make modern or period movies and videos.

“So, what better way to celebrate Staffordshire Day than a festival of films making the most of our great film locations or featuring aspects of the county and its culture, customs and history?”

The competition is open to professional and amateur film-makers, and the deadline for submissions is Saturday 3 April 2021.

Staffordshire Day itself began in 2016, marking 1,000 years since the county was first mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and became an annual event to celebrate Staffordshire’s rich heritage and culture, as well as stunning places to visit.

The date, decided by a public vote in 2015, also marks the anniversary of Josiah Wedgwood setting up his world-famous Staffordshire pottery company in 1759.

Full details about the film competition are available at https://filmfreeway.com/STAFFORDSHIREDAYFILMFESTIVAL

More information on this year’s Staffordshire Day can be found at www.enjoystaffordshire.com/staffsday