New Forest profits by being in the frame for international film makers

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The New Forest Film Festival 2019 was launched last year at the New Forest Show

THE New Forest economy was boosted by more than £500,000 from films and programmes being shot in the area during 2018, according to the district council.

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Notable titles spending locally on accommodation, services and crew included The Undateables for Channel 4, Unforgotten for ITV, Britain by Boat for Channel 5, and Back to the Land for the BBC.

The activity has been attracted with the help of NFDC’s Film:New Forest office which since 2016 has worked with Creative England to promote the district as a location for TV and cinema productions.

Last year it received more than 100 requests for shoots, including student films, music videos, prime time dramas, documentaries and adverts.

The results were supported in February by the launch of the www.filmnewforest.com website with a promotional video featuring film critic Mark Kermode, who lives in the New Forest.

An NFDC spokesperson said the partnership with Creative England was going from “strength to strength”.

She added: “The team are now busy planning a film festival for June 2019, which includes a short film competition, screenings of locally connected films across the district and film themed events.”

The nine-day festival from 8th-16th June will include events, screenings, and a competition to find the best talent from around the world, with filmmakers from the area’s colleges and universities particularly encouraged to have a go for about £12 an entry.

Categories divided into international or student levels will comprise narrative, horror, comedy, animation, documentary, sci-fi and music. There will also be special awards for the Audience Favourite and Best Zero-Budget Short.

Last year’s New Forest film highlights included the cinematic release in May of Solo: A Star Wars Story, which used the old Fawley power station as a backdrop for some scenes set in Corellia.

In September Film:NewForest was highly commended by the Federation of Small Business in its award category of Most Innovative Small Business Friendly Programme, Campaign or Project.

And in December the team attended the Focus international production show in London to showcase the area and connect with industry professionals.

New Forest property owners, crew and service providers can add their details to a local filming database, which has more than 100 entries, at www.filmnewforest.com/filming-locations/register-property-film-location/.

To find out more about the New Forest Film Festival visit www.newforestfilmfestival.com.

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