Review: Plymouth Short Film Festival…the first of many!

Plymouth Short Film Festival Prizegiving

Plymouthian film maker Andy Oxley accepting the Audience Choice Award for Born To Be Mild from festival founders Ben Hancock and Will Jenkins.

Plymouth has a rich history when it comes to film making but has previously been lacking in festivals, with most being held further afield in the South West. As an advocate and fan of independent film making who has grown up largely missing out on the joys of Film Festivals, I can safely say that Plymouth Film Festival has more than filled the void!

A beautiful day in Plymouth: twenty degrees outside and mere minutes from the waterfront Plymouth Arts Centre was buzzing with film makers and enthusiasts alike as the inaugural Film Festival was about to commence. The first screening was the Best of the South West nominees of which there were seven, ranging from the sweet and jovial ‘Born To Be Mild’ by Plymouth Director Andy Oxley to the deeply moving ‘Keepsake’ by Andy Robinson and even including an incredibly unique horror film ‘The Nicest Daughter’ by Damon Foster.

The second screening was the Documentary Film nominees in which ‘Born To Be Mild’ made a second appearance alongside ‘Time On The Hill’ by Ryan Dean; a visceral and eye-opening film about deer stalking in the Scottish Highlands.

Thirdly there was the Student Film nominees screening which was, in my opinion, the most diverse category. The films ranged from Animation to Horror, touching on Thriller, Fantasy and Comedy in between. The most memorable, for me, was ‘Timothy’ by Marc Martínez Jordán.

Last, but by no means least, was the largest category: Best Fiction Film. The variety, as it had been all day, was astounding and provided a true spectrum of genres and styles. ‘Waking Marshall Walker’ by Bjorn Thorstad & Gabriel Baron gave an all-absorbing and alluring insight into the dynamics of a family living with the mental decline of an elder relative whilst ‘Ain’t No Fish’ provided an overtly comical yet thought-provoking look into the pollution of our seas. Animated Comedy made another appearance in Peter Smith’s ‘Rob ‘n’ Ron’ and the Comedy Drama ‘Dos Caras’ by Francisco Bendomir about a man attempting to steal his girlfriend’s grandmother’s Faberge egg was imaginative and memorable.

In total thirty two films were shown at Plymouth Film Festival totaling over five and a half hours; every single minute provided inspiration and entertainment for all in attendance. As set stories and future project plans are shared in the bar over a glass of champagne, I am already looking forward to next year and beyond!

Please visit to find out more information including the Winners and Prizes.

Visit for details on upcoming screenings, events and deals.

by Jenny Smith


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