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Little Wing Film Festival 2021 Wrap-Up

And that's a wrap on Little Wing Film Festival 2021!

What an extraordinary year - after such a challenging 18 months and a completely online festival in 2020, we were able to come back with a bang with a week full of in-person and virtual events, a host of short film screenings and an awards ceremony to celebrate some truly amazing grassroots filmmakers.

Our Opening Night on Tuesday 21st September took place at the incredible Everyman Chelsea, who were so kind, supportive and welcoming to our community. We screened nine brilliant short films which exemplified the quality, talent and diversity of the films & filmmakers championed throughout the festival week.

Goodie bags sponsored by Mallow & Marsh and OLOVES Olives were given to each of our guests, which contained slips to write kind words about each of the films screened to give back to the emerging filmmakers. The night continued post-screening with live music from the amazing Chris Pidsley (@chrispidsleymusic on Instagram), food and drink in the Everyman Lobby, and networking between filmmakers and supporters alike. It was a fantastic, lively and warm atmosphere and we are so grateful to have had such a great event to kick off the festival week!

The week didn't stop there - on Wednesday, we screened our FAMILY VALUES programme which contained stories of loss, belonging and all of the other things that family brings, for better or for worse. We also ran a Submissions Workshop, led by Ian Bigness and Frankie Stewart from Festival Formula, in which attendees were guided through why it matters what materials you're using to optimise your festival submissions - it went down a storm! We also kicked off our week of Instagram Live Q&As with LWFF21 filmmakers, in which our team engaged with each filmmaker one-on-one to learn more about their film and the process behind making it.

On the Thursday, we continued with screenings as the WOMEN. and IDENTITY, RECLAIMED programmes were released to stream online. Whilst the WOMEN. programme spotlit female-driven narratives about resilience recovery and reckoning, IDENTITY, RECLAIMED was a collection of shorts which explored our expectations and aspirations and the trials and tribulations of just existing as we are. The Instagram Live Q&As carried on with great success. The day was topped off by a fantastic Crowdfunding Workshop, hosted by Greenlit, a British-based crowdfunding platform designed specifically for creatives. Attendees were taken through the process of project pitching, creating pages and using crowdfunding to expand and mobilise networks.

The festival continued into the Friday with screenings of both the THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT and RETHINK, RESKILL, REBOOT programmes. Whilst the former programme explored the growing pains, mistakes, relationships and aspirations that all of us experienced while coming-of-age, the latter unashamedly celebrated the arts, and how important they truly are, after a year of the government telling u to rethink, reskill and reboot for a chance at a successful post-pandemic career in cybersecurity. As well as more live Q&As on Instagram, we were lucky enough to host a Film Lighting Workshop with ROSCO, in which attendees were introduced to the knowledge, skills and equipment necessary to successfully light a professional film. There was also the chance to win a ROSCO Indie Filmmaker Pack worth £190 - congratulations to our winner!

Saturday 25th continued LWFF with the ISOLATION & CONNECTION programme. We are all grappling with feelings of isolation at the moment, whether that's brought on socially, psychologically or by a global virus. This programme celebrated how we communicate and stay connected right now, and how that's more important than ever.

Little Wing Film Festival 2021 came to a close on Sunday September 26th, as we held our Closing Night in-person at the Hen & Chickens Theatre in Islington. This venue is very close to our hearts, as it was where the first two years of LWFF were held back in 2017 & '18. As a thank-you to them, all of the money raised through tickets was given back to the venue as way to support one of London's treasured independent arts venues after they have struggled so immensely over the pandemic. The SOLD-OUT night was led with a screening of our final programme, FOR THE MANY, with heavy doses of solidarity, reflection and hope. Following the screening, there was time for guests and filmmakers to grab a drink from the bar below before heading back upstairs for the Awards Ceremony, where LWFF21 awards were announced and prizes & speeches were given! It was such a wonderful way to bring everyone involved back together for one last hurrah.

This year's festival could not have been possible if it wasn't for the support from our fantastic sponsors, prize sponsors and the team who worked tirelessly to ensure its operation - Mariah, Chris, Anna, Beth and Cat. Also, of course, it wouldn't have ever come to be if it wasn't for the incredible, resourceful and resilient filmmakers that pushed through the tribulations of the past two years and still managed to create. Thank you so much to you all for submitting, sharing and celebrating your stories with us. We couldn't be more proud of you all.

Thank you so much to everyone who has engaged with us over the past year, and who managed to join us during the week of LWFF21. It really means the world to us all.

Best wishes, and...... see you next year!

- Cat and the Little Wing 2021 Team x

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