Situated in the border of Wales, not only has it been dubbed the ‘town of books’, it has lived up to its reputation. Many festivals echoing the theme has been born along the way with the 4th festival of British Cinema catching the headlines.
British Cinema is in its another one of immobile periods of mediocrity with government’s lack of priority weighting down on it. Film industry has never been the one to challenge the posh altitudes touched by Hollywood and its commercial successes but as the organizers stress the story based almost flowing art of story-telling, as non-mainstream as it can be, has been ever present.
And it’s that factor the organizers are trying to exploit by introducing unknown directors to their spot under the sun. 21 films of relative familiarity and three short stories were to be screened at three venues with Hay Parish hall and Talgarth playing second fiddle to the newly built Richard Booth’s bookshop theatre.
Its importance can’t be emphasized highly enough considering the climate where Britain’s film industry is. Critics in the field value localness to the core which affects them to abort some directors who have made their name in USA under the bright lights.
The hard reality check is, a film with a multi-billion budget or one that cost tenth of the amount as that, the final verdict
Depends on how well received by the audiences at the end of the day. In simpler terms, how many seats are occupied. This the organizers feel is one of the key elements to pump hope to the new directors.
“Hay is always busy. Predominantly because of the books. But the numbers of people who visit this town has remained static. The special character of the town and its book shops is you can actually find shops that specialize in genres. So choosing which way to go is offered to you very precisely” says Lorna who is looking after one of the children’s best seller book shops.
As the smattering of grievances from the organizers suggest, the cinema festival hasn’t reached the pedestal where they want to, the inconsistencies in audiences ranging from full houses to half a dozen people certifies that fact. But it has a direction to follow as has been shown by the popular industry in Hay.