Film Festival Interview by Chris Olson
Please tell us who you are and what you do at High Peak Independent film festival.
I’m Nick Bimson and I’m the Programme Manager at High Peak Indie Film Festival. I am the person responsible for deciding on the content of all the different shorts programmes and features slots we show at the festival. In real terms, this usually means I have developed a vitamin D deficiency from being locked in a dark room for hours watching all the films we have been submitted.
What makes your programme particular special this year?
I think we have some really strong films, from the likes of established filmmakers all the way down to young filmmakers who may be making their first film – in fact we have a dedicated programme and award for the latter.
What should attendees expect from High Peak Indie in 2018?
A really diverse mix of films and a showcase of homegrown and international talent.
Are there any obstacles to arranging the programme for a UK film festival?
Luckily we have had a fairly smooth run up to the festival this year. But from a programming perspective there are always films you really like that you just can’t find a place for in the programme due to time constraints and the amount of really high quality material submitted. It’s a great feeling to say yes to a film but equally horrible to say no to a really good one. So one obstacle is probably the umming, ahhing and constant back and forth you have navigating the near impossible task of getting everything you like in a programme somewhere.
Where do you see the event in 5 years time?
Hopefully we can grow the reputation and brand of the festival more and more and make High Peak Indie one of the premier film events in the North West for showcasing emerging talent and quality filmmaking.
Do you have any advice for new/beginner filmmakers?
Be original in the films you make. There is nothing more refreshing for a programmer than to watch a film that does something different or approaches a subject from a fresh angle – be ambitious rather than playing it safe. In terms of submitting to festivals and getting your film screened, be realistic and choose your festivals well for the level you are at, and don’t ever get discouraged by rejections!
What are the skills needed to be a Programme Manager for a festival?
I’m still very much in the process of finding this out myself as this is my first festival as a programme manager, being fairly new to programming work in general! It may sound obvious but an understanding of what makes a good film good is essential, and of course this appreciation can be transferred from other areas – I have an English Literature degree which has helped me think and talk about film. Also, one thing I am learning the importance of, is keeping an open mind when viewing films and trying to not get bogged down in your own personal tastes or preferences in film. But, probably most importantly… you need to live and breath film! A list of 100s of films to watch should seem to you an issue of love rather than labour – or at least most of the time!
What would you say if you were a dolphin?
So long and thanks for all the fish!
High Peak Indie film festival begins on June 14th and will run until June 17th 2018.