There was a certain inevitability that the SEIFF team would wear a blue smile as the inaugural festival recedes into the distance. Nevertheless, we can look forward with excitement.
But, before we do, we wanted to share some of the wonderful memories from the past week, especially for those who might not have been able to make it.
It all kicked off with our Star Wars themed opening ceremony to an audience of over 400 people and launched by our very own mayor of Epsom, Ewell and Tatooine, Cllr Neil Dallen; before a packed networking event with creatives enjoying some free drinks and nibbles. Our opening screening – the People’s Choice – was a sell-out crowd, getting the event off to the perfect start.
The festival continued with a host of screenings, UK and European premieres, workshops and Q&As, with a number of sessions selling out (and the clocks going back causing much confusion as people forgot what time it was!) as well as our hugely popular free family screenings.
And it was all finished off with our gala red carpet awards ceremony, which was all about bringing together filmmakers, producers, investors, audiences, creatives and film lovers under one roof. And for those who were there, it was a very special night indeed with food, drink, live music, much laughter, a few tears and a whole host of much-deserved awards. And, of course, the story of a very particular two minute film.
The feedback from audiences has been incredible (the festival has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from those who attended) but what has made this festival so special has been the response from filmmakers. We’ll shamelessly blow our own trumpet by quoting some of their feedback here and if you want to see more (or indeed to give your own feedback) just go to FilmFreeway.
“The attention to highest standards and detail was amazing. The activities that involved the local community and all ages really made this ‘an event’. For a first time festival the organization was phenomenal.”
“This festival was a revelation. The scope and quality of films, workshops and networking opportunities were truly splendid. It’s busy, it’s exciting, it’s thrilling. Organised to a fine detail, the SEIFF is a filmmaker’s dream. One of the best in the UK.”
“I wish I could give Satisfied Eye more than 5 stars. From the very outset the communications were outstanding; Chris and his team showed a wonderful efficiency from start to finish and a great attention to detail … At the heart of it was a deep love of film and empathy with filmmakers. I was very proud that The Road to Sparta was selected to screen at the first ever Satisfied Eye – if the festival maintains its passion and ambition it will still be with us in 50 years.”
“What a wonderful weekend I had at the Satisfied Eye International Film Festival! I am an emerging filmmaker and attending/screening my film at this warm and friendly festival has been such a positive experience. The communication and welcome from the festival organisers was outstanding. The festival programme was varied and well-put together and the lovely glossy brochure was probably the best I’ve ever received at a film festival. I could go on all day about the things I loved about this festival. One final thought – this was a festival that truly embraced filmmakers at all stages in their career and that’s a rare thing to achieve I think. Well done team and thank you!”
“This is what filmmaking is all about, having the opportunity to share a piece of storytelling to the public. Not only did SEIFF make that happen but they did it with such integrity and belief that the locals came back to watch our film more than once. Awards can be wonderful but what SEIFF does that is more rewarding (that so many other festivals don’t) is they put your films at the fore front of their programme for anyone and everyone to see. It’s a festival that cares, you couldn’t ask for more.”
We learnt much (namely that if you’re going to give Will Kenning an award your step and repeat needs to be taller than 2m – we’ll be ready for you next time Will!) and won’t be resting on our laurels. So watch this space.
A huge thank you to everyone that came to the festival or submitted a piece of work. Awesome is your default setting.