about the new forest film festival

est. 2010

The New Forest Film Festival will return in 2021







the film industry in the new forest

Film:New Forest was established in 2016 because New Forest District Council recognised the huge contribution the film and television industries makes to the local economy. After a successful couple of years which included the release of our promo short film featuring Mark Kermode, the project decided to host a film festival to generate a further boost to the New Forest Economy.

Film Festival Revival

The launch of the 2019 Film Festival by the Film:New Forest team was held at the New Forest Show in 2018 hoping to be a revival of the last one held in 2012 with aims to build on the event's previous successes as well as bringing in new elements. The 2019 festival saw film showings around the district, many with a strong local connection, and film related events for those already in the industry, or who have an interest.

The 2020 New Forest Film Festival will take place on 26 September and will be a screening of the winning short film competition entries.

The Film Festival will be back in 2021 with the 9 day event will follow the 2019 ethos and celebrate:

  • films with a New Forest connection
  • our amazing local creative talent
  • the variety of venues screening films
  • the diverse filming locations the New Forest offers

Film:New Forest Team Members

Matt Callaghan

Matt Callaghan

Economic Development Manager
Natasha Davies

Natasha Davies

Project Lead
Becky Denby

Becky Denby

Project Assistant

Original concept

The New Forest Film Festival was founded by Jo Cockwell, Mike Hammond, Mark Kermode, Simon David Miller and Linda Ruth Williams in 2010 to show interesting films presented by industry figures, hold special events and support local activities in the New Forest.  After several successful years, a rest year was taken, which became several more.  Their ambition was always to come back to the festival when time allowed.  With the help of Film:New Forest and the New Forest District Council, time has allowed again!

Founders of the new forest film festival

Mark Kermode is film critic for The Observer, BBC Radio 5Live, and the BBC News Channel.

He presents a weekly film music show on Scala Radio.

He plays bass in the skiffle-and-blues band The Dodge Brothers, who accompany silent movies with Neil Brand.

He is the author of several books on film and music, including It's Only a Movie, Hatchet Job, and How Does It Feel?

Linda Ruth Williams is a film academic, writer and curator living in the New Forest.

She is currently Professor of Film at Exeter University, Co-Investigator of the AHRC funded research project Calling the Shots: Women and contemporary UK Film Culture 2000-2015, Visiting Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and co-curator of the Screenplay Film Festival in Shetland.

She is also past co-curator of film seasons at the NFT Southbank, was one of the founder team of the New Forest Film Festival, and has served as Chair of the Edinburgh International Film Festival Short Film Jury.

She has written four books, including The Erotic Thriller in Contemporary Cinema; her next book is Steven Spielberg’s Children. She has also co-edited several books including Contemporary American Cinema. She regularly contributes to TV and radio discussions and to popular newspapers on film topics, and contributes to Sight and Sound.

Simon David Miller is a film-maker and technologist.

He started his career working on Wall Street before moving into music and then film.

As a writer-director he has made several award-winning short films and the first feature film in Scottish Gaelic - Seachd - The Inaccessible Pinnacle - which was nominated for 3 BAFTAs. He has launched several media industry start-ups.

Most recently he has launched New Forest Film Co, a production company using the Agile philosophies of tech start-ups to make film and television.

Jo Cockwell is a writer and illustrator.

She grew up in Ringwood before becoming a lawyer in the City of London and then returned to live in the New Forest.

Turning to illustration and writing after her nomination for a BAFTA as co-writer for the Scottish Gaelic feature film, Seachd - The Inaccessible Pinnacle, she illustrates and writes books for for children and adults.

Michael Hammond is an Associate Professor of Film History at the University of Southampton.

He is a writer and musician and a founding member of the Dodge Brothers who, with silent cinema pianist Neil Brand, play musical accompaniment to silent films throughout the UK and Europe.

Mike lives in Lymington in the New Forest.