Harry Potter director, Mike Newell, and The Gentlemen actor, Jason Wong, launched the Kingston International Film Festival (KIFF) yesterday, as they called for change in the British independent filming industry.
The patrons, joined by Festival Directors David Cunningham and Christopher Haydon, shared that KIFF’s mission is to showcase the best of British and international emerging talent, provide a platform to connect emerging artists with industry leads and encourage funding after a problematic lack of investment over the last two years.
The Festival announcement follows BFI figures revealing that investment into the independent film industry in the UK has fallen by 45 per cent and that just twenty-two blockbuster films account for 78 per cent of UK film production spend.
Speaking at the Rose Theatre in Kingston, South-West London, the stars called on both business and government to do more to ensure that the important contribution that independent British cinema makes to the nation’s cultural landscape isn’t lost.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Four Weddings and a Funeral director and festival patron Mike Newell, said: “KIFF is a more practical, a more solidly founded and optimistic way of going forward for the film industry than the often-ostentatious approach of other film festivals. The industry is crying out for a festival such as this, that is passionate about championing emerging independent talent, particularly those starting out, to help create opportunities for talent that is too often overlooked.”
KIFF will take place across venues in Kingston on 24-26 June, with entries closing on 17 April and a rich programme of screenings, events and workshops to be announced.