Celtic film stars head for St Ives
SOME of the biggest names in the broadcasting and film world can be expected in St Ives next spring after it was named as the host town for an international media festival.
The Celtic Media Festival, in its 35th year, will be held from April 2 to 4 and will showcase the best film, television, radio and digital media to emerge from Cornwall, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man and Brittany.
The three-day festival, which promotes the languages and cultures of the Celtic regions in broadcasting, is expected to attract more than 300 delegates, with a host of big name guests and prestigious industry figures.
Previous high profile speakers include actors Tilda Swinton, Rhys Ifans and Peter Mullan, film-maker Ken Loach, Birger Larsen (director of The Killing), Jimmy McGovern and Doctor Who and Torchwood producer Russell T Davies. Details of the 2014 line-up are yet to be released.
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The news that St Ives will again host the festival – having previously done so in 1997 – has been welcomed by locals, the chamber of trade, the St Ives Tourism Association and the town council, who have worked hard to secure the festival.
Former mayor Ron Tulley was among those showing the festival organising committee around a few weeks ago and said St Ives had to beat off tough competition.
"There were several towns in Cornwall hoping to hold the festival as well as towns in other Celtic regions," he said.
"I think they were impressed by the three main venues – The Guildhall, Kidz R Us and Tregenna – and we have plenty of accommodation providers – we ticked all the boxes."
Mr Tulley hoped that the timing of the festival would give the town a boost.
"This is a big event and I hope it will extend the season; the festival gives a chance for St Ives to showcase what it has to offer and hopefully many of the delegates will return."
St Ives mayor Colin Nicholls added: "This is a great advert for our town and we look forward to welcoming our guests."
Though the Celtic Media Festival is primarily for industry delegates, there will also be a programme of events open to the public.
One of the highlights will be the presentation of the Bronze Torc awards celebrating the best of Celtic film, television, radio and digital media.
Cornwall Council Cabinet member for economy and culture Julian German said: "Cornwall boasts some fantastic film-makers and locations and this is a great opportunity to showcase that to the rest of the world."