Producer hails 'best small film festival in the world'
An Academy Award-winning film producer best known for a major box-office hit could help turn the international spotlight on a small Stannary town in the heart of Dartmoor after giving its film festival critical acclaim.
Gareth Unwin, producer of The King's Speech, has described the Chagford Film Festival as "the best small film festival in the world".
Chagford – known as the Jewel of Dartmoor – was once known for its tranquil charm, was the original home of letter-boxing and its folklore was said to be the inspiration behind RD Blackmore's classic novel Lorna Doone.
However, the town is fast becoming renowned as a hub of media and entertainment and its reputation in this field has already grown over the past decade with the success of Simon Ford's Chagstock Music Festival, which hosted headline act the Boomtown Rats in July.
Gareth Unwin's comments, ahead of this year's forthcoming film festival at which he will make an appearance, will help to seal the town's reputation as major player in events and entertainment management.
Mr Unwin, as a guest of the festival, will also be introducing his latest film Zaytoun and taking part in a question and answer session.
He said: "Chagford will be hosting the best small film festival in the world. It's going to an unmissable week of films, events and pure entertainment."
Thousands of people are expected to attend the event, now in its third year, to enjoy an eclectic range of films and workshops. The festival will be opened on September 23 by TV and radio comedian and author Tony Hawkes, who will be introducing his latest film, Playing the Moldovans at Tennis.
Other films showing at the festival include The Great Gatsby, Untouchable and The King and I.
Chagford's internationally renowned harpist, Elizabeth-Jane Baldry, will perform a live harp accompaniment of her newly composed musical score to the iconic 1922 Dracula film Nosferatu.
The closing gala, in keeping with the theme of "fantasy", will feature the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as the chosen film – with celebrities from the film attending.
Meanwhile, there will be street theatre around the town, with a theatrical dragon providing thrilling street entertainment.