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Look out for Mansfield Town Film Festival

Posted onPosted on 4th Feb

An award-winning Mansfield man is the inspiration behind the town’s first film festival, which aims to raise the town’s cultural profile and celebrate the silver screen.

Mansfield Town Film Festival promises three days of short films, music videos, documentaries, and animation as well as international shorts — all at the Palace Theatre, Mansfield, in July.

It has been created by writer, producer and director Jay Martin, the brainchild behind award-winning political documentary REDt’BLUE.

In the acclaimed film Jay, a former student at The Brunts Academy, Mansfield, told the story of how his home town, a rock solid Labour ‘safe’ seat from a strong mining background, switched to the Conservatives for the first time at the 2017 General Election — and remained Blue two years later.

He also received good reviews for a trilogy of short documentaries for the BBC about how the coronavirus pandemic affected Mansfield and Ashfield.

“I’m so excited,” said Jay, festival director and owner of Sharp Edge Productions, which is operating the festival.

“This should be a massive culture boost for the town,” added Jay.

“The festival will bring together a stunning mix of film-makers, with a strong focus on diverse, working-class talent from across the country and internationally.”

The three-day festival, which will take place from 14th to 16th July, has been made possible by funding awarded to Mansfield District Council by Arts Council England.

It said the money is aimed at delivering creative and cultural activity in towns that have been under-served in the past.

The festival will feature ‘three days of unique entertainment and fresh perspectives’ and also include an opening ceremony, workshops, masterclasses, question-and-answer sessions, and an in-person awards evening.

The jury panel of industry veterans and local stars will judge films nominated in the following categories:

Heart Of Mansfield Award (Best In Festival)
Working Class Voices Award
LGBTQIA+ Voices Award
Women’s Voices Award
Best Narrative Short
Best Documentary Short
Best Animated Short
Best Student Short
Best International Short
Best Music Video
Best Director
Best Cinematography
Best Editing
Best Original Score
Best Performance In A Leading Role

Jay said the Heart Of Mansfield Award would be a prize awarded to the best in the festival — a film that personifies the festival’s founding principles, and not only moves the jury but live audiences too.

Submissions of films can be made at

“Hopefully, we will receive hundreds of submissions from across the world,” said Jay. “We are also hoping to attract some big Nottinghamshire stars to the jury, which we want to be a diverse mix of voices and opinions.”

Jay is hoping to encourage businesses and local groups to support the project, perhaps through sponsorship.

“We want to create partnerships and make connections with local firms and institutions,” he said.

Anyone interested is asked to email Jay at [email protected]