Welcome to a totally new experience for us and I expect for you. Film festival online is not where we thought we would be back at the beginning of March. But government lockdown, self-isolation and social distancing – words and phrases that were unknown to us only a few short months ago – made our own shutdown inevitable. But, the festival organisers decided to take matters into their own hands by uploading the whole festival online. And with the support of a hardworking team of professionals and volunteers, I am delighted to announce that we have compiled a programme of 36 films – features and shorts – plus filmmaker Q&As. I am especially pleased that we have an opportunity to take our festival to new audiences, who rarely if ever have the opportunity to attend film festivals or have access to independent cinema. If anything the ‘new normal’ as it is called may allow us to consider how to reach audiences far and wide in the future by complementing the live event – and we will be back – with online. For now just sit back – in your living room – and enjoy!

Leslie Montgomery Sheldon, Festival Director