Ashfield Film Festival seeks submissions

  • A previous Ashfield Film Festival at Town Hall. Contributed Photo/Christopher Seward

  • A previous Ashfield Film Festival at Town Hall. Contributed Photo/Christopher Seward

Staff Writer
Published: 7/25/2022 3:17:35 PM
Modified: 7/25/2022 3:14:33 PM

ASHFIELD — The Ashfield Film Festival is back in person after a two-year hiatus, and organizers are calling all locals to submit their films.

“You will see people’s first tries and professionals making little passion projects and everything in between,” said Erik Hoffner, an Ashfield resident who submitted a film for the festival.

The festival used to only accept films focused on or shot in Ashfield, but has since expanded to the larger community. The deadline for submissions is Aug. 31, and the festival itself will take place Sept. 16 and Sept. 17.

In past years, 400 people have packed into the Ashfield Town Hall and neighboring buildings to view the films. Organizer Christopher Seward said the main challenge is most residents who are interested have already made films for the festival, so it is difficult to get new people to submit.

“We have over 300 films from over the years,” he said.

Seward noted that the quality of submissions has improved drastically since the festival started in 2007. While the improved quality may make for a more enjoyable experience for the audience, it may also scare away novice filmmakers from submitting.

“We are maintaining strict categories to get everyone to submit,” Seward added.

There are many categories, including a youth category and a TikTok-style, two-minute film category. Each group will be awarded separately with a prize of about $100. All films submitted must be five minutes or less and have a direct connection to western Massachusetts, whether that is through cast or crew members, being filmed here or some other connection.

“It runs the full gamut,” Hoffner said. “It is inspiring that you can make a film about anything you want.”

Ashfield’s Belding Memorial Library has a camera set that anyone can check out to make their own movie. There is also software and technology help in the building.

This year, Hoffner submitted a film about what it’s like underwater in Ashfield Lake. He said he received a great response from the community following his last submission, encouraging him to enter the Ashfield Film Festival again.

“If you want to see a celebration of western Mass,” Hoffner said, “this is the thing to see.”

For more information, visit ashfieldfilmfest.org.

Contact Bella Levavi at blevavi@recorder.com or 413-930-4579.


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