A high five from BAFTA

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Paul Hutchison, Co-founder and Director of Bedford Film Festival, shares his thoughts on the Festival and sustaining a creative community.

Bedford Film Festival is a not-for-profit organisation so the support of local businesses, like Bonfire, is a major factor in its success. We aim to create excitement about variety in film, in and around the Bedford area, working with a number of local organisations to screen films in unique places and host immersive cinema events.

So far we have hosted films in nightclubs, museums, a cocktail bar and restaurants, aired UK film premiers, run themed film nights (including an experiential screening of Back to the Future for charity) and shown short films from across the world (with 1,300 entries submitted to our last festival).

While the directors, management team and volunteers organise and run the event, without the support, both financially and in-kind, of companies like Bonfire we would not be able to achieve the impact we have. We only had 3 months between inception and our first festival and Bonfire helped us launch very quickly, building us a website in record time and advising us on key marketing techniques to reach the right audience so we could hit the ground running.

As the film festival has evolved, so has Bonfire’s involvement. As one of our key festival sponsors, and with the festival now in its 4th year, their continued financial support has now enabled us to invest in some of our own equipment, and their marketing expertise is currently upgrading our website to enable an even greater digital presence.

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