Newham Film Festival seeks submissions from borough’s ‘hidden talent’

Newham Film Festival organisers Arlindo Peti and Jesse Ayertey. Picture: Jesse Ayertey

Newham Film Festival organisers Arlindo Peti and Jesse Ayertey. Picture: Jesse Ayertey - Credit: Archant

A film festival is being organised to celebrate the borough’s “hidden” acting and filmmaking talent.

Newham Film Festival is due to take place at sponsors Stratford East Picturehouse next month with six short films already lined up and more submissions invited.

Festival director, Jesse Ayertey, 31, said: "This is about getting the work out there and bringing the community together. We want to promote local talent on the screen and behind it."

The team behind the festival want to screen 10 films on the night which could include actors, directors or any production crew members who hail from Newham.

One of the shorts already lined up is Blood Brothers - a film by Siva Sinth, who goes by the name of s7nth - about siblings who take different paths with one heading to university and another getting mixed up in a gang.

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Some of its crew members come from Plaistow and Stratford while the director works in the borough.

Jesse hopes Newham businesses will back the festival too with the opportunity to supply 30 second ads to be shown between films.

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"That way everyone is involved. We want this to be a community led event," he said.

Jesse, who has run drama sessions in schools including Lister and St Bonaventure's, added that while there is an abundance of talent in Newham, it doesn't always get the attention it deserves.

He said: "The talent is there, but it's hidden. I see a lot of acting talent, but we don't know how far [aspiring actors] are going to go in an industry where it's about who you know and your connections.

"We have talent here, we just need more support to create opportunities."

The festival is aimed at anyone on the fringes of the film industry including people working with low budgets. Successful submissions will see their shorts screened on December 16 while anyone turned down will receive feedback to help with future entries.

"It's not about the money spent making a film, but the quality of the work," Jesse said.

Tickets priced from £8 were due to go on sale at midnight on Monday, November 4 from the festival website.

To submit a film no more than 10-minutes long visit

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