The 23rd Great Northern Festival

The 23rd Great Northern Festival was another ‘great’ weekend with a record number of entries and attendance, we hope that all those of you who were present enjoyed your time there.

Photo by Ian Bennett

Photo by Ian Bennett

Friday evening saw a presentation by Liam Sanderson, head of Film and Media Studies at the Wales High School near Sheffield. His presentation was both enjoyable and enlightening, showing the amazing progression from the students’ first attempts at film making to the world wide award winning productions produced later in their studies.

Liam Sanderson

Liam Sanderson

We saw short ‘advert’ type films produced by individual students. These portrayed a serious message, such as making you aware of Depression and Intimidation or Control over others.
Longer films were produced by groups and showed many different genre’s of film making. The ideas that these young people come up with are amazing, many of the films were humorous, some with subjects that may normally be taboo to adults!
Several of these talented students should go on to become big names in the film industry.

What stood out overall was the attention to detail, excellent soundtracks and use of sound effects and very good camera techniques with varying angles and differential focus. All techniques we can apply equally to AV.

It was a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable evening. If you missed it and would like to see some of the school’s productions then visit their YouTube Channel at


Saturday and Sunday saw the running of The New Horizons competition with 13 entries and the Great Northern competition with 48 entries.

We started with a short Attendee Sequence session on Saturday morning where you can gain helpful advice on work in progress. Sadly the audience were not as forthcoming with their comments as they have been in previous years, so we may drop this session in future years. Please let us know if you wish this to continue.

Many of those attending the event enjoyed an evening meal at the Britannia Hotel on the Saturday. This was a great opportunity to catch up with friends and discuss the sequences shown during the day. Unfortunately due to a previously arranged booking we could not use the Britannia Suite which we had last year, so the room was smaller than we are used to and the food had to be served in the main restaurant.
The Britannia Suite has already been booked for next year, so we will once again have the larger room with private bar facilities.

The lunch time food at The Hough End Conference Centre was excellent.

The Judges

r-l: Howard Bagshaw (chair), Bryan Stubbs and Andy Polakowski

r-l: Howard Bagshaw (chair), Bryan Stubbs and Andy Polakowski

Howard Bagshaw (Chair), Bryan Stubbs and Andy Polakowski had a very difficult task deciding the awards. There were some excellent sequences and the overall standard was, as usual, very high.

The New Horizons Competition and the Sir George & Lady Doreen Pollock Medal was won by ‘For The Love of Sarah’ by Jean Mills 

This Sequence also won the Audience Vote

Encouragingly all of the New Horizons entries received several votes from the audience






The Great Northern Competition and the PAGB Gold Medal was won by ‘Matthew Loney’s Miracle’ by Judith Kimber

This Sequence also won the ‘AV-Dialog’ Trophy for The Best Story Without Words

Sadly Judith could not be present at the Festival as she had to work





The Howard Gregory Memorial Trophy for the Most Creative Soundtrack  was won by ‘In Search of the Blues’ by Alan Boothman







We were honoured to  have 3 Presidents in attendance on Sunday.
Robert Albright, President of the Royal Photographic Society (left);Garth Tighe, President of the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union (centre) and Gordon Jenkins, President of the Photographic Alliance of Great Britan.

Full Results can be downloaded HERE
and are also available on the website



Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to all who entered and/or attended for making it such a successful weekend.

We hope you will be able to join us next year for the 24th Great Northern Festival
on 30th November to 2nd December 2018 – put the dates in your Diary now!