EASTBOURNE VOLUNTEERS WITH HELEN BURTON: Our version of Cannes with film festival

Domenico Della Valle SUS-171204-121211001
Domenico Della Valle SUS-171204-121211001
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This week I’m handing the column over to Nicole Toksvig, one of our project’s lovely volunteers, so that she can tell you about the film festival happening in Eastbourne this month.

After the phenomenal success of Eastbourne’s first international film festival Crossing the Screen which took place over three days back in November 2016, festival co-organiser Domenico Della Valle is busy preparing for the group’s second event later this month at the newly opened Printers Playhouse in Grove Road. Crossing the Screen on Tour is a two-day celebration of award-winning British and international cinema of 11 short films and will include three films from the local Sussex area. Eastbourne is represented by the film We Love Moses that premiered at the BFI London Film Festival 2016. There will also be Q&A sessions with the films’ directors and producers. This is a promotional event to help raise funds for the next big film festival later this year. I asked Domenico what drew him to Eastbourne in the first place.

Domenico said, “I was born in Rome and moved to the UK in 1991 where I settled in London. About two years ago I decided to move to a seaside town as I missed being close to the water.

“On travelling around the South Coast looking for a suitable location, I was struck by the elegance of this town, the promenade, the big pier, the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside. Cinema is my first love and there was something about Eastbourne that reminded me of Cannes too.”

Putting those thoughts into action, Domenico along with his partner Manfredi Mancuso, last year put out the call to independent film makers to submit their new productions to this new film festival and were astounded by the overwhelming response. The support from the local community was heartening too.

“We have received a tremendous amount of support from people who are willing to help and get this project off the ground,” says Domenico. “Clearly there is the interest and demand here for film events. There are quite a number of production companies in the area too and these events create the opportunities for local creatives to network and perhaps even create new opportunities for local people. The film industry is often seen as elitist but I want to develop new channels for anyone who is interested and make the industry more accessible to everyone. We ran training workshops last year alongside the festival and we expect to do so again with the next major event scheduled for November 2017.”

Domenico’s events are quickly becoming a regular fixture in the diaries of the town’s film buffs. Crossing the Screen on Tour takes place on Friday 28th and Saturday April 29. Tickets are £10/ concessions £8, and are available, along with programme information, at the website: www.crossingthescreen.org, at the Printers Playhouse and at the Eastbourne Tourist Information Office.

• Don’t forget Eastbourne Volunteers promotes local events from our Information hub in the town centre so if you are arranging something locally let us know! E-mail eastbournevolunteers@gmail.com