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Edinburgh’s short-film strand returns

By | Published on Thursday 15 August 2013


Helping to ensure that pretty much every genre is represented at the world’s biggest cultural festival, CineFringe returns to Edinburgh this weekend for its fourth year, presenting four collections of short films selected from submissions from nearly 500 film-makers. Meanwhile organisers of the annual event have launched a Kickstarter campaign, in a bid to secure the funding to help the Fringe’s own film strand grow and develop at future festivals.

“CineFringe was conceived in 2009 out of frustration, when I couldn’t find any event to screen my own short about the Fringe”, explains Director John Lynch. “Rather than hire an entire Fringe slot for a six minute film, I decided to put out a call for other people with shorts and return in 2010 with a tiny band of volunteers and a fully(ish) fledged film festival!”

Since that first outing, CineFringe has grown, not least in terms of the pool of films from which the event’s curated collections of shorts are selected. 35 filmmakers submitted work in year one, while this year nearly 500 from 45 countries put their pictures forward. “We try not to limit our film-makers too much” Lynch says about the selection process, with only length (less than 30 minutes) being a requirement; “Our screenings are very eclectic as a result!” he adds.

“In general we look for raw talent over slick visuals, but we’ve had plenty of beautiful films too. The main thing is that we want to champion independent film, like the Fringe itself we provide a platform for art that you might not see anywhere else. That’s also why we make it free for film-makers to put forward their work”. It’s a commitment to keep the selection process that way that has led Lynch and his team to go the Kickstarter route to try and fund the future growth of CineFringe.

“Despite us building a sizeable following over the four years, the event is still organised by the same four people who launched it in 2010. We’ve been running the festival in our spare time and funding it with our spare change for four years, but the truth is with the amount of people now entering films we simply can’t afford the overheads ourselves anymore. We’re determined to not charge directors to submit their films, so instead we’re offering some awesome incentives via Kickstarter to try and raise £5000 to sustain the whole festival and grow it over the next few years”.

Lynch admits that the funding is necessary to ensure CineFringe remains part of Edinburgh’s festival month. And while the Fringe isn’t especially known for movies, there is definitely an appetite for quirky and innovative films amongst its audience. “People who come to our screenings often say they wish they’d known about us sooner! And lots of people return each year. And some people just like the novelty of sitting in a dark room watching a few films in comfort, after four hours straight of theatre or comedy in a moist cave!”

CineFringe is based at Sweet Grassmarket, with one screening this year at Summerhall. For info on the programme and Kickstarter campaign check www.cinefringe.com