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Q&A with Ironstar Film's Graeme Carr

29 June 2017

The Ironstar International Short Film Festival is almost here, and we can't wait to view the selected films! There's still time to submit your film - the final deadline for submission is Mon 10 July. For entry criteria and to submit your film, please click here.

We caught up with Ironstar's Graeme Carr to find out more about the festival...


Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

My day job is as a lecturer with Dundee and Angus college working with learners with learning difficulties and additional support needs. It's a great job as every day is different but extremely rewarding. Outside of that I am one of a team of four at Ironstar Films. We are based in Arbroath and produce short genre films for festival participation. We have been on the go for around three years, and are currently producing our fifth short film, the sci-fi Tellurian, which will hopefully be completed by the end of the year.

"We are based in Arbroath and produce short genre films for festival participation."

Can you tell us a bit about the Ironstar International Short Film Festival?

"We love short films as they really are a true expression of any filmmaker's craft."

The Ironstar Festival is really about celebrating filmmaking at all levels of development. We love short films as they really are a true expression of any filmmaker's craft. Our festival celebrates the type of films we love, genre films, everything from drama, thriller, animation, comedy and sci-fi to others such as experimental art films and documentaries. It really is about celebrating the short filmmaking community and providing a platform for talented filmmakers, whether they are local, national or international to showcase their work on the best possible platform. Partnering with DCA is brilliant as the facilities are second to none and ensures that the films will be shown as the filmmakers intended to an appreciative audience.

We think that there is great potential for Dundee to host a multi genre film festival. Dundee is a great city thriving with creativity and culture and filmmaking has its place amongst that. We hope to showcase some great shorts in our first year and hopefully we can grow from there. 

Who is the festival for?

"The films that have been submitted this year are an eclectic mix from all around the globe." 

The festival is really for anyone who just enjoys film, enjoys interesting stories and who likes something a little bit different. The films that have been submitted this year are an eclectic mix from all around the globe. The difficult part will be narrowing it down to the final selection to be screened. So far there are films that have been submitted that will make you laugh, cry, some are full of twists and turns others that are just strangely wonderful.

There is a little bit of everything in the mix. So whether you are a filmmaker, interested in film, enjoy different stories from around the globe or just want to spend an evening watching something a bit different, then this is for you! 

What kinds of things are you looking for when selecting films for the festival?  

There are a number of things our team of judges look for when selecting films. The most important being that the story is interesting, entertaining and holds our attention throughout. Beyond that we look at a range of aspects around the quality of the narrative and each film's production values. Each film is reviewed by five judges and taken on its own merit, and we hope that this method will result in a good range of films being included in the final selection. Keep an eye out on the Facebook page for the final selection, which will be released just after the final deadline of 10 July.

Are there any specific rules that filmmakers should be aware of?

"We look forward to the audience participating in the selection of the Best of Fest Audience Award on the night!" 

The main one is that the films shouldn't run any longer than 20 minutes.They should be submitted in MP4 format and the filmmaker should hold all rights to the film and its soundtrack. If you don't own it, we can't select it! Filmmakers should also be aware that all films will be given a blanket 15 rating which is something to consider when submitting. We take every care to judge the films fairly and would love to show them all, and we aim for the final selection to be a fair representation of submissions received. The judges' decision is final and we look forward to the audience participating in the selection of the Best of Fest Audience Award on the night! 


The Ironstar International Short Film Festival screens at DCA Sun 6 August - tickets will be available soon!

Don't forget there's still time to submit your film for consideration - please click here to go to the submissions page!

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