First Northampton Film Festival 2023 judge announcement goes down in style


The Northampton Film Festival celebrates Northamptonshire’s uniquely independent spirit: it’s a county of rebels and revolutionaries, traitors and trailblazers, misfits and mavericks, creatives and changemakers. At this time of year we particularly think of the outbreak of the Gunpowder Plot here in Northamptonshire, but the times when Northamptonshire has been at the center of crucial British events don’t end there. The Northampton Film Festival intends to make sure people across the UK and beyond know that Northamptonshire is a big deal….

For the first time ever, the Northampton Film Festival is open to filmmakers across Britain who can submit their short and feature films for consideration in 2023. With more films and categories than ever, the Northampton Film Festival now has more judges, patrons and opportunities for young filmmakers. The first judges announced by the Northampton Film Festival are for the 16 and under short film category.

The winner of the 2022 Northampton Film Festival main competition, Northampton director Marcus Anthony Thomas, will be joined on the jury by Kuljinder Khaila, chairman of the Royal Television Society Midlands and executive producer at the BBC Academy, and Northampton-born Liza Rhea , Environment Modeling Supervisor at Walt Disney Animation Studios, Vancouver.

The awards ceremony will take place at the Royal Theater Northampton.

The 3 judges will look at the shortlist of entries compiled by the Northampton Film Festival to choose the Best Film winner and runner-up in the category, including a special award for Best Northants Film.

Becky Carrier, Festival Director, said: “We are delighted with our 16 and under jury who have a wealth of industry experience. Marcus is a recent graduate of the National School of Film and Television and knows what filmmakers go through on the ground. Kuljinder has a genuine passion for young people and the Midlands, and has his finger on the pulse of the industry locally and nationally. Then Liza moved from Northampton to Canada with Disney, directing The No 2 at Kettering for Disney+. If I was a young person, I would like these people to watch my films!”

When asked what makes a good short film, judge Kuljinder Khaila said, “A good short film should evoke emotion. Whether it’s humor or hate, be bold to make people feel. Second, a short film needs momentum, not just reflecting a In a nutshell, a good short film needs to “move”. It has to both move you and move you forward.” Judge Marcus Anthony Thomas said, “I think the best shorts have a clear and simple concept with a unique perspective, which together help surprise an audience.”

The judges for the Main Drama and Documentary categories will be announced soon.

Filmmakers can submit their short and feature films – dramas and documentaries – now through There are separate categories and prizes for 16 and under, Northants films and films from across Britain.

The pre-registration deadline is February 3, 2023, but films can be submitted until March 31, with the festival taking place from May 22 to June 4.


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