THIS weekend sees the welcome return of the Colchester Film Festival.

Having taken a break last year, the two-day film event returns to the Firstsite art gallery from Friday, once again bringing together a selection of amazing feature and short films, talks from award-winning filmmakers and networking events.

Among the highlights this year include The Driving Seat directed by Phil Lowe, in which a middle aged couple decide to make love in their car in the driveway to put a spark back in their marriage only to find it has rather the opposite effect.

There’s also a screening of Zashchitnik, directed by Martin Stirling, which is portrait of Pavel Fomenko, a man who dedicates his life to tiger conservation.


The festival opens with a gala screening of award-winning documentary Unrest.

The film explores the story of Jennifer Brea who when she is struck down by a fever that leaves her bedridden, sets out on a virtual journey to document her battle with a disease that medicine forgot.

That’s ME, commonly called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and while Unrest lifts the veil on the disease, at it’s core is a love story as Jen and her new husband forge their relationship while dealing with her illness.

On Saturday, the festival continues with a full programme of some of the best new short films from filmmakers around the globe including world, European and UK premieres.

The five short film screenings showcase a wide range of genres, including comedy, drama, romance and horror.

Alongside the short film programme will be a series of masterclasses from some of the UK’s finest industry professionals such as editor John Wilson (Billy Elliot, Me Before You, The Book Thief), director James Kent (Testament of Youth, The White Queen, The Thirteenth Tale) and cinematographer Matt Gray (Broadchurch, Apple Tree Yard, Heartless).

The talks will also involve a Q & A session giving audiences a chance to ask their own questions.

The festival ends on the same day with the screening of the 60 Hour Film Challenge shortlisted films and the award ceremony, where the festival winners will be announced.

For more information, or to buy tickets go to, or call Firstsite on 01206 713700.