World first for film

A film made in Bognor Regis and starring its residents is to get its world premiere in the town.

The short comedy, Wish We Were Here, will be the centrepiece of the launch of the tenth anniversary celebrations of the End of the Pier International Film Festival.

These will take place on October 6 and also include a presentation of the anniversary programme and the awards of this year’s winning entries.

Festival founder and director Bryan Gartside said: “We are gearing up to make the event the absolute biggest and best film festival organised on the south coast.

“During the run-up to the 2013 event, we will be marking the occasion by screening the festival’s top short and feature films.

“These will be especially selected from the 100 or so features submitted and more than 4,000 short films from the past to demonstrate the quality of film productions sent into the festival over the past decade.”

The festival’s recent years have been hit by the economic downturn which has hit the availability of grants and other donations.

However, organisers feel confident investment in the arts will return to what it has been in the past.

But Mr Gartside said the help of the festival’s followers was vital to enable the anniversary year to be one to remember.

“We want people’s ideas for special celebratory events, and we need them to volunteer to promote this tenth anniversary through their circle of contacts. We require local individuals to sponsor the awards and the screenings and we could do with cash donations.

“Above all else, we want local and national businesses to support our opening gala and closing red carpet awards ceremony,” he said.

Among the events lined up for 2013 will be an opening black-tie grand prix gala screening of the ultimate festival film, a celebrity charity ball with the Love Your Hospital charity, a European film festival seminar with guest speakers and an awards night.

Anyone who wants to be involved, or would like more details, should email Mr Gartside at