First of all…

Happy Star Wars Day, Southend!

I thought I would take the opportunity to wish you all a very happy May the 4th, as the date certainly seems to coincide perfectly with the Southend Film Festival.

Southend Film Festival is currently taking place this Spring Bank Holiday weekend from Friday 2nd May through to Monday 5th May, screening a diverse range of films at the local venue Park Inn Palace Hotel. The Southend Film Festival also made major headlines for presenting Peter Sellers’ rare films (that have now been digitally re-mastered) at the Opening Gala on Thursday night, films that were thought to be lost for over 50 years! It was a historical red-carpet event at the Odeon Cinema, that really kicked off the Southend Film Festival with a huge bang.

Even Phil Collins’ daughter, Joely Collins, has flown over from Canada to introduce her award-winning film “Becoming Redwood” which she produced. This will be the film’s first festival appearance outside of Canada. Mackenzie Crook also made an appearance at the Opening Gala on Thursday. You may recognise his name from The Office, but he has also acted alongside the likes of Al Pacino, Johnny Depp and the late Heath Ledger. They are but a couple from the list of special guests who attended the Opening Gala.

But enough with the celebrity name dropping, the Southend film scene is pulsing with its own enormous amount of local talent, such as the Southend Film Production Club whose aim is to teach young people about film and film production, proving that Southend’s interest in appearing on screen extends further than being on Eastenders.

The Southend Film Festival is The White Bus‘ most high-profile event. The White Bus Ltd are a Southend-based film company formed in October 2007, who “provide film and video production, education and exhibition services”. They are based at the TAP art gallery in Southend, a former Victorian waterworks building, just off of Victoria Avenue. As well as the Southend Film Festival, you may also know The White Bus from the Horror-on-Sea Film Festival. Southend seems to really have a unique appreciation for zombie and horror movies that Romero himself would be proud of…

One man in particular seems to be quite active in the Southend Film community. Jason Wright is the CEO and Creative Director of local horror film company, Silent Studios. Maybe you met him at the Meet The Movie Stars event yesterday at the Royals Shopping Centre (next door to the Park Inn where the majority of the films are being shown this weekend). He was promoting his new book “Contamination” and copies available for signing.

Southend Film Festival cosplay

Frodo & Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter at the Royals Shopping Centre yesterday.

So who better to talk about Southend’s local movie scene than Jason Wright himself!

Silent Studios are the up and coming horror company in Southend in Essex and have teams all over the UK and abroad which are involved in all kinds of films, TV, promotional and commercial work.

Southend Film Festival is this weekend and Silent Studios held a Meet The Movie Stars event in the Royals Shopping Centre, in association with the White Bus Company and the Royals Shopping Centre to support the film festival. We brought along lots of cool characters to the centre, including the Mad Hatter, Dead Rotten Zombie, Mini Harry Potter, a Stormtrooper and Bilbo Baggins to name a few.

We will be supporting the Southend Film Festival all weekend and are currently filming a few films of our own which should be released in the next few years.

Silent Studios Southend

Silent Studios with White Bus are involved in a lot of local events throughout the year so check out our website for more information and feel free to contact us. One of the main events that Silent Studios and The White Bus company are doing this year is the Essex Zombie Walk on the Southend Pier, in conjunction with the Southend Pier.

Also Silent Studios have a Zombie survival music festival in May and will be taking deposits at the event for those that want a weekend of fun and music.

– Contributed to Love Southend by Jason Wright

It might be the penultimate day of the Southend Film Festival but if this is the first you’re hearing about the festival, you’re not too late! There’s still loads of films scheduled for showing til the Southend Film Festival comes to an end, including one of my personal favourite Monty Python’s Life of Brian which will be showing at the Park Inn Palace Hotel Ballroom tonight at 6pm!

The Railway Hotel pub will also be holding their own film festival all-nighter from 8pm to 8am TONIGHT, promising a free breakfast if you make it all the way through! They will be showing: The Brain that Never Dies; Peeping Tom; Do The Right Thing; Gimmie Shelter; Brain Dead; and more. The Railway Hotel are not unknown for their screening of movies, boasting their own Railway Film Club every Monday night.