The annual Ealing Film Festival returns to the borough for the fourth year running from November 20-25.

This year’s festival is the biggest yet, with the borough's ActOne Cinema, Ealing Project and Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery all hosting events.

More than 400 short films were entered into the festival from creators all around the world. 

Annemarie Flanagan, co-founder and festival director, said: “Move over Cannes, Ealing can do it now!”

The festival boasts a variety of genres: drama, documentary, comedy, horror, animation, sci- fi, environmental, and a category for student filmmakers to nurture young talent. 

The Ealing Film Festival was first set up in 2020 during lockdown, as an online event to celebrate local talent. 

The following year, with COVID-19 restrictions gone, the festival moved to an in-person setting at a hired out church hall. 

Last year, the film festival was finally able to move to the big screen and was hosted at the then-new Ealing Project cinema.

The borough has a rich tradition in the industry with Ealing Studios being one of the oldest film studios in the world, established in 1902.

This history, alongside the opening of three new cinemas in the past two years (ActOne, Ealing Project and Picturehouse), and the arrival of the Elizabeth Line in Ealing and Acton has helped establish the film festival.

Though drawing in filmmakers from Argentina, Australia, Iraq and Kazakhstan, at its heart, Ealing Film Festival remains a community-based affair.

Many of the festival’s awards are being sponsored by local businesses: John Martin Estates is sponsoring comedy, Greenka on Oak Road is sponsoring the Green Planet category and the Moon and Maybe cafe is sponsoring the student award.

Festival directors are hoping that the growing success of the Ealing Film Festival, recently featured in Time Out, may bring in opportunities for grants too. 

Flanagan said: “The council is pushing for ‘Borough of Culture’ status.

“Events and initiatives like our film festival and the Borough of Ealing Art Trail are so important for that mission.” 

The festival will run in the evenings of the week commencing Monday November 20 until Saturday 25, when the winners will be announced. 

Each film selected for viewing has been watched by a panel of at least three experienced judges and scored. 

Last year, the overall winner of the festival was ‘Love’ directed by Jane Ashmore, depicting the daily life of an autistic man through his own eyes.

‘Love’ was not only the overall winner for ‘best film,’ but was also the winner of the Homegrown category. 

This year, ActOne cinema is hosting the Homegrown event to showcase talent from local filmmakers on Tuesday 21.

ActOne was established in October 2021 through a crowdfund appeal.

Nick Jones, cinema director and judge of the Homegrown category said: “ActOne is a fixture in the community and a much-loved destination.

We are delighted to welcome filmmakers to our cinema for the Homegrown category: the strongest and most inspiring section.”