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The 28th 9.5mm International Festival 2003
Folkstone, Kent, UK

The 28th 9.5 International Festival was held from Thursday 29th to Saturday 31st May 2003, at the Lismore Hotel, Folkstone, UK, close to the town centre and the sea front, and only a stone's throw from the well renowned Leas Promenade.

The UK, Group 9.5 were the hosts to this year's 9.5 International event, arranged by Graham and Pat Murray. There was an all-time attendance record of seventy people! Fifteen from France, ten from the Nederlands, two from Germany and the rest from the UK. Many UK members had attended an International Festival for the first time.

Folkstone is an attractive seaside resort situated on the south coast in the couinty of Kent. Being just 5 miles from Dover presented no problems for the European guests.

The Events

During the Festival, a number of visits were arranged into the surrounding countryside. On the Friday, there was a guided tour of the historic town and cinque port of Hythe, followed by a trip on the famous narrow gauge Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Miniature Railway, a must for any railway enthusiast.

The next day (Saturday) the coach ran through the pretty Kent countryside inland to the City of Canterbury, renowned for its famous Cathedral. There was a guided tour of the City and Cathedral grounds. This was followed by lunch in the 4-star County Hotel which was situated in the High Street. A visit was also included to the 'Canterbury Tales', a visitor attraction that sets out the medieval lifestyle with amusing stories of the period.

Finally on the Sunday (an extra day), the coach took the party to the picturesque old town of Rye, where Morris Dancers performed by the Strand Quay. Rye has many cobbled streets around and leading up to the 12th century St. Mary's church; then after a stop at a country pub for a ploughman's lunch, the group went onto the small Kentish town of Tenterden for a steam train trip on the preserved Kent & East Sussex Railway to Bodiam, after a short visit to the castle there, the coach returned to the hotel in time for the evening dinner.

Technical Topics

Following breakfast on the Friday, before the departure to Hythe, club publicity officer Grahame Newnham gave an interesting and informative talk on the latest developments for the nine-five film gauge. This included the new pellicules now available from Andrew Hayden for the Pathé Webo M reflex cine camera. There was a nice display of 9.5mm cameras and associated memorabilia. The latest Buckingham optical sound projector was also on show, together with Grahame's latest 9.5mm 2,400ft spools for use with that projector. Available for purchase were some new printed films and the 9.5mm Fuji Velvia and Provia camera filmstocks.

Grahame also screened one of his latest 9.5mm magnetic sound releases in colour, entitled "Modern Cinema Tags" it contains several cinema daysets, such as 'Thank You For Not Smoking', 'Intermission', etc. It is 100ft long, in colour and runs at 24fps. This was followed by a short 9.5mm Pathé stencil colour film which had been contact printed onto Velvia filmstock. Also shown on the modern Eiki projector conversion was the Betty Boop sound cartoon "Old Man Of The Mountain", made in 1933 featuring Cab Calloway and his Orchestra.

David Wyatt brought along an interesting 9.5mm 60ft notched printed film simply entitled "Folkstone". It contained interesting footage taken sometime during the 1920s or maybe even earlier. The session finished with a 9.5mm amateur film called "Hells Vultures", a creepy drama. Little is known about this film which was made in the 1930s in black and white.

The Films

The eighteen 9.5mm films entered for the competition were screened over two evenings in the large hotel function room. The projectors included an Eiki French conversion, a Ligonie OSM and a Pathé Europ with a Heurtier magnetic sound base.

Projectionists were Roger Spence and Peter Clayton assisted by Wolfe Otte from Germany

The competition judges were Bernard Trembloy, Hon. President of Club 9.5 de France, the father of Harry Bruno from the Nederlands, and Grahame Newnham of UK Group 9.5 who acted as Chairman. There were eighteen entries for the 9.5mm competition, shown in the orders listed below:

The films were detailed in the well-illustrated programme which was in part colour. This had been designed and produced by Peter Foreman, who was also responsible for the Festival mugs. These had a wrap-around design showing a Pathéscope "Ace" projector within a large frame of 9.5mm film. Festival details were on the rear of the mug.

The 9.5mm International Film Festival 2003 souvenir mug - yes I still have mine!
(designed by Peter Foreman)

Before the start of the competition films, we screened "The Inventor" which was made by Bryan Pearce a few years ago on 16mm, though the copy we saw was a 9.5mm reperforation. A brilliant animation film by a first class film maker!

Judging and Prizegiving

The best film, as voted by the audience, went to Graham Murray for "Roundabout". For this he received a large china fruit bowl. The judges first prize was also awarded to the same film. So Graham scored again winning a wall clock suitably embossed with a 9.5mm 200B projector, along with two drinking glasses. A truly remarkable film, running for just 7 minutes and justly deserved to win. It was runner up at Chiswick last year.

The second prize went to "Ces Etranges Machines Volantes" by Jean Penavayre from France. This was all about Auto Giros and had excellent picture quality with good editing. Also a unique sequence where the camera had been attached to the machine, which when airborne gave us stunning aerial shots of the ground below. The only fault being that it was a trifle on the long side. Jean received a large china plate with a picture of a cockerel, plus two drinking glasses.

The third and final prize went to "Het Dessert". This was entered by M. Bruno-Bon from the Nederlands. This was a short comedy with an inside location and ran for just 3 minutes. He also received a china cockerel plate and two drinking glasses.

Other Films Of Note

"Mr Brandling's Waggon Way", entered by Roger Spence, was a documentary in colour which charted the history of an early industrial railway. Included was black and white footage taken in th 1960s which added good atmosphere to a well made film. The commmentary was full and informative. This came close to winning the audience award vote for the best film. "Eventide At West Kirby" by Angus Tilston contained some very effective sunset shots taken on Velvia stock. It was well photographed and nicely edited into a concise film. It gained first prize at Chiswick last year. Angus had used his Beaulieu camera to good effect.

Wolf H. Otte from Germany entered "York", a film about our historical city. There were some interesting shots of a tame squirrel cracking and eating nuts with the public watching close by. Well made and not overlong. "Sojourn In Sospel" made by Mavis Spence was another good contender with sharp and consistent colour photography along with tight editing. A short film illustrating the beauty of this French town with its cobbled streets and small medieval houses. "La Normandie Médiévale" from Michel Huard of France had good colour phoography throughout. It contained spectacular shots of a medieval battle complete with horses and plenty of action. At 22 minutes it was too long and repetative.


After the prizes had been given, on the Saturday evening after the Gala Dinner, organiser Graham Murray paid special thanks to the projection team. Likewise to Peter Foreman for producing the excellent programme together with the festival mug. Graham also thanked John Ferrari for dealing with with the house lights. Our Hon. Chairman Brian Everett gave strong commendation and admiration to both Graham and Pat Murray for all their hard work and effort in organisimg the whole event. Pat was presented with a large bouquet of flowers by Shirley and Brian Everett,

The next year's 9.5mm International is to be hosted by the Dutch club in the Nederlands.

(I have precised (or is it 'cobbled together'?) this material from a report by Malcolm Cutmore, originally published in the UK Group 9.5 magazine number 115, dated Autumn 2003.)

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