The Winter Gardens Film Festival is a partnership project between the Winter Gardens Trust and Aunty Social CIC.
The festival has run since 2014 bringing a diverse range of film experiences and artist-led events to Blackpool.
Our initial aim was to create an annual event that encourages people to explore the wealth of black and white film and to actively engage with the wonderful Grade II* listed Winter Gardens complex. We’re proud of our diverse programming and in recent years, we have experimented further with artists’ moving image and commissioning new work; testing ideas around creative production with artists.
To maintain the year-round impact of the Winter Gardens Film Festival, Aunty Social delivers film experiences through their community cinema Pop-Up Picture House. Notable activities include sold out screenings of Oxide Ghosts – The Brass Eye Tapes at Blackpool Central Library with a Q&A from director Michael Cumming and Britain on Film: Black Britain, a collection of archive films focusing on the UK’s Black communities.
The festival is directed by Aunty Social founder Catherine Mugonyi, with Clancy Mason (filmmaker with Three Cheers Productions) coordinating the bi-annual short film competition. The festival is supported by a dedicated team of volunteers who contribute to specialised programmes and manage Front of House activity.
Blackpool School of Arts (Blackpool and the Fylde College) is a key festival partner with students from the BA Film Studies degree playing an important role in event development and coordination of the competition.