Something for the weekend: Mansfield film festival director hoping for town’s ‘cultural renaissance’

Jay Martin

The festival director of the Mansfield Town Film Festival has teamed up with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in an effort to try and raise awareness for the event.

Jay Martin is bringing the festival to Mansfield Palace Theatre from 14-16 July, in what he hopes will be “the start of the Mansfield’s cultural renaissance”.

Martin told “I’ve been working as a filmmaker full time for several years now, my most recent film, a political documentary called REDt’BLUE has won multiple awards.

“We had a sell out premiere last February at Broadway Cinema, in Nottingham, screened in the House of Commons and this resulted in me and my team being commissioned for a trilogy of doc-shorts by the BBC.

“Off the back of the publicity I received for REDt’BLUE, I made a call to MPs to halt cuts to arts funding, and aim to invest more in ‘forgotten’ places such as my hometown of Mansfield.”

This plea worked, and last year Martin worked with his local council on a £1.7m bid for Arts Council England funding to give his hometown a cultural boost. He added: “This, if you know anything about Mansfield, has been lacking for decades.”

The bid was accepted in full in November 2022, and in January of this year, Martin began work on the landmark project of the bid, the first ever Mansfield Town Film Festival, born of an ethos to promote diverse working-class filmmakers from across the region, and further afield.

He said: “Of course our first edition hasn’t taken place yet, July 14 – 16, but our ambition is to have it be the largest cultural event the town has ever seen.

“In the lead up to the festival, we are working with the FSB to host a business reception open to any and all businesses across the region, who are interested in learning more about our festival and seeing how they can potentially get involved in making this festival a huge success!

“This event is taking place Thursday May 18 6PM-8PM at Mansfield Palace Theatre, and will feature networking, a free drinks reception, an exclusive screening of some films that will be screening at the full festival in the summer, and a brief presentation by myself and partners on sponsorship opportunities.

Click here to find out more about the event.

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