Introducing Jon Gann…

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With Sunderland Shorts Film Festival only a matter of weeks away, we’re fast approaching our big countdown!! Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun…

So, having already introduced you to the faces behind our Sunderland-based festival team, we thought it was about time that took you on a trip over to Washington DC to introduce you to the inspiration behind our inaugural festival – Jon Gann.

Jon is a highly acclaimed DC-based filmmaker and the Programming Director of the prestigious DC Shorts Film Festival. His long standing relationship with Sunderland stems from the city’s 2006 Friendship Agreement with Washington DC – which was formed with the aim of fostering and developing economic, educational and cultural relationships between the two cities.

The unique relationship has paved the way for a number of creative collaborations that have taken place since 2008, Sunderland Shorts being one of them.

Having forged strong connections with Sunderland Council representatives, Jon had always been keen to bring new cultural activities to the city, particularly a film festival that would provide an international stage for film makers from around the region and beyond.

And, with a wealth of experience in running his own internationally renowned Film Festival, he was perfectly placed to help us with Sunderland Shorts. Well, we certainly think so!

“I am really looking forward to bringing the film festival to Sunderland. Your City Council has a great focus on the arts and I think that this is really important. I have also always wanted to start a film festival somewhere outside of DC and this was the perfect opportunity to do so.

“ Sunderland is a city that looks like it wants to have more arts. It also has very little going on with film right now, so if I can help create something that grows into something large and important for the region, then that’s a fabulous thing for me to do.” Jon Gann

From the offset, Jon has been integral to the development and planning of Sunderland Shorts, guiding us through the process of setting up a festival for the very first time and offering his expert advice whenever it’s needed (via Skype of course!)

We look forward to welcoming Jon back to Sunderland in July when he’ll be helping us to make sure the festival is a success (and no doubt entertaining us in the process).

Meet The Sunderland Shorts Team…

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With submissions closed for entries and the festival itself less than two months away, the Sunderland Shorts team are working really hard to make our very first festival a real success.

As we’ve quickly learnt, there’s lots to take care of! From selecting the venues, programming the films, and designing the posters, through to organising awards, acquiring the necessary technical equipment, and building a strong team of volunteers, we’ve certainly got our hands full.

We’ll have plenty of updates over the coming weeks about venues, tickets, and showings, but first we thought we’d introduce you to the team behind the festival…

Sunderland Shorts is being run by a team of film, media, design, and management professionals. Whilst we all work together to make key decisions and ensure that the festival runs smoothly, each member of the team has been allocated key responsibilities.

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Festival Director – Anne Tye

Festival Manager – Rebecca Burdon

As the titles suggest, these two ladies are responsible for leading, managing and overseeing the running of the festival as a whole. Rebecca and Anne work together to ensure that key decisions are made and vital deadlines are met; Rebecca concentrates on logistics and Anne is responsible for keeping track of the budget and ensuring that we comply with all of the necessary regulations.

It’s an important, and often stressful job but, with these two ladies in charge, we’re in capable hands!

 

Programming Team – Jerome Vyland and Aman Sharma (Northern Bear Films) and Wojtek Bozyk partner_northernbear

Jerome, Aman and Wojtek are currently hard at work making sure that all submissions are reviewed and the successful films are selected. They will then lead the team in programming the chosen films into a number of screenings.

 

Volunteer Co-ordinater – Hannah Matterson

We wouldn’t be able to run our festival without a friendly bunch of volunteers, and it’s Hannah’s job to manage the recruitment, allocation and supervision of the helpful team.

 

Graphic Design – Matthew Tye & Beth Dowd (Bureau) 

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It’s thanks to Matthew & Beth that our website, posters, and branding all look so good! From designing our logo, creating adverts, and making all of our documents look great, to creating our website, arranging ticket sales, and setting up our online submissions page, we can always rely on Bureau to ensure that we’re looking and performing at our very best.

 

PR – Amy Armstrong and Marie Donnelly (M.A.D Communications) partner_mad

Amy and Marie handle our social media accounts, make sure that people are talking about the festival, and take care of most of our copywriting. They also deal with the press and will be generating lots of stories in the lead up to the events – keep your eyes peeled for them!