A chat with Film Fest judge Dale Shaw

We’re super excited to be running the Bookie Film Fest, a two week online event that features some of the best films from up and coming writers, producers, and directors. We thought it was worth checking in with some of the judges, as our line up of Dan Dalton, Dale Shaw, Kate Williamson (Margate Film Festival), Sylvie Bolioli (Ramsgate International Festival), Clare Freeman (A Small Furry Bear) and Lucy Edematie is pretty damn good!

Dale Shaw is a television and radio writer, journalist, screenwriter, performer and musician. He is the author of the books Letters Of Not, F**k This Journal, Last Minute Rooms in Bethlehem andPainfully British Haikus. His sketch show, WhatThe Future was broadcast on BBC Radio 4. He has also written for The Now Show, The News Quiz, Russell Howard’s Good News, TheImpressions Show, That Mitchell and Webb Sound, One, School of Comedy, as well as pieces for McSweeney’s, The Toast, The Guardian, Index, Huffington Post, BBC Online, Washington CityPaper and many more. He also produces the podcasts Unpopped for the BBC and You’re Booked for Acast. His favourite film is A Matter of Life and Death.

What for you is the power of film?

It was a formative experience for me. As a kid, I was such an enormous film nerd. I would go and see ANYTHING at the cinema – it didn’t matter what it was. I just spent days and days of my life at the movies. That emotional connection to cinema has followed me throughout my life. It’s the power and the mystery and the complete submersion into someone else’s life and experience – when it’s done right there’s just nothing better.

What are you looking for in the films submitted?

A voice. An originality that shines through and the power to get a message across or tell a story in a truncated amount of time that still packs an emotional punch. I think that with the technology that’s on hand now, making a film look really good is far easier than it used to be, so I’m looking to engage with the story more than the visual component. 

It’s sad we can’t do these things in person – do you think going online is just as good?

I don’t think experiencing things online is ever going to be as good as seeing a film with an audience or taking part in a face to face meeting – there’s just too much distraction when you’re using a laptop. But thank goodness that technology now exists so we have it as an option. 

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