SDFM Win Again

Film festivals are definitely like buses, you wait ages for one then two come along together.

This was certainly the case with the recent Inter-Club competition at Surrey Border Movie Makers at Farnham, and the Sussex Film Festival, at Wivelsfield Village Hall, Wivelsfield Green.

The Surrey Border competition was held on the evening on Friday 6th October. There were four films entered in the competition, “Gift of Love” from Reading Film and Video Makers, “Almost Perfect” from Sutton Film Makers, “To Eleanor” from Staines Video Makers and our own SDFM entry “Travel Companion”.

The winner was “To Eleanor” from Staines Video Makers who incidently also won last year. The film showed a teenage girl coming to terms with the death of her twin sister. The judges for the evening were David Prayers and Peter Frost.

“Sydney’s Search” from SDFM was not an entry in the competition but was shown as an entertainment in the second half and was very much appreciated by the audience.

The whole evening was very friendly and pleasant with eight films shown in total and a good chance to meet members of other clubs and swop ideas.

On Sunday 8th October at the 48th Sussex Film Festival, SDFM enjoyed another successful year picking up three awards for our film “Travel Companion”. The three awards were the Acting Award, Comedy Award and the Best Club Entry.

Twenty seven films were listed in the programme and the majority were shown with a very wide range of subjects, technical quality and durations. SDFM had also entered “How does your garden grow”, “The Picture” and “Turn it up” all of which were shown and much appreciated by the audience of around forty people.

The Judge’s Challenge Cup was awarded to “Stuck in the middle“ from Jack Butler and was a very modern well produced tongue in cheek drama about what might happen when we die with a recently deceased young man being interviewed to see if he would be going to heaven or hell.

The Audience Favourite film was awarded to “Hero in bronze”, a very well executed documentary showing an artists journey from first commission to unveiling a memorial statue. This was produced by Clive Hand from Middleton-on-Sea.

The judges were Bob Lorrimer and Dave Whitworth from Huddersfield Movie Makers, both very experienced and well respected film makers.

Other topics featured included a year in the life of a farm featuring some very good drone shots, a film about hop picking in Kent, a couple of murders, the trial of a pirate and several comedies. Overall a wide range of mostly very watchable films.

Seven SDFM members attended and enjoyed an excellent buffet and interesting and diverse selection of films. Overall it made for a very enjoyable afternoon and evening. Our thanks go to the festival organisers who worked hard to prove a very good festival.

David Allen

Reflections of the Past & Present – 20 Sept 2017


The forthcoming club evening on Wednesday 20th September is your opportunity to be transported back in time to a land of laughter and thrills; to a time when we used to make films on actual photographic film, and to the early days of South Downs Video Club, when we still had to make films on film because film  competitions wouldn’t accept video!

Two squires fight for their rights in this scene from ‘LEGEND’

You’ll find out about the centuries-old dark legend from our area that still exists to this day. You’ll see the very first robotic home help – the perfect butler, and you’ll uncover the secret of the counting numbers; to say nothing about the fly-on-the-wall filming of the pipe smoking gentleman walking through Shoreham carrying his own ‘WC’!

Completing the programme, there are award winning films from our own library plus international award winners.

The evening, with the accent on entertainment, is being presented by long standing SDFM member John Guile, together with Brian Meetens, one of the founder members of SDFM, and includes films made by the predecessor club to SDFM, Shoreham Cine Club – a club that had its own cinema with real cinema seats; a cinema that could be converted to a studio for film making.

Artificial Intelligence in the early days! A scene from ‘THE PERFECT BUTLER’


Come and enjoy some of the films made by the club over the years. It’s all happening at the club evening on Wednesday 20th September.

Brian Meetens



Production News by Brian Meetens


by Brian Meetens – Film-Making Co-ordinator

July 2017

David Allen has scripted a humorous club film suited to the Albany theme of ‘Elephant in the Room’ and is expecting to film it during a club evening in October. Ever busy David is also working on ‘Parlez Vous’ described as a saucy comedy for filming this year.

Alan Eyles is working on a film with the working title of ‘McCarthy’s Church’ and is looking to local amateur theatre groups for the cast.  

As most remaining sequences for the thriller ‘Dead on Time’ are set during the night, the production team are taking a summer break and filming will re-commence in the autumn.

Howard Johnson has written a comedy sketch entitled ‘Cold Calling’ which is in preparation as a project for filming this year.

Alan Cross has adapted a script written by Nadya Henwood entitled ‘Tragedy’, into a screenplay and is meeting with the writer to discuss the film.

Do you have any stories or scripts that may be suitable for filming? If so, we’ll be delighted to hear from you. Also, please let us have any of your ideas that could be developed into a film script or let us know if you’re interested in directing films or being involved with the production process.

Please keep Production News informed and let us have production pictures if you are making films of any genre, including documentaries and Hot Shorts, or if you would like assistance, crew or acting members for a film you are making.

Please forward your information together with copy pictures to Brian or email them to

Roy’s Reflections – July 2017

Roy’s Reflections

Another busy month has gone by.

Alan Cross has been busy with our publicity and has attracted another potential member who hopefully will be joining our ranks, and Bob has been busy putting our name out there with external film shows.

What an enjoyable club meeting we had with Mark Jones followed by Alan Cross, on 7th June, both giving us the benefit of theirwide experiences. 

It was unfortunate that we could not have our meeting on 21st June – I like to see continuity of meetings.

We have decided to postpone the Wildlife Wetlands Trust social outing until next year as the filming material there has declined with the young birds having grown up and flown. However, there is a filming opportunity on 28th and 29th July at Eastbourne at the ‘Festival of Hot Air Balloons’, starting at 11-00am if you fancy it. (See their website –

I hope you are busy making films for our many competitions – don’t forget the Treasure Hunt in Storrington.

Brian Meetens has been busy organising various film-making projects and is still looking for volunteers for various positions. Checkout his Production News.

Roy Powell, Chairman SDFM

June 2017 Update


June 2017 update

Photo shows our Chairman Roy Powell receiving the Chichester Challenge Trophy from last years winners, Chichester Film & Video Makers Chairman, Mike Morris

Roy’s reflections of May

Another month, another trophy!

The Chichester Challenge proved to be a very enjoyable evening for the 18 of us who travelled west. The films shown were of a very high standard although not always to all the judges liking. Our 5 films faired well against the competition and resulted in a 1 point win for SDFM.

Our next meeting was given over to John Lovell who gave us the benefit of his experience and ideas which result in films projects.

All the recent publicity resulted in 2 potential new young members (Lucy & Ben) at the last meeting, both of whom indicated they would ‘come again’ to the next meeting which features Alan Cross & Mark Jones with a musical evening.

Roy Powell, Chairman SDFM

Production News – June 2017


by Brian Meetens, Film-making Co-ordinator

June 2017



There’s a saucy comedy idea from David Allen entitled ‘Parlez Vous’.

Alan Eyles is working on a film with the working title of ‘McCarthy’s Church’ and is looking to local amateur theatre groups for the cast.

A location picture from SDFMs new thriller ‘Dead on Time’ set to commence filming during the summer

Brian Meetens has written a thriller entitled Dead on Time, which was read at a club meeting a couple of years ago during one of the script evenings and which received encouraging comments from the audience. The film is currently in pre-production with Brian producing and Paul Webster directing. The film has been cast and has a start date for filming toward the end of June.

Alan Cross is writing a screenplay from a script written by Nadya Henwood and is looking to make the film during the summer.

Alan has also volunteered to make a promo for the club and is considering various proposals on items to be included.

Howard Johnson has just completed filming a green screen production with the apt title of ‘Heady’s’ and written a comedy sketch entitled ‘Cold Calling’ which has been chalked up for filming during the summer.

Bob Summers is co-ordinating production of a promo being made for ‘Neighbourhood Watch’.

Do you have any stories or scripts that may be suitable for filming?  If so, we’ll be delighted to hear from you.


We did it again, WINNERS.

We did it again, WINNERS


Roy Powell being presented with the trophy by Chichester Film and Video Makers Chairman, Mike Morris


On the evening of the 10th of May SDFM visited Chichester Video and Film Makers for the annual competition ‘The Chichester challenge’.

Five films were entered from both clubs and judged by three judges on a points system. 

SDFM scored most points and the trophy was ours.






Some years ago, BBC TV ran a British comedy series about a group of incompetent safe crackers.


A few years before that, we wrote and filmed ‘Rough Luck’ a comedy all about a group of incompetent safe crackers, who were using the proceeds to supplement their pensions. The film became very successful and was screened at a number of amateur film festivals throughout England. The film also spawned three sequels, ‘That’s the Spirit’, ‘Brotherly Spirit’ and ‘Heavenly Spirit’.


This April, Ferring Film Society’s feature movie showing at Ferring Village Hall is ‘Golden Years’ a British comedy about a group of retirees who decide to rob a bank to supplement their pensions.


Howard Johnson & Brian Meetens in a scene from SDFMs ‘Rough Luck’, filmed in 2005

I know it’s said there are only a very few original plots and all stories since then are based in some way, on those originals, but did SDFM set a trend with ‘Rough Luck’?






Brian Meetens