It wasn’t alright on the night! but it did get better.

Our annual ‘Challenge’ (Chichester/Southdowns 50:50) between Chichester Film and Video Makers and South Downs Film Makers took place on Wednesday 15th May in Ferring Village Hall, our ‘home’ location.

Despite the evening timing, 4 members from Chichester made it to us, together with 18 SDFM members, to enjoy an evening of film appreciation.

5 films from each club were screened – 3 making up a 30-minute programme, and 2 being 1-minute films. The films were randomly mixed, with the aim of showing alternate club’s films.

CFVM brought their films on a USB stick (together with a computer back-up), to be shown through our Panasonic Blu-Ray player as agreed, and SDFM’s films were to be shown directly from a laptop, with the switching between them done via our Sony amplifier. It started off well, but then one of CFVM’s films wouldn’t play, so we decided we would have to come back to it later on. Then later on another of CFVM’s films would also not play – probably due to being transcoded with a codec that Panasonic doesn’t support. Even the laptop played up, by the progress bar in QuickTime Player not disappearing as it should. It stayed on during the playing of 2 films, one of which was terminated abruptly as it was spoiling the film. So, time for plan B. QuickTime Player was reconfigured and CFVM’s USB was plugged into the laptop. This solved all the problems and the rest of the films played through with no hiccups. Many lessons to be learned here for future screenings.

So eventually we got through all the films and the audience enjoyed the variety of topics. As the judges deliberated, we tucked into tea/coffee and cake organised by our Pauline Reymond, and prepared by Jim Anderson and Ted Forman. After this it was time for the results. Head (independent) judge Steven Lancefield (a local independent filmmaker), gave a brief feedback on each film together with the scoring (out of 10). As the results came in they were displayed on the big screen, and the excitement grew as more results were announced, culminating SDFM pipping CFVM to the trophy by 6 points.

Congratulations to SDFM for this victory (meaning CFVM will have to host the event next year), but also thanks to CFVM for entertaining us with their films and for making the effort to attend the screening at Ferring. Thanks also to Steven Lancefield and the club judges – Roy Powell from SDFM and Mike Pepper from Chichester.

The Challenge Cup was presented by Steven, to the SDFM film makers who made the films screened.

Mike Spanton

(Photo: left to right: Ian Ryder, Alan Cross, Howard Johnson, Mike Spanton, Steven Lancefield with the Challege Trophy)