ISLE OF WIGHT FILM FESTIVAL
IT IS a bright, wet August morning, and Ventnor is infested with mimes.
There's a pack of them galloping down the high street, hilariously conspicuous among the tourists and teenagers, but public eyebrows remain unraised, they’ve grown used to the selection box of creatives that now descend each year on the town for the Ventnor Fringe Festival.
One throws me a cheerfully outsized salute as I dip through an alley, headed for the Youth Club on Victoria Street— remodelled as the Sacred Cinema with a giant screen and comfy sofas - to catch the Isle of Wight Film Festival’s second salvo of shorts by international filmmakers.
It’s a diverse programme.
Jon Gordon and Niko Alajoki’s Lasting Rights sketches out the complex moral landscape surrounding assisted dying with respectful, studied reserve, and enhances carefully juxtaposed interviews with gorgeous nature photography.
Tommy Button and Blind Man’s Bluff follow — the former a patchwork of amusingly baffling vignettes, the latter a witty comedy about an unusual guide dog with a cracking twist ending — and the afternoon wraps up with Workers Leaving the Factory, a cute tale of girl-meets-boy in modern industrial Germany.
I leave, having stumbled upon a treasure horde of fresh talent and pleasing strangeness, and there’ll be plenty more of that in Ventnor — if you can brave the mimes.
By Josh Pointing
Josh is part of a team of young writers reviewing this year's Ventnor Fringe and Isle of Wight Film Festival, as part of a collaboration with the Isle of Wight County Press.