Fantastic Romford Film Festival returns!

From the 19th to the 25th of May Premiere Cinemas in the Mercury Shopping Centre will once again host a week of independent film from across the globe as part of the sixth annual Romford Film Festival. As always this year’s festival will be host to a wonderful array of independent films from every genre, ranging from illuminating documentaries to frightful horror and exhilarating thrillers. 

Whether you’re an avid film critic or simply just enjoy the occasional popcorn flick, there is something for everyone at this years Romford Film Festival, This year’s festival is set to be the most explosive yet, with more films than ever before, 183 to be exact, and multiple films with production costs in the millions. One short film that you don’t want to miss is Divertimento, an Indie Thriller which feels more like a blockbuster in its production value. It stars Twilight’s Kellan Lutz as Jonas Olsen, a chess player who is haunted by a tragic past and is given an opportunity to participate in a mysterious game, Divertimento. The Empty Teapot has its world premiere, this emotional rollercoaster from Japan is told in a non-linear style which adds to the power of this highly emotional ride about a man coming to grips with loss. Another big hitter is Sweet Disaster an Oscar qualifying comedy film about a girl and the havoc she causes, just by being her. There are of course plenty of other films to consider that despite having a more modest budget are equally as wonderful, some of which are even filmed locally. One local film to look out for is Fortina 2 a cool and quirky animation in which a civilisation light years away is facing a deadly threat.

For the first time Romford Film Festival attendees will also be treated to a Romford Horror Festival take over on Sunday the 22nd of May a day filled with stomach churning gore and terrifying monsters. One film to feature in this take over is Pretty Boy the continuation to 2020’s movie Blind, a thriller that first premiered at Romford Film Festival two years ago ahead of bigger festivals like Frightfest. The film follows the story of Faye, a blind woman, who is faced with a murderous stalker, Pretty Boy. The main event of the horror strand is Daddy’s Girl, a movie that has all of the vibes of the Saw franchise and even includes Saw actor Louis Mandylor, Daddy’s Girl has an One Off UK screening as part of the festival, a literal one off event after the unexpected death (nothing to do with the film) of one of the films creator left it without an owner. If you happened to miss the Romford Horror Festival at the end of February then the horror take over will be the perfect opportunity to soak in the horror festival atmosphere and enjoy some truly terrifying independent horror films.

With the worst of Covid-19 hopefully behind us, the film festival team will be back in full force, with onscreen Q&A’s for around 75% of films screening, this includes guests like Larry Lamb, and Holby’s Sarah Jane-Potts, Joseph Milson and Bob Barrett. The festival has filmmakers flying in from all over the world to represent their films. This includes a large contingent from Central Asia as the festival again welcomes The Eurasian Creative Guild to Romford, this includes films from Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and or course Ukraine.

In addition to the Q&A’s and the films, a number offilmmakers are joining us for a series of free talks on everything from equality within film, film production, how to make your film more appealing to buyers, through to mental health issues. These talks can be booked through the Romford Film Festival website. In addition, Saturday to Tuesday will see Nerdly LIVE! beam out directly to the internet each day, Kevin Haldon will hold an in-screen chat with filmmakers each day about their films and the film industry as a whole, recorded live with an audience it will be fast, snappy and very, very funny.

Of course, no film festival is complete without an award ceremony. on the final day of the event, Wednesday the 25th of May, attendees will be treated to an elegant awards evening at the heart of cinema. It will honour some of the best aspects of the films shown throughout the week and will give everyone the opportunity to celebrate with film themed cocktails at the Premiere Cinemas bar.

As ever Romford Film Festival is one of the most affordable festivals in the country, a full 7 day pass costs just £35 (for over 70 hours of films), £15 for a day pass or just £4 for a session pass.

To find out more about the films showing at this years festival or to purchase a full festival pass, visit

Images from some of the amazing films on show at the Romford Film Festival returning to Premiere Cinema in the Mercury Mall.

The Havering Daily