Spirit of Independence Film Festival 2023
Championing intrepid indies & movie mavericks in Sheffield

Filmmakers appear on stage at Spirit of Independence Film FestivalFilmmakers appear on stage at Spirit of Independence Film Festival

Spirit of Independence Film Festival returns for its 5th edition, 29-30 September.

Spirit of Independence Film Festival, Sheffield’s celebration of truly independent cinema and the maverick filmmakers making work on their own terms, is back for its 5th edition. The 2023 instalment takes place at Showroom Cinema from 29-30 September.

The festival opens with an apt call-to-arms for fans of DIY film: a special 35th anniversary screening of Miracle Mile, followed by a virtual Q&A with filmmaker Steve De Jarnett. Notorious for having spent years in production limbo, Miracle Mile finally made it to big screens after De Jarnett wrestled control away from a major studio and decided to take the indie route. The reward for his efforts is a memorable cult curio that improbably - and impressively - combines romantic comedy with apocalyptic thrills.

Intrepid independent filmmakers feature throughout Spirit of Independence’s line-up. The Bradford Movie Makers - West Yorkshire’s finest cine-enthusiasts, and the subjects of heart-warming 2022 documentary A Bunch of Amateurs - sit down for a Q&A session on Saturday 30 September. The Movie Makers conversation is followed by a showcase of shorts made by the club’s members, including Harry’s Oklahoma - the musical mini-epic whose production travails are charted throughout A Bunch of Amateurs.

In a new development for the festival, young voices form an important part of the 2023 programme. The Youthful Spirit Shorts selection brings together work from colleges, universities and filmmaker development programmes from across Yorkshire. While the Northern Spirit Showcase sees Young Programmers from Showroom Cinema take over curatorial duties to highlight the Northern filmmaking talent that they’re excited about.

   We want the festival to feel like it's growing every year, which is why it was important for us to look at the audiences and filmmakers we represent and see where we can improve. By creating our Youthful Spirit strand we've been able to expand the films we show and forge really great partnerships with colleges and universities in the region. It was important for us to take on a second screen to host Youthful Spirit, so the support from Film Hub North has been vital. - Ben Wilkinson, Spirit of Independence Film Festival

Film Hub North is pleased to support Spirit of Independence 2023 with National Lottery funding through our Pitch Pot Fund.

Our support will help the festival grow into a second screen at Showroom Cinema, opening up more space in the programme to showcase young filmmakers and curators, and to engage young audiences. Funding from the Hub will also support the Bradford Movie Makers event, ensuring that the Movie Makers are able to attend, screen their work and share their passion for grassroots film culture.

Our team will also be in attendance during the festival. Ben Taylor, BFI NETWORK Talent Executive at Film Hub North, presents an intriguing session on Saturday 30 September exploring what he thinks might just be the best short film ever.

See the full line-up

Spirit of Independence Film Festival 2023 is supported by National Lottery funding through our Pitch Pot Fund.

For more information on how we can help your next project, book a meeting with our team or visit our Exhibition Funding landing page.