An Irish Goodbye wins Best British Film Award at 12th Norwich Film Festival 2022

12th Norwich Film Festival – audience photo image credit Malachy Luckie

By Mark Boardman, entertainment reporter, movie critic and celebrity publicist.

Norwich Film Festival 2022

The 12th Norwich Film Festival took place last night, and I was pleased to be part of the event having been invited to attend such a fantastic evening filled with film makers, media personalities, local businesses, media talent, students, invited guests and a fantastic team who helped put the event together for another successful film festival.

Founder of Norwich film festival Kellen Playford talks to Mark Boardman in an exclusive interview further below but first who won the awards in each category?


Sideral wins Best International Film Award

Big Ears is awarded Best East Anglian Film

Superheroes Wear Hoodies wins Best Documentary Film

Luce and the Rock is Best Animated Film

Caterpillar is awarded Best Student Film

As someone who watches and promotes movies for a living including in-person events such as London film premieres, I am thrilled and proud of the work that the Norwich film festival does by showcasing not only the work of both budding and experienced film makers, but the recognition the annual event receives from the growing supporters. Importantly the film festival highlights the city’s dedication to culture and the arts. I spoke to a number of nominees and winners at the event held at NUA, a wonderful auditorium and was amazed at the high quality content, writing, producing, casting, directing and locations chosen for each of the many films which were showcased at this years event.

Out of nearly 1,400 national and international submissions, the winners received their award at Norwich University of the Arts at a special ceremony sponsored by Intermission. This year’s winners tell stories about friendship, honouring a loved one, coping with illness, impact of modern-day slavery and dreaming big.

A selection of four films in each award category were considered by the 2022 Jury with this year’s panel including Nat Luurtsema, Jinko Gotoh and Chris Rankin. Each winner received a £1,000 cash prize alongside a commemorative certificate and trophy, as well as a number of additional software prizes.

“With more films than ever to choose from, deciding on the films to nominate in each category was no easy task. Congratulations to all winners for creating stories that move, inspire and matter,” says festival Founder Kellen Playford who told entertainment reporter Mark Boardman that “Feedback from the films this year were really positive, and this year I can finally interact with people as many more people attended, who previously I had only spoken to over email”.

“Everyone has been positive and this year we had many uplifting films that people enjoyed watching which is alittle different from what you would see on TV. I am proud to do what I do here for the festival”.

On seeing film makers attending the event, Kellen revealed “I love it. It’s so good. We’ve only been doing these awards for four or five years, before that we were a small festival and had three or four film makers attending so we wanted to change that”. In recent years, “We’ve had more and more film makers come at watch the festival and often spend a whole weekend in the city going to lots of different events”.

Talking about the awards night, Kellen told Mark “It gives us a chance to celebrate and to congratulate them in person because alot of the filmmakers I’ve been emailing for 8 months so whilst I have a rapport with them, it’s great to meet them, talk to them, have a drink and shake their hand”.

For filmmakers, it’s a great event to come along to, hangout, network and reach out too“. “As Ross and Tom (Award winners on the night) said in their thank you speech, they came to our awards show last year and met a load of film makers and they are still friends and making films with them. It’s also great for me as a festival organiser but it’s down to the filmmakers as well as they help make the event and to mingle, that’s the pinnacle.

On Kellen’s (and his teams) standout moment and meeting expectations, he told me “I find it harder every year as expectations of not only what the festival should be but what I want to present to audiences and film makers. Every year I want us to grow and improve so this year I put a little extra pressure on myself and the team and they did amazing”. “Norwich is not an easy city to get too at the best of times but more and more film makers are coming here and I want to put on something special and hopefully they enjoy is as much as I do”.

Talking on how vital sponsorship is to the event, the founder said “They are key to us keeping the festival going. In this industry you can be out of business within a few months, you saw Edinburgh film festival that has been around for 75 years sadly disappeared this year, so for us to have not only sponsors come on board and help us just the once to build that relationship with local companies over the course of four, five, six or seven years gives us the financial commitment to get the festival going as this gives us an extra team of support who are going to help promote the festival including help us set-up”. “We’ve got NUA who loaned the amazing building for the night and the UEA who supported our industry day”.

Kellan humbly said “It’s not just the financial aspect but all support is very important and the fact that we have extra teams around the city that are willing to do so much for us, they are the live blood of our festival”.

Finally talking hopes for 2023, co-director of the Norwich international short film festival revealed to that “There will be more screenings and more networking events”. The online side of the festival can run it’s self and I’m so pleased that we have that up and running as it’s great for not only locals who cannot make it the events but It gives Norwich the opportunity to get seen by people across the UK and across the world too”. That helps our brand and also our film makers who also get seen by a much bigger audience. I would love to see more panels, Q&A’s and several workshops to really make this ‘The festival for film makers’ to come and enjoy.

Viewers can still watch more fantastic films in person this weekend, including the Best East Anglian winner BIG EARS on Sunday 20 November. Tickets for this weekend are available online and at the desk. All in-person screenings are £5 and under, with reduced rate tickets for under 25s.

Watch 100+ films online until Sunday 4 December, including the winning films.

  • Best British Film, sponsored by Arnolds Keys – An Irish Goodbye: On a rural farm, two estranged brothers are forced to reunite following their mother’s death, but will an unfulfilled bucket list bring them together? By co-writer/ director duo Tom Berkeley and Ross White. Produced by Tom Berkeley, Ross White and Pearce Cullen.
  • Best International Film, sponsored by Skyline IFE  – Sideral: A couple lives with their children near the space centre, the husband is a mechanic while the wife is a cleaning lady, who dreams of other horizons. Directed and written by Carlos Segundo and produced by Mariana Hardi, Pedro Fiuza, Damien Megherbi and Justin Pechberty.
  • Best East Anglian Film, sponsored by University of East Anglia – Big Ears. A struggling actor finds a lump on his testicle and is forced to confront his life choices. Produced by Guy Lindley and directed by Sam Baron.
  • Best Documentary Film, sponsored by VisitNorwich – Superheroes Wear Hoodies: A group of British Black youths from one of London’s most notorious estates defy public perception by supporting their local community. Directed by Jason Osborne and produced by Steven Eniraiyetan.
  • Best Animated Film, sponsored by Meantime Media – Luce and the Rock: One day, out of nowhere, a giant Rock lays in the middle of the peaceful little village where Luce lives. Written and directed by Britt Raes and produced by Perrine Gauthier.
  • Best Student Film, sponsored by Norwich University of the Arts  – Caterpillar: In the aftermath of an attempt to escape modern-day slavery, a Vietnamese boy’s relationship with his overseer becomes even more complicated. Directed and written by Marcus Anthony Thomas and produced by Johannes Schubert.

Norwich Film Festival 2022 selection in numbers:

  • 10 days of great stories
  • 115 films from 18 countries
  • 36% female directors
  • 54% films are from the UK
  • 46% international films
  • 26% first time filmmakers.

The festival is proud to receive the support of its festival sponsors Norwich University of the Arts (NUA), Artlist, BFI Film Audience Network, UEA, Norwich Business Improvement District and Norwich City Council.

Author Profile

Mark Boardman
Mark Boardman
Mark Boardman is an established showbiz journalist and freelance copywriter whose work has been published in Business Insider, Daily Mail, Bloomberg, MTV, Buzzfeed, and The New York Post, amongst other media. Often spotted on the red carpet at celebrity events and film screenings, Mark is a regular guest on BBC Radio London and in demand for his opinions on media outlets such as Newsweek, Daily Express, and OK! Magazine, as well as Heart radio, Capital FM, LBC, and Radio 2. His TV credits include ITV News, This Morning, BBC News, The One Show, Sky News, GB News, and Channel T4. Mark is a keen traveller having visited 40+ countries, and a devout sports fan who also attends as many gigs as he can across the capital when not rubbing shoulders with the stars. Email

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