Film buffs are hoping to spot the next Steven Spielberg as an international festival comes to Weymouth.

More than 150 filmmakers from the UK, Europe and South Korea will showcase their talents at The British International Amateur Film Festival between Friday and Sunday this week.

This year will mark the first time in the festival’s 80-year history that it will be hosted in the south west.

Eric Montague, festival officer, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone with an interest in film to see a diverse, imaginative and extremely high quality selection of films.

“Weymouth is a beautiful setting and we just hope the weather stays as lovely as it has been.

“Here at this festival, you may find the Scorseses and Spielbergs of the future.”

The BIAFF will mean lights, camera and action for pupils from Beechcroft St Paul’s School, who will show their film The Sadness of King George.

As previously reported in the Echo, the film was shown at another national festival last year.

Filmmaker and animator Alastair Nisbet said: “The Sadness of King George has already been screened at the Co-operative Film Festival in Bradford and at Animated Exeter earlier this year, but we're thrilled that it is now going to be shown at the BIAFF event in Weymouth so that hopefully some of our wonderful team of 11-year-old filmmakers will be able to take their friends to see it on the big screen.”

The festival will be held at The Hotel Rembrant, organised by the IAC Film and Video Institute.

Hotel events manager Angela Horton said: “We have never hosted a film festival before, so it will be something different and great for the area, with lots of visitors coming to Weymouth over the weekend.”

Mr Montague added: “We have had a record number of entries this year and attracted amateur film makers from a whole range of places. The word ‘amateur’ has connotations of slight incompetence but that is not the case at all.”

Local film fans can buy day tickets to the festival for £5 in advance at or from the Weymouth Tourism Information Centre.

'positive reputation'

Jacqui Gisborne, marketing and promotions officer at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council said: “We are delighted to be able to welcome the BIAFF to Weymouth and Portland.

“The borough council has been working with the organisers to provide them with information about the area and highlighted some of the great locations that have been used for filming in the past. We now have a very positive reputation with film and television broadcasters as a ‘film friendly’ location. Not only does this bring money direct into the local economy but has the added benefit of film tourism.

“The whole area has had lots of success in attracting films and prime-time TV shows and it is something the borough council is extremely keen on continuing to promote.”