2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 ... ...
Animated lamp logo by Bob Bennett and Declan Smith
Home contact programme productions competitions resources news history
Find us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter



With three new BFVS productions in the final stages of post production and several members completing their own work, 2016 may be an excellent year for success on the competition circuit both in this country and internationally. From the clubs point of view two dramas, 'Thicker than Water' directed by Sue Mansi and 'Don't Call Me Baby', directed by Dane Rayment are in the final throws of editing, whilst a documentary 'Bristol Revisited', directed by Gordon Young, is almost complete.

All three will be premiered to members in April but as soon as possible they will be entered, with fingers firmly crossed, in to any suitable competitions.

Bob Bennett

01 January 2016

16 February


A bit of light relief after the formalities of the Annual General Meeting when outgoing Chairman, Jane Andrews presented Mike George with an Honorary Lifetime Membership in recognition of nearly 50 years with the club.

January 5

Stuart Lockyer


Mike joined in 1969 and has been our webmaster since it’s inception in 1997.

Thanks Mike.

29 February


Take a look at the latest addition to our film archive.  It's called "Bristol Through a Lens - Bristol as shown in club films since 1935".

Bob Bennett says, "I glued this film together from 99% club archive footage."

He does himself an injustice.  It's not glued, it's professionally edited by a member who is at home with all aspects of this amazing hobby of ours.

If you have even a passing interest in how we, as a club, have recorded the history of this city of ours over the years, you need to spend the next 25 minutes of your life watching this.

You will not be disappointed.

1 March


20 March


Peter Heaven writes…

‘Helen collected the Vale Sound Trophy for Best Sound and the Ray Toleman Memorial Trophy for overall First at the Gloucester Inter-club Annual Film Competition for Requiem for Caffeine!

Tewkesbury YMCA Move makers won Second with ‘Culinary Solution’ in which a married couple stew over ways to spice up their marriage, and John Greene, a member of Gloucester Film Makers, gained Third with ‘Discovering Bath’, a visit to Bath during the annual Jane Austin Festival’.

Scriptwriter Helen Sharpe with the trophies for the BFVS entry Requiiem for Caffeine

M.C. and new Chairman, Tim Smart has written a special report containing details of all the entries and lots of photographs.   Read it HERE

Gloucester InterClub Competiton_2016

20 March


A framegrab from Bristol RevisitedA club production, Bristol Revisited, has just been awarded four stars in The 2016 IAC British International Amateur Film Competition.

The documentary will be premiered at the club on April 5th and shown again to a public audience at a screening at The Bristol Record Office on April 7th.

The makers of the film, members Gordon Young, Tim Smart, Bob Bennett and Peter Heaven are also delighted at the news that out of the hundreds of films entered into the BIAFF competition this year, Bristol Revisited has been selected to be screened on April 16th at the event, being held this year in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Also, Gordon Young's An Italian Dream, which has a Charles Dickens essay on Venice as a script, was awarded three stars in this competition. "Boz" would be pleased . . .

And the spectacular Clifton Suspension Bridge fireworks display, Pyrotechnic Pageant, which was filmed by Gordon and Bob Bennett really got the judges fizzing - it got three stars, too.

It could have been so different . . . , a documentary by Gordon describing the horrendous road schemes planned in the 'sixties for Bristol's Historic Harbour, was also awarded three stars. Gordon made it specifically for Bristol audiences so it's gratifying that the film, together with Bristol Revisited has been picked to be screened at the awards ceremony in Harrogate in mid-April. Just proves what a photogenic city Bristol is, eh . . . ?

Star ratings explained

star ratings.doc

As members headed north up the M5 to the Gloucester event, Gordon Young and Dave James drove south to Tiverton

Camcorder Club and their Challenge Shield Competition.

A varied mix of 15

competently-made films were enjoyed, with Gordon’s latest Venice film, An Italian Dream, winning first prize – an impressively-large plaque to be held for a year, along with a small plaque to be held in perpetuity and £20 in prize money. Worth the journey!

28 March


Read the written comments on our entries in the recent Gloucester Inter-Club Film Competition from judges …

Jill Lampert  -  Howard-Smith  -  Keith Sheather

4 April


Our 1956 documentary film 'Western Gateway' has recently undergone an extensive restoration so that extracts

from it could be used in the new production, ‘Bristol Revisited'.

This four minute Vimeo link shows how the restoration was done together with a short list of current members who helped with the process.

‘I really enjoyed your film which I thought was very professional .

Only Editors like us appreciate how much work is involved in bringing it to the screen!

Well done.’

BBC Points West editor.

‘Just wanted to say that we all had a great time last night. The films you guys have made are truly wonderful and we all came away smiling and educated.

Well done to you and the club.

You should be proud’

Aardman Animations

Technical credits for 'Bristol Revisited':

7 April

BRISTOL RECORD OFFICE:  First showing of two of our films to a large public audience.

84 people turned up to watch Bristol Revisited and Bristol Through a LensBob Bennett writes…

‘The theatre at Bristol's Create Centre was full for an event organised by Allie Dillon, an archivist at the Bristol Record Office. Two new BFVS films had their first showing to a large public audience. The auditorium was packed to capacity and more people had to be turned away for the screening of the Bristol-themed documentaries 'Bristol Through a Lens' and 'Bristol Revisited'. Both films were very well received and prompted many questions. The opportunity was taken to promote the club and it was clear from the response that films of this type are very worthwhile and much appreciated by local people.’

Gordon Young writes…

‘This was a public event at a difficult-to-reach venue at an awkward time. But 84 people turned up and if any more had been accommodated we'd have been contravening fire regs.

They watched Bob and Pete's ‘Bristol Through a Lens’ and then ‘Bristol Revisited.


We did the club proud.  At the end we answered many questions.

Clearly, we got across that the club has a pedigree and that it should endure.  We make films that are relevant, watchable and stand the test of time.  We proved that tonight.’

60 years in a loft!  Safe now in Bristol Record Office's temperature controlled environment.

7 April

The original of our 16mm 1956 film 'Western Gateway' has been handed to The Bristol Record Office for safe keeping. This is the final club production originated on film to be digitised and added to all the others from our archive that are stored on their shelves.

Bob Bennett

BFVS Archivist

21 April

Premieres of three of the Society’s latest productions.

Just like buses where you wait for ages then three come along, on April 5th BFVS was treated to the premieres of three films from members! Two were dramas; ‘Don’t Call me Baby’ dealt with a young couple and an issue of infidelity, while ‘Thicker Than Water’ highlighted the problems of an aging relative and her loneliness. The third film, ‘Bristol Revisited’, had a documentary approach; as the name implies, it took a film about Bristol made by the club in 1956 and interspersed modern scenes to illustrate the changes made over the intervening period.

The variety of subjects shows that we are addressing contemporary situations which many families are facing, while keeping a broad interest in local and social history. Needless to say the films were all very well received, and we look forward to the premieres of films currently in production.

It would be appropriate here to thank our friends from amateur drama for their excellent performances in front of our cameras – the films would be a bit empty without them!

Pete Heaven.

Dont Call me Baby thicker than water gateway2

1 May


Malcolm Stephens was runner up in the

holiday/travelogue section of the recently

held Frome Five Minute Festival with his film, Tranquil Waters. Serene moments on the Northampton Canal.

Full details of the competition are on Frome’s new website:  http://fromevideo.webs.com/

9 May



We are saddened to hear that John Howden has died.

Read about John HERE

John Howden recieving the Quickie Cup in 2011 for his animation,"A Load of Old Cobblers"

27 May


Two films from club member

Patrick de Landre-Grogan have just been uploaded and are now available to view on both the archive and articles and tutorials pages of this website.

15 June


It all started in late 2013 and yesterday, June 14th, a labour of love reached a milestone with the uploading of the 100th film from our library to the club Vimeo pages for all to see.  From the oldest made in 1935 to the most recent batch from 2016 they highlight both our own productions and films made by groups or individuals within the club.

See for yourself via our Film Archive page and appreciate how

our films have evolved over the past eighty years.

Bob Bennett, Archivist

9 September



We entered Requiem for Caffeine and Lucy in the Dolphin Competition and Walking the Planks in the

Top of the Clubs Competition.

What are Dolphin and Top of the Clubs Competitions

We gained SECOND PRIZE with Requiem for Caffeine

Unfortunately Lucy and Walking the Planks

were not placed.

For those of us who saw Diana Taylor's film 'Once in Whitley Bay' will not be surprised to learn that it has been selected for three prestigious film festivals.

11 September


Well done Diana!

20 September


Intense concentration was evident on the faces of members when a record ten editing tables were set up to cut a set of shots offered by the committee. Learning from previous editing meetings, it was vision only – no sound! This was a much better environment than competing loudspeakers, and it was interesting to see so many different editing programs in action on a variety of laptops.

Peter Heaven

28 September


Regular visitors to these pages will recall that our website was hacked a couple of times earlier this year.  Those days are over thanks to the committee's decision to move our site from a service provider who doesn't chase off hackers to one that does.  We are now in the far safer hands of The Internet People.

Visit them HERE

8 October


Congratulations yet again to the makers of 'Requiem for Caffeine' as that club production was awarded first place in the 41st Teign Cup Competition organised by the Teign Film Makers Club in Teignmouth, Devon. Third place went to the 2015 Annual Trophy winner 'Walking the Planks'. All in all a very good creative days work for BFVS.

18 October


Sue Cockwell writes:

John and I attended the SoCo Annual Awards on Saturday and enjoyed an entertaining afternoon with a variety of films from horror, humour, travel, tragic and animation.

BFVS did well by winning Best Editing with

Don't Call Me Baby' and the film came

Second!   'Thicker than Water' won Best Club

Entry with lots of positive comments and


The certificates and presentation

Mouse-over to enlarge

Photo by Sue Cockwell

7 November


Diana writes:

My film Cuba Sun Sex and Socialism which was shown at the club in the holiday competition has been selected for the Latino and Iberian American film Festival Yale USA.

It has also been selected in the human rights competition of the Baghdad International Film Festival. Good to know that the arts are still flourishing in a war torn country.

I'm enclosing the page where it is listed as there are some very interesting films on the festival website both fiction and documentary.


Annual Trophy

15 November


Seven excellent films were presented to a full house in this year’s competition.

Our special guest this evening was professional filmmaker, Paul Smith M.A. who judged all the entries and presented the trophies.

Thank you Paul.

Photographs of the winners and their awards can be seen HERE

PROG 2016_2.pdf 5 volunteer members

7 December


5 volunteer members of BFVS filmed a Junior Dragons Den event at the Bristol Hotel on Wednesday 7th. December.  The event was run by Envision as part of the Community-Apprentice Programme.

The teams of teenagers were bidding for funding for varied social action projects focusing on topics such as Healthy Eating, Racial Discrimination

and Mental Health. The funding of up to £100 was awarded by 'Dragons', local leaders in the business community.

Videos of last years event, which was also filmed by members of BFVS, can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcOyH9Ek2Xc.

A representative of Envision can be contacted at eleanor@envision.org.uk

12 December


Competition Secretary Sue Cockwell writes…

Just to let you know that our film 'Don't Call Me Baby' was COMMENDED in the North v South competition. The judge John Sharp gave the feedback " Quite a powerful story of the breakdown of a marriage with a well written script.  Well acted with a poignant twist at the end.  I very much enjoyed watching it."

21 December


Despite the quick change in programme content we still found time to give Gordon Young his certificate for winning this year’s Annual Trophy Competition with his film, An Italian Dream.

Photo by Peter Heaven

Download the

printed programme

What is the North v South Competition

Read what the judges thought of each film:


Mouse-over to compare

This year saw a further revision to the Spring Competitions.

We decided to remove categories.  Both competitions can now be on any subject - the only restriction is length.

10 films were entered.

The Quickie Competition.

The Thalia Goblet was won by by Dane Rayment for Shake4Mike.

Lauren - her story by Terry Sheppard came a close second and third place went to Diana Taylor for her film, Nail House.

The Ten Minute Trophy.

Steve Andrews was  the clear winner again this year with his film,

Travels in Asia

Gordon Young was placed second and is awarded the Ivor Wiltshire Memorial Trophy with, Going Loco on Purbeck

Gareth Macleavy wins 3rd place with his film, Two Goats.

Photographs of the winners and their awards can be seen HERE