No/Gloss Film Festival is Leeds Independent Film Festival – celebrating underground cinema, do-it-yourself, unconventional film-making and independent films by film-makers from the UK and around the world.
Conceived in early February 2012, No/Gloss Film Festival was born out of a need for a film festival in Leeds that specifically supports and showcases underground films and independent film-making. As a city known for its love of film, the missed opportunity in providing a platform championing independent cinema felt somewhat incongruous and became too huge to ignore. Thus No/Gloss was founded. The name “No Gloss” was derived from the desire to showcase art free from the restrictions of corporate expectations and the clichéd, glitzy superficiality we have come to associate the industry with.
“I love the exposure you have given Line of Sight“ – Lucas Brunelle, Line of Sight (USA)
The idea very quickly turned into a vision: No/Gloss is a no-frills film festival. It is not to be held in exclusive, luxurious places, preferring instead, the refreshing experience from unique, unexpected locations that can yield into an unusual and exciting cinema affair. It is a film festival that has to be accessible to all. Tickets to the film festival have to be affordable, so too are film submissions and the submission process itself is deliberately simplified, removing high barriers of entry to encourage individuals from all types of backgrounds, experience levels or creative disciplines to participate. Diversity is key: short films, documentaries, art house, feature lengths, animations, music videos, international and local films, student films or experimental films, films created using non-traditional formats – these are all accepted. The selection process must not be prejudiced towards professional quality, famous personalities or adherence to strict technical methodologies.
Once the vision was realized, the website was quickly created in the space of a few hours and by the next few months that followed, riding on the wave of recommendations through social media, more than 180 films had been submitted from directors and producers the world over. The first programme booklets were printed in a zine-style format and the first No/Gloss Film Festival was successfully launched on September 2012, in a former Victorian pie factory. It became the city’s first ever DIY film festival then.
“I can’t wait until the next one” – LeedsOnline
No/Gloss aims to evolve into a platform to make independent, rarely-screened, self-made films accessible to those who love, support and appreciate them. We want skill-sharing to be inclusive to those who want to learn, foster a supportive community of individuals with a can-do DIY attitude, who are able to share ideas or discuss overcoming real challenges faced behind the camera. No/Gloss exists to help motivate anyone who wants to be involved in film to pursue this desire and that they needn’t be discouraged because of the lack of access to equipment, or funds, or an audience. We want to challenge the standards that define “good film-making“, showcase that the film-making process does not have to be confined to a particular school of thought or a textbook technique: it can be spontaneous, it can be awesome, that it is possible.
With that, we leave you with our ethos: be inspired, keep creating, stay positive and persevere with your art.
“Great work on putting this whole thing together, I for one really appreciate the work you are doing.” – Mike Staniforth, Shelter (UK)
You can read more feedback about the festival here.