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BRANCHAGE FILM FESTIVAL ROLL OUT THE RED CARPET


Branchage Film Festival returns to Jersey with cutting-edge screenings, live shows and special events. The islanders love it, and its international reputation is growing…


the island. It is a showcase that brings ambitious, cutting-edge international programming to Jersey and combines it with a genuine affection for local culture, heritage and atmosphere.”


Behind the scenes It helps that the organisation spans the Channel, with its head in London and its heart in Jersey. The London-based side of the enterprise keeps its finger on the pulse while extending the festival’s reach with events around the UK. On the Jersey side, the benefits the festival delivers for local business and the community are reciprocated with an amazing display of support. Its international reach and strong identity has also garnered tremendous backing from local government, not least in the form of a grant from the Tourism department. Further funding comes from sponsorship partnerships and the two


key corporate sponsors – Spearpoint and Jersey Trust Company – have been involved from the very start. “Branchage began with a vision and has developed because of the dedication, energy and passion of those who have continued to support it,” says Nigel Le Quesne. “Since the festival’s beginnings three years ago, we have watched proudly as it has grown in size and stature both in Jersey and internationally.” Hamilton makes no bones about just how crucial both organisations


have been. “We’re passionate about what we’re bringing to the island, so when sponsors stay with us year after year, it’s a boost to realise that they see the value in it too,” she explains. “Year-on-year, the festival’s reputation and reach grows and we


WITH A DOZEN venues spread across the island and a 300sqm Spiegeltent in the Weighbridge, Jersey’s Branchage Film Festival is difficult to miss. This September it rolls back into town with four days of film screenings, live soundtrack performances and parties. At the heart of the festival is a core of exceptional films, and there’s


a series of special events that combine film and live music to spectacular effect, drawing both crowds and international press attention. Creative Director Xanthe Hamilton believes that the festival has


flourished by thinking big and offering a diverse programme of entertainment with a wide appeal. “When coming up with films and events, we make sure we never rest on our laurels,” she explains. “That way we keep the festival fresh and exciting every year.” In 2010, hundreds came to St Helier’s Albert Pier to watch the classic


Battleship Potemkin beamed out from a screen aboard the Duke of Normandy tugboat. It received national press coverage and secured Branchage a reputation for pulling off unforgettable events. “It’s very rewarding when you put so much into a very big, very visible event, and then feel the impact continue to ripple long afterwards”, Hamilton says. “And high-profile events are great for the festival’s sponsors too.” Nigel Le Quesne, Group Managing Director of Jersey Trust Company, one of the festival’s two key sponsors, explains: “The beauty of Branchage is that it is completely different to all other arts festivals in


are delighted to be associated with it,” explains Spearpoint CEO John Davey. “We are a business that encourages sharper thinking, and there is an incredible amount of creativity in the Branchage team.” As Branchage Chairman Jeremy Swetenham points out, anyone considering becoming a partner in Branchage’s growth in Jersey and abroad over the coming year should make contact as soon as possible, before this year’s festival. “We will make sure that they get a good look at events relevant to their goals and work together on these over subsequent weeks,” he says. As the weekend of Branchage Festival 2011 draws closer,


there’s a palpable excitement about the Oscar-winning films, original commissions and live performances in store. Swetenham sums it up: “It’s very hard not to be swept along by the irresistible force of Branchage and each successive festival sows seeds for the next.”


Need to know


n The festival runs from 22 to 25 September 2011 n For programme and ticket information go to www.branchagefestival.com n If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, email xanthe@branchagefestival.com


August/September 2011 businesslife.co 57


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