Interview with Anna Mackay from On the Verge film festival

Film Feature by Chris Olson

If you are a film fan residing in or near London, there is an absolute plethora of opportunities for you to attend film festivals, special screenings, and events to satisfy your craving for the latest, and best, that the movie industry has to offer. The downside to this wealth of events, is that it can often be difficult to know about them all, what they have to offer, and also what their reason for being is. Recently UK Film Review sat down with Anna Mackay from upcoming film festival - On The Verge - to discuss their niche.

Can you describe for us the film festival, On the Verge, and why audiences should attend?

‘On the Verge,’ is an exciting new film festival celebrating emerging female filmmakers. Featuring inspiring short films, expert panelists, and stand-up comedy, ‘On the Verge’ runs from March 2-4th at the Hospital Club, Covent Garden. The event is organised and curated by the Hospital Club's filmmakers in residence Riffy Ahmed and Jacqueline Pepall. Tickets are £5 per event. All proceeds go to the Hospital Club Foundation, providing opportunities for young people to access, explore, and excel in creative industries (registered charity 1155098).

Where can audiences buy tickets and attend?

Thursday March 2nd the On the Verge Festival is showing films with great female characters and hosting a panel discussion on new opportunities for women in film and television. With panelists from BAFTA, Creative England, Pia Pressure, Girls in Film, and Another Gaze.

Friday March 3rd the On the Verge Festival is showing an hour of brilliant comedy short films from female filmmakers and then comedy geniuses Mae Martin and Sindhu Vee will do stand up.

And Saturday March 4th the On the Verge Festival is showing short films on the themes of Courage, Hope, and Past and Future, all from emerging female filmmakers.

Can you let us know some of the highlights, in terms of filmmakers and films at this year's event?

We’re very excited to be showing Susan Jacobson’s brilliant, multi-award winning short film Oh Be Joyful. We’re also showing lots of new work from up and coming female filmmakers. Our Saturday programme of short films on the themes of Courage, Hope and Past and Future is brilliant. And on the Friday night, we have stand-up comedy from the amazing Mae Martin and Sindhy Vee, which should be excellent.

Where can audiences buy tickets and attend?

All the events are at the Hospital Club in Convent Garden. Tickets are available to buy on the Hospital Club website.

[Ticket Links can be found at the end of this interview]

What are the struggles of launching a film festival in 2017?

For us, the issue has mainly been time constraints - we wanted to get the festival up and running in time for International Women’s Day on March 8th, but didn’t get the green light to start developing the programme until mid-January, so it’s been a mad rush!

What funding process did/do you have for On the Verge?

We were very lucky in that we had access to the Hospital Club facilities from the start. So, we haven’t had to fundraise for the festival. We were able to offer submissions for free, and the £5 ticket fee all goes to charity.

Do you have a particular audience in mind? Any fans of particular genres you are aiming at?

We’d love lots of filmmakers to come. Anyone who wants to be inspired by what new filmmakers are making!

What would you say if you were a dolphin?

‘EeEeEeEeEeEeEeEeeeEeee’ TRANSLATION: ‘I’m not Tuna.’.

To find out more about On the Verge film festival visit their website -

To book tickets to any (or all) of the events, use the links below:

Thursday 2nd March -

Friday 3rd March -

Saturday 4th March -

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