The first START Moving Image Festival took place in November 1993 as the result of a joint initiative by Kayla Parker and Stuart Moore, local film-makers, and Plymouth Arts Centre. The aim was to provide a showcase for the latest work by new and independent film-makers of the South West, including the best work made graduating students, through cinema and gallery screenings. It was organized on a minuscule budget and featured a three screen installation of scratch TV based on Australian soaps. In this year we were able to take advantage of an offer from South West Arts to show the Out of the West touring programme accompanied by a speaker free of charge.

START 93 was a resounding success. Feedback from the audience and film-makers was very encouraging and there was a great demand that we should organize the START festival as an annual fixture.

START 94 kept the same format of cinema and gallery screenings, and presented a special programme of multi-image in the evening.

START 95 was successful in attracting funding from Channel 4, Plymouth City Council, South West Arts and Westcountry Television, and we were able to hold a launch evening to promote the event. START 95 received considerable coverage regionally on TV and radio, and in newspapers and magazines. In December 1995 a selection of the best of START was screened in Exeter. In April 1996 Kayla Parker presented a programme from START 95 in Bristol at Beyond The Margins, a festival to celebrate one hundred years of film-making by women; the START programme, entitled The World Within Us, was featured in Everywoman magazine.

Check out the 95 programme

START 96 was held on Saturday 9th November at Plymouth Arts Centre; the launch for film-makers, guests and sponsors took place on the evening of Friday 8th November. A selection of work from START 96 formed a programme in Brief Encounters - the Bristol Short Film Festival. A selection of animated films from START were shown at the 1997 International Celtic Film Festival in St Ives.

Check out the 96 programme

At START 97 in November we showed seventy films during the two days of the festival including animation, Super 8, short drama, video art, documentary and experimental film. In this, the fifth year of the festival, we were pleased to see many familiar faces as well as new visitors. People arrived from all over the South West and beyond, including many film-makers. Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors entry to all START 97 events was completely free, and we were able to produce a printed programme and publicity material. Our new venue at Plymouth College of Art & Design has wheelchair access. Once again the quality of the films submitted was very high, and two days were only just long enough to accommodate the accepted work. START is now firmly established as the place to see the best new film and video from the South West.

The festival opened on Friday night when over a hundred guests and sponsors braved the torrential rain to celebrate the launch of START 97. There was a short screening of work from the festival followed by wine and a buffet in the Viewpoint Gallery.

There were five days of animation workshops in the week before the festival, organized on a drop-in basis. Visitors had the opportunity to animate using plasticine, drawing on film and by using a zoëtrope. Local film-maker Haydn Lock worked on a video animation during the week featuring slugs and old socks, entertaining the public as they watched it take shape. Almost a hundred people took advantage of the free workshops, aged from three to over seventy. A group of senior citizens came along after hearing about the workshops on Radio Devon, others having read articles in the local press. Students from PCAD's media courses were on hand to provide practical instruction.

There was a live programme on Saturday night. The Zoom Quartet kicked off with Andrew Spackman creating a soundtrack with keyboards and samplers to a compilation of films. Vision Blitz from South East Cornwall filled the Gallery with looped Super 8 projections, and group member Barry Kirkman showed his interactive sculpture of lead dungarees. Plymouth band Entropy finished the night, opening with an improvised soundtrack to Haydn Lock's film "Call of the Subconscious" followed by a set of their recent music accompanied by a projected video backdrop.

Check out the 97 programme

START 98 was rescheduled from November 98 to 13th & 14th March 99 so for simplicity's sake we're calling it START 99.

Screenings were held at Plymouth College of Art and Design and Plymouth Arts Centre. For the first time we screened a selection of 35mm films as part of Programme 4 - thanks to Bob Hutton at the Arts Centre.

We also ran two Animation Workshops for local primary schools at Plymouth Arts Centre in the week before the festival.

We attracted a good, steady audience for the screenings on both days, with particularly strong support for the Saturday evening café-bar programme in the Arts Centre Batter Street Annex. A few hard core members of the audience watched every single film over the weekend, but in general our audience came for several programmes, had a break to do other things, then came back for more. Most of the people coming to the festival were from the Plymouth area, Cornwall and Devon. Several film-makers attended from Bristol, but not as many as in previous years. From outside the region, a few came down from South Wales to the festival; the furthest anyone travelled this year was from Derby and Preston!

START is now attracting national attention - as well as receiving good coverage on local TV, radio and in the press, this year's festival was also featured on BBC Radio 4.

Check out the 99 programme.

START 2000, aka START the Millennium was held again at Plymouth College of Art and Design and Plymouth Arts Centre on 11th & 12th March 2000. This year we were able to select a programme from the festival to tour the south west and beyond.

Check out the 2000 programme.


START has grown in size and prominence over the years. The event has stimulated film-making activity in the South West and provides a focus for exhibition of new moving image work. START also provides a valuable opportunity for film-makers to meet their audience. Work premiered at START has been selected for screening at more established festivals, such as Impakt Utrecht and EMAF in Osnabruck. Some featured work has been shown on the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. Each year an animated ident for the festival is created by new film-makers; this is shown at the beginning and end of each cinema programme.

The festival is organized and curated by Kayla Parker and Stuart Moore, assisted by a growing number of film-makers and enthusiasts.