NEWS: 25th Anniversary of STRAIGHT 8 Goes Big on IMAX in 2024

By Molly Kate

STRAIGHT 8’s Super 8 competition is returning for another year in 2024 and the entry deadlines are fast approaching. For super 8 filmmakers interested in entering the short film competition, February 21, 2024, is the date to send your exposed but unprocessed cartridges to Cinelab in London.

This year is STRAIGHT 8’s 25th anniversary and the competition’s premiere is going big with a BFI (British Film Institute) IMAX premiere for the top 25 short films selected. Anyone can enter the competition with the chance of being featured not only at the BFI but also at the Cannes Film Festival. From the top 25, 8 films are selected for the Cannes screening. To enter, you’ll need a unique slate number which can be obtained on STRAIGHT 8’s website here.

Selections will be announced by May 1, 2024. Top 8 plays at Cannes on the 20th of May and then the Top 25 premiere at the BFI IMAX on the 25th. The premiere will be followed by a 25th anniversary celebration for STRAIGHT 8.

STRAIGHT 8 IMAX 2024 Premiere
Image courtesy of STRAIGHT 8

In previous years, the sold-out STRAIGHT 8 Top 25 has premiered at the BFI, but at the Southbank’s NFT1. This year, the team (BFI, STRAIGHT 8, Cinelab) attempted to see how Super 8 would hold up on IMAX with a 4K DCP digital projection which ended with an epic success and determination that 2024 would go on the big screen.

The competition brings together filmmakers who shoot a short film on a single cartridge of Super 8 cine film. Soundtracks are made blind. All films are processed and put together by Cinelab Film + Digital based in London.

“Cinelab are the only UK-based location to provide complete film, digital and hybrid workflow solutions. They service feature films, episodic longform, commercials, music videos, archive, and restoration. All under one roof.” – STRAIGHT 8 Press Release

STRAIGHT 8 IMAX 2024 Premiere
Image courtesy of STRAIGHT 8

The top 8 films that go to the Cannes Film Festival in May are selected by the STRAIGHT 8 jury which has included Robbie Ryan, Asif Kapadia, Justine Wright and more. Notable past entrants include Edgar Wright (Last Night in Soho, Baby Driver), Alice Lowe (Prevenge, Horrible Histories), and Steve Oram (The End of the F***ing World, Sightseers).

“May 25th will be even more of a celebration than usual… The screening will be almost 25 years to the day of the first-ever straight 8 event in 1999 when 22 people’s films were shown in the Metro Cinema (beneath what is now Picturehouse Central) at 11 pm on a Friday night. Ever since that night, what started as an experiment has grown into a cult rite of passage for filmmakers of any background and experience to compete on an extremely level playing field.” – STRAIGHT 8 Press Release

The BFI is a registered charity that was founded in 1933 and works to promote UK-based filmmakers and storytellers, maintain the BFI National Archive of film and television materials, and offer education, programmes, festivals, and growth around the screen industry and the moving image.

To learn more about STRAIGHT 8, see past winning films, or enter the competition, head over to their website here. The team also posts updates on social media on X, Facebook, and Instagram.

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About The Author

By Molly Kate
Photographer, writer, and CPA currently running a Youtube channel called Eclectachrome. I'm a huge fan of shiny new objects which makes writing news a perfect fit. Favorite cameras are often mechanical rangefinders, folders, and compacts and I love most film stocks. I enjoy developing and scanning my own film as well as printing in the darkroom when there's extra time!
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