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Film festival award delights director

A WHITHORN filmmaker has received an international award for his latest work

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By Christie Breen
Dumfries and West
Film festival award delights director
AWARD . . . Whithorn filmaker George Atkinson

George Atkinson returned to Scotland this week after being awarded Best Sci-Fi short film at the Crown Point International Film Festival in Chicago.

The 30-year-old’s self-penned short film ‘From Here To There!’ is a science fiction romantic comedy about a young man named Casper who builds a teleportation device based on the concepts of ‘Port and Starboard’ that can take him anywhere in the world.

George began working on the film in 2022 and created a Kickstarter campaign to fund its production. The fundraiser received donations from 354 people from all over the world and ended up with a total of £21,500. From there George and his team began production in June 2022 and pre-premiered the film at the South Machars Community Centre in November last year as a thank you to the town for their support.

George is overjoyed the film is getting recognition on the international stage and revealed it has also received nominations at other film festivals in Barcelona and Los Angeles. He said: “I have to say that ‘From Here to There’ winning best Science Fiction film at Crown Point International Film Festival has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

“I have loved sci-fi since I was very young from Star Trek to Doctor Who, so I didn’t want any other award apart from this one. Best Sci-Fi Short Film is the one that means the most to me.”

And he said the success is already opening doors and has pushed From Here to There further into the minds of people in the industry.

George added: “Watch this space, there’s more to come!”

He was full of thanks for his parents, Gillian Hannaway-Rowe and Gary Atkinson, adding: “I would also like to thank Patricia Gagic, George Zaharoff, James Frangleton and Rush Derr for supporting my dreams and putting me in front of the right people, the advice and strategic mindsets that you have curated in me.

“Thanks to my co-director Alan Ciechalski, the uber talented Benjamin Wong for making the film look utterly beautiful and probably has been 50 per cent of the reason it has been so successful in the festival circuit.

“And a huge thanks to Rik Joyce, my dear friend who has believed in my crazy ideas and dreams for the past ten years, I think if it wasn’t for the confidence that Rik has put into me, I seriously wouldn’t have pushed as hard as I have to make this all a reality.

“And lastly, thanks to all of our Kickstarter backers who believed in From Here to There so much to put real hard money towards it.”


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