We need to talk about Essex girls – 2021 festival launch

Sarah Perry, Syd Moore and Sadie Hasler,
June 6, 2021

Launch event of the 2021 festival with the amazing Women of Essex: Sarah Perry, Patron of Essex Book Festival, Syd Moore, Writer, Co- founder of the Essex Girls Liberation Front, Sadie Hasler, Playwright, Journalist and Director of Old Trunk Theatre Company, and honorary Essex Girl, Festival Director Ros Green, who discussed what it means to be an Essex Girl: the jokes, the misconceptions, and the strengths and growing movements that are starting to challenge these preconceptions.

This Lovely City – Online Event

Louise Hare
July 4, 2020

Hosted in partnership with The African and Caribbean Books and Writers Group.

Hailed as the biggest debut of 2020, This Lovely City is a poignant, conversation-starting story set around Brixton’s Windrush community, exploring themes of race, poverty and community in post-war London society.

During this virtual event Louise Hare was in conversation with Ros Green, Director of Essex Book Festival, discussing her debut novel, followed by an interactive Q&A session with members of The African and Caribbean Books and Writers Group and other audience members.

Wet Sounds

Austeja Treinyte

In 2020, Essex Book Festival went somewhere we’d never been before…underwater.

The event was a collaboration between Joel Cahen of Wet Sounds and Chris Adam and Andrew Wright of the Resonance arts collective in Chelmsford and Colchester-based sound-artist Frazer Merrick. Visuals by SDNA and lighting by Joe Lucas.

Together, they transformed Riverside swimming pool, Chelmsford, with soundscapes both above the surface and underwater, to produce an immersive audio-visual performance.

The event was inspired by the novel The Drowned World by JG Ballard. The book is set in a post-apocalyptic future where due to climate change the city of London has been submerged underwater. The sparsely inhabited world above has turned into a thriving tropical environment.

The event proved to be bizarre, magical and astonishing.


Escaping Climate Change Day

With thanks to Daniela, student at University of Essex

A short video from our Escaping Climate Change event which took place at University of Essex, Friday 6th March 2020. The event included debates, performances and activities all about tackling Climate Change.

Essex 2020 – Why the Arts are so Important for Essex

Ros Green, Essex Book Festival

Ros Green, Essex Book Festival Director, at our Essex 2020 event. Here she shares her views on why the Arts are so important for Essex and the region.

Get involved at www.essex2020.com

View the Essex 2020 video here

We Are All In The Same Boat

Jola Kudela

Huge congratulations to Polish artist, Jola Kudela, for winning the Jury Special Award at Berlin Art Film Festival for her short film “We Are All in the Same Boat”. Essex Book Festival invited Jola Kedula to do an artistic project in Harlow. This film is a documentary about why she created the artwork and the impact it has had on the local community.

View Jola’s film ‘We Are All in the Same Boat’

Essex Book Festival 2019: Science & the Imagination

Aura Films, commissioned by Essex Book Festival

Celebrating our big Science & Imagination Day at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford for Essex Book Festival 2019, as well as looking forward to 2020: Year of Science & Creativity in Chelmsford and Essex!

Click on the image to play the film.

Essex Book Festival 2019: Secret Water in Harwich

Aura Films, commissioned by Essex Book Festival

We launched Essex Book Festival 2019 in Harwich as part of our opening weekend, themed on ‘Secret Water’ to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Arthur Ransome’s book, part of his ‘Swallows and Amazons’ series and set on the Essex coast. Thanks to all those who helped make it happen, including The Harwich Society, the Arthur Ransome Society, BBC Essex and Harwich Festival, as well as all the authors, artists and audiences who took part! Click on the image to start the film.

Looking Forward to Essex Book Festival

Commissioned by Essex Book Festival, created by Aura Films

We invited some enthusiastic friends and supporters to tell us a few words about Essex Book Festival in the run up to March, what it means to them and why people should come along! We hope you enjoy this short film… (click on the image to play the video)

Oh, The Places We’ll Go!

Commissioned by Essex Book Festival, created by Aura Films

‘Oh, The Places We’ll Go!’ is our new strand of events and activities for families and young people, which we’ll be building on for next March as part of our 20 year anniversary. The launch event celebrated storytelling and activities from around the world, in partnership with Essex Cultural Diversity Project and supported by Essex Children’s University. There was Chinese calligraphy, African drumming, Bollywood dancing, flash fiction writing and bi-lingual storytelling, and it was part of this year’s Chelmsford Arts & Cultural Festival.

Place Weekend

Commissioned by Essex Book Festival, created by Aura Films

As one of our HUB weekends, Firstsite in Colchester hosts Essex Book Festival’s Place weekend: two days of events, talks, panel discussions, workshops and drop in family activities that explore history, heritage and identity. Here is a snapshot of the weekend, with footage of the event and interviews with friends, participants and supporters, including  A L Kennedy, Essex based author and Essex Book Festival Patron; Debbie Bird from Essex Children’s University; Jules Pretty, author of ‘The East Country’; artist, author and activist Hamja Ahsan and Rachel Walton from African Families in the UK.

Secret Nuclear Bunker

Commissioned by Essex Book Festival, created by Aura Films

For Essex Book Festival 2018 we went underground, taking over the Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker. This video captures the spirit of the day, with interviews with some of those taking part, including CND Peace Education, artist collective Peeling Onions with Granny, ‘Cambridge Bard’ Glenys Newton, poet Martha Pailing, as well as footage of author talks, our Peace Panel, the Poetry Jukebox and the now infamous Silent Disco, featuring banned music from Estonia with international writer-in-Residence Paavo Matsin.

Pop Up Writers House

Commissioned by Essex Book Festival, created by Aura Films

As part of Essex Book Festival 2018, Metal in Southend hosted a month-long Pop Up Writers House at Chalkwell Hall. This video brings together some of those involved to talk about their experience, including staff at Metal, Syd Moore, Essex Book Festival 2018’s Writer-in-Residence, workshop participants and writers in residence at Chalkwell Hall. (Click on the image to play the video)

Stand Up For Diversity

Commissioned by Essex Book Festival, created by Aura Films
January 10, 2018

Over the last year, we have been hosting a series of events called Stand Up For Diversity, inviting artists, arts organisations, communities and individuals to come along and talk about their own work, and why Diversity Matters in the arts and in our communities. The events are in partnership with Essex Cultural Diversity Project, and funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Essex County Council and Arts Council England.

This short film gives you a snapshot from our Colchester event in Autumn 2017, hosted by the Mercury Theatre.