The Tees Valley International Film Festival 2023 began the four-day event with a packed-out screening at The Arc in Stockton.

The festival director was keen to emphasise the purpose of the event to gather together like-minded individuals and encourage creativity.

All aspects of filmmaking are focused on during the four-day event.

From writing to acting and cinematography there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

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Michael Luke, film festival director, said: "It's really encouraging to see so many people here.

"It's only our second year doing this.

"The level of engagement we have got is breathtaking.

"We want to improve all aspects of filmmaking and creative media.

"There is a theme of learning development in everything that we do.

"The place is already bouncing and it is just 10.30am on the first day of the festival.

"Imagine what it will be like at 11pm tonight.

"The people of the Tees Valley clearly want this.

"We are providing a meeting point to make new friends and create new ideas.

"The Tees Valley is unique in character and rich in history.

"Nowhere is an event that celebrates, rewards and nurtures creativity more deserved."

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A spokesperson for the film festival said: "The Tees Valley International Film Festival is a four day celebration of all aspects of the craft of filmmaking.

"We invite undiscovered and independent filmmakers from all over the world to submit their short films for inclusion in the festival, the best of which will be screened across the course of the four days.

"From there, a select few will be nominated for an award, the worthy winners being presented with their prize at our glittering closing ceremony."