|The Blaze Ensemble of London, conducted by Andrew Skirrow, performing "Serenade in A" by Brahms. Photo by Nitsan Simantov.|
Artists enjoyed a packed weekend learning about artistic integrity, having fun at a masked ball, watching Indie films in a film festival and attending a classical concert.
Artists came from the UK, Russia, South Africa, USA, Austria and Germany to attend this year's festival whose purpose is to inspire artists into greater productivity, as well as to help artists unlock their ability to earn a living from their art. The Saint Hill International Arts Festival was inspired by Scientology's founder, L. Ron Hubbard who strongly encouraged cultural revitalisation through the arts.
The Festival kicked off this year with a talk by East Grinstead's very own Ian Clarkson, trumpeter and vocalist of jump jive band, The Jive Aces, entitled "Keeping your Artistic Integrity" on Saturday afternoon. That night, attendees were treated to a glamorous Masked Ball.
Sunday morning saw the Saint Hill International Film Festival take place in the Great Hall of Saint Hill Castle, organised by actress Katy Newell (Dream Team, EastEnders). To celebrate Indie film making and to showcase upcoming talent as well as more established names, 20 short films were shown, including:
- "Intercom" co-written by Aidan Lean, starring Jenny Agutter
- "Choices" written by and starring East Grinstead-based Petroula Kaneti-Dimmer
The grand finale of the weekend was a classical concert by Blaze Ensemble of London, conducted by Andrew Skirrow, performing pieces by Mozart, Wagner, Bach and Brahms. The concert drew an audience of around 200 people, some of whom had travelled from as far away as Redbridge, Pinner and Medway to be there. Several Town Mayors attended including the Mayor of Royal Tunbridge Wells, Cllr Dr Ronen Basu who tweeted the following about the evening:
"We had a very pleasant enjoyable evening with good music and company and were made to feel very welcome. Thank you!"Just before the interval of the concert, Sheila Gaiman, Executive Producer of the festival, presented the Lifetime of Creativity Award to Austrian artist Hannes Margreiter. In his speech of thanks, he credited a course that he studied many years ago by philosopher L. Ron Hubbard on communication for helping him to get his career started as an artist.
|The winner of the Lifetime of Creativity Award, artist Hannes Margreiter, with Sheila Gaiman, Arts Festival Executive Producer. Photo by Nitsan Simantov.|
Sheila Gaiman, the festival's executive producer, said:
"I'm very proud that East Grinstead does have its own international arts festival, now in its 22nd year, and hope that one day, it will be as well known as the Edinburgh Festival."About Saint Hill Manor
Saint Hill Manor, located just outside East Grinstead, is a fine 18th century sandstone building. Concerts, plays, conferences and other events regularly take place here and it is also one of the few historical attractions to remain open to the public throughout the year. Saint Hill Manor is also the head office for the Church of Scientology, UK.
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Saint Hill Manor