ORGANISERS of Wellington Film Festival have started to look for new sources of funding in anticipation that near-bankrupt Somerset Council will no longer be able to support the event.

This year’s festival, the second to be held, attracted more than 1,200 people to 14 events across three days in April with most of the £14,000 cost funded by Wellington Town Council.

A £4,000 contribution came from the unitary authority, but organisers do not expect that to be repeated for the next event, which will take place from October 3 to 5, 2025.

Outgoing festival chairman, town Cllr Keith Wheatley, said: “It is hard to see a near-bankrupt Somerset Council funding us in 18 months’ time.

Wellington's United Reformed Church with a video projection by Jon Stay during the town's film festival this year.
( )

“So, we are going to have to be looking harder for grants and sponsorship, but the committee are determined to make it work.”

Cllr Wheatley said the 2024 festival had been an ‘overwhelming success’ and twice as many tickets could have been sold for some of the events.

He said one change being looked at for the next festival was the introduction of ‘pay what you can’ events rather than free entry, after some people who booked free places failed to turn up.

Such events would still have a zero payment option, and more opportunities could be introduced for people to make donations.

Taking over as festival chairman is fellow town Cllr Sean Pringle-Kosikowsky, who is a founding member of the steering committee.

Bridgwater-based Somerset Film will again be the operational partner for the 2025 festival.