Entries for this year’s Croydon International Film Festival have now closed meaning the nervous wait for the event to start can begin, writes Gabriel Samuels.

Filmmakers entered their creations into a variety of categories including best documentary, best music film and best experimental film and will vie for the top prize of best overall film before the winning films are shown at Matthews Yard in October.

The contest is run by Australian filmmaker Donna Lipowitz and artist Benjamin Bridges, who met on the set of a documentary film and decided to combine their passions to create Croydon IFF.

Their original idea was to put together a film festival that would be fun and accessible, while still taking care to select and celebrate the very short best films in Croydon and from abroad.

Lipowitz explained that after being established last year under the moniker H.E.L.D.(Hollow Earth London Documentary), the festival’s name was changed after it received “such a good response from the people of Croydon last year that we wanted to make it Croydon’s festival uniquely”.

Lipowitz, who acts as the festival’s curator, says: “We were so impressed with how the locals embraced the festival last year, and grateful for the wonderful support we had from film-makers in contributing what they’d made.

“We are always open about the kinds of films we decide to screen, but on the whole we choose films that hold our attention with either an engaging story or are so fascinating that we can’t take our eyes or ears away.

“That’s what we’re looking for this year: the kind of films that if you were eating your dinner in front of them, it would go cold. It’s a common misconception that documentary films are boring and are always only about nature and tragedy.

“We want to change that idea and make people realise that documentary films can be fun. That is what this festival is all about.”

Croydon International Film Festival; Matthews Yard, off Surrey Street, Croydon; October 25 and 26; free; croydoniff.com