The 2023 edition of the Borderlines Film Festival has already kicked off, with a line-up of 65 films scheduled over a 17-day run in Herefordshire, Shropshire, Malvern, and the Marches.

One of the opening day screenings will be introduced by former Garway resident Gregory Oke, a cinematographer and former Herefordshire resident, who worked on BAFTA-winning film Aftersun.

Directed by Charlotte Wells, Aftersun has been widely acclaimed as one of the best films of 2022, and Wells herself won the Outstanding Debut BAFTA last month.

Gregory is presented the film lasdt week, for which he won the British Independent Film Award for cinematography.

After attending Hereford Sixth Form College, where he studied film studies, and completing an evening course in photography at Hereford College of Arts, Gregory applied for a masters degree at the New York University’s prestigious film graduate program.

He shot his first short film during the rigorous application process and won a scholarship, where he met Charlotte Wells and Blair McClendon, the editor of Aftersun.

Wells produced Greg’s short film Été, which was set in Herefordshire and shown at Borderlines’ first open screen showcase for local filmmakers in 2019. After graduating from film school, Greg moved to Berlin, where he still works mainly as a sound recordist and boom operator. “Though being a writer/director is what many people aspire to, in most cases it’s not a feasible option,” he said. “You take on more mundane work in the film industry to earn money and save yourself for the projects that really matter to you.”

Aftersun is Charlotte Wells’ first feature film, exploring the close relationship between a young father and his nine-year-old daughter Sophie as they holiday in Turkey.

Oke chose to do much of the camerawork himself, saying, “Operating the camera allowed me to move and follow the scene exactly as I wanted. It’s weird watching the film now, knowing the little judders and shakes in it.”

Aftersun will screen at Garway Hall and the Conquest Theatre, Bromyard, both in Herefordshire, at Knighton Community Centre in Powys, and at The Courtyard in Hereford, where Oke introduced the film at the 2pm screening on yesterday. Borderlines is supported by the BFI Audience Fund, using National Lottery funding, by the Elmley Foundation and Hereford City Council.