HARROGATE Film Festival has won major backing from a leading university and from celebrity actor Brian Blessed for this years event.

The Festival which gets underway in March has gone from strength to strength since it was launched three years ago. It's based in venues across the town showcasing independent and mainstream works as well as running short film competitions and developing new interactive events and competitions.

Now it's won the backing of the Northern Film School based at Leeds Beckett University which will be working alongside festival organisers.

Annabelle Pangborn, Head of Subject at the Northern Film School, said: "The Harrogate Film Festival has built a reputation for providing independent filmmakers with a platform to further their careers. This partnership was an exciting opportunity for us to showcase the talent here at the Northern Film School as we continue to help develop the filmmakers of the future."

Adam Chandler Managing Director of the festival said they were delighted to have the university film school and Brian Blessed onboard. He added: "Their backing will strengthen the opportunities we can give talent, develop our key educational elements of the festival and provide a platform to show off new work"