A NEW documentary film that captures the friendships, rivalry, dedication, and emotions of Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival has helped to raise over £900 for charities.

Filmed and produced by documentary maker, Richard Ridout, the 65-minute film called ‘Give it Rice’ follows the exploits of a group of carnivalites in 2018 and tells the story of the battle of that year to win the Bridgwater Carnival procession.

The money was raised after collections were made at two private screenings of the documentary at Scott Cinemas in Bridgwater.

The money is set to be shared between Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, St Margaret's Somerset Hospice, and The Brain Tumour Charity.

Richard, who grew up in Goathurst, got the inspiration for the documentary after hearing a BBC Radio 4 programme about Marketeers Carnival Club called ‘The Untold - Every Second Counts’.

“When I listened to the radio 4 documentary, I could hear the passion and the determination in the club member voices - they wanted to win so much, and I thought that's the beginning of a great story”, said Richard.

“Unlike previous documentaries, I wanted to focus on the human experience - less on facts and figures.

“I wanted to tell a story that would resonate with anyone, no matter where they were from, even if they had never heard of the carnival before. I think this is how we might reach audiences and promote the carnival outside of Somerset.”

Featuring a whole host of well-known carnivalites, including Alan Windsor from Marketeers and Matt Knapp from Gremlins, the documentary film has been very well received by those who have seen it.

Dave Stokes, publicity director for Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival, said: “Over the years, there have been some really good documentaries made about our carnival, and I would go as far as personally saying that ‘Give it Rice’ is the best one yet.

“It is full of emotion, and with so many twists and turns to the storyline, the documentary really pulls you in.”

The documentary was also screened at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, and other private screenings are planned in the South West over the coming weeks.

The dream for Richard is for the film to be picked up by a national broadcaster.

Failing that, he'll need support from the Somerset and Bridgwater community to share and promote the film if it's finally released for free.

The biggest priority for him is that plenty of people watch and enjoy it.

“It would be fantastic if a mainstream tv channel takes an interest in the documentary and broadcasts it”’ added Richard.

“Not only will it have been worth it for all of us involved with the project, it will also help Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival get the national and international media coverage it deserves.”

Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival would like to thank Scott Cinemas in Bridgwater for their help and support with the town’s two screenings.

The three charities benefiting from the screenings were chosen by the members of Marketeers CC.

For more information on the documentary or to find out more about any potential future public release, visit https://www.giveitrice.com/ and sign up for the email updates.