AN internationally renowned Haringey film festival is being scrapped to help the council balance its budget.

The Wood Green International Short Film Festival has been running for eight years, but will not go ahead this year as Haringey battles to balance the books.

The festival, hosted at Cineworld, in High Street, has been a week-long showcase of local and international talent held every March since 2003. Last year over 70 film makers from 18 different countries, including Poland, Peru and the United Arab Emirates, entered to win awards which were presented in a special ceremony at Alexandra Palace.

Haringey Council claims that an eight per cent cut in its budget means that it is no longer able to fund the project.

A council spokesperson said: “The Wood Green International Short Film Festival is a fantastic event and has proved popular with local residents, film fans and film makers. However, central Government funding cuts mean we can unfortunately no longer afford to stage the festival.

Laurie Hill, who won the Best UK Short Film award last year, said that it was a "great shame" to cancel the festival. "I am from Bounds Green and while it was an international festival it always felt like a community event . It was a great honour to win last year. There is plenty of talent in this area and now we haven't got a place to show off that talent locally."

Tom Vaughan, who was twice a judge on the panel, said: "I thought the entries were really strong last year. It was a really nice festival, a nice thing to have in the area. It felt like a local event, people from the area were going and it was growing. It is a big shame."