Nahemi Eat Our Shorts Festival was the first event The Beach House was selected for. It was particularity special not just because it was the first festival but also that the event was held at the BFI. It was a small event screening a selection of film school work. The highlight was hearing feedback from people outside of our university for the first time, also it was nice to be shown alongside a BAFTA-winning animation.
Mayhem in Nottingham was a great event. We were greeted and bought beers as we walked in the venue and made to feel really welcome. The organisers had seen the film and had lots of questions about the production and the story. The atmosphere was lively as it was a horror film festival held on Halloween.
Cornwall Film Festival was interesting for me as both The Beach House and The Water’s Edge had been selected. Unfortunately, overall, the festival wasn’t great. There wasn’t a lot of focus on the filmmakers, we were just handed our free tickets to our screening and that was it. Also The Water’s Edge was screened with the audio out of sync.
When we were told we had got into the Munich festival we were really excited, especially as they were offering to pay for travel and accommodation for both myself and Tom! Before we even got there the festival was making a good impression keeping us informed about all the events they’d be hosting for the filmmakers. When we arrived it was just brilliant from the first minute. We were picked up from the airport, taken to the festival HQ, given freebies and interviewed.
The opening event was held in a huge cinema at the new Munich film school complete with speeches from dignitaries. After the opening event was a buffet and drinks (all free!) where we met lots of young and inspiring filmmakers. We were quick to learn that most of the other student filmmakers were from post-graduate courses, so we felt particularity fortunate to have been selected.
During the week we attended all the programmed screenings to see the other films and the Q&A’s with the filmmakers. We were amazed to see every screening so busy, some were even sold out. It was a huge change from the sparse audiences for the short film screenings in Cornwall. During the Q&As we learnt that a lot of the films were being made on budgets of tens of thousands of euros.
On the Tuesday was our first screening. We were nervous as the quality of the work we had seen so far was so high. Thankfully the film went down well with the audience and our Q&A also was fun. Each film was screened twice so we had another Q&A in the week.
The festival hosted parties some nights with free drinks. These events were great as everyone was able to talk to one another about the films. It was particularly interesting as the festival was international and we were meeting film-makers from all over Europe and the rest of the world.
The awards night was held at the ARRI cinema in Munich. We didn’t win anything, but we weren’t expecting to after seeing the amount of quality films. In the end were so happy to have just been selected for the festival and to have had the opportunity to be part of such an amazing event.
Ffresh was similar to Cornwall as both films had been nominated for Best UK Graduate Fiction. I was only able to attend the last day of the event which fortunately was the day the films were being screened. Unfortunately the screening wasn’t very busy. I did, however, attend a talk with a director and the awards ceremony which both had a good atmosphere.
We found out about our nomination for the Royal Television Society award quite late as the email had been misplaced (or something) by our university. So fortunately we were told in time and we were able to attend the ceremony in Winchester.
We sat at our university’s table with a couple of other nominated students. The event was hosted by Fred Dineage who we recognised but we had to refer to wikipedia to find out why we recognised him. We enjoyed the evening and then it got a lot better when our category came up and we were announced as the winner. This was such a brilliant feeling to finally win something.
It’s a mark of achievement and recognition for the hard work that went into making the film. Winning at the regional awards means we are now considered for a nomination at the nationals but this is yet to be announced.
We had been looking forward to Exposures for a while as we’d known about the festival for a long time. We were unable to attend our screening which was unfortunate, it would have been good to see how the film went down. Fortunately we talked to a few people who had seen it and they all enjoyed it and had good things to say. Exposures was the first festival where the world started to feel rather small. We met a filmmaker who had heard of our film as it had been selected alongside his film at Cornwall.
Watersprite in Cambridge felt very prestigious from the opening night. It was held in part of Cambridge university. The night started with drinks and then we were treated to a talk with film producer and producer and BAFTA Vice President Duncan Kenworthy. Over the weekend we attended a bunch of talks and workshops and talked to some people who had seen our films. The awards night (hosted by actor Tom Hollander) was lots of fun although we didn’t win. At the after party we talked to lots of other filmmakers about our work and theirs.
The final day was great, we attended a BAFTA screening of some of the nominated short films from this year with a Q&A with the directors (one of which we realised we had previously met in Munich). The festival was rounded off with a very inspiring and informative talk from David Yates (director of the last four Harry Potter films). Watersprite was by far the best UK festival we have been to although nothing has quite captured the sheer size and enthusiasm of the Munich festival.
Attending the festivals has been invaluable as I’ve had the opportunity to meet similar minded people who can give advice and I have stayed in touch with. It’s also just brilliant to have people see your film and then have the chance to tell you what they thought of it.