NEWS: Students shortlisted alongside BAFTA winner
Three Edge Hill University students will be sharing the limelight with BAFTA award winner John Hurt after making the shortlist in an international film festival.
Media, Film and Television Production students Abigail Wright, Nick Peterson and Rob Whitchurch has been shortlisted in the Keswick Film Festival for their short film Bench, a Manchester graffiti artist who provides an insight into the graffiti world, as well contributing his own thoughts on politics and life in general.
The students, who work under the name ‘Broken Clock Productions’, spent a number of months producing, directing and editing the film. The idea to make it happened after director Nick had a chance meeting with ‘Bench’ on a Manchester street.
"I was on my way to a writer's conference when I encountered ‘Bench’ in an underpass," he said. "He asked me was I a writer, to which I said yes, but it turned out that "writer" is actually another term for a graffiti artist. So we got talking and because he seemed like an interesting guy, I asked him would he like to be in a documentary".
They also wanted to tackle the subject of graffiti art, which is admired by some but considered as vandalism by its critics.
“Most documentaries about graffiti have criminalised it so we wanted to show it from a different perspective,” said Abigail. "We believed it was an innovative approach to give a voice to someone like 'Bench' who wouldn't normally get the chance to share his views with the world."
Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Carl Hunter, who is a judge at the festival alongside fellow Edge Hill Lecturer Clare Heney, is delighted to see his students’ work being recognised.
“The group responsible for this film were very proactive with a natural interest in documentary,” said Carl. “Their efforts have been rewarded by this selection. Film festivals and networking are an important part of the journey into becoming a film maker; getting your work screened and exhibited is paramount.
“The students have not only provided themselves with a fantastic opportunity to showcase their work but have also put Edge Hill University on the film producing map as serious contenders”.
The group are continuing with other projects, promoting a new film called ‘silly_rabbit’ which is based on the surreal nature of instant messaging and Facebook and can be viewed on Youtube and also working on a new film called Mute which is about a man who loses his voice.
It is the 13th edition of the Keswick Film Festival, which screens a mixture of international films, previews and UK premieres. ‘Bench’ is shortlisted under the Osprey Short Films Awards, which aims to highlight the talent in the region of Cumbria. It runs from Thursday 23rd February till Sunday 26th February.