And the winner is….. Clayesmore’s first Film Festival

The inaugural Clayesmore Theatre Film Festival (CTFF) was a great success. Over the course of the week students had the opportunity to attend a talk by professional filmmaker Simon DaVison, a lecture on ‘Reading a Film’ by our very own Mr James Carpenter, as well as the Film Competition Screening and Awards Ceremony.

In the first talk, Simon DaVison spoke about his experiences casting, producing and directing feature films. He explained how he used special effects to turn a garage in Tisbury into a bustling London street! Talking the students through each stage of this process, Simon demonstrated how they too could achieve some pretty incredible effects without having to spend huge amounts of money! We hope Simon will come back again soon to deliver a practical workshop on filmmaking and editing.

The second event of the festival saw Mr Carpenter give a fascinating talk on ‘Reading a Film’. He spoke about the way films use symbols and signs to create meaning. Showing a diverse range of clips from ‘The Untouchables’ to ‘Naked Gun’, via ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and the ‘Battleship Potemkin’, Mr Carpenter spoke about the way film can be read, just as a book can. The evening finished with a mystery screening of ‘La Cabina’, a Spanish language film set almost exclusively in a phone box! Whilst unnervingly surreal, it was really engaging and something which, it is fair to say, none of the students (or staff) had come across before!

Finally, the Film Competition and Awards Ceremony took place on Friday evening. Over 11 groups were entered into the three categories: Best Factual Film, Best Narrative Film & Best Film not in the English Language. Having signed up all the way back in October, the filmmakers had worked tirelessly for months to produce a really entertaining and diverse array of films. They were then judged anonymously by the ‘CTFF Academy’ (25 Clayesmore teachers). All of the films were produced to a really high standard and so the Academy certainly had a difficult job. However, the eventual winners were:

Best Factual Film – ‘Another Place’ – Felix. Yr 13

Best Narrative Film – ‘12%’ – Ben and Will. Yr 10

Best Film not in the English Language – ‘Chess’ – Jojo. Yr 10

People’s Prize – ‘In Sync’ – Harvey T & Oscar D. Yr 12

Clayes’ d’Or – ‘Another Place’ – Felix. Yr 13

All of the category winners won £50 worth of cinema vouchers and a trophy which they will collect on Speech day. Felix, director of ‘Another Place’, (a documentary about the impact of tourism in Thailand) and winner of the prized ‘Clayes’ d’Or’ (Best Overall Film) said in his acceptance speech:

Thank you to the Academy for this award! Up against so many other fantastic films, it is an honour! I would also like to take this opportunity to thank ‘Clayesmore Theatre’ for holding this event – I really enjoyed making it. Finally I couldn’t have done it without the wonderful people of Koh Samet and so, this award is for them!

Next year we hope that the festival will be bigger and better and can’t wait for the next crop of excellent student films!