Students showcase short films at BU film festival

Surreal dream worlds, a World War 1 drama and documentaries about everything from nightclubs in churches to days of the week.

This was just some of the work on show at the BU Student Short Film Festival.

The Festival, conceived by lecturer Dr David McQueen and organised by students from the MA Media Production framework, showcased short films created by BU students.

Around 20 short films – from both undergraduate and postgraduate students – were shown during the Festival, with winners decided by an audience vote.

The annual Festival is now in its third year, and received a record-breaking number of submissions.

“We’ve had more entries than ever and there have been some really exceptional films,” said David, who is Programme Leader for the Narrative Constructions unit on the MA Media Production framework.

“The quality has been really high and there was an interesting mix of films, with really powerful and compelling stories.

“I’ve been really struck by the quality of cinematography. Some of the films wouldn’t look out of place in a multi-million pound production.”

MA Cinematography student Clemens Majunke won 1st prize with his film Dream Works, a drama where a couple wake up in a bedroom, with no idea how they got there – unsure if they are awake or dreaming.

“It feels good to win, but it’s a total surprise because there were some other really good films shown,” said Clemens, who received a trophy, framed poster and film documentary box set for winning the competition.

“It was great to have the chance to show it and get feedback from the others.”

Ramon Blanquer, a BA (Hons) Computer Visualisation and Animation student, came second with his film Self Seeker, a drama inspired by the work of philosopher Nietzche.

The 3rd place prize went to MA Directing Film and TV student Antonios Vallindras for his documentary Sundness, which explored people’s feelings and opinions about Sunday.

He said: “It’s nice to share your work and you can find future collaborations that can be good for your future. To get that feedback as well is so important.”

David added that holding the film festival had numerous benefits for the students involved.

“Lots of different film-makers have the chance to see each other’s work, and I think it’s valuable for people to be able to say that they have entered or won a film competition.

“They are able to screen films in a supportive environment among peers, where there is not as much pressure or anxiety as there might be otherwise.”

BU graduates have animation selected for prestigious film festival


A short film created by recent graduates from Bournemouth University will be shown at a prestigious international animation festival after being chosen from thousands of entries.

Espero? (Hope?) was created by Simone Giampaolo, Yifan Hu and Henrik Linnes as their final year project while studying at the National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) at BU in 2013.

It has been chosen for inclusion at the Annecy International Film Festival this June – one of just 201 selected films from 2,290 entries.

Simone, who studied BA (Hons) Computer Animation Arts at BU, said being part of the prestigious French event was an unbelievable opportunity.

“We’re thrilled about Annecy. It is one of the most prestigious animation festivals worldwide and we still cannot believe our work will be part of it,” he said.

“I remember attending the Annecy festival as a student a couple of years ago, when the idea of having a film in the official competition was still only a dream.

“Now that it actually happened, it really feels unreal. “

Espero? is the first 3D animated film fully dubbed in the universal language Esperanto. It follows the story of Mother Earth and shows what happens after she creates humanity.

Simone, who acted as director for the film, said: “The general aim of this project was to create a high-quality, funny, entertaining and educational animated short that presents in a sarcastic way how humanity has been affecting planet Earth over the centuries.

“I see animation as one of the most powerful mediums to reach a wide range of audiences, which goes from kids to adults. It allows you to talk about inconvenient and sensitive topics in a funny and relaxed way, which is much more difficult to achieve through life-action.”

Annecy is not the first prestigious accolade the film has gained. It has already been shown at more than 20 international film festivals and won several awards – including the Children’s Prize at the Dieciminuti Film Festival 2014 in Italy.

Henrik, who also did the Computer Animation Arts degree at BU, said: “It feels great! We put so much work and effort into this short so it’s really satisfying to know that people like it.

“It’s been going really well so far, so let’s just hope that good things keep happening.”

All three of the team – who received the prize for Best Major Project at their BU graduation ceremony – are now working at animation and production houses in London, and hope they will have chance to work together again on an equally successful project.

It was amazing journey working with those two guys and I feel really lucky that our film has gotten this far,” said Yifan, who did the BA (Hons) Computer Visualisation and Animation degree.

“I’m very proud of our achievement and, as we are all working in London now, hopefully we will get a chance to work together as a team again soon.”

Watch Espero? (Hope?)

BU students win two international awards for short film

An animated film created by students at Bournemouth University has won two awards at international film festivals.

Almighty Doodles was made by computer animation and sound design students as part of a coursework project last May.

But the one minute film has also impressed at international film festivals, and has been awarded both audience and jury prizes.

Simone Giampaolo, who is now in his third year of a BA Computer Animation Arts degree at BU, directed Almighty Doodles and entered it into one–minute film festivals in Switzerland and the USA.

Simone, 23, is from Switzerland, and was able to attend the One Minute Film and Video Festival 2012 – which took place in Aarau, Switzerland in August – to see the film win the Audience Award.

The group won a trophy and a camera – which they will share between them and use for future projects while they are studying.

“The festival was awesome but I didn’t expect the film to win any prizes,” said Simone, who lives in Winton while at BU.

“To be honest, we had to rush in the end to submit something but, even though there are some little mistakes, people still seem to like it.”

He added: “The film festivals are quite established and there were people there with a wide range of skills, and some film–makers who had been doing it for ten years.

“At the end of the day, this short was nothing more than a university assignment and I think it is really nice, and it really makes us proud that something we did for university could be screened abroad and watched by hundreds of people.

He added: “It was a really nice feeling and great that I could be there and explain how the film was made and the people who worked on it.”

He also submitted the film to the Film One Fest, which is based in New Jersey, in the USA, and takes place in July.

Although no–one from the group was able to attend the festival, they were told they had won a Jury Prize via email, and received a certificate through the post.

“It is quite a big festival,” Simone said. “I would have loved to have gone there. It has a giant screen in a field and they told me that more than 1,000 people watched the film.

“I never thought we would get an award at both the festivals, so we are all really happy.”

Almighty Doodles was created by Simone and fellow BA Computer Animation Arts students Jack Carrington and Danit Klibansky; BA Computer Visualisation and Animation students Rob Stratton and Rochelle Flynn, who are now in their third year; and BSc Music and Audio Technology students Andrei Leskovski and Asha Blatherwick – who worked on the sound for the film and have now finished their degrees at BU.

The film is inspired by the Book of Genesis, and takes place in ‘God’s studio’, showing him selecting the creatures he will bring to life. Man manages to escape before he can be rejected by God’s holy stamp.

“We were trying to make fun of humankind but do it in a funny, naïve way without offending anyone,” said Simone.

He added that he hopes the film’s success will inspire future students who have to do the coursework project, which involves pitching and creating a one minute film.

“After spending hours and hours on a project, you want your work to be showed somewhere,” he said.

“Hopefully letting this year’s second year students know that one of these film projects was shown at international film festivals will help them see it is not just an assessment.

“Bournemouth University is really renowned for computer animation, so the fact that we got to showcase our skills while we are still students is really positive.

View Almighty Doodles