Student-produced film Alice, shot in just two days for a competition held by the BFTen Film Production Society, has been nominated for ‘Best Local Film’ at the Birmingham Film Festival.
As the producer of the film the task was quite daunting at first (having had no previous experience) but the efficient team I was part of made my job a lot easier.The director, Geoffrey Mugford had already envisioned how the film would be and was able to portray that vision to not only me but to the rest of the crew. With only a couple of weeks to cast for the film, scout for locations, plan the shoots, film and edit, the task was very challenging. Especially when, at one point, Patrick Sambiasi, the Assistant Director and I had to manage a cast and crew of thirty in Kasbah!
Written by Irina Mugford, Alice is based on a young woman who is fighting her inner demons and is inspired by the classic novel Alice in Wonderland. The character of Alice is quite complex and the task to find the right actress to play her was going to be even more difficult. However, one of the benefits of taking part in university competitions is that one can almost find everything within it. University of Warwick has a breadth of talent and one of them is brilliant Emily Taylor. Her performance in the film is captivating and displays her level of professionalism.
Although Warwick does not teach any practical film courses, societies like BFT and WTV engage in filmmaking processes perfect for those who want to hone their skills.
One of the ways the society tried to get more students to showcase their talent was through a short film competition, BFTen. The competition kicked off in October last year with a call for scripts to be submitted by budding writers. Once the scripts were selected and interest for various crew roles were logged, the organisers assigned a script per team. There were ten teams in total and each team had to make a short film within a limited period of time.
I was ecstatic when Alice went on to win Best Picture, Best Cinematography and Best Editing at the BFTen competition. After witnessing the response to the film at the awards ceremony, Geoffrey Mugford, the director, and I discussed about possibly submitting the film in festivals. After editing the film further, including adding a song composed especially for the film, Geoffrey started to submit the short film at film festivals.
To have the film nominated in a local film festival is incredible and it just goes to show that hard work and dedication pays off. Needless to say that the film’s success was down to the entire cast and crew who were amazing to work with and despite the late night shoots and editing whilst not being well, it was an incredible experience.
The BFTen competition is taking place again this year and is the perfect opportunity for those interested in filmmaking. You never know what doors it might open up for you!
Alice will be shown at the Birmingham Film Festival from 25th to 26th November 2016.