The popcorn had been eaten, the projectors turned off and the students returned to studying – Screentest: The National Student Film Festival 2011 has finished.
But it most certainly went out with a bang. Screening 115 student made short films over the weekend in mid-March, Screentest was thrilled to welcome just under 250 people to the Festival from all over the UK. Especially the large groups who descended upon the Festival from Bristol, Southampton, Nottingham and Swansea.
The Festival was pleased to welcome the Vice Chancellor of London South Bank University Martin Earwicker to open the Festival. BAFTA nominees Luke Snellin and Ross McKenzie as well as this years BAFTA winner Paul Wright were all available for Q+A’s on the Friday evening. On the Saturday afternoon London Film Academy ran three workshops which included guests Andy Grainger from The Smalls, Andy Spooner from shorts 4 U, Luke Snellin and Jeffrey Merrihue from MOFILM.
The Festival highlight was The National Student Film Awards, which were hosted by musician, comedian and former Screentest winner Jay Foreman. The packed out event was a surefire hit with most of the Festivals 40 nominated filmmakers present – some traveling down from as far north as Scotland to be there.
Speaking to filmmakers at the after-party I was thrilled to see that despite a difficult weekend for the Screentest team and myself, everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves. Award winner Max Kimber was impressed by the quality of the films and relished the opportunity to see other students work. The group of first year students from Swansea were pleased to see some of their alumni work on the big screen – inspired in knowing that their work could be there too. And award nominee Rehan Yousuf praised Screentest’s small team for creating a ‘welcoming and friendly atmosphere’.
It’s been a long haul dragging Screentest from Bristol to London – but a worthwhile one I feel. To our sponsors BAFTA, Shooting People, The Reel Presents and our host London South Bank University, my heartfelt thanks. This Festival is important to a large number of student filmmakers across the country.
My thanks again to all who made this Festival possible – and we look forward to seeing you all again in 2012.
Below are some links to online media coverage of Screentest 2011, some pre but mostly post-festival: