Festival Day Three

Sunday, 25 February: The last day of Watersprite saw the festival draw to a successful close. Highlights of the day included a talk by renowned screenwriter and Cambridge alumna Sarah Phelps (And Then There Were None, Great Expectations). In an insightful and invigorating discussion, Phelps discussed her own path to success, the process of bringing a book to the screen, and what young filmmakers looking to break into the industry should do.

Another exciting event was “‘My Son the Jihadi’: Authentic Storytelling in Documentaries”. The talk was chaired by Executive Producer of the titular BAFTA-winning documentary, Brian Woods, and featured Director Peter Beard, Producer Richard Kerbaj, and Sally and Michael Evans, the mother and brother of the documentary’s subject Thomas Evans. The panel gave an authentic look into the art of documentary-making, and how to skilfully and truthfully tell a story through this medium.

The weekend ended with a panel of up-and-coming stars, namely BAFTA Rising Star nominee George Mackay, 2017 BAFTA Breakthrough Brits Molly Windsor and Sarah Quintrell, and 2016 BAFTA Breakthrough Brit Tom Davis. The panel discussed how to navigate the filmmaking industry and the fascinating work they had done, ending the festival on an inspiring note for all those looking to follow in their footsteps.

Festival Day Two

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Saturday, 25 February: Day Two of the festival was packed with events – from film screenings to a careers speed-dating session, a panel on representation to a talk on new media platforms, the excitement was non-stop.

Audiences got a chance to meet revered industry professionals, including casting director Andy Pryor, actor Alistair Petrie (Star Wars: Rogue One, Deep State), and actress Naomi Ackie (Lady Macbeth). All had valuable advice to give to aspiring filmmakers looking to break into the industry, with most emphasising a need for determination and courage. Cambridge graduate and blogger Jake Wright was also present to discuss the use of new mediums to create content, drawing on his own experience as a popular YouTuber.

The day ended with a glittering awards ceremony at the Fitzwilliam Museum, where the 2018 Watersprite award winners were announced after months of anticipation.

The festival continues today, Sunday, with events including a talk on book to screen adaptations by EastEnders screenwriter Sarah Phelps, and “My Son the Jihadi”, a discussion on authentic storytelling in documentaries.

Festival Day One

Friday, 23 February: Watersprite 2018 opened with a fantastic first day! Head of Awards Sofia Lyall introduced a range of fantastic films in our first screening, “Affinity” (“Pablo”, “Night Spinning”, “I Know”, “Gute Nacht” and “Love Story”). Later in the evening, our Opening Ceremony was a huge success, with Head of Partnerships Anna Keeley conducting a brilliant interview with the incredible Mike Leigh.

Looking forwards to today, Saturday, we have three more nominee screenings (“Protest”, “Aspirations” and “Women’s Shorts”), and a huge range of exciting events including Kickstarting Your Project: Film Funds and Finance, New Platforms and New Media and Composing for Film: Student Competition Final.

Meet past nominees and winners

Meet some of our nominees and winners from past years’ festivals! We have seen some of the most unique and engaging submissions in all our years, so check out the minds behind these student masterpieces. With submissions for our 2018 festival pouring in from all over the world, this year’s festival promises to be just as diverse, exciting and original.

#Gamechangers 12: Breathless

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#gamechangers time! We’re getting a bit more arty this week with one of the most influential French New Wave cinema films: “Breathless“ (1960).

“Breathless“ was filmed entirely on a hand held camera in Paris and the final product includes some daring, beautiful jump cuts that influenced the entire film scene. Jean-Luc Godard took a rather spontaneous and opportunistic approach to filming the piece, relying on ideas he had in the moment.

The result? An exciting, beautiful film that has not gone out of date, so don’t miss out on this one and get watching!

Our favorite scene? The breathless last words whispered by the main character Michel…

Image credit: Gary Stevens