Festival Day Two


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


#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

#Gamechangers 10: Baby Driver


It’s finally time for this week’s Watersprite #gamechangers post! It gets a little hectic around Cambridge at this time during the term, which is why we picked something new and fun with an incredible soundtrack for you to enjoy: Edgar Wright‘s ‘Baby Driver’!

This action crime film is one of our favorite 2017 pieces, and you might find yourself with a song from the movie stuck in your head after watching it (for days if you’re like me). What is the ’Baby Driver’ hype all about? Baby, the protagonist who works as a getaway driver and orchestrates his life with carefully composed playlists, might be one of the most intriguing figures to appear on screen this year, and not many movies are able to make the entire movie threate laugh repeatedly – so give ‘Baby Driver‘ a go!

If you’ve already seen the film, check out the incredibly interesting podcast episode about ‘Baby Driver‘ on ‘The Director’s Cut‘-podcast, where Wright is interviewed about the making of his film.

Image credit: BagoGames

Iconic Composers 2: Hans Zimmer


“I want to go and write music that announces to you that you can feel something.”

Hans Zimmer is one of the most prolific film music composers of the last few decades — since the 1980s, he’s composed the music of more than 150 films. After winning an Academy Award for his stunning score to “The Lion King”, he went on to create the iconic soundtrack to “Pirates of the Caribbean” in addition to working on films such as “Interstellar” and “Inception”.

Interested in film composition yourself? There’s still two months to enter our student music composition and have your work exhibited at our 2018 festival — click through for more info: https://buff.ly/2AwSjvr

Image credit: JannikSet1

#Gamechangers 9: Inception

Today, it is time for the first Christopher Nolan project to make the Waterpsprite #gamechangers list: Inception. The 2010 science-fiction film was written, co-produced, and directed by Nolan.

It‘s been out a couple of years, so we‘re not too careful with spoilers – watch out if you haven’t seen it.

A film with beautiful plot twists, full of emotion, too complicated to properly summarise – which is why we strongly suggest you watch it! The main character, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is faced with a seemingly impossible task, the “inception” or implantation of a person’s idea into the subconscious of another person to change reality. You can imagine how this leads to layers upon layers of storyline and meaning.

You might be surprised to find yourself in ordinary reality again after – if only Leonardo DiCaprio had not walked off the end, leaving that queasy feeling in your stomach…

Which is your favorite scene?

Image credit: methodshop .com

#Gamechangers 8: Forrest Gump


“My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

We are just going to leave you with Forrest Gump’s words for this week’s Watersprite #gamechangers post, and hope that you all have a fantastic week full of sweet, suprising  moments.

Thank you for all of your film submissions, they are definitely going to be a box of wonderful chocolate surpises for us!

Image credit: Various, National Archives

#Gamechangers 7: The Godfather


This week’s #gamechangers takes us to a fictional New York between 1945-1955.

“The Godfather” is regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, especially in the crime and ‘gangster’ genre. Following the transformation of the main character from a family outcast to feared mafia boss, it unravels what must be some of the most complicated family problems ever crafted into a film.

Drugs, casinos, guns, threats, decapitated animals, murders – “The Godfather” has it all.

Maybe grab a friend and watch this classic crime film with enough snacks and time to talk through it afterwards.
An interesting fact on the side: Puzo, author of the novel ‘The Godfather” was so passionate about the film based on his book that he fought for months to get Marlon Brandon to play his main character. He succeeded in the end, going as far as saying Brando is the “only actor who can play the Godfather.” We think he did a great job in choosing the perfect actor!

Image credit: Steve Troughton

Iconic Composers 1: Alexander Desplat


“When one is a composer for films, it’s day and night. One needs to be in great physical condition!”

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking a look at the composers behind some of film’s most iconic soundtracks. This week: French composer Alexandre Desplat.

Desplat is the composer for numerous films, including “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, “The Imitation Game” and the final two instalments of the “Harry Potter” series. Desplat has composed extensively for French cinema and intentionally, winning an Oscar for his work on Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and numerous Césars, including one for his work on Jacques Audiard’s celebrated “De battre mon coeur s’est arrêté”.

Interested in film composition? There’s still two months to enter our student music composition and have your work exhibited at our 2018 festival — click through for more info: https://buff.ly/2Ah6iWz

Image credit: SweetSueSociety

#Gamechangers 6: Star Wars


“Try not. Do – or do not. There is no try”.

You can do anything if you commit to it – Yoda’s message fits perfectly to the start fo the new academic year.

Since we are pretty sure you’ve all seen the Star Wars movies – today just this short inspirational quote from Yoda to share the love from one of our favourite Empires.

Talking about inspirational film, we think it’s amazing that the love for Star Wars spans so many generations and connects people all around the globe. I saw the movies for the first time with my German grandpa, what’s your Star Wars story?

Image credit: KAMiKAZOW

#Gamechangers 5: When Harry met Sally...


Time for a romcom – this week’s Watersprite #gamechangers pick is “When Harry Met Sally…“.

“I’ll have what she’s having!”

Some movie quotes just stick around. We love Harry and Sally not only for their humor, but for their fun, tacky ideas about friendship. Driving across the country together and then repeatedly running into each other over the years in New York, the characters are set up in this wonderful comedy directed by Rover Ebert.

If you need a feel good movie of the best kind – give this one a go!

Image credit: Erika39

#Gamechangers 4: Disney


“Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.” – Walt Disney

An inspirational quote for this week’s Watersprite #gamechangers from a person whose work shaped our childhoods.

What is your favourite Disney movie? Let us know!

Image credit: ErikAggie

#Gamechangers 3: 2001: A Space Odyssey


The star of this week’s Watersprite #gamechangers posts is a science fiction classic: Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”!

Following a team on a voyage to Jupiter, the 1968 film bridges the past and future and plays with time in such a compelling way that I couldn’t help myself and had to watch it more than just once.

With a beautiful soundtrack featuring “Also sprach Zarathustra” and many other amazing tracks to set the perfect atmosphere for a Space Adventure, the 1968 film brings up themes still so popular today.

Existentialism, human evolution, artificial intelligence, extraterrestrial-life, “2001: A Space Odyssey” has it all – these themes are all still relevant in today’s cultural environment, making this film one to rewatch.

Two popular shows today that are known to have been influenced by Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” are “Interstellar”, a space drama, and “Westworld”, a television series that plays with the concept of time. What is your favorite movie featuring similar themes?

Image credit: dennis crowley