On Saturday 29th June, the sun finally came out in the UK for Corel to attend the first ever Brighton Youth Film Festival.
On arrival at the venue, the Brighton Museum, I could already feel the buzz of young people about. The building was decorated with bright blue balloons and festival banners ready to host a room filled with aspiring filmmakers.
As soon as I entered the building, I received a very warm welcome from Lauren, the Marketing and Communications Co-ordinator who introduced me to Clare, Elke and Liz, the event Directors. After boring Lauren for 5 minutes about my commute down, she departed to open the doors to the public which allowed me to have a little wander around.
The Awards Ceremony
I was one of the first to enter the Ceremony room that was kitted out in a very similar way to a cinema (no surprise!). I sat in the top corner with a great view of the screen and all of the guests arriving. The room seated at least 120 people and filled up in no time with people of all ages!
After a short introductory speech, the lights went out and ACTION! – The category finalists displayed their masterpieces.
The Junior Categories (8-12yrs)
From the very first film, it quickly became clear to me that I had hugely underestimated the talent in the room. The films were extremely diverse with an obvious display of creativity and passion. Each film included a whole range of visual effects which expressed the individual personality of the film creator. One finalist cleverly used cardboard cut-outs and DSLR Stop Motion to convey their story. All films were not only skillfully edited but the stories were well told, well written and included some great acting!
Each entrant received an eruption of applause when the credits starting rolling as people showed their appreciation and surprise at the level of cinematography on display.
After each category had come to an end, several awards were given out to the winners and runners up – including a copy of Corel’s VideoStudio Ultimate X6.
The Senior Categories (13-18yrs)
After watching the junior categories, I really didn’t know what to expect from the seniors! Once again, the films started rolling and once again, I was completely blown away. It was immediately clear that the seniors had taken their skills in filmmaking and developed them to produce something very special. The short films were scripted and edited in all types of different genres that had everyone laughing, on the edge of their seats and genuinely moved by real life stories. I was very impressed at how well a story, whether crime, romance or comedy could be told in a 10-minute film.
After watching the senior categories, I had to remind myself that all of the films were produced by people under 18!
In a similar way to the Junior Categories, awards were given out to the winners and runners up including an international award all the way from Israel!
The event concluded with a few words from guest speakers. Clare then took to the stage and thanked everyone for attending. After such an impressive ceremony and a packed theatre, she reminded us that this was the first ever Brighton Youth Film Festival, something I think everyone had long forgotten.
If I’m completely honest, my expectations weren’t very high when I realised it was a “Youth” Film Festival. I thought that as the finalists were as young as 8 years old, the event would have a “School Prize Day” feel – How naive and wrong I was!
The professionalism of the Brighton Youth Film Festival has opened my eyes to a world of young talented filmmakers that I had never known. Whilst watching the films, I was being inspired by filmmaking ability and creativity which I think was the result of such a well-organised festival.
If you find yourself in Brighton next year and are looking for something new to do, I highly recommend the Brighton Youth Film Festival!
If you would like to support them in their second year or want more details, visit their website.
All of the films will soon be screened on Brighton’s Big Screen.
Categories and Winners:
‘My world is Baking’ by Robin
‘Scales’ by Firstlightonline
‘This is Brighton’ by Caleb
‘The man with no name’ by Jun
‘Flower’ by Elian
‘Struggle with Life and Race Against Time’ by Meera
‘L’Amore di Nimozini’ by Federico, Dan and Cole
YOUNG FILMMAKERS PRIZE
‘My World’ by Hamish