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Students’ work praised at international film festival

Fri 7th February, 2014

UNIVERSITY of Bedfordshire Media Production students and graduates had their films screened at the prestigious Berlin British Shorts Film Festival.

At this seventh annual festival, a venture funded by organisations including the University and the British Council, three venues across Berlin played host to the crème of UK film-making talent.

Three Bedfordshire films were screened; Walking in the Clouds – made by MA Documentary 2013 graduates Bosi Zhao, Ling Yin Pan, Shan Jiang and Yawen Hu; It’s a Good Life – made by Tasos Giapoutzis, a third year Media Production BA student; and Take Your Seats - made by MA Documentary 2013 graduates Davinia Dillon and Helen Easter.

Tasos, 27, who originates from Greece, has already experienced the “great” buzz of festivals during his studies, having attended the star-studded Cannes International Film Festival last year.

He said having his own work shown at Berlin was “an honour”.

Following screening, Tasos – whose film is about a young Rwandan refugee in London – took part in a question and answer session, as did Davinia, whose film is about the preserved Rex cinema in Berkhamsted, Herts.

Tasos added: “I had some really good comments, from film-goers and fellow film-makers. The experience has inspired me with ideas for future film projects.”

David Green, a senior lecturer and course leader for the MA Documentary and BA (hons) Media Production courses at Bedfordshire, was a festival organiser.

He said “Bedfordshire’s students were in very strong film-making company this year”, and all the University’s films received “much praise” including Walking in the Clouds, which is about Chinese mountain porters carrying painfully heavy loads up a mountain.

David chaired the jury for the Best Short Film Prize – won by a Scottish Documentary Institute film, Pouters, – and also co-ran a workshop with Bedfordshire senior lecturer in Video Production, John Digance, where film-makers were given 48 hours to make a short film about a Berlin journey.

Describing the four-day festival as “a great success, with sell-out screenings throughout”, David added: “Our media production students benefited from the experience in so many ways – showing their work and receiving feedback from their peers and industry experts, making many useful contacts along the way.

“I’m already looking forward to next year’s festival.”

 Notes to editors

• The Best Short Film Prize was a cheque for 500 euros.

• The University has been a sponsor and organiser of the Berlin British Shorts Film Festival since its inception in 2007. Bedfordshire alumna and film-maker Julia Elger is now based in Berlin and a key University partner in organising the annual festival.

• Venues this year were the prestigious Ballhaus Ost ballroom, FilmKunst 66 and Sputnik Kino.

Bedfordshire University

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