University of Bristol alum Laura Marcus wins Best Writer at the BFI Future Film Festival

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By Katya Spiers, Film & TV Digital Editor

The BFI Future Film Festival, which took place from Thursday 18 to Sunday 21 February, has awarded ‘Best Writer’ to Laura Marcus for her short film The Massive F*cking Bender.

Alongside an incredible array of emerging filmmaking talent, Marcus’ film was shown in the same category as Girls’ Night, a short animated comedy by Ismay Bickerton, who graduated from the University of Bristol in 2019. Both films premiered at The Indoors Project in May last year, an online film festival established by Dan Sved, another former student of the University.

The Massive F*cking Bender is a ten-minute-long foray into teenage tribulations that is as despairingly relatable as it is funny. The film follows a day in the life of GIRL, from the agonising moment she receives a rejection letter from her dream university, to her subsequent decision to have her very own Massive F*cking Bender, in preparation for her fate at her second choice university in a city that’s famed for its nightlife.

Still from The Massive F*cking Bender | Courtesy of BFI Future Film Festival

Narrated mostly in voice-over, GIRL’s bender is an intricately-planned affair that covers all bases perfectly: from the stomach-churning drinks menu to applying ‘mother’s misogyny dust’ to her face in an effort to get herself looking party-ready. Down to the dusty souvenir bottle of ouzo that’s on standby in the kitchen cupboard, Marcus’ depiction of GIRL’s first foray into messy teenage binge drinking is enough to give the audience a taste of the nauseating light-headedness that’s to come.

The ‘Best Writer’ award was judged by Sight & Sound Editor-in-Chief Mike Williams, who explained that ‘Laura Marcus’ writing stood out for its wit, its warmth and its ability to treat a teenage, middle-class, existential crisis with the perfect balance of sincerity and lampooning.’

Made during the UK’s first lockdown, Marcus’ The Massive F*cking Bender is a joyful reminder that there’s more to life than the pressures that we might feel to channel the pandemic into productivity - be that excelling in our studies, overexercising or learning to bake silly little sourdoughs.

Featured: BFI Future Film Festival


You can watch The Massive F*cking Bender for free on the BFI Website.

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