In conversation with MinuteMade student film festival

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By Maddy Raven, Film & TV Editor

There’s a new student film festival on the scene – and its name is a pun, so I’m already sold. I sat down with the creators of MinuteMade (via the wonders of Facebook call) to hear about their festival, and how you can get involved.

Marta Macedo, a third-year film student, is one of the organisers, and explained that MinuteMade is a new 60-second film festival, open exclusively to students enrolled at a Bristol university – this could be the University of Bristol, UWE, or Screenology.

It may look super niche, but this pool of students is huge because there are three universities that all have renowned film courses. There are about 50,000 students in Bristol, and there’s plenty of film students in there. Frank Kauer, another organiser of the festival, adds that you don’t have to be a film student: just a student at one of these universities who loves film and is actively making work.

The group wanted to give people something to do in lockdown. ‘We’ve been stuck at home for the last year and especially for people who are creative, it’s been super hard to make connections and art,’ says Marta, ‘so we wanted to create a platform exactly for that.’

So far, Jin Choi (another quarter of the creative team!) tells me, they have two judges confirmed for the festival – David Thomson, a critic based in San Francisco who has written numerous books, and served on the selection committee for the New York Film Festival and scripted the documentary The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind – and Paul Unwin, who is an alumnus of the University of Bristol, and a co-writer on Casualty. You may also know him as the director of the original TV show Shameless.

The organisers are trying to reach more judges at the moment, focusing on Bristol-based alumni and Bristol-based professionals. It feels only right that Bristol students should be judged by Bristol creatives, as this is such a unique place to study film and create art.

The festival itself will be an opportunity for filmmakers themselves to receive professional feedback, ask questions, and hear career advice.

And, Marta tells me, they have created an award dedicated to ‘Fresh Filmmakers’ – first and second years, to encourage them to start making work. ‘Getting your work seen as early as possible is something I regret not doing,’ adds Marta, ‘I sat around for two years waiting for third year when I could’ve been using that time in first year when very little mattered to start making content.’

It feels only right that Bristol students should be judged by Bristol creatives, as this is such a unique place to study film and create art

The festival’s long submission period started on Monday 8 March and runs until the 31 May. There will be a two-week judging period and a screening of the winning four films on the 12th of June.

The team will put the winning films up on their website a few days before the ceremony, and of course, a shortlist of the films that didn’t win.

To get involved, Frank explained to me that the festival is prompt-based. From the 8th March until the 28th, the prompt is ‘lost’ – so, it’s up to the prospective filmmakers to make a 60-second-long film with this prompt in mind. You can submit a film for each prompt – the next prompts will include ‘isolation’, ‘culture’ and ‘connection’.

But, Jin stresses, ‘we don’t accept submissions not related to the prompts!’

To submit your film, head to the MinuteMade festival website and fill out the short consent form, and then click on the Film Freeway button to submit your films there. It costs £1 per entry, but there is a discount if you are a member of Film Freeway already. You can submit as many times as you’d like.

The year ahead with Film Society
The year ahead with InFilm Bristol

The organisers have been talking to various equipment rental companies around Bristol and are hoping to secure vouchers for equipment to give as prizes – though nothing is confirmed as of yet.

Epigram will hopefully be attending the final screening to see which films win, but in the meantime, get filming, and head to their Instagram and website to hear more.

Featured: MinuteMade Film Festival


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