Pupil film takes on Hollywood stars at festival

Anne Kristenson in the short film No Show. Picture: comp
Anne Kristenson in the short film No Show. Picture: comp
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HOLLYWOOD heavyweights such as Reese Witherspoon and Dustin Hoffman will be appearing on the big screen at the same international film festival as a group of city school pupils.

Craigroyston High School students Anne Kristenson, Ewa Jacon and Marie Seno will see their names in lights when their short film, No Show, appears at the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) on September 29 and October 5. The moody short film – which was the only Scottish piece to make the cut – depicts the life of a teenager called Annabella as she struggles with bullying and parental pressure.

S5 pupil Ewa, 16, said: “We submitted our film to the Edinburgh Film Festival but we weren’t selected so we thought that was the end of it.

“I was absolutely shocked when we were chosen, as we never saw it coming.”

Ewa, who lives in Muirhouse, did a lot of work on the script while Marie and Anne, who have now left the school, acted as director and main character respectively.

She said: “We watched a lot of short films for inspiration and there were a big group of us who were involved in ideas for the film at the beginning.

“It is mostly about Anne and her character, and what she’s going through, particularly looking at her problems and how she can actually fix them herself.

“We plotted out the whole story to see how it would go and then we made the whole script.”

The project, which was supported by city-funded organisation Screen Education Edinburgh, took three months to complete with the final shoot finished in just one day.
The film was selected by a youth jury out of hundreds of international submissions for VIFF’s Reel Youth Film Festival from as far afield as Mexico, Peru and Sierra Leone.

Martial Le Gall, media studies and foreign language teacher, said: “The students really were the driving force behind the project.

“This shows that film is something that students and teenagers can really engage with. We are very happy for them, it is a really fantastic achievement.”

Film-making at the school is going from strength to strength, with a dedicated media studies course starting this year – 15 students are already signed up to it, said Mr Le Gall.

The young film-makers were given funding by the Scottish Government’s Cashback for Creativity fund.