After huge success in its first year, the RGU Film Festival will return for a second year from the 1st to the 2nd of April and it will be hosted by the Belmont Filmhouse, Aberdeen. Each night features an array of international short films and there are two awards to be won by film entries. One award for the best student film entry and one for best non-student film entry.
The members of the RGU Film Society have been judging the films that have been submitted. They have chosen the most amazing short films to watch at the film screening.
Radar got the chance to interview the festival organisers, Craig and Ryan.
Radar: What can we expect at the film festival this year?
Craig: You will see 27 high-quality short films from around the world. Films are selected by a panel of judges who are members of the film society.
Ryan: You will see great films, from local to international, with a range of topics and issues. You may like or not like some of the films or you may end up loving a film you never thought you would.
Radar: How did you come up with the idea of organising a Film Festival?
Craig: I spoke with the previous president of the Film Society, Rima, and we decided to make a Film Festival. I had made short films for other film festivals for university students. This is good because it showcases filmmaking talent for people who would like to get into the film industry. I saw my first Iranian film last year at the film festival so it shows the variety we get to see and I want to continue that for this year.
Ryan: I was a junior member of the Film Festival last year and that was the first one I had been to. I saw films I had never seen before, from places such as Vietnam and Russia, and they have a different culture in their filmmaking.
Radar: Where did your passion for films come from?
Craig: As a child, I watched Lord of the Rings, and I thought ’wow…are those creatures real?’, now as an adult, I know that they don’t exist but the illusion feels real. I love how films effect emotions, regardless of the ridiculousness. On the surface it is ridiculous but every time I watch Lord of the Rings, I will cry. Even if a film is out of your comfort zone, you can connect emotionally and intellectually.
Ryan: Fantastic Mr Fox is what got me into creative filming, also historical films as I got older, like The Danish Girl, Dunkirk, The Theory of Everything. They have good drama and good acting. I always wanted to be an actor. It makes you realise how much work it takes to make films.
Radar: Any advice for anyone who is thinking of making a short film?
Ryan: Good story. Good characters and make them relatable, not too high or low class. Be controversial. Filmmaking is about expressing art. Films from the 1960’s and 1970’s can be controversial.
Craig: Get to the point. Filmmakers may think they are making a story that is important to the audience, but if you cannot express your idea in 10 seconds, it is not worth telling. It may be a 3-hour long epic, but it may not capture people’s attention.
Be ambitious. You may not have the budget or quality equipment, or enough people, but be ambitious regardless of scale.
Use your limitations to your advantage. The film theory of Dogme in 1995, is where a set of rules are stated to limit the ability to make a film. This relates to true cinema, examples of the limitations would be, no props, and only use what you have on the location of the shoot. This allows creatively with limitations, for example, if you only have one light, make an interrogation scene. You can do a lot with very little, especially with mobile and DSLR’s.
Finally, this tip comes recommended by filmmakers, just do it, just make your film, you have no excuse, make the time, and learn by making.