June 4th was a beautiful summer’s day in Bath but the city’s film aficionados were encased in the darkness of Chapel Arts for the 2nd ever Bath Film Festival, IMDB Script to Screen Award Gala Event.
BFF’s Producer, Holly Tarquini introduced the evening with a litany of thanks (well, it was an Awards ceremony) to all of the supporters of the award, starting with Col Needham (CEO of IMDb who funds the award), the front row of judges, Valencia Haynes, Steve May and Philip Raby; Fay Weldon who narrowed the long list of 15 down to a short list of 5 and finally her long suffering husband, Tony Tarquini.
The judges were:
Col Needham (CEO of IMDb)
Fay Weldon (author and screenwriter)
Matthew Graham (Writer)
Jennie Scanlon (Writer)
Students from Bath Spa University School of Music and Performing Arts performed the five short listed screenplays under the direction of Mark Langley, the head of school.
New York Lobby, 3.00am by John Burdeaux suffered somewhat from the performance as there is hardly any dialogue. The lively pace of the read through meant that many of the nuances were lost. This script would make a brilliant short film, it is very visual and builds up from a very ordinary beginning to an unusual and disturbing end.
This was the first time that Carolina Giometta heard a public read through of her script of Holy Cannelloni. The film is set in Little Italy in Nottingham and features a young girl taking her Holy Communion. As Fay Weldon put it, “pleasingly and effortlessly original”.
Philip O’Brien’s Arresting Andrew worked really well with the students’ read through. Fay had this to say: “A lesson in psychology, both smart and thoughtful, neatly contained in this short film. See it as an experiment looking for a solution. To prove: that buttoning your lip can end in violence.”
Jamie Sampson was in the audience to see the read through of his script, Conversations With Strangers which was an audience favorite. The idea behind this film is that everyone is a stranger really, even the people we love. The conversations and faces morph from one to another. A script well designed for the medium of film.
The final read through was Trunk by Jack Cox. Here the ‘elephant in the room’ metaphor is brought to life with wonderful comic effect. The students obviously had fun with this script which included a dancing elephant!
While the judges retired to The Cork to discuss the scripts the audience were treated to Nic Jeune in conversation with Ben Blaine and Rob Brown. Nic is a Creative Producer and runs the Bath Spa University MA in Feature Film Making. Rob and Ben have both just made the transition from award winning short film makers to feature film makers.
We learned that making a feature film is akin to jumping off a high building and splatting on the ground – only much, much worse. We also heard about Ben’s success with Kickstarter and how Twitter helped to raise over £18,000. We look forward to screening Rob Brown’s film Sixteen and The Blaine Brothers’ Nina Forever at the festival soon.
The judges returned and took to the stage. They had nominated the ever-smiley Col Needham as their spokesman and he talked through the judges’ verdicts.
And finally, the winner…
Jack Cox for Trunk!
Jack wins the beautiful award itself, an enamel IMDb badge (usually only given to IMDb employees) AND £5,000 to make the film over the summer so that we can screen it at Bath Film Festival. Bath Film Festival’s Director Philip Raby collected the award on Jack’s behalf (Jack was in Australia).
Jack had this to say: “Am I in some sort of daydream – did my script really win!? This is the most wonderful opportunity I have ever been dealt and I will use the resources provided by this win to make the best film possible.”
We wish Jack the very best of luck and look forward to seeing Trunk in November.