September highlights

Our monthly London Film School community updates; students, alumni and staff successes you might like to know about

Don’t forget to find out more about our MA Filmmaking, Screenwriting, and International Film Business courses.

The best bits

We are thrilled to announce that Shira Haimovici’s (MAF 192) graduation film Summer Shade (co-produced by Adam Robinson, cinematography by Tamas Apor Meder) will have its World Premiere at the BFI London Film Festival 2020! Watch any time for free on the BFI Player from 7–18 October.

Huge congratulations to alumna Ana Rocha de Sousa (MAF 173) on her feature debut Listen, a major winner at La Biennale di Venezia with an incredible six awards, including the Special Orizzonti Jury Prize and Luigi de Laurentiis Venice Award for a Debut Film! Read Ana’s new interview about the film with Screen Daily.

Two of our recent grads begin Cannes La Residence, Cinéfondation from 1 October — February 2021: Rafael Manuel (MAF 192) and Orkhan Aghazadeh (MAF 186). We wish them a fruitful time!

MAF 173 graduate Colum Eastwood has been named a Star of Tomorrow for 2020 by Screen Daily.

Amazing news for graduate Stephanie Espinetti (MAF 181), a member of the VFX team who recently won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects with Disney+’s The Mandalorian.

Great news from this year’s digital edition of the Encounters Film Festival for some LFS graduation films — Filipiñana (dir. Rafael Manuel, prod. Naomi-Poltier Mutal, DoP. Xenia Patricia, prod. design Andrea Vigoni) was awarded the Brief Encounters Grand Prix for 2020, and Shoegazing (dir. Servane D’Alverny, prod. Julien Cornwall, DoP. Tamas Apor Meder, prod. design Molly Shears) took home the Creative Filmmaking Award from the NAHEMI Film Schools Programme at the festival.

Graduation films

Ariq Khan’s (MAF 192) graduation film Transit (DoP. Eng Teck Ng) will have its International Premiere at the Busan International Film Festival in October.

Graduation films Señor (dir. Masha Clark), and Caravan (dir. William Anderson, DoP. Eng Teck Ng, ed. Nailah Robinson) will screen at the HollyShorts Film Festival in November. Caravan is also headed to the LA Shorts Film Festival in October.

Shalini Adnani’s (MAF 186) graduation film Somebody’s Daughter (prod. Michael Graf, DoP. Juan Vicente Durà, ed. Yingqing Gong) is a Vimeo Staff Pick this month.

Great news out of the 17th In The Palace Film Festival — graduation film The Lost Scot (dir. Julien Cornwall, prod. Eliot Gelberg-Wilson, DoP. Paul Maziere, ed. Luke Howe, prod. design Julia Bronwyn Weise) took home the Best Student Fiction Film Award, with Filipiñana (dir. Rafael Manuel, prod. Naomi-Poltier Mutal, DoP. Xenia Patricia, prod. design Andrea Vigoni) given a Special Mention in the same category.

The Lost Scot also screened at the Sehsuchte International Student Film Festival and won the Best Short Fiction Film Award.

Graduation project My Other Suit is Human (dir. Andrew Montague, DoP. Zeta Spyraki, prod. design Rocio Rivera Rosado) will screen at the San Diego International Film Festival. The film also took home two awards from the Woods Hole Film Festival: Best Acting in a Short for Bethany Blake, and Best Cinematography Short Narrative for LFS graduate Zeta Spyraki.

Chris Brake’s graduation film Cactus Boy (DoP. Piero Cioffi, ed. Pawel Achtelik) screened as part of Short Sighted Cinema’s The Shortest Nights programme for 2020.

Sol de Agosto (dir. Franco Volpi, co-prod. Andrés Salas, DoP. Jackie Teboul) won the Special Director’s Award at the 2020 Look & Roll Film Festival. Watch the full film here.

Emanuele Bonomi’s (MAF 186) graduation film Croste di Polenta (prod. Lara Zeidan, DoP. Thomas Rowe) screened at the Trento Film Festival where the film took home the Best Student Film Award.

Vogue Japan has published a ‘Spotlight on Shorts’ featured at the Short Shorts Film Festival, including Masha Clark’s (MAF 191) graduation film Señor.

Clara Stephanie Schieber Lorenesi’s (MAF 191) graduation film Empty Spaces (DoP. Juri Ferri, ed. Anne Madeleine Mancosu) screened at the Women Over 50 Film Festival. You can also read our interview with the Festival Director, Nuala O’Sullivan here.

We Choose to Go (Dir Marlene Rios, DoP Hsien Niu, Prod Designer Emily Marquet) screened at the 27th San Diego Latino Film Festival.

Other alumni successes

Kurt McLeod (MAS 3) is heading into production with his original screenplay Copshop, starring Gerard Butler, Frank Grillo and Joe Carnahan — covered by Deadline and Variety.

Joining Shira in the London Film Festival programme this year is LFS grad Jacqueline Lentzou (MAF 173) with her latest short film, The End of Suffering (A Proposal). All of the shorts at the festival this year will be available to view for free on BFI Player for the duration of the festival in October.

The Aesthetica Film Festival, taking place 4–8 November, will feature the work of several LFS alumni. Recent graduates Luke Howe and Pawel Achtelik will present their respective graduation films The Beast (prod. Julien Cornwall, Paul Maziere, DoP. Tamas Apor Meder, prod. design Davide Maria Valsecchi) and Skarbnik (DoP. Abigail Hurcomb), while alumna Naomi Waring’s latest short film Ode also features in the programme. Alumnus James Friend will also participate in an industry event on cinematography. Tickets available here.

Graduate Benjamin Bee’s (MAF 175) project Marwell has advanced to the second round of consideration for the Sundance Development Track 2021.

Great progress for these MAS alumni: Jake Mackintosh (MAS 5) has joined the BBC Writers’ Room new Cornish Voices writer development group, and Beru Tessema (MAS 8) has been named as one of Bush Theatre’s 2020/21 Emerging Writers.

Recent graduate Lara Zeidan has been selected for the Crossroads Co-production Forum with her first feature project Birthday. She will also be taking part in the Emerging20 Program of the Reelworld Film Festival.

The Guanajuato International Film Festival 2020 enjoyed the work of several LFS grads:

  • Featuring in the International Fiction Shorts competition are Rafael Manuel (MAF 192) with his graduation film Filipiñana (prod. Naomi-Poltier Mutal, DoP. Xenia Patricia, prod. design Andrea Vigoni), Zhannat Alshanova (MAF 186) with Paola Makes a Wish, and Álvaro Gago (MAF 175) with 16 de Decembro.
  • In the Mexican Feature Film category, MAS alumna Mariana González (MAS 10) presented her feature film debut Fractal.

Alumnus Sebastián Lojo’s (MAF 185) feature debut Los Fantasmas (prod. Remi Itani, DoP. Vincenzo Marranghino, ed. Terrence Chim, Keenen Young) will have its French premiere at the Festival Biarritz Amérique Latine.

Check out a new selection of interviews with some of our alumni:

You can also read a new article about Jacqueline Lentzou’s work, from Kinoscope.

Alumnus Álvaro Gago (MAF 175) was recently interviewed by Variety, discussing the development of his feature Matria at the TIFF Filmmaker Lab 2020.

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