Upper Sixth leavers Bertie (G), Claudia (I) and Dylan (D) all received recognition for their academic Film Studies projects from the Cinemagic Young Filmmaker Awards, a national competition which celebrates the work of young people and the filmmaking stars of the future. Their documentary and experimental short films were shortlisted for awards from over 600 submissions from the next generation of young creatives.
Running for 32 years, Cinemagic Young Filmmaker has many well-known alumni including Michael Lennox (Derry Girls), William McGregor (Gwen, His Dark Materials, The Missing, Poldark), Ryan Tohill (The Dig), Andrew Tohill (The Dig) and Lee Cronin (The Hole in the Ground, Evil Dead Rise).
Dylan’s short documentary 33 explored the experiences of black pupils at Bradfield. Inspired by the unconventional cinematic techniques seen in La Jetée, a French featurette from the 1960s which explores social and political issues, Dylan wanted to convey emotion through the use of diegetic interviews as well as non-diegetic voice overs to bridge between the visuals and create a thread through the narrative.
The subject is very personal so I felt that using talking heads and voice overs would be the most effective way to establish an intimate and personal relationship with the audience. It is not often that people of colour are given the spotlight to openly talk about prejudice but for me this film offered a space to discuss racial issues and experiences without judgment.
Claudia’s film I Am A Man, featuring young men opening up about their self-image and insecurities, was also shortlisted in the Documentary category. Inspired by the portrayal of insecurity and anxiety in the 1980s, Australian film A Girl’s Own Story and also an advert she saw on TV, Claudia aimed to produce a powerful documentary recognising the pressures young men are under.
I decided to shoot my interviewees writing words on another male’s body before he put his suit back on and walked out of the room. These words allowed the boys to ‘get off their chest’ things they had been called or believed themselves to be. This visual metaphor allowed me to present how boys cover up their emotions and hide their feelings from the world.
Aiming to develop a narrative that ended with a twist, Bertie’s shortlisted Experimental short Inside 624EE, follows a young photographer who discovers the mysterious power of an old 624EE camera when trying to capture images of London in lockdown. Bertie was inspired by the film noir/neo noir style of Pitch Black Heist as well as its clear linear narrative and simple three-act structure.
My film is about a camera that has a mind of its own, the camera acts as a character and is a key focus for my narrative. Inside 624EE depicts the loneliness and trauma one could feel during Lockdown, one could feel trapped and in desperate need of a friend, just like my Antagonist.