School Film Competition: winning entry announced; start of process to enter a film to PLURAL+ 2014

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On 12 February, at the conclusion of the Education Event held at Z-arts, the winning entry to the School Film Competition was announced. This article gives details about what happens next…

plural_logo_purpleThe School Film Competition: addressing the world

Although the Insight Film Festival ran this year’s competition for schools local to Manchester, the ultimate opportunity for young filmmakers around the world is to engage with PLURAL+, the Youth Video Festival run by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) for young people aged 9–25.

For readers of this article elsewhere in the UK and overseas, please consider this piece to be a case study that may encourage you, or young people within your networks, to enter films to PLURAL+ 2014. Insight will soon be announcing details of our plans regarding this year’s PLURAL+.

Separate to Insight’s involvement, PLURAL+ has already announced its Call for Entries for young people aged 9–25  to submit their films to the 2014 competition. For all submissions, the deadline to enter this year’s Festival is midnight in New York (GMT -5 hours) on 27 June 2014 (see PLURAL+ rules and regulations).

The Education Event: the context

The 2nd Insight Education Event comprised a day of screenings, debates, panel sessions and practical workshops, culminating in the awards ceremony for the School Film Competition, which in 2014 invited schoolchildren in Greater Manchester aged 14–19 to participate: 23 students from three schools and colleges submitted a total of eight films to the competition.

The winning entry

Insight-Winners 2014The film that won the 1st Insight School Film Competition was called I don’t believe it, produced by a group of five students at the Oasis Media Academy, Salford.

The judges were impressed by the film’s originality and ingenuity with respect to difficult camera angles and unusual perspectives. They found the film to be funny and enjoyable. They also admired the quality of the film given the young ages of the filmmakers on this project and the fact that the brief for the School Film Competition was followed so closely.

The school’s reaction, from media teacher Kelly Midgley, was very positive: ‘I was so amazed and so happy to hear our kids won! They came back to school very chuffed and proud.’

The prize, part one: tuition from filmmaking experts

Over the coming months, the winning team will receive tuition from two experts,  Alin-Bogdan Niculescu and Kristina Snipaityte, who are studying film at the University of Manchester. Bogdan explains their role in helping the filmmakers at Oasis Media Academy, Salford, to produce a film for entry to PLURAL+ and his involvement with the Insight Film Festival:collage26

I am Alin-Bogdan Niculescu, born in Romania, and studying in my second year of the Drama and Screen Studies course at the University of Manchester. I chair the Motion Picture Society at the Unversity, a film society that engages students in practical aspects of filmmaking and encourages them in their own film projects. My friend and fellow student, Kristina Snipaityte from Lithuania, is secretary of the Society.

Filmmaking is my passion and I believe that it represents an art form that requires hard work and dedication. Kristina shares this view. We wish to explore every avenue of filmmaking, to experience the industry from every angle. This is why we are so happy to be involved with the Insight Film Festival.

Insight has brought together my passion for film and my motto: ‘You need faith in order to succeed’. Every artist knows that without faith and hard work, art cannot be created and so no matter which camera you hold in your hands, your images will never take the shape of your ideas.

Kristina and I both worked for the 4th edition of the Insight Film Festival as part of the documentary crew. During the Education Day in 2013, I ran a film editing workshop on how to use smartphones to make films. We also held a filmmaking workshop as part of this year’s Education Event.

We are both proud to be working with the winners of the School Film Competition as part of their prize for winning the award. Between March and June 2014, Kristina and I will be coaching and working with the filmmakers from the Oasis Media Academy, Salford, to produce a short film of less than five minutes that will be entered for the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival for 2014. We can’t wait to get started.

The prize, part two: entry to PLURAL+ 2014

The completed film produced by the young filmmakers at the Oasis Media Academy, Salford, will be entered into competition for PLURAL+ 2014. The PLURAL+ Video Festival is an empowering opportunity for young people to share their opinions and views via film about what they think of migration, diversity and social inclusion, using their own views and voices. The PLURAL+ Video Festival gives youth a platform to say what they think and to make themselves heard by people from all over the world.

For the main prize at this year’s PLURAL+ Festival, three videos will receive USD 1000 and the filmmakers will be invited to New York City to attend the PLURAL+ 2014 Awards Ceremony. Other PLURAL+ partners, of which the Insight Film Festival is one, will also distribute awards. This means that the young filmmakers at the Oasis Media Academy, Salford, have the chance to be considered for the main prize, the PLURAL+ Insight Award, and the opportunity to travel to New York.

In addition, the completed film will be included in a PLURAL+ DVD of films submitted to the Festival, which PLURAL+ distributes around its network. This means that the film submitted by the young filmmakers at the Oasis Media Academy, Salford, will be watched by many people around the world.

The wider opportunity: Call for Entries to PLURAL+ 2014

There is no restriction as to who can enter their films to the PLURAL+ 2014 Youth Video Festival. Anyone can submit a film for consideration as long as they are between the ages of 9-25 and that the entry is received in New York by midnight (GMT -5 hours) on 27 June 2014. Soon, Insight will invite UK young filmmakers to produce work to be entered to this year’s PLURAL+ and  news of the Call for Entry date will be circulated in a separate email.

All videos should address the issues of migration, diversity and social inclusion: three themes that are growing in importance in the world. PLURAL+ wants young filmmakers to tell them in their videos what they think about matters such as migrant integration, inclusiveness, identity, diversity, human rights and social unity.

Each film should be between one and five minutes long, inclusive of the title and the credits, and PLURAL+ welcomes any style or genre of film, including animation, documentary, drama, music video and comedy. Films are submitted in DVD format and should either be produced in English or else have English sub-titles. If young filmmakers do not have access to the appropriate equipment for producing their entry, do not worry: PLURAL+ is compiling a database of organisations from around the world that may be able to help.

A fuller list of questions and answers regarding PLURAL+ can be found on the FAQ page at their website.