A graduation film by students from the Film BA Honours course has been selected in competition for Asia’s largest short film festival, the International Student Film and Video Festival in Beijing (ISFVF).
The film, titled ‘Audrey and the Rocket’, tells a warm, humorous and affecting story of an old couple coming to grips with who death is really about: the person dying, or the one left behind? This is framed within a story of two people still learning to love each other decades into their relationship.
Director Molly Bradbrook and Producer/Writer Mike Upson were invited to attend the festival in China, hosted by the Beijing Film Academy, and were surprised and delighted to win the award for Best Sound.
The ISFVF, supported and financed by the Beijing Film Academy and the International Association of Film and Television Schools (CILECT), are hosted annually in Beijing. In 2019 there were more than 2000 entries from 69 countries, and 82 films were selected that “convey strong and touching emotions that are universally shared”.
Audrey and the Rocket was shot in London and on the South Coast, and stars Bruce Alexander (‘A Touch of Frost’, ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’) and Penelope Beaumont (‘Doc Martin’, ‘Poirot’). The film was made by a team of thirty 3rd and 2nd year students, including second year student Harry Moore who was the sound editor of the film. Other key team members included Production Designer Matilda Vidal, Director of Photography Joseph Brunt and 1st Assistant Director Holly Loveridge-Smith.
Molly commented about the achievement: “When we were making the film, we sometimes didn’t believe that it would ever be shown to anyone outside the crew, so experiencing the film playing to a cinema of 1000 people felt like a massive achievement. As well as the screening, Mike and I took part in a Q&A on stage, had a one-hour interview and spoke to a class of students about the making of the film. It was the first time we’ve ever really been treated like serious filmmakers, which we both found so surprising and funny but we also felt so grateful that people liked the film and were interested in us.”
Mike added: “The festival was an incredible experience and it was very surreal being treated like celebrities for a week. We found winning best sound quite surprising, but apparently the jury selects the ten ‘top tier’ films of the festival, then allocates the awards to them. We were the youngest foreign filmmakers there by 5 or 6 years as most student filmmakers there were around 30 years old. It was nice to see our film standing up alongside them. I think this is down to Westminster really teaching us that story is what matters above all.”