60 Hour Film Blitz Festival creatively celebrates University of St Andrews’ 600th birthday

The 60 Hour Film Blitz Festival, founded in 2011 to celebrate the University of St Andrews’ upcoming 600th anniversary, made its second appearance in St Andrews this week. Many students participated in the three-day event with the aim to create the best short-film possible, whilst working within the tight timescale given. Impressively, there was a 50% increase in participation from last year’s Festival.

The Festival culminated in screening all of the short-films produced in The Byre Theatre Bar and Bistro on Sunday the 11th March. The screening was judged by, among others, the director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Chris Fujiwara, and was an exciting opportunity for many budding film directors and actors to exhibit their creation in front of experts in the creative film industry.

Regrettably, the screening had frequent technical faults, and resulted in some films not being shown. Therefore, a decision was unfortunately made by the judges only on the films seen. Despite this, the obvious hard work of both organisers and participants was evident throughout the evening.

The films themselves were an eclectic mix of horror to “mockumentaries”, and included topical St Andrews issues, such as the controversial foundation of  the new Kate Kennedy Fellowship and self-referential meta-films, which emphasised the extremely difficult task of encapsulating a filmmaker’s initial inspiration in a three minute film.

As the Media Director of the Festival, Armina Dinescu, explained: “The 60 Hour Film Blitz was founded last year by a few Film Studies staff and students, as an opportunity to foster creative collaboration between town and gown, through the medium of filmmaking”. Winners included “The Director”, a meta-film comedy narrated by an angry director attempting to instruct comically useless extras, and “Sunder”, a romantic tragedy about a homosexual couple whose love for each other gradually dies out.

It seems that the organisers’ aim to “inspire members of the St Andrews community to engage in the 600th Anniversary celebrations through an entertaining and dynamic event” was largely successful, despite the technical glitches, and was supported by the response of the creators of “Boy Meets Girl” succinctly explaining why they decided to partake: “It’s a great chance to be creative”.

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