Monday, April 23, 2012
Origin wins at LIFF!
Origin has won Best Sci-Fi/Horror Short Film at this year's London Independent Film Festival!
It's difficult to describe just how much this means, and how happy it makes me feel.
As any regular reader of the blog will know, making Origin was a real labour of love, and I got incredible help from cast & crew, not to mention amazing contributions from the blog and Twitter.
It's almost three years to the day that we started filming (a terrific four-day shoot), but it took another year to get the film in the can. Since then, it's enjoyed a fairly good festival run (Brancharge, Raindance, London Short Film Fest, Berlin British Shorts, Shortcutz London, Purbeck Film Festival) but, in truth, my resources for the film had run out, and I was unsure whether to push Origin further on the festival circuit. The call for entries for LIFF came up, and I decided to give it a punt, and naturally I'm delighted I gave a festival another go!
I attended the LIFF screening last week. Here's how it went down:
Get the train from Bournemouth to London in plenty of time for the 6.30pm start. In fact, I grab a quick bowl of noodles with the mighty Phill Barron, who's made it to the last stages of the Sitcom Mission. Noodles swiftly scoffed, and good lucks exchanged, I head for my screening but I'm unfamiliar with the location of Shortwave's cinema, and I end up doing a long sprint from Borough tube, arriving ten minutes late. Luckily, the screening's just about to begin, and my good luck charm Darren Doherty is waiting as he hands me a pint of Peroni. Erich Schultz, organiser of LIFF, announces that Origin will be the first film, which surprises & flatters me, and the familiar music of the opening titles booms out of the speakers. 14 minutes later, and the pint of Peroni hastily drained, the film is over and seems to have gone down well. There's a terrific line-up of other shorts, and there's a fun Q&A with all of us afterwards (which I wasn't expecting but very much enjoyed).
The key to a good short film festival, I think, is to structure the screenings into digestible & fun chunks. An hour of 4-6 short films seems to be the best way to do it, with a brief Q&A if possible. Then, everyone can decamp to the bar and have a natter. Which is what we did here. More pints of Peroni, going down far too easily, and me and Darren chat with festival staffer Caroline and her sous-chef boyfriend Greg (from Dstrkt restaurant). I also squeeze in a good old chinwag with Irish actress Clare Cathcart (who, as it happens, is very good friends with Lee Ross, the lead actor in Origin).
The Peronis have made me enjoy myself far too much, and I get the 2nd last train to Bournemouth. To help sober up, I indulge in my very first Night Owl burger on the way home (since moving here in 2005!).
All in all, a lovely night out. London Independent Film Festival offers a great vibe of films & networking at Shortwave cinema, and I highly recommend you go along next year or submit a film. Winning Best Horror Short obviously makes it my absolute favourite film festival, ever!