London Film School at The Edinburgh International Film Festival

The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) is fast approaching, from 20 June, and three London Film School films are screening. In competition are graduate films by Lara Zeidan’s ‘Three Centimetres’, Camille Nock’s ‘Bo & Mei’, and Elzbieta Piekacz’s ‘At dawn of flowers open the gates of paradise’ all screening as part of the “Shorts: Dream Images” programme.

EIFF is not the first festival for ‘Three Centimetres’. “The festival run has been super exciting so far,” says Zeidan. Indeed, ‘Three Centimetres’ started its run with a triumphant win at the Berlinale, winning the Teddy Award, and has since then screened at BFI Flare Festival, Lovers Film Festival in Torino and Internationales Frauenfilmfestival in Köln.

The film sees four Lebanese friends get into an intimate conversation on a Ferris wheel ride above ground. The script for this film was the first script Zeidan ever wrote, based on personal experience. A friend had told her about how she can remain a virgin if she sticks to the ‘three-centimetre rule’. Zeidan says: “the absurdity of the idea as well as the necessity to lead double lives in order to fit in stuck in my head and inspired me to write this script.” It is also this script she submitted for her application to LFS. She had no idea how to make it back then, but she says, “I came back to the idea in term 6 and shared it with my LFS collaborators, who were as excited as I was about developing it further and going for the challenge.”

Photo Credit: 'Three Centimetres' by Lara Zeidan, DP: Pierfrancesco Cioffi

Looking past the festival run at her next project, Zeidan is currently developing another script which is due to be shot in Lebanon in May, hopefully also made with LFS graduates.

‘Bo & Mei’ by Camille Nock has also enjoyed an exciting festival run, having already screened at the New Renaissance Film Festival in Amsterdam, Wicked Queer in Boston, and two more yet to be announced but confirmed festivals after Edinburgh. ‘Bo & Mei’ sees a son and a father both having to defend their identities, the father defending his roots, and the son defending his sexual identity. Similarly, to Zeidan, Nock was influenced by personal experience to create this film. After witnessing her Chinese mum experience “an unfortunate amount of racial prejudice,” and seeing a friend “made to feel different for his sexual orientation,” Nock speaks of how “it became a pretty deep seeded point for me to try to do something, to create a discussion on how inhumane it is to alienate people for just being themselves.” She goes on, “One day I hope we live in a world that is more inclusive and free of prejudice. In the meantime, I hope to create films to contribute to bringing that day a bit closer if I can.” 

Photo Credit: 'Bo & Mei' by Camille Nock, DP: Abigail Hurcomb

Nock has recently finished shooting her grad film with “some LFS legends – Sunshine Niu and Marjin Maas,” and is working on other grad films. Of the experience of screening films at festivals she says, “it’s pretty scary but also really exciting, I brought my mum to one and it was actually quite special to sit together and get the full effect.” Lastly, screening at the Edinburgh International Film Festival will be Piekacz’s film ‘At dawn of flowers open the gates of paradise’. This is a film which Piekacz had developed for term 4 of LFS, but which she ended up making as her grad film as it would give her the biggest opportunity “to practice (her) interest as a writer-director”. The story follows Akiko, who works in a hotel and ends up finding refuge in taking personal photographs of guests’ bed sheets when she finds out that the love of her life is married to someone else. Again, Piekacz drew from personal inspiration for this film from working in a hotel herself. She says, “I was fascinated by superficiality and the illusion of place, and the disjointed words of employees and guests.” Relating more specifically to the photographs of sheets, she goes on about “the beds as a vehicle through all our life. The bed sheets, like shrouds, reflecting the most intimate moments.” (sic) 

Photo Credit: 'At dawn flowers open the gates of paradise' by Elzbieta Piekacz, DP: DP Agnieszka Szeliga

Piekacz will pursue similar subjects and places of intersection in her next project, a feature-length documentary called ‘HOME’. Similarly, to the hotel as “the intersection of people on the way from different parts of the worlds,” the axis of ‘HOME’ will be “a house which connects, (…) where the lives of characters transform,” centred around the question of “what means home?”

The film was co-DP’d by LFS graduate Cait Lyn Adamson and collaborated with several other fellow LFS graduates. And finally, for EIFF, LFS graduate Marcelo Martinessi’s first feature film ‘The Heiresses’ (‘Las Herederas’) will screen as part of the “World Perspectives Strand” and LFS graduate Jordan Freeman Klaja's beautiful neo-noir short 'Headless Swans' is also officially selected.

We look forward to the screenings of these three films and wish the three directors all the best with the next projects.

About ‘Three Centimetres’ (2018)

EIFF Academies student-curated programme: https://www.edfilmfest.org.uk/2018/shorts-wheres-your-skirt/06-24_15-50

Director: Lara Zeidan

Writer: Lara Zeidan

Runtime: 8 min

Original Production Format: RED Epic

About ‘At dawn the flowers open the gates of paradise’ (2017)

EIFF Main Programme: https://www.edfilmfest.org.uk/2018/shorts-dream-images/06-21_18-00

Director: Elzbieta Piekacz

Writer: Elzbieta Piekacz

Runtime: 13 min

Original Production Format: 16mm

About ‘Bo & Mei’

EIFF Academies student-curated programme: https://www.edfilmfest.org.uk/2018/shorts-wheres-your-skirt/06-24_15-50

Director: Camille Nock

Writer: Camille Nock

Runtime: 14 min

Original Production Format: Alexa

About ‘The Heiress’ ('Las Herederas') (2018)

EIFF Main Programme: https://www.edfilmfest.org.uk/2018/heiresses-las-herederas/06-23_20-45

Director: Marcelo Martinessi

Writer: Marcelo Martinessi

Language: Spanish

Runtime: 95 min

About 'Headless Swans' (2018)

EIFF  Shorts: Spectres programme: http://www.edfilmfest.org.uk/2018/headless-swans 

Director: Jordan Freeman Klaja

Writer: Jordan Freeman Klaja

Language: English

Runtime: 24 min

Original Production Format: 16mm

 

About EIFF

Inaugurated in 1947, the same year as the Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival is the world's longest continually-running film festival.

The Festival has been a champion of emerging British talent throughout its history, presenting world premieres of formative films by Bill Forsyth, Danny Boyle and Stephen Frears, among many others.

The full programme can be found here: https://www.edfilmfest.org.uk/latest/eiff-2018-programme-revealed

 

Written by Naomi Pacific