LFS Showcase at Sarajevo Film Festival

Three London Film School students, along with tutor Richard Kwietniowski, are set to represent London Film School with a showcase of their graduation films at the Sarajevo Film Festival this August.

The festival takes place from 10 to 17 August in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Founded in 1995 during the siege of Sarajevo with the aim of helping to reconstruct civil society and retain the cosmopolitan spirit of the city, it is now the premier film festival in southeast Europe and one of the largest in all of Europe. Tom Rowe, Lara Zeidan and Hamid Ahmadi will screen alongside an introduction and a Q&A chaired by Richard Kwietniowski, who said:

‘It will be a pleasure to present LFS films and contribute to this dynamic festival, which includes plenty of educational and networking initiatives for young filmmakers, and is a major event in south-eastern Europe, a region that has generated much great cinema.’

Kwietniowski will also be a member of the jury in the student film competition. Zeidan will screen her graduation film ‘Three Centimetres’, which won the Teddy Award for Best Short Film and screened as part of the Generation 14plus competition at this year’s Berlinale. The one-take film was shot on a Ferris wheel with Beirut as its backdrop and follows three girls as they attempt to cheer up their friend after a breakup. As well as the showcase, it will also screen in competition for Best Student Short, which has a prize of €1,000 and is sponsored by the Regional Cooperation Council. Zeidan, who is Lebanese-Canadian, was born in Montreal and grew up mainly in Lebanon, said:

'I am super excited about it screening there! I’m really looking forward to discovering Sarajevo - as for the festival, I know that it’s really big in southeast Europe so it’s a very nice opportunity to screen my film there.'

‘Three Centimetres’, which was produced by fellow LFS grad and assistant director John Giordano and shot by Pierfrancesco Cioffi, was also an Official Selection at the 2018 BFI Flare Festival.

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

Tom Rowe’s graduation film, ‘Oi, Nathan’ is a poignant, nostalgic tale set in Rowan’s home town of King’s Lynn during the 1990’s, which tells the story of a young boy who skips school on the day that his older brother is released from prison. Of the film, which is just beginning to enter the festival circuit, Rowe said:

'Everything was filmed in my hometown, even on the actual road that I grew up on. What I really wanted to achieve was an honest portrayal of childhood for kids in towns like that. But also, the confusion, the not talking about feelings and how, basically, adults don’t give kids enough credit when it comes to ‘adult’ emotions.'

Rowe cast most of the film’s young roles from King’s Lynn, including the main actor Connor Frost who went to his old school. The film was written and directed by Rowe and produced by fellow grad Andrés Salas.

Photo Credit: 'Oi Nathan' by Tom Rowe, DP: Mark Kuczewski

Hamid Ahmadi, who graduated in April 2016, will screen his graduation film ‘In the Hills’ which was the winner of the 2nd Prize Cinéfondation at the 69th Cannes Film Festival in 2016 as well as multiple other awards including Best Short Film at the Oscar-qualifying Atlanta Film Festival. Hamid said:

'I love the Sarajevo Film Festival, I love Balkan culture, and (Sarajevan filmmaker) Emir Kusturica has been one of my favourites since discovering European independent cinema. ‘In the Hills’ was screened at the festival in 2016, but I couldn’t attend. This time going back as part of the LFS panel should be an amazing experience and I can’t wait.'

The film tells the story of an immigrant man living in the idyllic Cotswolds who takes a rather radical route towards integrating into British society. It was written and directed by Hamid, who is from Iran and living in London, produced by fellow LFS grad Harry Baker and DOP’d by Nicolas Nazari.

Photo Credit: 'In The Hills' by Hamid Ahmadi, DP: Nicholas Nazari

Suitably for the famously diverse Sarajevo Film Festival, the showcase will demonstrate the diversity of London Film School filmmaking, with all three of the selected films strongly influenced by of the directors’ home cultures. We wish them all a fantastic time in this beautiful city and best of luck to Lara Zeidan in the Student Film Competition!


Written by Sophie McVeigh, @sophiescripts