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And the winners are…

A film charting the disintegration of a relationship last night won two awards, and prizes totalling £120, at the finale of the University of St Andrews’ 60 Hour Film Blitz Challenge, organised as part of the University’s 600th anniversary celebrations.

Maia Krall Fry’s film ‘Sunder’ triumphed at the final screening in the Byre Theatre, seeing off competition from moByrre than 30 other entries to win-over the 200-strong audience and take the Audience Award, as well as the Award for best Blockbuster (the category for experienced film-makers).

Maia said: “We are thrilled and honoured to have received these awards. The cast (Philip De Winter Shaw and Joel Glassman) and crew worked tirelessly throughout the 60 hours, even waking up at 4.45am to capture the gorgeous St Andrews sunrise. We learnt a lot during the wonderful process and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We look forward to participating again next year.”

The 19 year old first year geology student already has an extensive resume as an actress and her first feature film, ‘Ebony Road’, has already played at film festivals including the BFI Future Film Festival.

The challenge had been for teams of up to eight people to shoot short, three minute films set in St Andrews as part of a filmmaking competition organised by the Centre for Film Studies. Films were then judged by a panel of respected judges led by Chris Fujiwara, the new Director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, at last night’s public screening event in the Byre Theatre.

Chris Fujiwara said: “It was a pleasure to serve on the jury for the 60 Hour Film Blitz. The energy and commitment of the filmmakers and the audience were unmistakable, and the films showed a range of distinctive and exciting creative approaches. I hope to come back for Blitz 2013.”

The winners in the ‘Home Movie’ category for first time filmmakers were 22 year-old students Oliver Carr (Philosophy), Jenna Al Ansari (English), Emily Allen (French and Spanish) and Inez Gordon (English and Philosophy). Their witty film about the filmmaking process, The Director, cleverly utilised a single long take of one street and a hilarious voice-over.

Oliver Carr commented: “It was a really exhilarating experience. As it was our first film we found every part of the process challenging and very enjoyable. Winning was a very nice surprise, especially in a category that included such a wide variety of great short films. We’ll definitely be taking part again next year and hopefully continuing our interest in film making elsewhere.”

The jury was split on the ‘Indie’ Award for filmmakers of limited experience, and the award was ultimately shared between two films: Lords of Poshtown, produced by Ancient History student Dylan James (aged 22), which put a new spin on the skateboard documentary by focussing on port swilling toffs in tweed and Tessa, produced by 20 year-old Film Studies student Alex Budman, a film about her friend’s globe-trotting life, imaginatively shot partly as a cooking show.

Dylan James commented: “The 60 Hour Film Blitz is an experience in itself, the time and location constraints not only make the filming process more exciting, but they create a camaraderie between film makers that we witnessed a number of times bumping into other teams over the weekend. It’s the kind of film competition that makes you want to attend the screening in costume. There were so many good entries that we were surprised to win, the group we shared the award with really nailed it with their entry so it was a more than satisfying result.”

Alex Budman said: “Working with a nearby deadline made the process more of a challenge, yet all the more rewarding when it was finished. The town was buzzing with creative energy. This was the first time that I had ever shown a film on the big screen, and I am grateful for having had the opportunity to do so!”

Festival Director Joshua Carter was delighted with the result: “I was really blown away by the enthusiasm and hype surrounding the festival during the 60 hours. Students from around the town, who were not necessarily involved, would approach me to ask how the festival was going. The success of a festival depends upon the excitement generated and I was overwhelmed with the response we received. I was also delighted with the audience’s support on the night. It was amazing to see each filmmaker’s hard work and creativity celebrated in a near sell-out event in one of Scotland’s premier art institutions, and judged by some of the industry’s leading professionals.”

This was the second year of the University’s 600th Anniversary Film Blitz, and saw a 60 per cent increase in participation compared to last year. The hope is that next year numbers will continue to grow, with more people around the town inspired to take on the challenge and top this year’s winners. The Blitz will be back in town again in March 2013.

NOTES TO NEWS EDITORS

The winning films can be viewed on the website, www.60hourfilmblitz.com For more information on Maia Krall Fry, visit www.maiakrallfry.co.uk

Prizes of £60 were awarded in each of the four categories.

The following people are available for comment:
Maia Krally Fry; ascentpictures@gmail.com
Oliver Carr, 07770 918874; oc45@st-andrews.ac.uk
Joshua Carter: 07854 651952; jc592@st-andrews.ac.uk

Photos from the event are available by contacting the press office on 01334 462167.

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