Students ‘half cut’ for art

Wednesday 8 April 2009

Students at the University of St Andrews will launch Scotland’s first ever dedicated student film festival later this month.

Heavyweight Hollywood animators will be among the judges taking part in `Half Cut’, a student film-making contest which is open to all universities and colleges in Scotland.

The national event will take place over two nights (20th and 23rd April) as part of the new On the Rocks arts festival to be launched in St Andrews.  The national showcase of the best in comedy, poetry, literature, dance, music and film will run annually for one week in April (Sunday 19th to Sunday 26th) in and around St Andrews.

Half Cut will showcase the very best in student film and is hosted by On The Rocks and Rogue Productions, the University of St Andrews Film Making Society.

The first night will see selected films screened in advance of a red carpet awards evening, to be held on the night of the 23 April.  The festival selection panel will choose a shortlist of films based on criteria such as screenwriting, directing, acting, technical merit and originality.  Four prizes will be awarded to the best films of the night.

Naysun Alae-Carew of Rogue Productions said, “With entries from universities across Scotland, Half Cut will present student film at its best: showcasing emerging talent and celebrating the diverse and experimental.”

The judging panel will include Dovi Anderson and Rich McKain, the Hollywood animators behind films such as WALL-E, The Matrix Revolutions and Hellboy, who will come to St Andrews from Pixar Animation Studios in Hollywood.   They will be joined by BAFTA award-winning film-maker Robert Sproul-Cran, who makes film and television programmes for the BBC, Channel 4 and Discovery, and sits on the judging panels for BAFTA Scotland and Scottish Screen.

Naysun continued, “The aim of Half Cut is to become a well recognised forum for showcasing student film. With digital technology becoming cheaper and cheaper, it is becoming easier for amazing art to be created for very little money. Without a Hollywood budget it is still possible to make beautiful, moving, funny, experimental and outrageous film. But amateur film making has yet to make it into the mainstream, and we want this to change”.

Run entirely by St Andrews¿ students on a limited budget, the organisers of On The Rocks hope that the festival will eventually become one of the highlights of the Scottish arts calendar.   The event already has the support of James Bond star Sir Sean Connery and fellow St Andrews’ honorary graduates Dame Judi Dench, Dame Helen Mirren and Joanna Lumley, as well as former students Crispin Bonham Carter and Siobhan Redmond.

Tickets for On The Rocks are available to buy online at

For further information on On The Rocks contact Philippa Dunn at [email protected] / 01334 462700 / 07828 066734

For further information on Half Cut contact Naysun on [email protected] or 01334 462700.


Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews
Contact Gayle Cook, Senior Press Officer on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email [email protected]

Ref:  half cut 080409
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Category Student experience

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