60 Hour Film Festival

The 60 Hour Film Blitz, now in its second year, is designed to be a celebration of St Andrews life and culture, in the run up to the 600th year celebrations. Unfortunately some of this year’s celebration was marred by the long ticket queues, an hour delay starting and technical difficulties that meant some films’ sound or visual was off, and even prevented some of films being shown at all.

Nonetheless, the talent that did get shown was extremely impressive. Given the time restrictions of the project – allowing only sixty hours for both filming and editing – the production of thirty, three minute films is no mean feat. The number of bleary eyed audience members was enough to tell anyone that a great number of people had probably been awake for most of those sixty hours, and had been working incredibly hard to complete, what were, an excellent selection of films.

Not only were the films impressive, they were also very varied. All genres were on display; film noir, horror, spoof comedy, romance and documentary all made an appearance. The audience were laughing, and at points nearly crying (St Andrews seems to have a penchant for heartache, I have to say) and, luckily, the technical difficulties didn’t seem to prevent the audience enjoying the show.

The other element of The 60 Hour Film Blitz is that it is designed to be a collaboration between town and gown. Although most of the films were clearly made by students, drawing on typical elements of St Andrews student life for their inspiration, the town and gown ethos remained intact. Several non-student contributions made an appearance, a couple featuring the youth of our fair town, as well as some more mature residents. My favorite contribution from the town element, however, was included in a gown film. Charlie, the 13 year old who featured in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Aida Leonaviciute & Marija Antaviciute) was possibly one of the most interesting and charming features of the night. Proving a real glimpse of life in St Andrews outside the university bubble.

After the showing, the best films from each category received a prize of £60. The winner for the Home Movie category (first time film makers) was Director, a comical inside look at movie making. The Indie category (novice film makers) controversially had two winners Tessa (Alex Budman) a scrumptious journey through Tessa’s family tree and Lords of Poshtown (Dylan James) which documented four Hope Street residents’ passion for skateboarding. Finally, the winner for the Blockbuster category (experience film makers) Sunder (Maia Krall Fry) also won the Audience Award for the night. A very touching film showing the progress of a relationship, and its final moments, clearly deserved both prizes.

The films were not the only entertainment for the night; live jazz in the interval and a set by DJ Wettenwandler rounded off the evening, as the drinks flowed and the nibbles disappeared at lightning speed. So, although the night didn’t start or run as smoothly as might have been wished, the talent on show and the atmosphere made up for most of the problems. I just hope that next year the technology will rise to the occasion and all the of hard work of the contributors can be properly appreciated.

The winning films can be seen here: www.60hourfilmblitz.com