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The festival takes place between 16th and 23rd April and showcases 30 high quality student films that deserve to be watched, enjoyed and celebrated. Student shorts are rarely seen by wider audiences, and this festival seeks to throw the spotlight on them.
As MA Film student Valeria Di Pasquale put it:
‘It was amazing to see how much talent there is out there, and that clearly there is a need for festivals like ours. Student films deserve more of a platform!’
Organised as part of their module ‘Exploring Film Festivals, Distribution and Exhibition’ on the MA Film that is led by Film Studies Reader, Dr Lydia Papadimitriou and co-organised with Dr Lars Koens the LJMU MA Short Film Festival is an innovative educational experience, as the MA students worked on all stages necessary for the organisation of the event: from selecting and programming the films, to contacting the filmmakers, preparing the texts for the website, designing the poster, coordinating the social media promotion and the publicity, editing the trailers and running the Q&As.
Lydia Papadimitriou said:
‘Putting together this public facing film festival was a unique opportunity for the MA Film students to have a hands-on experience of what it takes for such an event to materialise. Not only did they understand the complexity of film festival organisation, but they also acquired transferable skills highly valuable for almost any workplace.’
The programme of the festival is organised in three strands – Fiction, Documentary and Animation – and the best film in each strand will receive a ‘Paper Bird Award’. The name of the award combines the liver bird, which represents the coat of arms of the city and the logo of Liverpool John Moores University, with the association of learning with books and certificates, and the fact that the award itself will be made out of paper. The award itself is being designed by MA student Beth Moore.
The winners of the competition will be decided by three independent juries and announced on the 21st April on an online ceremony on the festival’s website. The juries are comprised by an industry member, a LJMU Film studies member of staff and a third-year undergraduate student each. These are (in respective order): for Fiction, Dr Loreta Gandolfi, Dr Holger Mohaupt and Katie Goody; for Animation Elektra Venaki, Dr Demelza Kooij and Kelsey Draper; and for Documentary, Droo Padhiar, Dr Keith Marley and Nathanial Eker.
There will also be the ‘Paper Bird Audience Award’, as everyone who joins the festival will be able to vote for their favourite film.
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