Personal View on the International Student Short Film Festival

The Lincoln School of Media funded one of its undergraduates to travel to Pisek for the Student Short Film Festival last month and here’s their insight into the event: 

Student Film Fest_Nov2013_Pisek

“So a few weeks back, I casually found myself in Pisek, as you do. It’s a small town in the middle of the Czech Republic about 60 miles south of the Prague. I was there however for a specific reason: The 13th International Student Short Film Festival

As I entered the auditorium for the opening ceremony of the festival, I found myself in complete surprise. It was overly packed; with many a-people sitting on the stairs to the sides and standing round the back of the seats. I, arriving a few minutes later than the rest, found myself standing at the back.  Earlier in the day, there were sessions of screening of the competitive films. In these sessions, the theatre was barely a third full. The first, in fact, was far less than that, I had many choices of where I wanted to sit, which the festival being in its 13th year in this annual event, I found quite surprising and disappointing. However, that was nothing to the surprise that I had that evening finding the auditorium overly full for this opening ceremony. During the opening ceremony, we were treated to an animation of the history of Pisek.  The fourteen piece orchestra performed a few tunes and, rather surprisingly but quite a treat, a rendition of A Hard Day’s Night. And it simply wouldn’t be proper if the director of the festival and the Mayor didn’t go onto the stage to say a few words.

This festival was truly international. As well as films that represent almost every country in Europe; there were films from the far eastern countries of Taiwan, India and China. Some made their way across the Atlantic from America and Brazil. Also a film from the far reaches of Australia, as well as films from the Middle East with offerings from Israel, Iran & Lebanon. This film festival is not Cannes; it doesn’t have the hype, the size or the glamour. However, this festival has made such an impact for having such amazing offerings. This, the thirteenth film festival of this annual event in Pisek, has done well to say the least. And I’m sure that further festivals in the future will continue to improve.

The films themselves offered a wide variety of material; documentaries, animations, live-action features and a few that bent the expectations of features that they were in their own way experimental. All of the films deserve to be there and considered seriously for the Grand Prix. Now, I have my own opinion on the films and of course it’s not my decision to choose; but I know which I would have voted to win and have my own list of the top films.

What I will say however is that I never knew that the Germans were so good at producing short films. There were several shown during this festival, all of which were superb and all of which deserve a mention. Not only that, every year the German entries are all incredibly strong pieces. So, at least we know who to beat.

While I was out there, I learnt that students of Lincoln were offered the chance to put their films in the competition (whether they would have gone as far as being selected for screening during the festival is a different matter). However, no one did. And that’s such a shame – it would be great to get some work from Lincoln to a festival not only for the University but for the students as well. So, next time the situation is offered, I urge students to take this offer, there’s no bad that could come from this.”

A couple of LSM students are currently spending a semester on exchange out there with one of our new Erasmus partners, so hopefully more stories to come …