Article by Sally Jang
The Annual ISM Film Festival took place last Wednesday, with many students eagerly getting ready to showcase their films that they spent a lot of time on. Ms. Nadia Hartley, on of ISM’s film teachers, and Agnes R., a sophomore Film Student, were kind enough to share their thoughts regarding this event.
What are you opinions on the event?
Ms. Hartley: There were some really excellent films this year that showcased the great talents of filmmakers at ISM from grade 9 to grade 12.
Agnes: I think the film festival at ISM is a great way to showcase the ISM film department’s creativity and skill. My film that was included was a documentary we made for class, and I really enjoyed making it because working with NGOs is a really unique experience. It’s very different from any other films we’ve made.
Can you explain a bit about your film (plot, film techniques)?
Agnes: Our film was a documentary made for Thrive, a feeding program on Smokey Mountain. We conducted a lot of interviews with the organisation’s head and some of the mothers who rely on the program, as well as documenting what the NGO does each time they visit the community.
Did you experience any struggles while filming? If so, how did you overcome in making it?
Ms. Hartley: Often people do not understand how much time and effort it takes to make a film. The students spend about 6 weeks planning, filming, and editing these movies and the IB film itself takes up to 7 months from blank sheet to finished film.
Agnes: The biggest issue with this film was recording the interviews as the location was noisy and that noise is out of our control. We ended up using mostly images of the women we interviewed and some of the sound bits we were able to capture.
How do you feel about having your film in the festival?
Agnes: Honestly, I didn’t know my film was in the festival until the day before, but I’m glad it was, because it does raise awareness about the food scarcity in the Philippines, and hopefully encourages people to volunteer with Thrive.
Why do you think this is an important event for film students?
Ms. Hartley: This is probably the only time they get to see their films on a large screen and with an audience that is not just their classmates. So it is an authentic experience for them as filmmakers, just like a play or a performance is for drama and dance students. I am very proud of all our filmmakers this year. It is the kind of event that does not always get a high profile, but is an excellent way to spend an hour and half and be surprised and entertained by the different stories HS students have to tell.
Agnes: This is definitely an important event because it offers students another platform to share their work, which is the whole point of film — for people to watch it!!
What were some films you enjoyed?
Ms. Hartley: It was hard to choose films that would fit in the festival as there is never enough time to put in all the great movies that have been made this year. I really liked the grade 9 Film “It Was Just An Accident” because it was so funny, and the timing and chosen shots really worked well together. There were also a lot of great grade 10 films this year with excellent Music Videos and Documentaries, amongst the best I have seen since teaching Film here at ISM.
Agnes: I enjoyed the film “Goodbye” as I’ve seen it before. I found it moving and creative.
If you missed the screening event, you will still be able to find the showreel on the BTV youtube page! Be sure to go to the Film Festival next year so you don’t miss out. Make sure to check that out and support your fellow Bearcats!