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We're pleased to announce that students from across the Highlands and Islands in Scotland have won June's Film of the Month competition with their short film Absence.
In their thought-provoking short film (suitable for ages 14+) a young soldier must come to terms with life back home, using memories of friends and loved ones to help him put his experiences of war behind him and move on with life in the present.
Written, directed by and starring a group of eight students aged 16-19, the film was produced via attending the BFI Film Academy Highlands and Islands, in Inverness, which is delivered by Screen Education Edinburgh. The filmmakers chose locations throughout the city to capture their story and took on all roles within the production process themselves, with impressive results. "Outstanding, this was an absolute pleasure to watch. A complicated and much misunderstood subject matter, dealt with very deftly", said one judge.
Ahead of winning Film of the Month, the filmmakers spent a day at XpoNorth, Scotland's leading creative industries festival, where they showcased Absence to an industry audience.
After informing them of their win, we caught up with writer/director Lauren, who had this to say about the group's achievement: "To win Film of the Month feels so surreal, to know that the film you wrote and directed is out there and being appreciated by its audience is beyond rewarding. The fact that the cast and crew's hard work is being presented with an award is just so fulfilling and this film wouldn't have been a success if it weren't for them. Winning this award inspires me to continue creating short films and to stop underestimating my abilities."
Receiving Film of the Month fills me with so much confidence and joy and compels me to keep on writing screenplays and developing my directorial ideasLauren, Film of the Month winner
Speaking about what inspires her in the world of film, Lauren said: "One of my favourite films is American Graffiti by George Lucas, I adore the simplicity of the film and the fact that it was created on such a small budget and was underestimated by Universal Studios, to become successful and iconic. The soundtrack which is played constantly throughout the film is filled with some of the greatest 50's songs of all time. The plot is so minimal yet effective, following the adventures of teenagers from this decade just fills me with nostalgia in an era I wasn't even born in!"
A fantastic idea, brilliantly executed. Keeps you engaged right until the final poignant moments.Film of the Month Judge, on Absence
Absence will now be showcased to over 300,000 film club members online and on the Into Film YouTube channel, as well as securing the group of filmmakers a £100 Amazon voucher, plus an Into Film goodie bag with which to help them continue making films.
If you've been inspired by June's winner, find out more about how you can enter our ongoing Film of the Month competition. And if you enjoyed Absence, why not try these titles which feature similar themes:
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