Into Film Festival 2019 Review Writing Competition Winners

15 Jan 2020

7 mins
blinded by the light
blinded by the light

We may be a few weeks into 2020, but it's time to address a piece of business from the tail end of the last decade - namely the winners of our Into Film Festival Review Writing Competition!

A huge congratulations to Eva (aged 9), Gemma (14) and Zissy (17) for their winnings reviews of The Eagle HuntressFantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Blinded by the Light respectively, which were judged as the winners from out of well over 2,000 entries! 

The three winning reviewers have won an Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet for themselves, and £200 of cinema vouchers for their class, and you can read their winning reviews below.

Feeling inspired and want to get involved? Our Review of the Week competition runs all year round, so encourage your club members or pupils to log in and get reviewing the films they've seen for the chance to win prizes every single week.

Primary Winner (Ages 5 - 11)

Eva (9), Gibson Primary School, Omagh, Northern Ireland

The Eagle Huntress

Is The Eagle Huntress inspiring to young viewers? Absolutely! This extraordinary true story, made in 2016, tells of a young Mongolian girl who goes against tradition to become the first female eagle huntress. Aisholpan, who is both courageous and driven, is a great role model to young girls. Her perseverance to follow her dreams despite many obstacles is truly inspiring and shows that you should never give up. But you will have to watch this action packed film to see if her dicipline, dedication and hard work pay off. Her father, Nurgaiv taught Aisholpan the skills to catch the eagles. He have her the training and support she needed to succeed and I admire their strong relationship. Directed by Otto Bell this eye opening documentary is visually breathtaking and has the audience captivated right the start. The family friendly film made me realise that anything is possible when you believe in yourself. Despite this, the clips animals being killed were gruesome and it could be off putting to very young viewers. Also the film is subtitled which could be hard to understand for young children. With this in mind I would recommend the film for ages 8+. In my opinion the film was very educational as you get a glimpse of another culture, the clothes, the food they eat and some of the activities they do. I would give The Eagle Huntress 4/5.

4 stars

Secondary Winner (Ages 11-16)

Gemma (14), Richard Rose Central Academy, Carlisle

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was the second installment in the Fantastic Beasts franchise. It follows Newt Scamander, a young man who loves magical creatures. He was tasked by his old professor to travel to Paris to stop Grindelwald, a criminal, from ruling over magical and non-magical beings alike.

The plot itself was interesting and the characters were unique; with Newt supposedly being autistic and Dumbledore being rumoured to be gay. These theories add depth and background to the characters and make them more relatable for the viewer. I found Newt, the protagonist, to be a unique character, because of the colours used in his outfits. He wears brighter colours than those around him, perhaps to symbolise how different his is to his peers. Grindelwald is the complete opposite though: he wears black and has two different coloured eyes.

The film takes place across three main locations: New York, London and Paris. The weather is used throughout these cities in order to reflect the mood of the scene. Rain is used during the escape scene to show the tension and drama, whereas in happier scenes, such as the scene at Hogwarts, the weather is much brighter, to show some of the pressure of conflict has been lifted.

Different camera angles are used in the film. These include birds-eye and face level. The birds-eye angle was used when a larger area needed to be seen, or to show how vast an area was.

Music was used very well in the film, as it built in volume and tension as the tension built in the story. This makes the viewer anticipate that something is coming.

Overall, the film was good, but the ending seemed disjointed from the rest of the film and didn't seem to relate much to the original idea.

4 stars

Sixth Form Winner (Ages 16-19)

Zissy (17), King David High School, Manchester

Blinded by the Light

Blinded by the Light is one of those films that makes you smile to yourself and feel warm inside. The way we got to know the characters so well, including their vulnerable side to them created that level of connection between the watcher and the character. This film will appeal tremendously to those teenagers in similar situations, being out the box and different to those around them. The 80's rock music the film is built around creates that heart feel good vibe. I found this film a roller-coaster of emotions as the highs are so high, with energy spilling from the music and dance on the screen, and the lows so tragic with a family being torn apart and a child being rejected by his father. The only thing I could complain about was the times where the storyline slowed down and I almost got bored, though only until things picked up again quickly.

Overall, I would recommend this film for teenagers as it will really resonate with those that like to think out the box and are evolving and becoming themselves, like Javed did in this film. This becoming of age film is set in the perfect year, when different lifestyles lived so separated, and shows how we really take for granted today the acceptance that there is.

4 stars

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