Dystopian thriller 'O2' is March's Film of the Month

21 Apr 2016 in Film of the Month

6 mins
Dystopian thriller 'O2' is March's Film of the Month

We're pleased to announce that our Film of the Month winner for March 2016 is dystopian thriller O2, made by Sam Jones from Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, in south Manchester.

Made on a shoe-string budget of just £15 (and a packet of biscuits!), O2 sees a nightmarish scene quickly develop on an isolated moor when a young man wakes up to find himself reliant on an oxygen canister to survive - and with a limited amount left. With dystopian and sci-fi influences, this edgy and atmospheric short captures the confusion and urgency of its central character and the unnerving situation that unfolds. The entire film was shot in just one day on the Saddleworth Moors, which make for a suitably forbidding backdrop to the breathless action.

We spoke to the film's 16-year-old director Sam about his filmmaking:

It feels amazing to win Film of the Month; I think the main reason we all make films is to share them with others, and Into Film's Film of the Month competition provides a brilliant platform to allow me to share my film!

I made O2 when I was 16 (I'm 17 now), but I have been making films since I was about 10. It all started when I discovered an old webcam at the back of a cupboard, and began making films every weekend with my friends. My passion for filmmaking has not stopped growing since.

It is hard to pinpoint what inspired me to make films. I started filmmaking because I find it incredibly fun. I have also realised that they can be extremely rewarding, allowing you to educate, inspire and entertain people. Any film which affects me is an inspiration, as the goal for me when making a film is affecting how the audience feel and ultimately, how they live.

I find it impossible to label a film as my favourite, as each one can provide a totally new experience for the audience, but I think for that very reason, I love the works of Danny Boyle. Each of his films are completely different, in terms of genre, setting, conflicts etc. Therefore, he demonstrates the power of film perfectly; by thoughtful manipulation of the audience, he evokes a unique emotional response from each unique film he creates. We can all learn something from Danny Boyle's films.

I would advise young people interested in making films to simply start! It is amazing how much you can learn with every film you make. I would advise making a film with no budget (like O2), and tell yourself that no one has to watch the end result if you don't want them to; there is no way I'm allowing anyone to watch the first films I made! I believe that you learn more making a bad film than a good one, so its a win-win! Good luck!

And thank you very much again for giving me the honour of winning this award!

You can view more of Sam's award-winning films on his website: www.samjonesfilms.com

O2 will now be showcased to over 300,000 film club members online and on the Into Film YouTube channel, and also secured Sam a £100 Amazon voucher plus an Into Film goodie bag with which to help further develop future films. If you've been inspired by March's winner, click here to find out how you can enter our ongoing Film of the Month competition.

If you liked O2, why not try these related films:

  • 1984 (Recommended for 14+) Adapted from George Orwell's seminal novel, 1984 explores a dystopian near-future where thought and speech are tightly controlled by ‘Big Brother' and citizens are required to report any suspicious behaviour from their peers.
  • The Hunger Games (Recommended for 11+) Another literary adaptation, this big-screen version of Suzanne Collins' bestselling young adult fiction explores a post-apocalyptic world in which young people are pitched against one another in a brutal competition from which only one survivor can emerge. 
  • Minority Report (Recommended for 11+) In this sci-fi thriller, crime is detected by ‘pre-cogs', people with the power to see into the future, with potential criminals neutralised before they have a chance to transform intention into action.
  • Boy A (Recommended for 16+) Released from prison after having served his sentence for a terrible crime, Boy A is given the new identity of ‘Jack' and supported by a counsellor to begin a fresh start in society. However, entering into new relationships with his terrible secret proves difficult for Jack - and opening up about his past is not a viable option.

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