REVIEW: AirTV’s ATVA Sneak Peek

The annual AirTV Awards (ATVAs) are being held on the 16th May at the Macrobert Centre, a day of student film screenings that they’ve been slugging away at over the past few months, and a night of celebration and awards. Tickets for the full day are £7, and it’s a great excuse to get your best suits out. Every year it promises to be a successful, brilliant night with some fantastic student films– but this year, they’ve outdone themselves.

Ahead of the Awards, AirTV let Brig have a sneak peek of their films to give them a quick review, and I was gobsmacked at the standard of films. The talent present is astounding, and they’re constantly improving. So, to get on with things, here’s some brief reviews for the ATVA films:

Daniel— Iris Ionita

daniel poster

Iris Ionita is known for her outside-of-the-box films with a deep, artful feel and this one certainly does not disappoint. It has the usual beauty of a foreign film, a brave move considering the film relies heavily on dialogue, but it only adds to the enigmatic appeal. This film expertly and elegantly explores the complexities of people and relationships, and has a brutal honesty in it’s almost poetic deliverance. Although it’s quite slow to start and possibly hard to understand, after a while you’ll find yourself mesmerised and searching deep within yourself with the feelings you’ll no doubt be able to relate to. It’s hugely thought-provoking, and inspires lots of emotions and stirrings with it’s stunning cinematography and fantastic scenery. It doesn’t limit itself to the confines of a story, but still gets its message across. Incredibly well put together, expertly written and thought out– a true gem of an example of the talents that students can have. Definitely in my top 5.

4 out of 5
Jacqueline Boland


The Vivid Colouring of the MindMarijne Nieuwerf

the vivid colouring of the mind poster

An ATVA’s debut by Marijne Nieuwerf– this film is quite a short one, and another more poetic one with a narrative throughout the story. It follows a timid reporter, seemingly unhappy in his job, who is faced with a dilemma and has to make a decision. Perhaps I failed to understand the narrative, but it’s difficult to follow what it means. The intro is strong, and the scenes are very well executed– the whole thing is very well put together, but it doesn’t give a very lasting impression.

2 out of 5
Jacqueline Boland


MarkHannah Chandler

mark poster

Another ATVA’s debut– lots of fresh, first year talent this year! This film is an amazingly clever sneak peek into the true life of Mark Cruikshank, a second year student suffering from severe procrastination. Knowing Mark personally, I can tell you it’s a wonderfully accurate portrayal and the dialogue could have been taken directly from his Facebook statuses. It explores the struggles and pressures of University from a comedic angle, but also hits home to very real, important difficulties students face. It’s very aesthetically pleasing, the music is perfect, and it’s full of emotion. It will make you laugh, smile and really think about your own experiences. It’s incredibly well made and just a lovely delight to watch! Another in my top 5.

4 out of 5
Jacqueline Boland


A Lonely Wizard: The Tale of Bulgar Shortrobe— Adam Sinclair 

bulgar poster

A film by AirTV veteran Adam Sinclair, A Lonely Wizard: The Tale of Bulgar Shortrobe is a comedy about a ditsy wizard trying to make his way in our unmagical modern world. A documentary following Bulgar and his entrepreneurial endeavours that will leave you in stitches. Perhaps a little bit too long, but it never reaches the point of being boring. Bulgar is quite the underdog, and although a bit greedy, you just can’t help but love him. The character and writing is a stroke of genius, that is supported by excellent production. Although I didn’t find it especially funny (then again, I don’t like Mr. Bean, which I’m told is incorrect) you can tell this film will no doubt be an audience favourite.

3 out of 5
Jacqueline Boland


Alive Inside— Sean McLaughlin

alive inside poster

This most definitely isn’t ‘just another zombie film.’ Although it is Walking Dead-esque, it tackles some important relevant issues very subtly and delicately and pulls it off brilliantly. It sets the scene perfectly, it just looks amazing and the effects/costumes are unbelievable. Genuinely scary, genuinely unsettling, and genuinely moving. I have a lot of time for this film and the messages within it, and it brings up lots of emotions. The acting may have been weak in some parts, but then shone in others. You’ll feel quite haunted and thoughtful while the credits roll! Only just missed out on a top 5 spot, but is definitely one to watch out for.

4 out of 5
Jacqueline Boland


3 TrailersAndrew Pope & Beth Johnston

3 Trailers Poster

Wow. This film (or rather, 3 trailers for films) is pure genius. It looks amazing and achieves it’s aesthetic flawlessly, the music choice is perfect and the idea behind it is so clever. Why limit yourself to one short film, when you can make trailers for 3? And the fact it still manages to get the essence of each films story across in such a short amount of time is impressive. In this retro series of films, meet the Spook Squad, the Homicide Housewife and Scotzilla. Playing on the hilariously bad film effects in ye olde films, this film does exactly what it was supposed to. I couldn’t stop grinning the entire way through, and I laughed so hard I cried. I cannot fault it, this is my top pick for this year’s ATVAs.

5 out of 5

Jacqueline Boland

Mercenary— Alan ‘Legs’ Thurston


mercenary poster

One of the more action packed films, perfectly set in a cold prison in Siberia– surprisingly, one of the most believable films of the bunch. You actually think you’re watching prison inmates in Siberia, due to the fantastic location and cinematography. The acting is pretty spectacular, especially from the cruel Warden played by Jack Ferguson. There are some really beautiful, professional shots throughout the film that really showcase the talent behind it, and for such a short film it has quite a lot of story behind it. It’s only problem is that, although very well made, the story doesn’t really pack a punch where it’s supposed to and shows no strong emotion. Though it is really enjoyable watch!

3 out of 5
Jacqueline Boland


No Laughing Matter— Jonathan Wilson

no laughing matter poster

Another first time film, interestingly shot in black and white and very well shot for that matter. It follows the story of a cop investigating a series of murders, and plays around the themes of insanity. The opening scene really sparks your interest, although it’s very slow to pick up, eventually you will find yourself getting involved and trying to work it out with them.  It’s not the most professionally put together, or most convincing, but in its final moments it gets incredibly intense and unsettling, and the acting really blooms. An interesting watch!

3 out of 5
Jacqueline Boland


Warlock— Conor Kane

warlock

A very interesting story about the supernatural and demonic posessions, any fans of Supernatural will hugely appreciate it. It’s coherent and runs well, it’s generally well made but falls short in a lot of places. The make-up is one of the strongest aspects of this film, as it’s quite impressive in parts. It would have benefitted from more time to flesh out the solid story, but unfortunately it just doesn’t feel very professional. There are scenes at the end that do get quite creepy, but otherwise this film fails to inspire any emotion. However, the ending is good and you’ll feel content when the credits roll.

2 out of 5
Jacqueline Boland


Unearthly Creatures— Elizabeth Clutterbuck

unearthly creatures poster

Yet another ATVA’s debut with another fantastic first year, and the talent is as present as ever. The opening to this film is one of my favourites, if not my favourite. The music choice throughout the film is spot on, and at parts is reminiscent of a Wes Anderson film. The cinematography is truly stunning, and some of the transitions are genius. One of the better put together films of the lot! Although I felt some parts ran on too long, and unfortunately, I found the story let it down quite a bit. The acting–especially the voice acting– was really good, but I was left a little bit confused at the end. However, a film about mythical creatures was always going to be a struggle with the lack of a budget, and with more time and focus it has a lot of potential. This is a film that grows on you, and is a joy to watch.

4 out of 5
Jacqueline Boland


 

The Nasty OnesElsa Froeslin

Nasty Ones Poster

A contemporary story about the struggles and complications of love, youth and hurt. The Nasty Ones’s grips you from the beginning with some excellent acting from the main character Blue, played by Gemma Miller and a very relatable story line. The ending is somewhat abruptly shockingly, and the view is left with questions, but upon contemplation is fittingly apt.

3 out of 5

Elizabeth Ross


Stereotypes— Cory Thomas

stereotypes poster

Carrying a good message about stereotypes, with an appropriate amount of humour, and with some fantastic camera angles that really take this film to the next level, Stereotypes is a nice little film that does exactly what it says on the tin. Whilst the ending may be a bit ambiguous for some, and the shoes of the lecturer did not fit the stereotype, it is an enjoyable film all round that deserves to be appreciated.

3 out of 5

Elizabeth Ross


Moment— Joel Rock

moment Poster

Short, but perfectly succinct. The beautiful natural images and great use of traditional filmic techniques combine to create something that you have to interpret for yourself, but that you want to interpret yourself. Watching this is a true moment.

5 out of 5

Elizabeth Ross


Caged— Michael Gardner

Caged Poster

A very dark and tense film, but one that does the genre justice. Mirroring the popular survivalist films of the moment, Caged takes you on a journey through fear, despair and the basic instinct to survive, enabled by the excellent acting of Tessa Richards, and the film as a whole is enhanced by the acting of Adam Sinclair. Whilst the voices we a bit too quite at times, it did not take away from the essence of the film.

5 out of 5

Elizabeth Ross


Dormancy— Daniel Archibald

Dormancy Poster

Dormancy gives the viewer something different, but also what you want all at the same time. A true thinker of a film that could be described as both ahead of its times as well as incredibly relevant, this film combines some excellent actors, noteworthy editing and incredibly realistic location scouting to create a smooth and interesting film from start to finish

5 out of 5

Elizabeth Ross

 

So, there you have it. Also, a big well done to everyone that worked on the films! They were our brief opinions of the films, but why don’t you be the judge? Get yourself down to the Macrobert on the 16th May to watch the ATVAs and witness some true student film making talent.

 

 

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