When students of North West Film School in Leitrim and Sligo produced their short films Love Emily and Saints and Sinners during summer 2010, the word ‘Oscar’® was just a whispered pipe-dream like ‘Lotto’ or ‘Ferrari’.
This week, however, excitement is mounting among the students as both films were officially selected for the 28th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival which kicks off on Friday, 21st October.
Out of over 900 films shortlisted for viewing by festival organisers, the two short films made the final cut in North America’s largest and most celebrated film festival devoted to films for and by children. As the only Academy Award® qualifying youth film festival in the world, CICFF showcases and celebrates the best of youth filmmaking around the world and promotes the next generation of filmmaking.
The festival will run for ten days, with both Love Emily and Saints and Sinners screened on Saturday, 22nd October. Throughout the event, scouts from major US studios, professional festivals and television networks will take part in the festivities while educators receive expert support and advice from festival patrons and Industry sensations. Patrons include Shia LeBeouf (Transformers, Disturbia) and Julian Fellowes (Writer of Downton Abbey, Gosford Park).
Saints and Sinners
Ruth Earley, Director of North West Film School, will be attending the festival to represent the best in Irish youth filmmaking. This is the first time that Irish youth films have been selected for the festival and the excitement among the students of North West Film School is palpable.
The students are no strangers to success on the festival circuit. For the past two consecutive years they have been awarded the ‘Best Group Film’ award at the Fresh Film Festival, in addition to winning the ‘Golden Clip’ (First Prize) at the Berlin International Youth Film Festival, 2010 for the short film ‘HouseTrap’. Accolades also include numerous awards, audience awards, special mentions and official selections at National and International film festivals.
Most recently, students from Carrick on Shannon saw their short film Steve the Robot compete at international level and chosen as one of four films to represent the best in international youth film at the 2011 Berlin International Youth Media Festival in September.
For further details on upcoming festivals and filmmaking courses with North West Film School, see www.northwestfilmschool.ie or contact 071 9650837.