The Watersprite International Student Film Festival returns to the city from 23 -25 February, showcasing the wealth of emerging talent in student short film making from around the world and offering a springboard for the film makers of the future as they start their careers.
This year, the organisers have received around three hundred and ninety submissions from ninety five countries. Fifty nominees have now been chosen for a dozen award categories, including fiction, documentary, animation and original film music – you can find their details on the Watersprite website. Overseas nominees will be flown into the UK to attend the Awards Ceremony at the Fitzwilliam Museum thanks to the continued support of Red Arrow Studios, the Festival’s official Film Maker and New Talent partner.
The prestigious Film Maker of the Future award will go to a film maker who tackles modern day issues in the world, creating a film that tries to make a difference or presents to us a story that we haven’t heard before. Part of that prize is the opportunity to participate in a producers’ workshop in Cannes, enabling the winner to network within the film business. In fact, the Festival gives all the entrants a chance to collaborate with other film makers and to forge new creative partnerships.
Aside from the screenings, there’s a packed schedule of talks and workshops led by leading professionals in the film and TV industry. Films will be showing at various venues across the city but most nominee screenings will be held at King’s College while talks and events will happen at St John’s College Old Divinity School where you’ll also find the Festival hub.
The Festival started life in 2010 as Cam’era and Film of the Year was awarded to Will McGregor’s “Who’s Afraid of the Water Sprite?”. Will has gone on to make a very successful career as a screenwriter and director, working in film, TV and commercials. With producer Hilary Bevan-Jones, the Festival’s Patron, Will has developed his short film into a feature film, “The Dark Outside”, which is currently in production. And in honour of that first winning film, the Festival was renamed “Watersprite” in 2011.
The Festival is open to everybody. It is entirely free for film makers to enter plus all the events and screenings are free thanks to sponsors such as Decca Publishing and Fox Networks Group. Local companies also get involved. Jocks and Peers, a beer brand recently launched in the city by three Cambridge alumni, is sponsoring drinks at one of the event’s ceremonies. Tickets can be booked through Eventbrite or you can just turn up at an event or screening and if there’s room, you’ll get in.
This event takes place at multiple venues around the city