EIFF New Visions winners announced

Soothe, Fart Car and Lussevaka selected

by Amber Wilkinson

New Visions Short Film winners: Soothe, Fart Car and Lussevaka
New Visions Short Film winners: Soothe, Fart Car and Lussevaka Photo: Courtesy of EIFF
EIFF Youth – the youth programme of Edinburgh International Film Festival – has announced the winners of their New Visions Short Film Competition.

The winner in the 15-18 age bracket was Rowan Abbott and Poppy Payne's Soothe, while the 19-25 age group had two winners - for a film produced independently or as part of an informal course and for one produced as part of a formal education course - Fraser Scott's Fart Car and Joanna Sutherland's Lussevaka, respectively.

The annual contest is open to all 15-25 year olds residing in Scotland and aims to discover the newest voices in Scottish film and celebrate their work on the global stage.

Each of the three winning filmmaking teams receives a cash prize of £300, and the films’ cinematographers win a day of work experience with Procam Take 2, EIFF’s Official Partner and a leading digital cinematography and motion picture equipment rental facility.

Yvonne Gordon, head of community engagement and learning at EIFF said: “Our New Visions competition has done it again. Despite the challenges of the last 18 months, talented young people have found a way to be creative and use film in all its forms to tell their stories. I was blown away by the quality and ambition of the work submitted. Congratulations to the award winners – each film seemed to comment on disconnection and yet each found a way to connect and move on. So inspiring in these Covid times.”

The full event can still be viewed for free on Filmhouse at Home until Sunday 22 August and will be available on EIFF TV YouTube channel until the end of October 2021.

The competition received 50 submissions. All films were viewed by the EIFF’s Youth team – a group of 15-25 year olds who help curate the Festival’s youth programme. They chose a shortlist of 9 films that were then passed to three film industry professionals to decide the winning films.

The shortlisted films were screened in a special online showcase on Friday 20 August. The awards were announced after the screening, with the winning filmmakers on hand to take part in a Q&A session with members of the EIFF Youth team.

This year's jury comprise filmmaker Laura Carreira (The Shift), writer and editor Douglas Greenwood and head of Creative at Screen Yorkshire Caroline Cooper-Charles.

Laura Carreira said about Soothe: “Soothe stood out for its vivid and rich portrayal of the realities of the contemporary workplace. The writer and directors brilliantly conveyed the experience of office work, visually taking us through the daily struggle lived by an overworked character that we can all recognise in ourselves. A special mention goes out to the brilliant performance by the young actress Chelsea Quaison.”

Douglas Greenwood said of Fart Car: “The weirdly comic streak that cuts through dark spells of grief is so deftly explored in Fart Car, a sharp and unexpected short film from a promising new filmmaker. The jury admired the film's smart and witty script, its pace and its resourcefulness, crafting a well-rounded and believable central protagonist that actor Michael Ahomka-Lindsay helps form with his own flares of greatness. A marvellous film about the glimmers of hope we find in the humdrum of everyday life, and signs that the ones we love are still there.”

Commenting on Lussevaka, Caroline Cooper-Charles said : “From the opening shot of this beautifully crafted short we knew that we were about to watch something very special. The performances are nuanced and have a real maturity, especially given the young age of the protagonist. Cinematography, design and world building are exceptional and the film manages to be both playful but also very moving in its depiction of a child transcending the limitations of her adult environment. A distinctive gem.”

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