Two students studying Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London have been recognised by BAFTA for their filmmaking skills.
Undergraduate student Federica Gargarella is a finalist for the BAFTA Student Film Awards 2018 for her documentary Love in 35mm while PhD student Lennaart van Oldenborgh edited the documentary Basquiat – Rage To Riches which recently won the Specialist Factual TV BAFTA award ahead of Blue Planet II.
Love in 35mm is one of the top 9 student films chosen by BAFTA from 469 film submissions from 35 countries. It tells the story of projectionists Bill and Joan, who met in the cinema in 1947 and have been together ever since. Taking viewers on a passionate, and at times humorous, journey through the golden age of cinema it pays homage to the lost craft of projection and uncovers the hidden role of women in the cinema, as Joan’s account highlights female projectionists who worked typically ‘male jobs’.
Federica Gargarella said: “My interest in projection was sparked by my love for the medium and the film Cinema Paradiso. In researching the subject matter prior to the pitch I uncovered the story of projectionettes. This allowed me to tell the story of British cinema from a different angle. I am very close to female effort in building our collective history and decided it was important for this aspect to be clearly represented in Love in 35mm.
“Love is another essential part of the film. This can be seen both on and off screen, summarising my passion for the field but also the way cinema fits within Joan and Bill’s relationship and the way they experience the world.”
The winners of the BAFTA Student Film Awards will be announced on 29 June 2018 at a ceremony held in Los Angeles.
David Shulman, the producer-director of Basquiat - Rage to Riches, approached Lennaart van Oldenborgh in the spring of 2017 to edit a film about Basquiat, which he thought ‘might get a feature length slot’.
Lennaart van Oldenborgh said: “David managed to secure quite incredible access to people from Basquiat’s life, most notably his sisters, who had never before agreed to be interviewed, but also high-powered art dealers like Larry Gagosian, Mary Boone and Bruno Bischofberger.
“While I’m a bit of a purist as an editor, David loves to make flamboyant, and sometimes jokey flourishes which worked well with the earlier material, but which occasionally border on high kitsch. However, the later part of the film called for a more austere style, and I had more influence over the treatment of the scenes around Basquiat’s last exhibition and his death.”
Lennaart explained that they never imagined they would beat bookies’ favourite Blue Planet II to the Specialist Factual TV BAFTA so he wasn’t watching the ceremony on 13 May 2018 “when I got a text that simply said ‘congratulations’”. He now hopes that the publicity around the surprise win will persuade even more people to watch the film when it is repeated on BBC Two on Friday 1 June (and available on iPlayer).