At the time of writing this article, we’re getting ready to witness the amazing hard work on display at tonight’s Dirigo Film Festival (Wednesday 26th February)
Dirigo is an International Student Film Festival directed and produced by Film and Media Arts Production, students from University Centre Weston. This festival aims to inspire and showcase the creativity of student filmmakers worldwide. It is an open festival with no set boundaries; we actively encourage new styles, voices and direction!
The fire-blazing festival has had a sensational 120 submissions from over 25 different countries across the globe. We spoke with UCW student directors Megan, Kam and Will (pictured above) about their experience directing an international festival and its spectacular success ahead of the event:
Can you sum up Dirigo for the audience?
Dirigo is an international student film festival that’s been a sort of tradition amongst UCW Year 2 students, with this year’s festival marking the 8th year it’s been running! We take film submissions from students all around the globe and the award contenders are usually shown at a public screening. Last year, a physical screening was impossible due to the pandemic but we’re very grateful to be hosting our screening at the Arnolfini in Bristol!
In order to represent the art of filmmaking properly, it’s vitally important to amplify the voices of filmmakers from all corners of the world. There are so many different stories that are unique to different cultures and we feel it would be robbing audiences of the full experience to deprive them of these stories.
What has been your role as directors?
As directors it’s been our role to oversee the festival from its earliest planning stage all the way to the event taking place. We’ve been involved in the reviewing of the films submitted, working with our graphic designer (UCW graphics student Matt Wise) to create promotional material and hosting the event!
How would you describe the film shortlisting process?
There’s been such an impressive range of talent shown in the films we’ve seen, especially considering that they’re all student works. It’s really been heart-breaking to omit some films from the winners shortlist because the judge team was so fond of so many.
What does filmmaking mean to you?
Filmmaking is one of the most powerful and effective artforms, particularly in the way it connects people together through the shared experience of being in an audience. You can tell a story as simple or as abstract as you want and fully put yourself into a tangible, watchable piece of art and anyone who watches it can and will take their own personal perception of it with them. That’s beautiful. Being able to demonstrate your individuality through a piece as experimental as I would like is freeing and with filmmaking the sense of freedom is really important to us
How would you describe the film festival journey?
I think the part where it all came together and felt really real was the day that myself and the judging team made the final decision on the nominees and winners which was also the same day that our posters and fliers arrived. It just felt so official and dawned on us that this was all happening and approaching so fast
How has your time studying at UCW been?
I’d say my time at UCW has really helped me to discover the career path I’m able to go down and has made me so much better at what I want to do. The experience of the last 2 years has been invaluable and we really cherish the freedom we’re given to express our creative minds. I’d fully recommend it primarily on account of the teaching staff present on campus that have made the world of difference to my progress on the course. The lecturers are a big part of the experience at UCW and are constantly pushing us to be the better creatives we are.
Tickets for the film festival are free via headfirst, with an optional donation to the Arnolfini. For those that can’t join in Bristol, the team will also be streaming the films (via Youtube) at: www.poool.co.uk/dirigo
A huge congrats to Megan, Kam, Will and all of the team involved! We can’t wait to see the amazing collection of films you’ve brought together.