And the winner is...

On Sunday 28th April 2019 I attended the screening of 'Say Your Name' - a short film I wrote and directed - at the Unrestricted View Film Festival. Some of the cast and crew attended; friends and family attended, which made the experience almost too comfortable. There were no nerves but rather as though I were watching the film at home. What may have also contributed to the lack of anxiety was the fact that there were other filmmakers sharing the experience. There wasn't the burden of being the only film to entertain the audience. The short films are screened as a block so in a way the fact that the next movie may be either better or worse dissipated any dizzying emotions. It was only later that I did feel something and that was during the Awards event. The judges at the festival had nominated me for Best Director. 

When you're sitting in the audience waiting for your category to arrive and you watch the winners go by and give inspiring or sometimes uncharismatic speeches you can't help but wonder whether you're going to win. In my mind it was a forgone conclusion that I was not going to walk away with an award but when the announcement for Best Director (Short Film) came up and the names of the nominees were read out, you hear your own and suddenly you become overwhelmed with the possibility... 

It goes quiet... 

"And the winner is..." 

Someone else. 

There is no denying that a small deflation occurred in that moment. I did not receive the award for Best Director. I applauded and smiled and tried not to feel the hints of upset from those that came to support me. Quickly, though I remembered the previous films and work that did not receive the recognition I thought they deserved and how distraught I was about that. This time was different. Nearly 60 short films were at the festival and seven of those films were noted for their achievement in direction. In independent filmmaking, and particularly short films, there is not much reward - financially or publicly - so film festivals and awards do make it so worthwhile. As artists the prolonging fear that each project and endeavour presents is the dreaded question: what was it all for? 

For artists, film festivals like Unrestricted View gives us the best platform from which to answer.

Thank you to James Wren and all the team, judges, sponsors and venue who made it happen and I hope to see you all next year and of course, thank you to all of the performers, artists, crews, friends and family who have helped me progress.

The road goes ever on and on...

http://www.uvff.co.uk/unrestri...