October 2023’s Film of the Month Award
Each month, Sparks Film School’s Film of the Month Award celebrates a film production from one of our talented, imaginative and dedicated film crews.
The Film of the Month Award shines a celebratory spotlight on a student production, which has been made by Sparks Film School students.
Our panel of judges – assembled from our team of filmmaking instructors – look at submissions from across Sparks Film Schools nationally. They assess based on each film’s impact on screen and explore all its little details to uncover all the things we love about each film chosen.
To be selected as Film of the Month, a film production needs to be…
Original: We look for originality and imagination above all else when choosing the winner of Film of the Month. We looks for films that surprise us, offer some inventiveness and challenge convention.
Interesting: To be chosen as Film of the Month, a production needs to be interesting. We want to see what happens next; we want to learn more about the characters. We should be invested in watching until the very end.
Well Made: We need to be appreciate the technicality in how a film has been made for it to be awarded Film of the Month. It should feature a clear storyline, be well shot, well acted, well edited and put together.
Made by Students of Sparks Film School: Film of the Month can be awarded to any film production made by students at any Sparks Film School across the UK. It can be made independently or during film school sessions.
This October, we are delighted to announce that the winner is LUCID from students at Sparks Film School in South Croydon!
LUCID is a thriller film produced during a summer filmmaking camp with young filmmakers aged between 9-14. The film features hired kidnappers who use our dreams to enter the minds of the world’s best and brightest.
From the Judges…
“To start, the film has a really strong opening, instantly drawing the audience into the action. We see a group panicked and hurriedly running away from some mysterious threat. The sequence is made up of some really interesting and varied shots as we follow the group during the chase, and as they prepare to leave using their powerful technology. We later learn they are in the dream world! The dream world, which we return to a couple of times throughout, is instantly differentiated from the waking world with some clever use of camera techniques and editing choices. Well done team!
LUCID must be commended for its really strong acting performances. Especially during the opening sequence, the young filmmakers really commit to their acting roles and we really see characters shining through and the high stakes of their situations are clear. There are also some lighter moments of comedy woven throughout the piece, which is a great breakaway from the high intensity thriller the film focuses on. Some really well delivered scenes from the crew in South Croydon, congratulations!
We love all things camera, and LUCID really delivers on some interesting camera work and technique. One particular shot our panel enjoyed is when we slowly pan from the muffled shouting victims to their kidnappers sitting around the table enjoying a coffee, chatting casually.
We love this as the scene is shot all in one take and is very smoothly executed, the slow pan is steady and clear with some closeups, leading to a wide shot of the kidnappers, and then back again until a fade out. The scene is also a clear example of the nice blend of comedy and drama these young filmmakers have managed to pull off. We are taken into the scene with muffled screams of kidnapped victims, and in the next few seconds we see a bunch of kidnappers acting like old friends bickering over who should buy the coffee next time. Again, some great work here crew!
Finally, we really enjoyed the stand off between the two teams at the conclusion of the film. The two teams seem to transport themselves back into the dream world and we have a really great wide shot of both teams. The performances here are brilliant, again with that nice mix of comedy and drama. We then finish the film on a teaser shot of the teams ready to fight with a great overhead angle! It is almost like we are being set up for a sequel film? Time shall tell…”
Congratulations to all involved in this imaginative and incredibly creative film! The crew have produced a high octane thriller interspersed with some really lovely comedy. Well done to all involved in this production for winning this month’s Sparks Film of The Month Award!
About Sparks Film School’s Filmmaking Courses
This film was made by young crew members taking part in the Summer Shoots – epic movie making summer camps – with Sparks Film School.
Sparks Film School offers filmmaking, animation and photography workshops for ages 5-18, including term time classes and holiday camps.
You can find out more about our filmmaking courses here >>>