April 2023’s Film of the Month Award
Each month, the 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.
Each month, 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 month, we are proud to award the Film of the Month title to the filmmakers behind Grace!
Congratulations to the crew members from Sparks Film School Highgate!
Grace is a delicate, mature and sensitive production, made by Studio 4 filmmakers in Highgate as part of their weekly filmmaking classes.
Grace follows the lead character as she learns and comes to terms with the news of her best friend’s passing. We see how her fellow classmates react to the news and how they behave around her. We learn about their friendship, and how afterwards, the main character learns to move forward on her own and heal.
Our judges described this film as “incredibly touching and emotive. The film deals with themes of grief and loss, which has been handled really well by the young filmmakers behind the production, you can tell that they have been professional and creative in making this film. It’s a story that is moving, and feels important too.
Grace really hits home on quite a deeply emotive level. The themes are not easy to tackle, we were very impressed with the level of depth given to this story from the young filmmakers. The film is really well made, and although we may have seen grief stories on screen elsewhere, there is something original about these filmmakers’ take on their story which really stands out. Clearly had a lot of care placed into the production of the film.”
Grace is a perfect example of the storytelling principle, show, don’t tell, where the audience is presented with the action of the story, where they can interpret it for themselves, rather than having it told to them. In this film, the audience is left to discover, along with the characters.
We see this used effectively at the start of the film where we watch as the mother first finds out the news. We are not told anything through dialogue, we are asked to piece things together through what we see. We see the main character crying in the mirror, followed by photos of her together with her friend, and some flashbacks to them both having fun together.
Grace is a film with generally little dialogue – which is another great demonstration of visual storytelling – but it still manages to tell a succinct and tender story through what it chooses to show. Grace also uses plenty of creative symbolism as it explores the main character’s evolving emotive state.This imaginative and original use of dramatic technique that has the power to make us feel is exactly what we hope to find when we consider entries for the Sparks Film of The Month!
We asked Sparks Highgate Leader Pedro about the process behind ‘Grace’, and he had this to say ‘XXXXXX’
We are delighted to award the young filmmakers from Studio 4 at Sparks Film School in Highgate April’s Film of the Month award.
It’s very well deserved. Congratulations to all involved for telling such a beautiful and complex story with so many great filmmaking techniques!
About Sparks Film School’s Filmmaking Classes:
This film was made by young crew members taking part in Sparks Film School’s filmmaking classes for ages 11-14.
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 classes here >>