Sparks Film of the Month: Discover the Winner, July 2023

July 2023’s Film of the Month Award

Every 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.

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.

Congratulations to…

This month, we are so happy to announce the winner is Dinner with a Kick from filmmakers from Sparks Film School Yarm and Northallerton!

Dinner with a Kick was produced by filmmakers from Studio 2 and Studio 3 earlier this year.

Dinner With A Kick follows a group of schoolchildren as they discover one of their classmates (who they believe to be dead) unconscious next to his open lunch box. We see as an investigation takes place to see who was responsible, finishing the film with an exciting and fun twist!

This film is a very well shot and creative short film and a perfect example of how our Sparks young filmmakers can put together a brilliant piece in only a couple of days. The judging panel loved the use of really fun and different costumes in this film, as they really bought out some colour and sense of character across a number of cast members. 

With this visual theme, the film was brilliantly shot, making use of a wide array of different shot types and camera techniques. One great example is whenever we watch the Teacher/Investigator character, he is almost always shot from below, which gives his character a great sense of authority and power. The framing of your characters can be essential for establishing who has the power in a scene, and how we can make an audience feel towards a certain character. 

Our panel’s favourite scene in Dinner With A Kick, is the really exciting and fun chase sequence towards the climax of the film. After we discover who the poisoner is, our investigator gives chase as she runs away. The filmmakers decided to go for a Point-of-View shot with a handheld camera (or ‘POV’). This gives the scene an added layer of excitement, as we feel we are going on the chase with them. The shaky camera and fast paced chase adds to the tension, and was a brilliant decision by the young filmmakers.

This film also deserves a nod to its originality, as it has a fun and unexpected twist for its finale. We learn that the poison hasn’t actually worked, and everyone begins to wake up to find they really need the toilet! We love when our filmmakers get to be as creative and imaginative as they can be, even in the most outlandish and silly ways. This film has a great surprise for its ending and it’s a highlight of the fun we have in our Sparks camps and weekly classes.

Well done to all the crew involved on your win as Sparks Film of The Month!

Sparks Film School | About Us | Meet the Team | A Photographer stands in front of a green Sparks banner in a cinema foyer. He holds up a DSLR camera to the camera taking the photo.

About Sparks Film School’s Filmmaking Courses:

This film was made by young crew members taking part in a holiday movie making camp with Sparks.

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 >>>

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