We are delighted to announce the winner’s of our inaugural The Camera Games annual challenge!
The Camera Games is an annual competition for the members of Sparks Film School filmmaking classes.
During the summer term each year, the young filmmakers take part in a series of masterclasses before applying their newfound knowledge to their very own film productions.
The entries are judged by a panel of professional film critics and professionals from the film industry.
Our first ever winners of The Camera Games challenge are the crew members from Sparks Film School Hove, for their incredible production The Blue Unknown.
Head Judge, film critic Danny Leigh praised the filmmakers’ work:
“Even the opening credits sequence in The Blue Unknown is filled with bold choices. Who doesn’t love a well-executed underwater scene? And the same creative energy is there throughout, with clever use of locations and witty take-offs of styles, ranging from corporate videos to TV news to big-budget action movie.
Best of all, the storyline keeps you on the edge of your seat, even delivering a sting in the tail I – for one- didn’t see coming. Who needs Avatar 2, when you can get your fill of action in these few short minutes with such a well made film?”
The Blue Unknown by Filmmakers at Sparks Film School Hove
In 1987, a mysterious sea monster that has been causing mass panic is caught in The English Channel, dividing the nation on whether its capture was ethical. The monster, known as B2, is taken in by International British Genetic Services under the care of Chief Scientist Dr. Jackson.
In Brighton, in 2022, a young marine biologist called Cassie is called in to study B2 after a series of unfortunate incidents, but what are her motives?
Follow Cassies and B2 on an epic, action-packed adventure where truly nothing is quite as it seems…
Congratulations to the Runners Up
Along with the winners, another two films made by young filmmakers from Sparks Film School were chosen as runners up for the main prize.
Filmmakers from Sparks Film School Highgate submitted How Do You Feel? This surreal exploration of emotions and mental wellbeing earned them a joint second place prize with Blood Wedding from filmmakers from Sparks Film School Dorking and Leatherhead.
Of How Do You Feel?, Danny Leigh shared, “This film has some very impressive cinematography, with a real understanding for the story a camera can tell. It brings the themes of the story alive. On screen, the nature of the film puts a lot of weight on the central performer, and she is terrific. There is a great sense of tone to this film and inventive visual flourishes that let us into the character’s headspace.”
Of Blood Wedding, Danny commented, “This ambitious film has a rich atmosphere, and a twisting plot… Eat your heart out, Succession! All the performances were strong, but the actors in the lead roles really nailed their characters. There is a lot of good work going on behind the camera too, but the editing is particularly good, creating a real sense of snap and pace.”
Just missing out on the top prizes were three more films produced by Sparks Film School crews…
Cash Clash by Filmmakers at Sparks Film School Bournemouth & Poole
Silenced by Filmmakers at Sparks Film School Manchester East
Screaming Skies by Filmmakers at Sparks Film School Islington.
Simon Pollard, from the judging panel, told us, “It’s been a real privilege to be on the panel for the inaugural Camera Games Awards, and a real joy to see such creativity and ambition from these young filmmakers.
All of the shortlisted films showed outstanding promise across all departments. I was particularly impressed by the innovative cinematography of How Do You Feel?, as well as the creative editing and post-production work of The Blue Unknown, not to mention the ambitious storytelling of Blood Wedding.
When I work with young actors, my focus is primarily on performance, and I was impressed by the acting across the board. We have to give a special shoutout to the solo performer in How Do You Feel?, whose subtle performance with minimal dialogue gave a real insight to the character and carried the whole narrative so brilliantly well.
Filmmaking is all about collaboration, and there’s a clear sense of cohesion in all the entries, which suggests great teamwork and a shared vision. I’m a huge advocate for young people as artists and these films are a testament to what can be achieved when young filmmakers are given the opportunity and platform to express themselves creatively. Huge congratulations to all involved: you are the future of British filmmaking. I’m excited to see what you all create next!”
Congratulations to all the filmmakers, but especially to the crew involved in The Blue Unknown, this year’s winner of the Camera Games challenge!
The first year of the challenge has shown some incredible filmmaking and a vast array of talent from all over the country. We are already excited to see what next year’s entries have to offer.
The Camera Games will run again from April – July 2023, with filmmakers tasked to take on both technical and creative challenges in an artistic quest for filmmaking brilliance. They will take part in filmmaking masterclasses and work collaboratively to produce a whole new collection of bold and daring film productions!
About Sparks Filmmaking Classes
Sparks Film School offers filmmaking classes for ages 5-18.
We help to inspire imagination, creativity, confidence and skills to support young filmmakers to produce their own work and to develop their talents, passions and love for film.
Sparks filmmaking classes run at our youth film schools around the UK. You can find out more and register to to take part in your first class free using our Class Finder here.