Behind The Scenes

With less than a week until the launch of the 2023 edition, we thought we’d give you a look at what’s been taking place behind the scenes of this year’s LJMU MA Short Film Festival, beginning with the design of our festival poster.

Back in November 2022, we gave the students the opportunity to propose ideas for the poster of the 3rd Edition. The brief was flexible, with the only stipulations being consistency in terms of colour scheme and that the poster should also feature the iconic liver bird and Liverpool skyline. The proposals we received all focused on one defining element: the filmmaker. With this in mind, we needed to find models for this year’s poster and managed to enlist the help of current MA student, Phillip Cole, and 2022 graduate and all-around graphic design genius, Alejandra Cardona-Mayorga, both of whom took the lead on creating the poster.

The poster photo shoot, featuring Alejandra and Phil

This wasn’t the only photo shoot we’ve had, however, and in February 2023, the students also had the opportunity to strike a pose! Group and individual shots were captured by another of this year’s multi-talented students, Lauren Wright, whose photography skills have been put to good use across the website and our social media. Having pictures of the students is incredibly important, as it allows site visitors to put faces to names, while also ensuring that the students are recognised for their hard work.

Lauren, hard at work capturing our Fiction and Experimental programmers

Our MA Students exploring film festivals in an academic context

For the judging process of the LJMU MA Short Film Festival, we employ a mix of academics, industry professionals, and current undergrad LJMU students. This mix of disciplines allows us to also draw from the expertise of our industry and academic jurors, and the students have been lucky enough to hear from three this year.

Alice Miller is a film programmer for the Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, as well as the Leeds International Film Festival, and gave the students a detailed insight into the processes behind selecting and exhibiting for festivals and themed programmes.

Roderick Charles Smits is a postdoctoral research fellow at University Carlos III Madrid, and specialises in alternative, specifically online methods of distribution, and gave the students an insight into his research on the impact of Covid on film festivals and the shift to online exhibition.

Raluca Iacob is a purchaser at Lightdox, a distributor focusing specifically on documentary filmmaking, and shared first-hand the processes behind distributing films across multiple territories and purchasing at festivals across Europe. The combined expertise of our three guest contributors has allowed our MA Students to understand the many complexities of contemporary film festivals.

This year’s festival is the culmination of several months of hard work from our MA Students – we’re almost at the point where we can also reveal the hard work of the student filmmakers featured in this year’s programme. Keep an eye on our socials for more information in the coming weeks.

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