It’s always exciting when one of our treasured titles makes its first foray into the wider world of cinema release, but we’re especially pleased to see Stuart Hazeldine’s Exam unleashed on the world.

Stuart was one of our Trailblazers in 2009 – UK film talents that we promote as key names to watch – and Exam had its world premiere with us.

The review coverage was glowing – and rarely have I ever introduced such an intimidatingly glossy and attractive ensemble cast! Stuart’s background is particularly interesting and unusual, as he’s a British first-time director with significant background working as a screenwriter on major Hollywood films. That high-level experience is apparent in Exam, with its tight-as-you-like plot and simmering tension – Stuart knows how to keep an audience on the edge of its seat, which is a skill that’s rare among new filmmakers working on small budgets.

Exam also follows in the footsteps of cutting-edge modern like Shallow Grave and Cube by combining horror and thriller elements with sharp, believable dialogue and a character-driven moral puzzle of a plot. It’s not, in other words, a forgettable slice-and-dice horror – and there’s not an East End gangster in sight. We wish Stuart, producer Gareth and their exquisite cast an A+ box office result, and we urge anyone who didn’t catch Exam at EIFF to support it at their local cinema!

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Born in Lerwick in 1976 and brought up in Lerwick, West Germany and Lincolnshire. Hannah is a graduate of Glasgow University and has been a music critic, a TV critic and a film critic in her time. She has been involved in EIFF since 2001 and was Artistic Director from 2006-2010.


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