After bringing a short film and assembling some of his cast and crew at the Fest, Alex Barrett's Life Just Is has its World Premiere at EIFF
"The film is called Life Just Is, and it's about a group of recent university graduates hanging out in London," Alex Barrett tells us ahead of the second screening of his film. "It's a character piece, so it's really just about a week in their lives and the stuff that they go through."
This debut feature is another film screening as part of the line-up for the Michael Powell Award Competition, judged by a jury that includes Jim Broadbent, Kiki Sugino, and Tiina Lokk.
The film is both written and directed by Alex, who drew from personal experiences. "I was in a similar place to some of the characters when I started writing it," he says. "I was at that kind of age, just out of university, and I was seeing a lot of films about people of that age group that were just about taking drugs and partying and all that kind of stuff. I thought it would be interesting to try to do a slightly different approach to that kind of age group and try to do something that was a bit more similar to what I felt like had been my university experience.
"I was also interested in exploring ideas of religion, of existential quests. People at that stage of their lives, as well as going out and partying, are also thinking about whether God exists and what their place in the world is - life and the universe and everything. So I was trying to explore that age but do it from a slightly more existential angle rather than a kind-of American Pie angle."
A long-time EIFF-goer, Alex assembled some of his cast and crew here at EIFF. "Andrew Hawley, who is in the film, was a Trailblazer here with A Spanking in Paradise. He's a great actor and we saw A Spanking in Paradise here, so we decided to cast him in the film. Niina, our production designer, was a volunteer here at the Festival. Alice, our First AD, we met at the Trailblazer party. So yeah, there were people who worked on the film that we met through the Festival - it's so great to have our World Premiere here having had that backstory with the Festival."
We wish Alex the best of luck with the Michael Powell Award Competition and hope his relationship with EIFF continues. "It's been amazing. I had a short here in 2009 and fell in love with the Festival so I've come back every year since. I hope to be here every year - perhaps not always with a film - but I will always try to come because it's such a great Festival."
Life Just Is has its second screening tomorrow night, Wednesday 27 June, at The Cameo at 9pm.
Hear more about the Michael Powell Award Competition from Artistic Director Chris Fujiwara here.