Life on the Student Critics Award Jury
The inaugural jury of student film critics takes EIFF 2012 by the horns
In 2012, Edinburgh International Film Festival offered three places for film critics of the future to attend the Festival and view a shortlisted programme of films.
The jury members are: aspiring filmmaker Genevieve Bicknell from Edinburgh College of Art, Jonathan Glen who is studying MLitt Film Journalism at Glasgow University, and Liam Nolan from Napier University.
The Jury has viewed 9 films across the Festival programme and will select the winner of the inaugural Student Critics Award at EIFF's Award Ceremony on 30 June alongside the Michael Powell and International Awards.
"I’ve learned a tremendous amount," Liam Nolan told us ahead of the awards ceremony later today. "I’ve gained greater insight into how to view a film with an objective, critical eye but also letting yourself become engaged on an emotional level too. From a filmmaking perspective it’s also given me a much better idea on what it takes for a film to stand out from the crowd and be exceptional."
Jonathan Glen agreed. "I have learned a lot about festivals in general including a great deal about the jury process. It has helped me to learn how to compare films to one another in the context of competition and what qualities I look for in a winning film."
The group has also spent the week with two mentors: international film critics Nick James (Sight and Sound, UK) and Dana Linssen (Editor-in-Chief of De Filmkrant, The Netherlands), who have shared their guidance on the practice of film criticism and guided the Jury members as they develop their writing and critical skills during their time at the Festival.
"Nick and Dana were amazing," says Genevieve. "We thought we would just bump into them every now and again, but they were with us the entire time - we would see a few films, discuss them over lunch, see another and talk about it in the bar and then carry on through the night, talking about other films. They were really keen for us to develop our own arguments and to reflect our own personalities in our writing. They were very generous with us and very open about their own work and lives. I hope we meet them again."
While we await the result, we are sharing the Jury's insights by publishing the reviews written by our Student Critics Jury members.
Winners of EIFF 2014’s short film awards and two of its documentary premieres have been nominated for 2015 BAFTAs.