20 film students in 20 countries have created 20 documentary shorts – and they’re streaming them all on YouTube in an innovative virtual film festival.
After COVID-19 disrupted their daily lives, students in Regent’s BA (Hons) Film & Screen programme chose to document their unique situations in lockdown.
Dr Ken Fero, Lecturer in Directing and the festival’s creator, praised the students’ initiative: ‘We can see in the thoughtfulness and creativity of these films, how they reflect what we all feel,’ he said. ‘COVID-19 has disturbed and disrupted students, scattering them far and wide. While they were initially quite despondent about their isolation and the lack of face-to-face contact, they have bounced back.’
Regent’s Vice-Chancellor and CEO, Professor Geoff Smith noted how the films showcase the Regent’s spirit:
‘This is the perfect illustration of the plurality of global perspectives that characterises Regent’s. These films show how creativity and humanity shine through, even in the most limiting situations. Thank you to everyone involved for responding to the challenges of the pandemic with such courage,’ he said.
Dr Fero also outlined how he and his students came up with the concept:
‘This festival started out through two modules I teach, which had to move online. Stretching across timezones, the students have shown great commitment which we are all proud of. It’s been a privilege to supervise all these films and really get to know the students. There will be much more to come, I’m sure.’
Students were inspired by an online screening of Jafar Panahi's documentary This Is Not A Film, which he made while under house arrest, and which appeared at the Festival de Cannes.
The festival also contains masterclasses from several Regent’s film alumni.