QAIS IB DP Film Festival 2017

QAIS IB DP Film Festival 2017

On May 31st, in the afternoon,  QAIS IB DP Film Students hosted the first of what is hoped will be a new annual tradition, the QAIS DP Film Festival. This was their final CAS experience, involving the strands of Creativity and Service, an opportunity for them to share their work with the school community and inspire others to follow in their footsteps. They set up a small cinema space on the auditorium stage, using curtains to make the experience darker and more mysterious. To a packed audience of secondary-school students and teachers, they first projected a selection of short comic films made by students of Design class.

The main attractions were the two films the DP students made for their IB Film final assessments. These films are darker and more complex than the opening shorts, but the audience was gripped and engrossed throughout. The makers gave a brief introduction before the screenings, and stayed behind to answer questions from the audience afterwards. People  were very interested to know how they chose the themes of the movies, and how they achieved some of the great visual effects they used to tell their stories.

Lost in the Desert of Stars, directed by Sarah  with moody sound design by Janice, is an intense  and claustrophobic drama about a hikikomori, a reclusive young woman who battles her anxieties about the outside world to try and leave her cramped apartment. She imagines a pair of alter egos that threaten and encourage her to take control of her life. The film makes great   use of its enclosed location to build a drama of confinement and self-doubt. The sound and music really help to create a tense, forbidding atmosphere.

An Ether Within is a collaborative effort by Adelle, Kangmin and Ruth. It’s an expressionistic, visually elaborate story of an angel visiting Earth for the first time, exploring its sensory delights and finally being rejected and destroyed by its depravities. The film was shot at various locations around Qingdao, and features an array of visual effects and artistic techniques to create the impression of an alien view of our world and its people.

This was the first cohort of QAIS film students. In preparing for their assessed portfolios, they made several practice films, which started out goofy and untidy, but with each one I could see great leaps in quality and maturity. I’ve seen many IB student films in my time as an examiner, and this work was amongst the very best I’ve seen. They worked collaboratively and took great pains to get things right, reshooting and re-editing several times, and the final results show off their hard work. I’m proud of the films these students made, and I know they are, too. They’ve set a high standard for all future QAIS students.

An Ether Within

Lost in the Desert of Stars

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