‘Fabricated Images, Fabricated Worlds’: KCL’s Very Own Film Festival

‘Fabrication’ is the theme for the Arts & Humanities festival at King’s this year, and ‘Fabricated Images, Fabricated Worlds’ was the contribution of the Film Studies Department to this massive celebration. The department was heavily involved in the festival with help from undergraduate, postgraduate and  PhD students.

The film festival was hosted and curated by the president of the KCL Film Society, Kristina Pringle and Martin Brady, who has been at King’s since 1986 and lectures in the German and Film Studies departments. A selection of 7 short films, ranging in genre from animation to documentary, were screened on Monday October 19 at the Strand campus.

La Espera/The Wait by Alejandro Fernandez Moreno skillfully explores the themes of time and movement within two minutes and with three words. Centred on two robots, filming was done with a view to screening it backwards, making the characters’ movements seem more robotic. Detach by Daniel Ambor is the “crystallisation of a moment of self-doubt” centred on a brooding young man grappling with the inadequacy of his feelings, against his perceptions of love, for his girlfriend. How Stars Are Made, the product of animation experimentation by Alejandra Lopez is a beautiful animation following the evolution of a boy into a star, paying homage to Alejandra’s many influences throughout, including a clip of A Trip to the Moon’s (1902) famous rocket in the eye of the moon.

Q&A with the first three films' directors, Daniel Ambor, Alejandra Lopez, Alejandro F. Moreno (left to right)

Isle of Arran by Louis Rizzo-Naudi documents the untouched landscapes of the island 12 miles off the west coast of Scotland, it encapsulates its mysterious beauty without a single word spoken – the one thing it doesn’t do is address whether a tree falling in a place devoid of humans makes a sound or not. UNUS by Efosa Osaghae is short in length but high in fashion and meddles with perception. “Shot in one take and experimenting with how far the audience can be tricked,” a wordless relay featuring a polaroid as a baton and two sets of twins walking purposefully through the Cre8 Lifestyle Centre to a shadowy figure in a room.

Efosa Osaghae and Louis Rizzo-Naudi.

Pedro Aspahan’s Once Upon a Time in Almeria is a fragment of a feature length still being produced about the creative process of the meticulous Brazilian musician, composer, instrument inventor – the fractal guitar – Teodomiro Goulart. The full movie will explore the musician’s life, work and relationship with the city of Almeria, as well as featuring a concert in a wind farm. Last but far from least, Undine Markus’s Yuanfen/緣分, a documentary capturing eight up-and-coming visionary art collectives in Hong Kong. The film is just under half an hour and so only half could be screened at the festival, the full thing can viewed on Vimeo and features, besides stunning camera work and diligent insight into the city’s art scene, two of the funniest men in art.

Undine Markus and Pedro Aspahan.

After the screenings, the directors themselves spoke of their films and the process of production, and opened up the floor to questions from the audience. It was here that a second, subtler theme tying the films together became apparent; the existence of each of the films in the form they finally took on had, besides hard work and inspiration, a bit of luck to thank.

Efosa’s polaroid relay initially had a key being passed between the protagonists, until it became apparent that the one time bath house venue “had no key holes” however the unseen polaroid evoked a greater sense of ‘What’s going on here then?’ The unnervingly apt title of Undine’s Yuanfen/緣分, meaning “fateful coincidence”, was without a director of photography shortly before filming was scheduled to start. It wasn’t until a serendipitous coming together of two of Undine’s friends at a fish market in midnight’s Hong Kong wherein one brought up her predicament that the other, a clearly very skilled DoP, took on the role and flew out to Hong Kong when filming did indeed begin to lend his services.

The struggle to partake in the creation of art is felt by artists the world over, students within its various branches have that struggle amplified when it comes at an opportunity cost of time and money. The theme of Fabrication was prevalent throughout the screenings, but the common denominator really was that all of the students channelled their passions, harnessed their skills, benefitted from a dash of serendipity, and were richly rewarded in their films.

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