The votes have been counted and judges from Walthamstow International Film Festival have announced the winners of this year’s competition.
In first place is Watlhamstow’s very own Hardy D Saleh, with his poignant documentary Mother. Based on his own hard-working family, the silent short beat local competitiors and international peers to be crowned overall winner of the festival.
Second place was given to IOA by Moehring-Gabriel from Switzerland and the third overall winner was announced as One By One, made by local Leyton Sixth Form College students Kimberley Carroll, Sarah Saleh and Ricardo Reveron Blanco.
We also take a look at the results for the individual categories: Best Animation, Best Documentary, Best Drama, Best Experimental and Best Young Person.
Mother by Hardy D Saleh
Mother by Hardy D Saleh, of Walthamstow, wowed judges Liza Fletcher, Pamela Stephenson, Richard Hobbs, Barry Bliss and Noel Goodwin, scooping best documentary and overall winner of this popular film competition.
“It felt great to win,” says Hardy, 25, “it is my first shortlisting and my first award, there is no better place to win your first award than your home festival.”
Although it took Hardy a month to master the pitcure, the documentary itself took just a day to shoot.
“The story came together in the edit, I was confident that I’d have enough material from the shoot to cut something interesting together.
“The film depicts my own mother and her daily work.
“She’s been working at a launderette non-stop for over a decade now, and it’s getting to the stage where I would prefer she stopped working so hard. Also, we don’t see her at home nearly often enough. Just late nights and on the odd day off, (she shares the workload with my dad now so they do three days each with a day off.
“I made this film as a message to myself, to open my own eyes to her dedication, to immortalise my mother, so that I’d have something to look back on forever, to make a film that was universally understandable and moving and that would perhaps call to action everyone that sees it, and remind them of their mothers and their sacrifices.”
As his prize, Hardy has received post-production time at London’s Clear Cut Studios and the BFI’s Noel Goodwin has also offered him an esteemed place at the Future Film Festival’s Documentary Day.
“I’m so grateful to Walthamstow Film Festival,” adds Hardy. “It is absolutely an important institution that provides another opportunity for film-makers to have their work seen and potentially commended.
“My resolution for 2014 was to make a short film every month and so far that has happened – Mother was my third.
“If I was to give advice to any other budding film-makers it would be this: follow your dream, dedicate yourself to it, immerse yourself in it and the universe will conspire to help you achieve it.
“If you want it, you can get it!”
One for the Road by Andrew Stewart and Sharon Reeh
Winner of Best Drama, One for the Road by Walthamstow film-makers Andrew Stewart and Sharon Reeh looks at themes such as memory, death and longing.
“The film came about in two parts,” explains Andrew, 33, who has just completed an acting MA at East15.
“Sharon and I filmed some test footage of Komal making coffee, trying out the camera and lenses. I really liked what we had and wanted to edit it into an actual story. I found a theatre monologue that kind of worked, though it had to be adapted for the shots we had and the idea I had in mind.
“Then I recorded the voiceover with Komal and filmed the memory-color scenes shortly after.
“I hope people who see the film will consider the stigma of same-sex relationships.”
Filmed over the course of three weeks, Andrew said he was ectastic the film had done so well. “I would’ve probably edited it differently,” he admits, “but in all honesty it’s a real privilege. I didn’t expect to win anything.”
For their prize, Andrew and Sharon have won post-production time at London’s Clear Cut Studios.
Young Person – One by One – Kimberley Carroll, Sarah Saleh and Ricardo Reveron Blanco
Liza Fletcher, judge: “One by One literally wowed the judges for its atmosphere, its filmic storytelling and strong editing.”
This local film, shot in the area, will prove popular with lovers of Scandinavian detective drama or ‘Nordic Noir’.
Prize: The crew wins a highly regarded place at the BFI’s Future Film Festival, which will take place next year.
Experimental – Underdog Dream by Antti Polojärvi
Liza Fletcher: “Underdog was a popular choice as it showed an intelligent and creative use of footage and a truly experimental approach to storyline.”
Prize: Antti Polojärvi wins The Thomas Bloor Thin Screen Prize of £50.
Best Animation – IOA by Moehring-Gabriel
Liza Fletcher: “IOA was said to be accomplished, sophisticated and innovative by the judges, who described the theme as entertaining, existential angst.”
Special mention was also given to The Dog Song by Ellie Mumford, who was awarded a place at the British Film Festival’s Future Film event to take place next year and The Debbie Bliss cash prize of £50.
Prize: Moehring-Gabriel wins a Productionbase Subscription
To view this year’s entries, visit Walthamstow International Film Festival, short film screening at Vestry House Museum, Vestry Road, Sunday, June 1, noon until 6pm. Details: walthamstow