Oscar Nominations

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced its shortlist for the 91st Oscars, and we’re delighted to see that five of our 2018 Alumni have been nominated.

Black Sheep

Dir. Ed Perkins | UK, 2018

Black Sheep is a heart-breaking documentary exposing the face of modern-day racism in the UK. Following the murder of Damiola Taylor in 2000, Cornelius Walker and his family moved from London in search of a better life, only to be confronted by vicious and often violent attacks. In an attempt to adapt to his new surroundings, Cornelius recalls the measures he took to change himself in order to fit in, simply to fit in with a crowd who could not accept him.

Documentarian Ed Perkins has perfectly captured a truly dark yet undeniably important story. This emotive account was deserving of a triple win at the 2018 Aesthetica Short Film Festival receiving the Award for Best Documentary, The Northern Film School Award and the Best of Festival Award.

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Dir. Jeremy Comte | Canada, 2018

One of the festival directors’ picks for opening this year’s festival, Fauve is a harrowing depiction of childhood, touching on themes of friendship, rivalry and loss. Winner of the Special Jury Award at Sundance in addition to a plethora of other awards, it’s no surprise that Jeremy Comte’s dark coming of age story is being celebrated worldwide.

Set in an isolated surface mining complex, two boys compete in a power game, tricking one another. But when the bluff becomes a dark reality, panic ensues, and the pair are plunged into a race for survival. Memorising yet uncomfortable, highly accomplished cinematography captures stunning, open environments is complimented by the superb and emotional performances of its two child actors.

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Dir. Barnaby Blackburn | UK / USA, 2018

Wale is the titular character in this spiralling modern classic; a former young offender looking for a new life, he starts up his own enterprise as a mechanic, a trade which he learnt in an offender’s institute. Predictably, as a young black man with a criminal past, he finds little luck in his entrepreneurship until he is given a chance to prove himself by a stranger.

But as his new opportunity unfolds, it quickly transpires that the stranger’s intentions are not quite as they seemed and Wale is plunged in to a sinister plot, framed for a unimaginable crime, painting a vivid, unfortunately realistic and all too common portrait of modern day racism and racial profiling.
Winner of Best Thriller at this year’s Aesthetica Short Film Festival, Barnaby Blackburn bluntly tackles the subject of discrimination and scapegoating in his engaging and gripping film Wale.

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Late Afternoon

Dir. Louise Bagnell | Ireland, 2017

A firm festival favourite amongst our audiences and a front runner for the York Youth Award, Late Afternoon is a is a beautifully realised animation, delving deep into the fragility of the human mind, wonderfully capturing the importance and uniqueness of human memory.

In Louise Bagnells powerful short film, we witness an elderly lady’s struggle to recollect her life as she slowly tries to piece together the happy memories of a long and full life. Late Afternoon is a story of love and loss, exuding a strong sense of personal attachment that resonates with audiences of all ages.

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Icarus (Icare)

Dir. Nicholas Boucart | Belgium, 2017

A dark and twisted retelling of the Greek myth, Icarus follows one man’s dark obsession with human flight. It screened in competition as part of ASFF’s drama category at this year’s festival.

On a small, isolated island, crowned by cliffs, a tormented and unhinged inventor chases his dreams to fly like a bird. Using bizarre and rudimentary contraptions, he trains young subjects in preparation to take flight from the unforgiving coastline. But his efforts come at a severe cost. Capturing a powerful and unrelenting environment in the middle of a fierce sea, director Nicholas Boucart brings a fantastically ominous vision to life, inspired by the lengths of human ambition.

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