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Yes they Cannes - students selected for film festival

Three Middlesex students have had their films selected for the Cannes Film Festival.

Three Middlesex University students will rub shoulders with major players in the film world after they each had work selected to feature at the Cannes Film Festival.

The three, Awat Ali, Navarro Aydemir and David Irons, who all made their films for part of their BA in Film, Video and Interactive Arts, will feature at the Short Film Corner at the festival.

Helen Bendon, lecturer on the course, said: “Cannes is a highlight of the film industry calendar and our students have the opportunity to capture the attention not only of film lovers and media from around the world but also of industry professionals. So, as well as a great accolade for our gifted students, this is an opportunity for them to showcase their exceptional work to top-level industry people.

“We are delighted for them and will continue to support them in every way possible to help them achieve their potential.”

The students will each receive a small grant to help cover the cost of going to the festival to promote their work.

Awat, 33, will be promoting his final year project film Let’s Change it – a 14 minute drama about a mugging which alters the lives of those involved. An actor in his native Kurdistan he has received offers to make television series there and is exploring funding offers to make his first feature film there. His films have already featured in other festivals but he was particularly delighted to have made the cut for Cannes.

David, 30, whose film Casting Call – a “supernatural thriller” – will be featured, restored a car and built his own equipment to get certain shots. The resourceful student said he knew he wanted a Ford Capri in his 20- minute piece and so bought one which didn’t work and repaired it. He made a camera dolly – used to film smooth tracking shots – from a shopping trolley, a street sign and an exercise bike. He also called on the expertise of Middlesex students from other courses, with music students composing the score and Sonic Arts students helping with sound. He said: “I chose the course at Middlesex because you are completely in control of everything you do, the whole process of making a film. This is the thing I have done that I am most proud of and I really want to make the most of the opportunity at Cannes.”

Navarro’s film, Henry, was his second year project based on the theme of mystery, shot in two consecutive 12-hour days. “I wanted to make it very mesmeric,” he said “so there is no dialogue in it, it relies a lot on other sound and the music.”

Navarro, 22, who said he is hoping to use Cannes to gain as much experience as possible of the industry, came to Middlesex because he knew a number of other student filmmakers on the course.

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