Interview with Half-Cut film festival director

As part of On the Rocks, Half-Cut 2012 – the platform for budding filmmakers to showcase their talents – is back with a bang. James Heaney spoke to Half-Cut Director Ioanid Nagyu-Vizitiu to find out more about this year’s instalment.

What’s Half-Cut all about?

Half-Cut is about putting student film on the map and creating a dialogue between audiences and filmmakers. Short film is a perfect form for conveying a powerful idea in a concise manner, and that’s what we looked for in submissions – messages that can have an impact on an audience, irrespective of the film’s budget.

What sort of films were you looking for?

We want to inspire people to get involved with film – which is why, when we called for submissions, we accepted any genre, as long as the film itself was no longer than 15 minutes. Creativity, originality and technical skill were the most important criteria.

How long has the competition been running?

This is Half-Cut’s ninth year. And, it’s the third year that the competition has been a part of the ‘On the Rocks’ festival (which was started in 2009), but this is the first year we’ve been self-funded.

How did you create a shortlist for the final showcase?

I assembled a small group of pre-selection judges, which included Maia Krall Fry (winner of two awards at the 60 Hour Film Blitz in March 2012) and Patrick O’Hare, the Union President. We received two and a half hours worth of film submissions and the easy part was watching them. It took a further four hours of heated discussion over which films should make it to the final showcase at the awards’ night.

What can finalists expects at the awards’ night?

For the first time since the competition began, there will be a three-minute feedback when judges will comment on each film and give feedback to the teams behind each film. Then the awards are given to the best films; a prize that all the filmmakers want. The whole night will also be broadcast on BubbleTV.

 Who are the final judges?

We’re really excited about the judges this year – we’ve got Alistair Moffat (Lord Rector of theUniversityofSt Andrewsand former Director of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Robert Burgoyne (Head of Film Studies) and Graham Dalton (aSt Andrewsand Royal Academy of Music graduate, now manager of the Adamson restaurant).

Have you got a message for people thinking of entering next year?

Do it! Filmmaking equipment is easy to access, especially inSt Andrews. Get your message across toSt Andrewsand the wider world.

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