ATVAs 2016 Reviews

ATVAs Final Reviews

By the Features Team

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At the end of every academic year, AirTV host their annual awards in which several student film makers enter pieces of work for examination for the chance to win an award in one of the following categories: Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Sound, Best Score, Best Editing, Alumni Award, Audience’s Choice, Best Newcomer, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Film.

This year the screenings and award ceremony will be hosted May 16 in Macrobert Arts Centre at 7:30pm. Tickets are only £7 so get yours now whether on the Macrobert Arts Centre’s website or in the Atrium.

Interested in knowing more about the films? Well here are reviews for all 16 of them written by Cara Boyle, Craig Wright, Scott Paterson, Tom Flanagan and James Fitzsimons.

Make sure you read to the end to find out which films were their favourites.

-Kieran Daly

Of Humans and Nature

Cara Boyle 3/5

A really thoughtful documentary, it was well planned out with beautiful landscapes. The facts and quotes throughout were a nice touch and they emphasised the issues that were talked about, with some really heart-breaking moments.

Craig Wright 3/5

An interesting concept for a film, as two friends seek to escape from rising water and land pollution levels by emigrating. It’s a beautifully shot film in some breath-taking locations, but it’s let down at times by some scenes where the dialogue feels forced, and the nearly 15 minute runtime works against it. However, by no-means a badly made film, as the camera-work, concept and score testify.       

Scott Paterson 2/5

Very much an ‘arthouse’ film, Of Humans and Nature will not be everyone’s taste. Clearly displaying an agreeable environmentalist message, the film plays with ideas of earth and our protection of it. The scenery and cinematography of Regina Mosch’s film is good, with the breath-taking landscape shots truly something to behold. However, the film falls with it’s lack of concrete story, and the high-concept premise falls rather flat as it is not explained well enough, leaving me to question the character’s motivation and not keeping me engaged with the story. Furthermore, the film’s message is put across very haphazardly and with a distinct lack of subtlety. The film’s intentions are admirable and the cinematography impressive, however I can’t help but feel that the whole film is something of a missed opportunity.

Tom Flanagan 3/5

Of humans and nature- harrowing environmental morality story of a dystopian future plighted by pollution, and mans relationship with our planet. Beautiful landscapes make up for distracting wind noises during dialogue.

James Fitzsimons 2/5

Of Humans and Nature by Regina Mosch tells the tale of two women travelling across country to reach the coastline where a boat that will carry them from an uninhabitable northern Europe. Starring Imogen Oberski and Natalia Vorri, this film serves as a chilling reminder that the resources of this planet are being use and irreparably damaged to serve the people who lie upon it. Though there was some difficulty hearing Natalia near the beginning over the wind and fire, as well as a somewhat on the nose final shot of a t-shirt stating “I heart Earth” all in all this is an enjoyable movie that makes you really think about wastage and pollution on the earth.

Satisfaction

Cara Boyle 3/5

This was an interesting one, even though there is no dialogue everything is explained really well which really impressed me! The choice of music really set the tone well, it had the right amount of tension and it was enjoyable to watch.

Craig Wright 3/5

5 minutes of total silence, as a shootout takes place in an abandoned warehouse. Whilst I applaud the angle of making a silent film save for the score of the piece, I kind of want to see the events preceding this film to understand why everyone’s shooting at each other.

Scott Paterson 3/5

It’s not often a film leaves me with little to say, however Callum Downs’ Satisfaction has done just that. This six-minute film has no dialogue, and ultimately relies on the strength of Katherine McKnight’s expressive face, that carries the story of a Western style standoff. The film is an interesting experiment, and the camera shots; especially the wide shots at the beginning of the film and the extreme close-ups of McKnight’s face are very well done. However, I would have liked some explanation of how the characters came to be at the abandoned building and of their motives.

Tom Flanagan 4/5

The set and costume choices of this excellent short movie kind of give it a funky indie feel, as if Richard Ayoade made a spaghetti western. Katherine McKnight’s performance with her eyes well makes up for the lack of dialogue.

James Fitzsimons 4/5

Katherine McKnight stars in Satisfaction a “pistols at dawn” style movie by Callum downs. The first 3 minutes are completely silent and yet somehow manage to have my mind racing. What is going to happen? Are they going to fight? How does Katherine McKnight manage to pull off a look that makes me feel as if she sees every sin I’ve ever committed. She managed to be more intimidating than the guy twice her size that she’s in a stand off with. The soundtrack was also excellent.

Love Her

Cara Boyle 4/5

Although one of the shortest films, it makes up for it being the biggest emotional rollercoaster! Loads of emotion like this packed into two minutes can be difficult to do, but it was extremely well executed and the monologue throughout was beautifully synced to the scenes. As they say: quality not quantity!

Craig Wright 5/5

A great film. I’d heard Ismay Hutton’s spoken word piece before at an event by the Relief Café and loved it, but the film that accompanies it is made and directed to perfection. The only qualm I had with the film is that there were a couple of occasions where the violin in the background clashed with the narration. But that’s just me being picky.

Scott Paterson 5/5

Love Her is a powerful two minute short, starring Ismay Hutton who also acts as narrator, reading a poem. The film goes a way that I didn’t expect whilst watching it, and is a solid portrayal of an all too familiar state of depression and the love for someone, including its demise. A film that gets to the heart of love, relationships and depression, Love Her is an extremely touching short film that is bound to tug on the heartstrings of any viewer.

Tom Flanagan 5/5

Beautiful use of voiceover, swelling romantic music and speedy jump cuts do a fantastic job of portraying the harsh realities of adult love and our expectations of love.

James Fitzsimons 5/5 (7 out 5’s are not allowed)

I am not an emotional man. I never have been. Its rare that I become emotionally invested in any work of fiction. Love her destroyed me. Ismay Hutton, Ailsa Maloney and Elsa Froeslin reached into my chest and physically pumped my cold dead husk of a heart into life. From the superb writing and almost tangible emotion behind the narrators voice, to the on point acting of Hutton as we see her fall into a depression, to the beautiful sound track and editing, this film had it all for me.

Perceptions

Cara Boyle 4/5

Definitely interesting to watch, I loved how it jumped headfirst into the documentary style and let people explain their opinions. I liked how it gave multiple perspectives as well and the quotes throughout emphasised the issues as well as broke up the film into sections. It was really enlightening!

Craig Wright 4/5

A fascinating documentary on the different perceptions of human sexuality. Featuring interviews with four current students of the university interspersed with statistics and social theories, Marina Nieuwerf has done a great job of making this film long enough to grab your attention but not long enough for people to switch off. It’s let down by the music however.

Scott Paterson 4/5

Perceptions is a documentary, interviewing four subjects on the ideas of gender. Discussing such topics as gender roles, gender fluidity, and sexuality Perceptions is a touching and heartfelt film with extremely candid and personal replies from the participants (Michael Mullen, Callum Downs, Jessica Logan and Austin-Joseph Robertson). The Marina Nieuwerf directed film challenges the audience to think different about the general Western ideas of gender roles, and accepts everyone for who they are. It’s a lovely film.

Tom Flanagan 4/5

Intriguing look into transgender stereotypes and assumptions about binary life style. Captivating vox pop interviews of brave people from all over the spectrum will given even the most unaware CIS people an insight into the LGBT struggle.

James Fitzsimons 3.5/5

Perceptions interested me. As a straight white man I find that I am rarely at odds with people because of who I am. This documentary is bare bones and it works. It takes four people, sits them down and just has them voice their opinion on the subject of sexual orientation and gender identity. These opinions don’t come across as preachy or pushy, they don’t come across as ham fisted or poorly thought through. They are concise, calm, and well thought out and serve as an informational view on the troubles non-binary people face on a daily basis

Time Vagabonds

Cara Boyle 4/5

I really liked the idea of this sequel because I enjoyed The First Voyage Back to the Frying Pan. This was really unique and hilarious, and I really liked the opening song it set up the story really well. Also the Time Sheriff is honestly one of my favourite characters ever!

Craig Wright 2/5

There is a few good jokes in here, but this film tries to mirror Back to the Future and misses. It doesn’t really hit the mark for me. It might for others, but I couldn’t get into the story or the humour. The audio quality is uneven at times as well, which doesn’t help its cause.

Scott Paterson 2/5

The word I would use to best describe Time Vagabonds would be disjointed. An admirable attempt at a light science fiction comedy, Time Vagabonds gets too bogged down in technobabble, which isn’t helped by the mumbled dialogue. Danny Flynn’s film is funny, however leaves one reminiscent of those poor, unofficial 1990s Doctor Who direct to video spin-offs, whilst the plot is rather confusing, I wasn’t sure what was going on throughout the film. There’s a good science fiction spoof under the surface, but ultimately the usual familiar science fiction trappings derails Time Vagabonds.

Tom Flanagan 3/5

The dodgy acting is actually funny and ads to the Sci-fi comedy feel. Really enjoyed the buddy cop dynamic and the 1970s style titles. Even if Dr. Smile’s costume is a bit derivative of Colin Baker’s Doctor Who, this makes for a thoroughly enjoyable 15 minutes.

James Fitzsimons 3/5

Time Vagabonds was a movie that had very clear positives but, sadly, those positives were marred somewhat by the negatives. While this was certainly a funny movie, the problems lay mostly with the accent of Bede Batter’s Dr Smile. It was, to put it politely, less than the most convincing accent. However, his lines and his characterisation were excellent. All in all, I loved the idea and most of the execution, but questioned some of the choices in character (the accent. The accent was my only problem).

Waffle

Cara Boyle 3/5

Waffle is one of the shorter films, along with definitely being one of the most unique ideas. It was really simple and uncomplicated which I loved, and the build-up of tension was brilliant!

Craig Wright 3/5

Another interesting concept, as the dialogue of the film takes place against the backdrop of a waffle iron. Yes, you read that right. Whilst the dialogue itself implies a soap opera level of drama, there’s only so long you can look at a waffle iron before your hunger takes over.

Scott Paterson 3/5

Certainly an original idea, Waffle tells the story of man making a waffle, whilst we hear him and his partner arguing over the state of the kitchen. Interestingly, the camera stays fixed on the waffle maker throughout the Luke Phillipe directed film, which adds an intriguing and elusive quality to the unseen couple, as played by Katherine McKnight and Andrew Pope. The film is darkly comical, owing more to the camera setup than the script itself, that is so well done it could easily be a real domestic argument which just happened to be taking place on the day of filming. Waffle is certainly an acquired taste, however the film’s individualism and originality goes a long way.

Tom Flanagan 3/5

This film is a deep symbolic gaze into adolescent cohabitation. Really enjoyed the use of off camera dialogue and focus on the waffle. Great job with the Japanese style titles too.

James Fitzsimons 2.5/5

Waffle was a film as confusing as it was interestingly shot. Featuring Andrew Pope and Katherine McKnight (or their voices at least), Waffle is a movie comprised entirely of a couple’s argument about dishes. This is where my confusion enters. Was this movie a comedy or was it a sad ending to a relationship. Don’t get me wrong, parts of this movie we certainly funny, my favourites being when Pope finally gets down to eat his waffles and yet they are burnt to a crisp, its just that when I felt like laughing, my brain said “oooh you shouldn’t laugh at that, this is serious”. All in all, I enjoyed this movie for the way it was shot and the occasionally funny line. Call it a tragedy, call it a comedy, but don’t call it badly filmed.

Trump

Cara Boyle 4/5

Out of all of the films, this is definitely one of the funniest! The acting was spot on from everyone and the campaign video is my favourite part. A lot of work went into making this; Jack Buchanan and Cory Thomas did a great job writing.

Craig Wright 5/5

Brilliant. Paying homage to The Thick of It whilst satirising a certain billionaire presidential candidate? There is absolutely no way you can mess that up. Having said that, huge credit to everyone involved in this film for having the guts to use ordinary people in both the university and Glasgow city centre. The result is a film that is hilarious, well made and worth every minute of viewing. Top work.

Scott Paterson 5/5

Trump, directed by Cory Thomas and written by Thomas and Jack Buchanan, is an obvious parody of Donald Trump’s current US election campaign. Starring Buchanan as Ronald Trump, running to be Scotland’s First Minister, and Kieran Daly doing an exceptional job as his foul mouth Malcolm Tucker-equse spin-doctor – Trump is an extremely funny, laugh out loud political satire. Danny Flynn plays Sandy, Trump’s brand new PA, whilst Katherine McKnight does a stellar job as Trump’s wife.

The funniest parts of the film come when Trump speaks to members of the public on the Stirling University campus and in Glasgow’s George Square – with such comments from punters as “English immigration to Scotland? I don’t think you should allow any of them in.”

Buchanan in these scenes is at his best, chasing a pigeon whilst wondering if it is English, and is clearly having a great time in the role.

The direction of the film is also very well done, while the swift cuts and editing from Elizabeth Clutterbuck should be commended. Despite this, two cut away scenes in the film – involving two posh English characters and Trump’s video editor taking cocaine – are possibly unnecessary, whilst the Marvel equse post-credit scene is baffling but hilarious and ultimately does fit the tone of the film.

All in all, Trump is a strong satirical film with sharp lines such as “shut your hole, you Commy bastard” sure to have you laughing out loud as they did for me.

Tom Flanagan 5/5

Kieran Daly’s obvious rip off of Malcolm Tucker would be more annoying if it wasn’t for his raw sexual magnetism. It’s a hilarious spoof of American politics and Trumps campaign. A genuine side splitting comedy.

(Editors note: Thanks Tom?)

James Fitzsimons 5/5 (Would Bang)

Having heard about this film and the resounding positivity surrounding it, I was worried the bar had been set too high. There was no chance it could be as good as they said. And yet, Trump sees Ronald Trump and his team campaigning for Trump in the First minister race and being hilariously non-politically correct, as you would expect of the character. Kieran Daly, channelling his inner Malcolm Tucker, had excellent lines that were delivered with the appropriate venom and brilliant comedic timing. Cory Thomas and Jack Buchanan, the writers and producers, deserve credit for their stellar comedy and Thomas’s cameo as an English stereotype in Trumps head.

The Trial

Cara Boyle 4/5

The storyline was really interesting and fast-paced, but for me it was the choreography and the fight scenes that made this one for me. It was really well done, with brilliant leads and the way it jumped right into the action was really exciting. I don’t know how long it must have took to rehearse some of these scenes but it’s definitely worth it!

Craig Wright 4/5

Some good camera-work and an interesting use of split timelines combine to make a film very much worth a watch. The fight scenes were a bold move, but come off pretty well, with a good dynamic between all the characters involved and a solid story.

Scott Paterson 5/5

Written and directed by Conor Kane, The Trial is an outstanding tension filled thriller. Natalia Vorri stands out, excellently playing a thief doing a job for an agency against her will. Vorri and Rowan MacAskill, as her employer, have great chemistry and help to elevate an already really good script. Both actors have a future in the industry, whilst the film’s direction and cinematography are fantastic. A film that is definitely worth seeking out, The Trial is an extremely believable, thriller in the vain of the Bourne series, on a student budget.

Tom Flanagan 2.5/5

This film has the basic storyline of a summer action blockbuster and the music and artistic feel of a weekly ITV drama. I didn’t enjoy the action sequences myself but the camera work was impressive for such low production value.

James Fitzsimons 4/5

Exciting and well shot, The Trial follows Erica Knight fighting for her life against a trained killer who pursues her for a hard drive owned by the killer’s shadowy employer. The acting was good in most cases, the fight scenes well-choreographed and convincing and the score set the mood well making the audience feel the emotions the lead is supposed to be going through. Sadly, our leading lady doesn’t portray the emotions one would feel in her character’s portrayal all that well. Still, the Trail was tense and exciting and worth the watch.

Water in the Blood

Cara Boyle 4/5

A seriously hard-hitting drama, this is one of the best dramatic performances I’ve seen, and Kimberly Smart and Callum Downs work really well together. Alexandria Trimble did such a great job directing!

Craig Wright 4/5

The familial relationship between the two lead characters is well-utilised, as the audience tries to figure out which moral viewpoint we side with. Enough going on to fill the runtime, but it doesn’t lose itself amongst the plot.

Scott Paterson 5/5

Alexandria Trimble’s tale of lies, deceit and assault; Water in the Blood focuses on two members of the police, a brother and a sister dealing with his poorly chosen actions. The film is dark in places, as well as being true to life and believable. The lead performances from Callum Downs and Kimberly Smart are exceptional, playing each role with the appropriate amount of angst and gravity. Water in the Blood is a solid police drama, with impeccable attention to detail that is vital in filmmaking.

Tom Flanagan 3/5

This film is a cool idea. I really love the cop show feel and the cinematography. The acting was superb, and they really managed to nail the emotions of their scenes. However I feel the pacing is a tad off and makes an otherwise interesting story somewhat uncompelling.

James Fitzsimons 4.5/5

Water in the blood sees a police officer attempt to curb and control her increasingly violent brother and partner. When he goes too far she is faced with a terrible choice. Turn him in to be charged, or protect him. The acting of the two leads, Kimberly Smart and Callum Downs was excellent, backed up by solid writing. The extras were bad at running and the earlier fight scenes were less than amazing. Beyond that I have nothing bad to say about Water in the Blood.

Cold

Cara Boyle 5/5

Cold is the perfect mix of eerie and creepy, also with one of my favourite opening sequences! Calum Moore completely won me over in this and his performance was intense, while Kirstie Fiona Will was brilliant although I would have liked to have seen more lines from her, but really she doesn’t even need them. These two were great together and I really enjoyed it.

Craig Wright 4/5

It takes a wee while to get going, but when it does this film revels in its own darkness. Calum Moore is delightfully creepy as the film’s villain, whilst the segment at the beginning in which time rewinds to the beginning of events is a very clever way of providing the audience with some exposition. A well-thought out film.

Scott Paterson 4/5

Hannah Chandler’s Cold is a dark film, about an implied sexual assault. The film is, throughout, uncomfortable to watch; however this is to be expected from a film with such a subject matter. The lead performances from Kirstie Fiona Will and Calum Moore are strong, with Moore sending shivers down my spine as the attacker, whilst Will plays the victim really well, conveying obvious emotion without even uttering a word. Cold is a film that is difficult to enjoy due to the subject matter tackled, however is one that is done with the appropriate style and taste.

Tom Flanagan 5/5

A fab premise for a short story. Some of the best acting I’ve seen this year. Edited and directed to near genius levels, with the music, setting make up creating a genuine shiver down my spine.

James Fitzsimons 4/5

A very interestingly shot film that had me hooked from the get go. The score served to keep me tense and curious throughout. The horror aspect worked well, and the effects were suitably visceral. As one who is not a big fan of horror this was pleasantly engaging.

Bert the Cannon Joins the Army

Cara Boyle 3/5

Bert the Cannon was really enjoyable to watch, and Ross Provan did such a great job putting this all together. The pure fact that he is the narrator and changes his voice for every character completely made this for me, and while definitely sort of random, seeing his drawings coming to life is definitely worth a watch and I feel like a sequel is needed!

Craig Wright 3/5

Something completely different, as an animated film makes it’s way to the ATVAs for the first time. A very well designed concept and it hopefully provides a stepping-stone for similar projects in future. Personally, it wasn’t my cup of tea, but I can applaud the effort and thought behind it.

Scott Paterson 2/5

This stop motion animation by Ross Provan tells the story of a young cannon who wishes to join the British Army. Somewhat light on plot, the film’s visuals are what set it apart, rather than the unremarkable story. Humour is used throughout, harking to early Aardman productions, and the pen drawing stop motion certainly gives the film an individual feel. Bert the Cannon Joins the Army deserves commendation as the first ever animated submission to the ATVAs, however lacks in story ultimately, which is the film’s biggest weak spot and lets it down.

Tom Flanagan 3/5

If it was just for animation, I would give this 5 stars, for Ross Provan to produce this is no mean feat. However, the story is a bit irrational and all over the place and not very funny, and that brings down what is an impressive feat of engineering.

James Fitzsimons 4.5/5

Funny. Interesting. Liked the director’s note. Murderous cannon. Loved it. Weird and dumb and great The first animated entry into the ATVA’s, Bert the cannon joins the army is a fun and fresh short. The humour, while somewhat immature, functions perfectly in the medium and managed to make me laugh on several occasions. There’s something very satisfying about a murderous cannon rampage. The director’s note fit excellently in the tone of the short. Loved it.

The Nexus Project

Cara Boyle 5/5

Not being much of a horror fan, I wasn’t really sure what to expect when it began. But definitely one of the best-edited short films I’ve seen, despite making me jump out of my seat several times! Credit where it’s due to the special effects team who did an amazing job and you could tell the entire way through the amount of work and dedication that went into this and it really paid off.

Craig Wright 4/5

A sci-fi/horror blend set in the depths of Cottrell with a somewhat suspicious AI? I’m up for it… It’s a great concept that uses the chaotic nature of Cottrell, along with some clever camerawork to its advantage. The only criticism I would have of it is a little too much of the crazy light works. Overall though, very nicely done.

Scott Paterson 5/5

The film with the biggest stakes of all the entries, Alan Thurston’s The Nexus Project is a fantastic science fiction horror film. Making excellent use of stock footage, with brilliant opening and closing credits, these give the film a more professional feeling that would have otherwise been possible. Crea Barton plays the protagonist, and I rooted for her throughout, being the audience’s main window into the film. The film could be described as a mix between Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic Alien and the 2011 Steven Soderbergh directed thriller, Contagion, taking the best elements from those two films. Thurston’s film is very well made, and suggests that he has a big future ahead of him.

Tom Flanagan 5/5

One of the best made films at this awards- this has the vibe of a proper summer sci-fi/horror blockbusters. The film features a true example of amazing camera work and sound editing. Acting that had me literally on the edge of my seat. To say the Nexus was created on such a small budget, I wasn’t half frightened of it!

James Fitzsimons 5/5

The nexus project is one of the few films on this list that I could see adapted into a full-length two-hour movie. It’s a classic monster movie mixed with 2001: A Space Odyssey, the type of which doesn’t get enough credit nowadays. Not only that, but the shots are wonderful, produced with a care that shows the creator truly cared about this movie. When the movie ended I found myself craving more, fingers crossed for a sequel.

Disjointed

Cara Boyle 3/5

Nicely put together with some gorgeous shots. I liked the editing and although I wasn’t too sure what was happening to begin with, I was pleasantly surprised at how different it was and I really enjoyed it.

Craig Wright 2.5/5

A film that prides itself on it’s camerawork, as a collection of lovely shots are interwoven in a three minute piece. I admire the beauty of the film, it just doesn’t do anything for me in terms of story. A very aesthetically pleasing film nonetheless.

Scott Paterson 4/5

Filmed on numerous locations around the globe, Disjointed, by Iris Ionita, shows the beauty in the everyday – from the artificial (Disneyland), to the real (rural Scotland), Disjointed really shows many of the different things the world has to offer. The film allows one to appreciate the world for what it truly is – a mishmash of different people and different cultures.

Tom Flanagan 4/5

Disjointed is a bit like ronseal, it does exactly what it says on the tin. However I feel the ‘disjointed’ ensemble of music and establishing shots tell a fantastic story of our diverse planet and how fantastic it is to be alive. Genuinely made my day.

James Fitzsimons 1.5/5

Look, maybe I didn’t get it, whatever message was trying to be told here, if any, was completely invisible to me. Disjointed well and truly lived up to its name, displaying shot after shot of seemingly unrelated content, making less and less sense as it went on. Its one redeeming quality was the fact that the shots were done expertly and fit the backing track well, but it didn’t distract me from what seemed like a film trying to be artsy for the sake of being artsy.

Black Feathers

Cara Boyle 3/5

I have to say; I had to watch this so many times. The first time, I mean I had absolutely no idea what was going on and after I watched it I was really confused. The music was creepy to begin with so immediately I thought, this one’s horror for sure. But, as I watched it the next few times, I started to appreciate the weird mix of randomness and humour. Crea Barton and Michael Mullen were great and really entertaining to watch, so at the end of the day I kind of enjoyed it!

Craig Wright 2.5/5

Another film that values it’s cinematography, as we witness a series of conversations between the two main characters. I didn’t really get the point of their conversations, though, and the score worked against the dialogue.

Scott Paterson 4/5

It took me a minute or two to get into Black Feathers, and for me to realise that the film is a spoof of the Scandinavian dramas that are all the rage on BBC Four. Crea Barton and Michael Mullen’s film is very funny, with the use of subtitles highlighting the film’s ridiculous dialogue, making me laugh out loud on numerous occasions. The two are clearly having a great time during the film, which ultimately I found more than infectious. A stellar effort.

Tom Flanagan 4/5

Feels like the love child of a Japanese anime and a movie about the DDR. The artsy vibe combined with the silly subtitles makes for really amusing watch. It took me a while to realise the spoofy nature of this film but after I did I really enjoyed it. If like me you’re confused by the popularity of Scandinavian dramas with hipsters in the UK, you will love this. Great fun.

James Fitzsimons 4/5

How would I describe Black feathers in one word? Ridiculous? Hilarious? Both? The entire film centres on two characters conversing in different locations in what can only be described as Sim-Speak. That is not an exaggeration, or a slight at someone’s accent, the characters spoke in literal gibberish and then their subtitles read the most nonsensical sentences such as “have you ever heard a crow sneeze” and “The autumn lasted 13 months”. This film made me laugh. That is the highest praise for a film of this surreal genre. The sound track was irritating but somehow fit in with the ridiculousness of the movie.

Overlord

Cara Boyle 5/5

On entertainment alone, Overlord is one of my favourites. The effects were really well thought out and it looked like all the guys had a lot of fun filming this! Sean McLaughlin’s directing was brilliant and he wrote a great story.

Craig Wright 5/5

Possibly the film in the ATVAs field with the most hype surrounding it, as Sean McLaughlin’s World War Two film boasts impressive costumes, a solid score and a strong cast. It doesn’t disappoint, either, with the well-paced story and the performances of the two leading characters ensures the film makes as good a use of it’s runtime as possible. Well-made and well worth it.

Scott Paterson 4/5

Sean McLaughlin’s World War Two film, Overlord, follows two British Army soldiers played by Calum Moore and Niall Cook. The film explores themes such as PTSD and the futility of war, allowing such young people to lose their lives in order to satisfy the agenda of elder statesmen. Moore and Cook play their roles really well, and I felt for them throughout. The only issue with the film are sound problems, which often make it difficult to make out dialogue. Despite this, Overlord is a strong, affecting film.

Tom Flanagan 4/5

War films have never been my cup of tea, but even I enjoyed Overlord. The acting is good enough for anyone to enjoy. This really well made and well thought out period drama will be well up the street of people who like that sort of thing.

James Fitzsimons 5/5

Tense, authentic, convincing. Lack of soundtrack during fight added to the tragedy and fear. Superb practical effects the spotlight shone on the use of practical effects in Overlord. Magnificent doesn’t cover it. These effects drew out what was already an excellent film in terms of authenticity for the time, making me care about the characters and the realism of the bond between these two men. One standout scene in particular features a particularly brutal fight that was silent the whole way through adding to the fear and tragedy of the moment.

Common Girls

Cara Boyle 3/5

I enjoyed Crea and Cara Barton together, I think they did great job. I liked how they reminisce and share old stories, and the documentary style was nice. Riina Ahokainen and Beth Johnston wrote a lovely but sad story and it was well directed.

Craig Wright 4/5

Crea Barton does a great job here, playing both halves of a fallen-from-grace celebrity sister duo. The film is both light-hearted and deadpan, with some good moments of dialogue and a good score. It is a clever concept and one that translates well to the film.

Scott Paterson 5/5

Common Girls, by Beth Johnston and Riina Ahokainen, tells the story of two former child stars, twins Cara and Crea, as played by Crea Barton. The film is irreverent and funny, Johnston and Ahokainen clearly adept at writing a funny script, whilst the film’s humour plays to Barton’s strength as an actress, who plays the role fantastically. It must be hard filming with Barton playing two characters who share many scenes together, however this is done brilliantly, with no continuity errors or signs of cracks. Common Girls is an extremely funny film, and one of the main highlights of this year’s ATVAs.

Tom Flanagan 4/5

A genuinely hilarious spoof off of all those god awful Docu-Soaps into the lives of Z-List fallen celebrities we often see on our screens these days, featuring great comedic acting from the two girls. The opening credits made it feel like a real docu-soap. This film is general a really fun watch, really well put together. Personally loved the use of penny whistle folk music to give it a true Irish feel.

James Fitzsimons 3/5

Common girl’s follow’s former twin child stars as they live their lives outside of the spotlight as one of the twins suffers from paralysis below the waist and the other attempts to return to acting after several years. There was some comedy, however it was mostly overshadowed by how sad I felt for Crea as she was faced with rejection and held back by her sister. An interesting film that felt like it wasn’t going anywhere or, at the very least, like it was cut short before it could kick in.

Reviewers Standout Picks

Cara Boyle: Trump, “Really well put together with just the right amount of comedy” Cold, “A really unique idea that stands out.”

Craig Wright: Trump, “because it is the one that I would choose to watch again.”

Scott Paterson: Trump, “The film was very funny, had me laughing out loud throughout, out of the all the films it was the one enjoyed the most.”

Tom Flanagan: Trump, “SO FUNNY”, The Nexus Project, “it could be an actual proper movie and I would pay to see it”, Lover Her, “My overall favourite.”

James Fitzsimons: Love Her, “An emotional rollercoaster” Trump, “A treat to watch, comedy gold” The Nexus Project, “I want more, the tension and sci-fi aspect drew me in and took my breath away.”

The ATVAs are Monday May 16 at 7:30pm at the Macrobert Arts Centre

Get your tickets in the atrium, at the Macrobert or online.

http://macrobertartscentre.org/event/air-tv-awards-2016/

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