SHETLAND’S young film makers got more than they bargained for when they responded to a call from Shetland Arts for local film makers to submit short films for the Screenplay Festival earlier this month.
As well as attracting the largest audience of the weekend with their programme of 10 short films, they enjoyed a private viewing with festival curators Mark Kermode and Sir Christopher Frayling on the Saturday morning. The group was rewarded with some extremely positive feedback from the pair, and Mark went as far as to promise them a link to his BBC website blog. This can now be accessed at www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/markkermode.
They also found themselves referred to in a lively discussion about Screenplay on BBC Radio Five Live where Mark and Christopher were promoting the Shetland Film Festival on the Simon Mayo show.
But it didn’t stop there. Maddrim Media, as the group now calls itself, uploaded their four minute film “Masks” on to YouTube during the festival weekend, only to find that they were featured on YouTube’s UK website 10 days later, meaning that anyone from the UK and Ireland who clicked onto the site would see the film on the front page.
The group’s chairman Lorcan Henry said that he was delighted by the positive feedback the film had received at the Screenplay festival and from the YouTube community. Maddrim member Chris Halcrow added that group members were very excited about the opportunities that could arise from this and that Maddrim media was “raring to get out again and make more films”.
The group has been together since 2007, and members have involved themselves in a range of digital media activities as well as film making, including broadcasting, doing stop-motion animation workshops with younger children and learning how to Podcast. Members are aged between 13 and 19 years old and they try to meet regularly, developing their skills and simply having fun. The group welcomes new members and if any young person wishes to join they can contact firstname.lastname@example.org Shetland Arts development manager Kathy Hubbard said that the group was inspirational and that its success pointed toward a healthy future for digital and creative industries in Shetland.
“The reaction of the public and that of our festival curators to Maddrim’s work was genuine and really encouraging. I’m not at all surprised that they are starting to gain a national profile, and I can’t wait to see what they will produce next.”