In the charming surroundings of the Festival Theatre, the audience were treated to a carefully crafted program of 15 international short films. Tickets for the event were sold out days in advance and the audience started to arrive an hour before the start, mingling and chatting in the foyer and making use of the refreshments served by our fantastic cafe crew.
After being welcomed to the festival, the judges introduced and voting sheets explained, the audience were then treated to two one hour programmes, with a tea break in the middle to help the selection process.
At the end of the evening the judges retired to consider their verdicts and the audience voted for their winning film.
The judges choice of overall winner was Marea (Tides) by Adam Breier with the comment from one of our judges, Jack Toye, saying “It had a narrative that peeled away like layers of an onion – constantly surprising and wrong-footing me as to its direction. The cinematography was gorgeous too – they really managed to capture the light intensity of what I imagine a beach in Cuba looks like“.
He also commended Phone Box by Alan Powell which won the Audience Award.
Dr. Tina Kendall, as well as voting for Marea (Tides) as the overall winner, commended That’s Why we are Here, mainly because she found it hilarious, loved the dry humour and thought the performance of the central character superb.
Tom Woodcock commended Ants Apartment by Tofigh Amani, saying; “The film maker was patient and gave me time to get to know the character without prejudice. The illusion of still images reminded me of Chris Markers, la Jetee. Both these aspects strengthened the emotional impact of the final narrative revelation“.
Ants Apartment also won the Nationwide Produce Award. This choice was almost inevitable given the fact that the founder and presenter of the award, Mr Tim O’Malley, sat watching the film with Hyda, a young Iraqi man.
Tim had first seen Hida several years ago on a TV documentary that focused on the effects the war was having on the children of the region. Tim felt compelled to try, in his own small way, to redress the harm he felt his government had done to the people of Iraq. After a bureaucratic nightmare, Tim and his family managed to bring Hida over to the UK where he was able to complete his education, forge a new life for himself and now has a family of his own. To say that the film struck a very strong chord with both of them is something of an understatement.
The audience, after a lively 20 minutes voted by a majority for Phone Box. With fantastic camera work and strong performances from the actors, it touched raw emotions and certainly resonated with many of us. All of the rest of the films received votes and in a way, all were winners, being accepted for festival entry out of the 450 submissions received.
Lastly, non of this would have been possible without our wonderful crew, all unpaid volunteers, who ran the cafe, sold tickets and programs, worked on the technicals behind the scene, acted as stewards and prepared the theatre. And of course the viewing panel who turned up week after week to watch and evaluate every film that was sent to us and last but not least, our graphic artist Oli Gretscher, who gave this years festival its identity with a fantastic poster and a voice with with his program design. Thanks Oli.
FESTIVAL GALLERY TO FOLLOW SOON . . .
2015 La fraise d’Or Awards
The winner of the 2015 Audience Award was Phone Box.
The winner of the 2015 Judges Award went to Marea (Tides).
The Nationwide Produce Award went to Ants Apartment.
Tom Woodcock commended Ants Apartment.
Dr Tina Kendal commended That’s Why we are Here
Jack Toye commended Phone Box.
Our judges this year are four old friends of Strawberry Shorts, and it’s good to welcome them all. Three of them, Tina Kendall, Tom Woodcock and Jack Toye have been judges in the past, are very much part of the film culture of Cambridge and bring great academic knowledge to their choice of winner.
Tom Woodcock teaches film studies at Long Road sixth form college, inspiring the next generation of young film makersRead More…
Next we have Dr Tina Kendall. Tina is Course Leader for Film Studies at ARU so I guess she takes over where Tom finishesRead More…
Next we come to Jack Toye, and Jack is the last link of the chain, working as he does for the Arts Picture HouseRead More…
Our new fourth judge is Mr Tim O’Malley. Tim, unlike the other three has nothing to do with the film industry exceptRead More…
The screening was split into two programmes.
Because of time restrictions and programming considerations many films submitted could not, but deserve to be included in the festival.
To redress this injustice commendations have be awarded.
A listing was published in the printed program, film makers informed and all the commended films will be screened at public events in Cambridge during the rest of the year.
THE CAMBRIDGE STRAWBERRY SHORTS 2015 COMMENDATION LIST.
Last but not least a huge amount of thanks and gratitude to the The Cambridge Strawberry Shorts Viewing Committee without whom none of this would be possible . . . settled down now, next film please!