When Film New Forest announced their second New Forest Film Festival for 2019, we knew it was a fantastic opportunity for Studio Republic to support the local arts community and roll our sleeves up to be involved. It made a logistical coincidence then when our friends of the organisation spud announced their inaugural sustainability themed short film competition as one of the festival events.
I was fortunate enough to be selected as one of the judges for the Wasted Film Contest. The competition garnered over 500 international entries, all concerning our environment. The team at spud whittled these down to a final 10, of which were showcased to the judges ahead of the main event on June 16th at spudWORKS in Sway.
The selected ten films were a poignant nod to the raw passion evoked within all of us regarding our planet, our global concern being the same in every language. One film featured an American young child hiding his father’s car tyre in a bid to keep him off the road and contributing to climate change, another featured a Spanish stop motion character called Mr Green who endeavoured to battle garbage monsters.
Our personal favourite was Irene Cubell’s Baked Fish, which was a decision supported by the fellow judging team. It won both Adult and People’s Choice, and we could not be happier to have been introduced to this incredible piece of film. The animation depicts the journey of a fish from sea to plate through a substitute use of a plastic bottle, highlighting the damage our sealife encouter for the sake of our culinary pleasure.
A highlight of the evening was the viewing of 73 Cows by Alex Lockwood. The thought provoking, BAFTA winning short film explores the story of a beef farmer no longer able to deal with the guilt of slaughtering his cattle. Lockwood follows farmer Jay Wilde as he endeavours to sell his herd to a sanctuary and become a meat free farmer, with breathtaking cinematography capturing the emotional torment of Wilde while he describes the relationship he has with his cattle. The film shies away from prejudice and is careful to not be misconstrued as a pro-vegan film, instead focusing on the emotion between farmer and herd. We fully recommend taking a cup of tea, potentially a box of tissues, and watching 73 Cows.
The event was a culmination of spud’s valiant efforts to create a sustainable film competition, and bought together a room full of local creatives eager to support the films. We’re honoured to have been part of the judging team and eagerly anticipate spud’s future endeavours: and hopefully another spot on the judging panel in 2020.