2009 Participants' Diary
– Young Voices Across Europe

Award Winners Announced!!

Congratulations to all the talented young filmmakers that have contributed a stunning selection of shorts to help create the content for this year’s calendar! Thanks to funding from the European Commission through the Youth In Action programme, young creatives involved in eShed in Bristol, UK (including students from Fairfield High School) teamed up with young Lithuanians from Skalvija in Vilnius to shape up this year’s Electric December: 24 webby windows by emerging filmmakers from Latvia, Lithuania, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Spain, France and of course the UK.

With over 80 entries from 10 European countries, the international steering group had a tough job helping select the 24 mini masterpieces for this year’s calendar and deciding on the winning film which was announced last night at the Bristol and Vilnius launches. The event took place at the Watershed and was organised by the Fairfield BTEC Media Group. Thanks to them, it was a great success- everyone played a really important part in meeting and greeting the guests, showing the guests the website, supporting the tech team and presenting the awards. Well done, everyone- we couldn’t have done it without your help! We’ve got a few pics from the night, but there’ll be much more to follow..

Adibah and John

The International Electric December Award went to Marionetki (Puppets) by Michael Mróz and Marta Szymanek from Poland, a delicately crafted stop-motion animation about a puppet master and his beautiful dancing ballerina. The jury felt “it was a beautifully made animation, with an original storyline, and a great score.” Co-director Michael, a 19-year-old animator, screenwriter and cinematographer from Warsaw is no stranger to Electric December. His short film Drzewo (The Tree) also won last year’s Award. The prize is a travel bursary to attend the BUFF Young People’s Film Festival in Malmö, Sweden in March 2010 where this year’s shortlisted films will also be presented.

The 2nd place went to Jascon by Jake Starling from Somerset, UK “for its strong camera work, and cinematic quality as well as its ability to engage us using a very minimal set.”

The Bristol team gave a Special Mention Award to What’s in Store? by St Helen’s RC Primary School and C Media Productions from Sheffield, UK “for the simplicity of the idea, imaginative use of animation and sound, its ability to create a characters out of inanimate objects.”

Shana talks about photography session

The Vilnius team gave a Special Mention Award to One Man And His Piano by Lauren Campbell from Bristol, UK “for its ability to create a beautiful storyline out of an object and for its fantastic score.”

Announcing The Winners

Adibah Iqbal, a member of eShed and student at Fairfield High School, Bristol said:
“Working on Electric December has been a wonderful experience, which has opened many doors for me. Having worked with young filmmakers from Lithuania, I have gained a very good friendship, and a deeper understanding of organising a film festival. Working with eShed was very fun and I hope to take part in other advents they will be holding in the future.”

Mark Cosgrove, Watershed’s Head of Programme, shares Adibah’s enthusiasm:
“2009 is a vintage year for Electric December – bringing together the talent of young creatives from two distinctive European cities, Bristol and Vilnius in Lithuania. It’s wonderful to see them working together and sharing their creativity. Check back every day to discover the exceptional Electric December films for yourself.”

Wed 2nd Dec, 2009

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ED ’09 Jury Session, 26/11/09

With over 80 entries from 10 European countries, the Electric December steering group had a tough job helping select the 24 mini masterpieces for this year’s calendar and deciding who will win this year’s prestigious Electric December International Award.

The Fairfield Crew during the Jury session

The Fairfield Crew during the Jury session

The ED09 International Jury session took place last night simultaneously in Bristol, UK and Vilnius, Lithuania thanks to the wonders of Skype technology! This allowed us to have a really thorough discussion about our thought on the films. We want to say a big THANK YOU to jury members Kasparas, Marija & Marija, Dziugas, and Vytautas from Skalvija in Vilnius and Shana, Wanda, Emily, George, Adibah and John in Bristol, UK. Everyone did a fantastic job in judging, discussing and selecting the top films.

The winner and runners-up will be announced at the Electric December Launch on Tue 1st of December , which is happening both in Bristol and Vilnius. The winner will receive a travel bursary to attend the BUFF Young People’s Film Festival in Malmö, Sweden in March 2010 where this year’s shortlisted films will also be presented.

Fri 27th Nov, 2009

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ED ’09 -Trailer Online!

Here is a link to the brand new Electric December trailer-


The trailer is made up of some of the most memorable sequences from the 24 shortlisted films. It was put together by our resident technician Paddy, who also composed the accompanying music (you can find out more about Paddy’s music at http://paddymusic.org.uk). We’re really pleased with the finished result and think it looks great. Well done, Paddy!

Fri 27th Nov, 2009

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eShed/Electric December @ Borders, Paris

Felix in Paris

Arriving on Thursday Tim and me were both very anxious as to what to expect. Would we be greeted by hording crowds, limos and paparazzi? No. We wouldn’t. However it was a pleasant surprise to catch sight of a poster for the film “The Box”, which after a few moments dawned on us to be some Hollywood nonsense and not our modest short. After a meeting with the crew, friendly Frederic being the leader, we left high hopes for the coming few days. We were happy that on the Friday we were handed a camera and told to “film happiness”, which got both of us into our creative elements (see clips and photos). After a day full of bird watching and jaunty angles, we wanted nothing more than to venture into Paris to check out the hotspots. From then till Saturday morning is a bit of blur. Needless to say Saturday was slow, but productive. We managed to squeeze something out of the resources given and both us and the rest of the Borders team were highly surprised by some of the crews’ clips. Unfortunately we had to fly back before we could see the final event, which from what we can gather was a combination of live VJing and pre-prepared short films. Overall, it was the hospitality, creativity and dedication that impressed me most about the team, as well as their erratic eating habits…

by Mr. Felix Drake

Filming swans

Filming a tower block in Paris

Working at Borders

to view more photos and some words from eShed project co-ordinator Tim Crawley go here

Many thanks to Borders Team and Frederic – for more info on Borders click here

Wed 18th Nov, 2009

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Electric December Photography Session

We had a very dynamic, creative and fun day yesterday at the Pervasive Media Studio. Students from the BTEC Media course at Fairfield High School came over to take photographs for the Electric December website backdrops. These are the visual treats we’ll eventually use to put the film calendar onto, and in keeping with the ideas behind the project, we wanted to get 24 different pictures that would change each time the screen was refreshed, and that would reflect the values of the project- Shoot, Share, Show.

Directing a shot in Anchor Square!

Directing a shot in Anchor Square!

The session was run by Kirsty Mackay, a really fantastic local photographer who has worked (among others) with photographer and film director Anton Corbijn. We kicked off the day by going through the brief, then Kirsty showed the guys how to use the cameras. After everyone had got a feel for the equipment, everyone was assigned a different visual element they each had to concentrate on, which were colour, shape, texture and pattern. After this exercise and some lunch, everyone was let loose around Bristol to take some snaps, drawing on some of the ideas they’d looked at earlier in the day. Each student came up with some brilliant and highly imaginative results, which can be used on the finished website. Well done, Fairfield!

Kirsty goes through a brief camera induction.

Kirsty goes through a brief camera induction.

Fri 6th Nov, 2009

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And So, The Shortlisting Begins…

So, this is it! All the Electric December entries have come in and the project is really starting to pick up speed. We’ve gone through the long and quite difficult  process of whittling down 80+ short films to a final, manageable list of about 30.

The next step is to sift through this list of 30 films down to the final 24 that will make the Electric December 09 shortlist! On Thursday 22nd we showed our entries to the BTEC Creative Media students at Fairfield School, who had the job of helping to select the final shortlist.

The Fairfield Crew during the selection process

The Fairfield team during the selection session

The Fairfield Crew did a brilliant job and got through a pretty hefty batch of entries. They also had some really interesting discussions about the films, and about issues that were raised by some of the content.

We also filmed the session and hope to put an edited version up here soon… watch this space!

Fri 23rd Oct, 2009

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Electric December Screening Event

So… we’ve now had over 80 entries from countries including Poland, France, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and the UK- which is pretty exciting! The next step is for members of the Electric December steering group to help shortlist the 24 films that actually will be presented online at electricdecember.org and at the official launch in Bristol and Vilnius on 1st December.

Members of the Electric December steering group during the screening event.

On Saturday 17th October we had a first Short Film Programming session at Watershed to kick things off and started watching some of the entries. This was led by Mark Cosgrove, Watershed’s Head of Programme, who has just finished programming the Encounters Short Film Festival – http://www.encounters-festival.org.uk. He’s also currently taking part in the judging process for The Sutherland Trophy at the Times BFI 53rd London Film Festival which is an Award given to first time filmmakers-


Members of the steering group view the films.

Here’s a couple of tips from Mark about going through the selection process for Electric December:

- Remember that filmmakers often ask for feedback and reasons about why their films was or wasn’t picked so it’s really worth thinking about your reasons for selecting or rejecting a film beyond “I like it/ I don’t like it”.

- It’s always a very difficult process and it’s only really after watching quite a few of the films that you will begin to get a sense of what you might end up selecting.

- Ideally, you should probably watch all the films once, then you might want to go back and review them before making any final judgement as first impressions can be misleading before you have an overview of the entries (or with a bit of time and distance.).

- It’s good to take notes about the films as you’re going through the selection process, even if it’s just a word as it helps you remember what it was you liked or disliked about a film.

- Finally, it’s worth using consistent judging criteria to help you rate all the films. For in the ED09 films: “unique, capturing experience, original, memorable, inspiring and expressive.” Think about those when you are rating films.

The Electric December steering group are now in the process of selecting the films- watch this space for the shortlist!

Tue 20th Oct, 2009

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Electric December ’09 Poster

As you all know by now, the Electric December deadline looms nearer on the horizon (next monday, in fact!). So, to help spread the word that tiny bit further, we now have a lovely poster that can be downloaded and printed at your leisure. It’d be fantastic  if this could be circulated as far and wide as possible, so don’t delay- we still want films!

Download this file now

Happy postering, everyone!

Mon 5th Oct, 2009

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Electric December ’09 Trailers finished

We are really pleased to report that the both the Lithuanian and British team’s Electric December trailers are now finished!

As you’ll have read from our previous posts, eShed teamed up with Fairfield School students and Skalvijos Kino Akademija over the summer months to form the Young Voices team. They worked on several trailers as part of their initial collaborative workshops.

Patch and Adibah between takes

Shooting for the Lithuania trailer

The British trailer was made by veteran eShedder Patch and new recruits from Fairfield School Ivy, Adibah and Emily. It ‘s made up of a series of witty mini-sketches lampooning familiar cinematic genres. The last few weeks has seen Patch, Emily and Adibah coming over to the Watershed office to add several post-production tweaks; Patch took the helm with editing and selecting choice cuts of genre-friendly music, whilst our Fairfield girls came in to record the voice-overs (see previous post from 11.09 for details).

The British entry was followed closely by the film from Skalvijos Kino Akademija, made by the Vilnius crew Marija, Marija, Dziugas and Kasparas, with a little help from some of Bristol’s eShedders. (Sorry Vilnius, but we had to make one tiny change to the film to include the new deadline, which changed a few weeks ago). Marija stars in this colourful and kooky film as a TV chef, showing us how cook up a tasty entreé (or is that ‘entry’, maybe?) for Electric December (here, we should thank the Watershed kitchen for lending us their pots and pans). As we anticipated the finished results are fantastic- really imaginative, inventive and totally capture the kind of things we’d love to see in this year’s Electric December; unique, capturing experience, original, smorgasbord, memorable, inspiring, and expressive. Well done and thank you to everyone who got involved!

You can see the finished films by following the link below…


Fri 2nd Oct, 2009

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ED/eShed @4River Film Fest in Croatia

Now open for entries ED09, promises to follow suit from last year’s success, with an amazing array of talented film-makers from across Europe sending us their entries. There’s no time like the present to search your film-making archive and send us your stuff, the main criteria being, that you should be under 21 at the time of making the film, and the film should be under 5 minutes long. Talking of last year, our prize winners in the ‘UK’ category film ‘Stand & Stare’ have just won the ‘Best Animated Film’ category and the 2nd Four River Film Festival in Karlovac, Croatia. 10 Films from last year’s Electric December were selected for the festival, such as Ma Rue, In the Gateux and 1 + 1 = 1 and looked great against strong competition. So what a great success story we have there, 3 guys from Bristol make a touching animation as part of their university course, enter it into Electric December 2008, win ‘best film from UK’ prize, are invited to screen their film at BUFF Festival in Malmo, Sweden, then win a prize later on this year in Coatia. You see we will push your work if you send it to us, and you also have the great chance to meet your film-making peers and make new international friends!

-Many thanks to Marija, Adriana, Sanja and all those who made the 4 River Film Festival possible and invited us over!! :)

main venue

1 of the 4 rivers


Meet some of this year’s Electric December entrants from Denmark and Romania in eShed Co-ordinator Tim Crawley’s video blog from the Four River Film Festival in Croatia

More Pictures from eShed/ED trip to Croatia

Fri 18th Sep, 2009

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