Calling all upcoming directors
On the 9th April, at the end of a fairly warm day, Concordians gathered in the theatre to watch the highly anticipated ‘House Film’ competition. The room was tense, electrified with excitement to see what each house had ‘cooked up’. What I have come to realise about Concord students, is that we are a fairly competitive cohort. Always looking to produce and present the best. So, that was what I was particularly looking forward to seeing, the best…
The rules of film were simple. All the houses had to include the line “You mean they never told you the tale”, and each film could not surpass 6 minutes. Although the time limit was constraining, the films were nothing but entertaining. Each house was uniquely presented, with each story line cleverly built. I could tell that the film was a medium for Concord’s buzzing film directors to show their talent, and who knows – it may be just the beginning for all the future Steven Spielbergs.
The night did not disappoint! We started off with the giant Gandhi’s spooky-horror film. Gandhi’s film was comically enriching, with a gripping story line about the At Hoc app. With Mr Kerslake’s guest appearance and a clever plot twist at the end, Gandhi brought the audience to tears, tears of laughter of course.
Next up was the mighty Mandela. Mandela’s film was an inspiring tale. Cleverly threading the theme of positivity, as it discussed the problematic habits teenagers often possess. For this next term, it acted as a nice reminder to remain positive, especially in the upcoming exam season which can be extremely stressful.
Then the titan, Teresa. Teresa’s film was nothing but inspirational. It talked about courage and gave personal anecdotes from teachers and students. It reminded all of us to stay strong and be courageous, which is something we all need to hear from time to time.
Lastly, came the powerful Pankhurst. Pankhurst’s film transported us into an alternate universe where we were grouped in set classes based on academic abilities. It touched us all, as it discussed problems such as bullying and stress, problems that many teenagers face. Although it discussed seemingly dark topics, it did not fail to make us laugh and smile.
It was incredible to watch the bursts of creativity packed in short six-minute films. It made me realise the vast range of talents Concord students have, and it definitely touched my inner Steven Spielberg seeing such raw innovation. I look forward to seeing what Concordians will come up with next year, but until then, I’m content with this year’s fantastic films.
Emily – 6.1
A flash of Concord’s FilmFest
As the term was drawing to a close, Concord held its annual House Film Festival on 9th April. The four ‘houses’ (Gandhi, Mandela, Pankhurst, and Teresa) had been committed to creating these short films throughout the term, and I know, firsthand, that hours and hours of work had been put into creating the most entertaining 5 or 6 minutes. As you walked into the theatre that night, you could tell that people were excited to find out which house would come out on top.
While all the houses had to include the line “You mean they never told you the tale?” and a neon coloured beanie, the final products were all completely different and full of creativity. There was certainly a range of genres and a range of messages delivered.
Gandhi kicked the night off with an unexpected ‘horror comedy’ about ‘AtHoc’ – Concord’s safeguarding app, and showcased Mr Kerslake’s dramatic flair. You could tell there was tension rising throughout the film. Whether they were looking at Mr Weaver’s cupcakes or ominous masked figures, the audience’s attention was undivided.
Mandela delivered an uplifting message on positivity with hyperbolic characters that represented modern ‘millennial’ problems like depression, laziness, binge eating and internet dependence and ended with a flash mob that made the audience want to jump out of their seats and dance too.
Pankhurst took an alternative route with a dystopia where everyone is treated differently based on their grades and hinted at some social commentary on how everyone prioritises grades, and how students are under massive amounts of pressure these days. With this, they also had multiple ‘laugh out loud’ moments that rippled through the audience.
Teresa did a documentary-type film where they highlighted the importance of friendship and courage. It involved interviews with teachers and students and highlighted the unity of the house and the Concord community. It closed the show with the audience being reminded that someone is always there for them and that they are truly, wonderfully loved.
At the end of the day, these films are a way for Concord students to not think about upcoming trials for a second and just do things they enjoy and express themselves. I remember the feeling of satisfaction and excitement when a scene was edited, looked exactly as how the directors visioned it and was shared to our House Film WhatsApp group. People replied with “THAT LOOKS SO COOL” and various “OH MY GOD”s, and honestly – trophy or not – nothing could beat that feeling throughout this whole house film journey.
Annelie – 6.1
The 9th April 2019
On the 9th of April 2019, the House Film Festival screening took place with many excited students and staff gathering at the theatre, eagerly waiting to view the short films produced by the four houses (Gandhi, Mandela, Pankhurst, Teresa).
The four production teams were given a phrase: “You mean they never told you the tale?”, that had to be mentioned in their produced films. The four representative production teams had different approaches to crafting out their storylines and various themes they wanted to portray.
Gandhi used a comical approach to feature Mr Kerslake and his dear Athoc, while Mandela emphasised the theme of positivity – using hilarious counter examples of negativity (Laziness, Depression, Internet dependence). Pankhurst then showcased the academic pressures of students and the theme of elitism/discrimination versus acceptance and grit between the fictitious best A class and worst F class. Lastly, Teresa conveyed the message of love of friendship and frank interviews with students of the house, wrapping the film up with important messages to love and believe in oneself.
Personally, I favoured Teresa’s house film the most (totally not personal bias!), because it reflected many struggles and problems that teenagers like me go through every day. Such as, being heavily pressured by others to excel in a particular area or not having the freedom to pursue one’s own true passion to name a couple. However, I strongly believe in the messages brought to the audience. The quotes of “You are you” and “Don’t doubt yourself, you’re trusted appreciated and loved.” were particularly impactful to me. We should all have the courage to explore and fail, but to never lose hope because we have the support from our family and friends. I felt that the encouraging messages, the support and the care in the film resonated well with the Teresa ethos, as well as the wider Concord community.
Overall, the production team and cast of the various houses put in a tremendous amount of effort in crafting to acting to filming and eventually producing these wonderful short films.
Although the screening lasted for less than an hour, we all thoroughly appreciated the effort put in and enjoyed ourselves immensely.
Randall – 6.1
House Film Festival 2019
Tonight’s House ‘Filmfest’ had the theatre brimming with students all eager to be entertained. Little did we know we were about to experience so much more. All four houses were instructed to include the line ‘Have you not heard of the tale…’ A line that Mr Rawlison proudly proclaimed to be quintessential to all good movies. Along with a peculiar instruction to all include the same neon coloured beanie.
The night kicked off with Gandhi’s Film titled ‘Athoc’. A hilarious ‘horror’ of the last student to not download ‘Athoc’ and is taught a lesson by a masked entity whose true identity was a shock to us all. By the end of the film, the theatre was left in hysterics with students buckling down in laughter. A tough act to follow considering the positive physical response received from the audience.
Luckily, Mandela’s Film titled ‘La Positivitè’ had us back on our seats, eyes peeled to the screen. Not a surprise as we were treated with ravishing shots of the College that left us thinking ‘Do I really go to school here?’. The film follows the quirky misadventures of the ‘Serious Pessimist Committee’ who, with the help of the ‘Dummies Guide to Positivity’ quickly turn into the ‘Positivity Flashmob’.
The competition was tough. But Pankhurst rose to the challenge with their mystery film where the audience was transported to an alternate universe where your existence and identity is defined by your grades. Following the tale of a Concord student who drops from ‘Class A’ to ‘Class F’ and witnesses his newfound Class F friend disappear without a trace. The cliff-hanger left us on the edge of our seats. Dying to know exactly what happened to our missing character?
Thankfully, Teresa House pacified our gnawing curiosity with their touching slice-of-life film on friendship and the future. We were brought into the world of Naomi and Theo. Naomi faced with the uncertainty of the future consults her friend Theo whom in response films the ‘House Film’ dedicated to Naomi, with the help of his gang. The ‘House film’ featured the opinions of teachers and students about the ‘future’ and their experiences with uncertainty. It almost felt as if Theo had made the film for all of us, who, just like Naomi, cannot help but worry over our future. Needless to say our last and final film of the night left us ‘Awwing’ away from the warm fuzzy feelings.
House Filmfest might be a competition. But most importantly it is a window. A window into the ‘tales’ of Concord Students albeit fictional ones. A window into the rarely seen superb acting and videography talent at Concord. A window into solutions for problems we face as students. No matter who snags the House Film trophy. Hopefully, the laughs, lessons and almost-tears in front of the screen will act as a testament to the hard work spent behind the scenes.
Rachel – 6.1