Review: The Bridge

Ciara Cohen-Ennis was impressed by a new student written film.

 

Cassiah Joski-Jethi never ceases to amaze with her skills as an actress, dancer, writer and director. Her short film, The Bridge, premiered at the end of last term.

Joski-Jethi decided to create her own film in order to get work in the industry. She described it as being a Catch 22 situation where she needed experience to get experience.

With the help of Screenwriters Bloc, her co-director, Nicole Rixon and producer, Elisha Owen, Joski-Jethi began making her debut short film.

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The Bridge is a coming-of-age drama about the life of Lynn (Stephanie Rendall). Lynn experiences family hardships, like the death of her mother, early in the film, and has a practically non-existent relationship with her father. Despite this her character still has hopes for the future and aspires to be a dancer.

The brief dance sequences in the film were shot well and perhaps could have been extended.

In her own words, Joski-Jethi said that the key themes in the film are “identity and status, mainly through Lynn’s hobby of dance. She studies ballet through watching YouTube videos, as that is the only way she can afford it.

The clash of styles between the gritty narrative and balletic visuals tries to highlight that young people are able to form their own identity and self of sense despite of where they come from.”

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For the most part, the acting was believable and strong but unfortunately, with the film being short, some of the character relationships and exchanges of dialogue seemed underdeveloped and scene changes seemed to occur almost too regularly.

This could be because of Joski-Jethi having so many ideas that she wanted to bring out, without much time and on a limited budget.

Joski-Jethi was able to fundraise for the film using a Kickstarter page, but in the future, if she gains more money for her projects, issues like having poor-quality microphones that to pick up all of the dialogue won’t be so prominent.

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With the majority of the filming done in Selly Oak and Edgbaston, Joski-Jethi’s aim was to create a time capsule for UoB students.

A lot of the filming was done in the houses of the cast and crew, by the canal and in buildings around the area which have now been knocked down.

This gave it a personal touch and made for a lot of laughs of recognition when members of the audience saw their living room appear on the big screen.

Overall, the concept was really brilliant and the fact that Joski-Jethi and her team were able to create such a successful film as students is commendable.

I also cannot go without mentioning the original musical score by Nick Charlesworth, who is consistently wonderful.

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‘The Bridge’ premiered in in the Worship Room of the Chaplaincy on the 29th March 2014.

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The Indian Dowry

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While I was working for the New Indian Express last summer, I interviewed the author Shiv Kumar Thakur. His first fiction novel, Price Tag on Love is about the dowry system in India, how it is still alive today and why it does not work. Kumar Thakur is an engineering graduate from Siddaganga Institute of Technology, Tumkur and has since worked in the IT industry. However, his passionate opposition to the dowry system and racial discrimination led him to write Price Tag On Love, to make other people more aware of the problems dowries cause to everyone involved.

Kumar Thakur recently posted an article that was published in the Times of India, about a woman who was forced to give one of her kidneys to her husband as a dowry and subsequently committed suicide. Due to these kind of cases, more people should be made aware of dowries that are anchored in Indian society and the fact that something needs to change.

Learn more about Kumar Thakur’s novel by clicking here.

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Sportstec Press Release

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Sports solutions provider to take conference experience online for students

 

Creators of the world’s leading sports performance analysis solutions, Sportstec, have announced they are to partner with the Science and Football Conference taking place at the SoccerDome in London on April 30th.

 

Through an online learning resource developed by Sportstec, subscribed students and universities from across the globe will have access to the event 24hours after the conference.

The conference, which has become the leading industry event for those working in both professional and elite football, aims to provide a unique blend of presentations, Q and A sessions and practical coaching sessions, across all of the key all aspects of player and coach development.

Sportstec have built their name delivering performance technology solutions across the sporting world and have recently developed a new technology based on the same principles which is helping to improve coaching and learning in the classroom. They work extensively providing their solutions to clubs throughout the premiership including Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City Football Club.

Speaking about their involvement at this year’s conference, Nick Harrison, of Sportstec said: “We’re delighted to be supporting this year’s Science and football conference. We will be using our technology to video all coaching sessions and keynote speakers. Our newly developed online learning resource will enable sports students across the globe to access the event 24hours after the conference.”

The presentations will be delivered by professional practitioners who all have experience of working at the highest levels of professional and youth football and will include subjects such as, Sports Science, Performance Analytics, Injury Prevention and Talent ID.

Nick added: “Subscribers will have access to all of the keynote and practical sessions that take place on the day and unlimited access until the end of May this year, which makes this a great learning tool that can be revisited to enhance the students learning and CPD. We’re inviting students and universities to register for online access to the conference.” (ENDS) 
 

Find out more about Sportstec by clicking here.

Science & Football Conference 2014.

 

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Interview with Student Filmmaker

Cassiah Joski-Jethi is a Drama student at the University of Birmingham. She recently wrote and directed her first short film, The Bridge. I caught up with her to find out a bit more about it.

 

Tell me about the society, Screenwriter’s Bloc?

Screenwriters Bloc is an arc off University of Birmingham’s Writers Bloc. Last year, I decided that I wanted to start a screenwriting society, which would look at writing for screen but also filmmaking. Writers Bloc wanted to work together, and so Screenwriters Bloc was born! We meet twice a week, in one session we have a film screening and in the second session we discuss each other’s work and work on the more technical/theoretical sides of screenwriting. It’s a great opportunity for students to get involved in film, as I didn’t feel that there were very many when I started University.

 

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When did you start writing screenplays?

I started writing screenplays in summer 2012. I was working in America, but had a lot of free time in the afternoons. I decided to make use of it, and decided to try writing a screenplay from a film idea I had had in my head for a long time. I researched online on how to write screenplays in terms of format and structure. I had never written anything before, and I had always thought of myself as a ‘bad’ writer, but writing screenplays was a great outlet for me because it purely focuses on the visual, not the descriptive.

 

How did you go about making your film?

Early last year, I was looking into work experience and internships with film companies. Almost all positions said that you needed ‘experience’. It’s that catch 22 where you need experience to get experience. So, I decided to make my own experience. I knew that I would have limited money and resources, so I knew it would have to be a shorter film, and also most likely a modern, realistic drama focusing on characters who were in my age range. After I wrote a screenplay, I asked people to apply for the production positions and to send in audition videos. I wanted to keep the whole experience as professional as possible, so that everyone could get the best experience.

 

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What’s the film about?

The film is a coming-of-age drama that focuses on our protagonist, Lynn. On the cusp of finishing sixth form, personal tragedy forces Lynn to reach out to her estranged dad so that she does not have to be tied down with the responsibility of looking after her younger brother, Bobby. This leads to a numerous of life-changing events, and the film follows this journey. Alongside the narrative, the film explores the themes of identity and status, mainly through Lynn’s hobby of dance. She studies ballet through watching YouTube videos, as that is the only way she can afford it. The clash of styles between the gritty narrative and balletic visuals tries to highlight that young people are able to form their own identity and self of sense despite of where they come from.

 

Where did you get the funding?

I set up a Kick-starter funding page to help fund the film. It was really simple and I was very lucky as people were extremely generous.

 

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Any tips for budding writers or film makers?

The best tip I can suggest for budding writers is to, as simple as it is, write. Write all the ideas you ever have and write as many screenplays as possible. It’s true that practice makes perfect; it’s all about finding what works for you. People will tell you that you need to pay x amount of money for a screenwriting seminar at x institution. And these can be great, but if you can’t afford it, especially if you’re a student, you do not believe that this is the be all and end all. The Internet is a great source of help too, and try to get in contact with other screenwriter enthusiasts! For filmmakers, I would say it is harder to get into straight away, as film equipment is a lot more expensive than a paper and pen! But if you can get your hands on a camera, just make as many films as possible. If not, watch as many films as you can – it’s great to see how directors establish styles through different technical elements, performance styles and the visual aesthetics. It’s amazing how much you can learn!

 

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A review of The Bridge will be posted in less than a month’s time. For now, you can watch the trailer here.

 

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Actor Profile: Markoesa Hamer

Check out the website of my amazingly talented sister, Markoesa Hamer.

Markoesa Hamer works in theatre, film and TV in the UK and the Netherlands. She studied acting in London at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (MA, distinction) and in Amsterdam at the Academy of Dramatic Arts & Music Theatre (BA).

Her full CV is avalible in English or Dutch on the site.

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Follow this link to view a music video she has performed in.

Student Band Competition

Over the past five weeks, the i’s student brand ambassadors have held charity gigs at campuses nationwide, to raise money for the i Elephant Appeal. Each band that played submitted a song for consideration in this competition, and we have shortlisted the top five below.

The act with the highest number of votes at 5pm on Thursday 1 May 2014, will win an 8 hour recording session at Bowerman Studios.

Watch the videos of the bands and cast your vote by clicking here.

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One of the shortlisted bands

After uni: What to do if you don’t know what to do

 

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With third-year students getting closer and closer to leaving university, that nagging question keeps cropping up: “what are you going to do when you graduate?”

For the lucky few studying vocational courses it’s not such an issue, but for those studying anything else it can be difficult knowing where to go once you graduate and what you really want to do. So here’s a list of reasons why it’s ok not to know what career you want to go into as soon as you graduate.

You have time to take a breather. If you didn’t take a gap year then it’s likely you’ve been in education for around 17 years. Now you finally have some free time to travel and cross some things off your bucket list.

Instead of jumping into a graduate job that you’re uncertain about, try out a few different internships or do some volunteering to help you make up your mind. Many places are even beginning to offer paid work experience…

You’re still young and have plenty of time to make a decision. Many people decide to change their career paths at a much later date in their lives or after working for one company for several years start doing freelance work or switch to another company.

If you really don’t want to leave university, you don’t have to. Apply to do an MA if there’s a subject that you’re passionate about. This could help with your career prospects in the future and also means that you get another year to enjoy being a student.

And, if your family will have you, you can move back home and indulge in free rent and food while you apply for jobs. You’ll have time to take up something new, whether it’s a musical instrument or a sport, and make some new friends at the same time.

Birmingham students brave poor diet and worse hygiene to camp out in university library for charity for a week and counting

Three students from Birmingham have set up permanent camp in the university’s library to raise money and awareness for Nightline.

David Franklin, Sam Jones and James Phillips have chosen to lock themselves in the library during deadline week. The students stress that university can be challenging for lots of different reasons and everyone needs support at times. They’re raising money for Birmingham Nightline, a telephone support service run by students, for students. Nightline offers confidential, non-judgmental advice from 6pm – 8am every night of term.

The students have set themselves some ground rules; they’re not allowed to leave the library at any time, they must spend the majority of their time working and they must be respectful of others studying around them. They said that the lock in will be “a battle of physical endurance, of mental strength and of supreme procrastination, but above all, it will be a battle to maintain personal hygiene.”

They’ve now raised over £1,000, which was their original target, after being in the library for seven days. Since starting their campaign, the students have been contacted by people who have experienced mental health difficulties. They said “we came into this wanting to raise money and awareness, we didn’t think we’d actually be directly helping people. People have come up to us saying they’ve had mental health difficulty and never spoken to anyone and our campaign has made them speak to someone for the first time.”

If you would like to sponsor Franklin, Jones and Phillips by donating to Nightline, please visit this website.Image