Did you hear the one about the crazy feminist who made a society president dress up as a transvestite? They won a film award.
This year has seen Wessex Films go from strength to strength, from having their mock trailers screened at Union Films to winning awards for their short films at national festivals. Their latest production to receive industry praise is the feminist art house piece, Triumph, written and directed by third year film student and Emma Kinni.
The film, which saw its festival premiere at this year’s London Screentest in March (the only national student film festival), has impressed judges and audiences across the pond by winning an award of merit at the Best Shorts competition in La Jolla, California. It may not be Hollywood, but it’s the same state. And that’s a lot closer to Tinseltown than most student film-makers expect to get with their debut film.
Triumph tells the story of a girl seeking revenge on a cheating partner, and stars first year Film and English student Alice Budd as the jilted lover. Budd, regularly described as Kinni’s “muse”, described working on the film as “a lot of fun. Emma is a brilliant director to work with. But she does use an awful lot of fake blood”.
Despite the usual animosity that exists between Southampton University and Solent University, Triumph was put together with an acting cast provided by our very own Wessex Films and a technical crew supplied by Solent. Sam Elliott, director of photography and editor of Triumph says: “This shows what can happen when students from two very different universities work together on a unified project. We had a great team of mixed talent.”
Co-star Dom Ellis, who played a transvestite, was in no way embarrassed of his gender crossing role, focusing instead on the accolades his society is racking up for the university. “One year on from becoming Wessex Films president and we’ve won a National Award for Best Short Film and a National Award for Best Television Drama. My speech for this year’s AGM seems to be writing itself!”
Kinni looks to have become bold with the success her debut has received, setting her sights even higher second time round. She has already shot her second short, an indirect sequel to Triumph, with the working title John F. Smith. “The plan is to submit John F. Smith to Raindance Festival and see what happens. I’ve got really high hopes for this one”. Raindance is one of the world’s most prestigious festivals for independent cinema, established in Britain in 1993.
Triumph is currently in consideration for several other awards, and public distribution of it is prohibited by competition regulations – meaning that it can’t be uploaded to YouTube. On its ascent to stardom it has, however, picked up a listing on IMDb.
John F. Smith, reuniting the cast of Triumph and adding a few new faces, is in post-production, due to be completed in June. Shot this time round by Will Kee, the third year Philosophy student behind the successful Wessex Films promo video, audiences can expect style in abundance. And fake blood.