Week-long student takeover of film festival’s stay at home cinema initiative

1 June 2020

Films by students from Leeds Beckett University’s Northern Film School are being screened online as part of a week-long takeover of the Harrogate Film Festival’s stay at home cinema initiative.

The films range from short narrative pieces and experimental, to animation and documentary, showcasing the next generation of talent at LBU.

Harrogate Film Festival launched the #StayAtHomeShorts campaign last month, selecting its very best submissions and award-winning short films to screen for free over the lockdown period.

The aim was to help encourage people to stay home and keep providing new cinema experiences to filmgoers while in isolation.

Now, the work of Northern Film School students takes centre stage with a different film being shown every day as part of “takeover week” which started on Sunday.

Films include the true and hilariously recapped story of a local Norfolk football who team travel to Moscow through Europe in a beaten down old bus to play football in 1985 called Stuck in USSR, and a ‘Day in the Life’ of the oldest sweet shop in the world in Liquorice.

It comes after the Northern Film School was announced as the official education partner of the 2020 Harrogate Film Festival which took place in March.

Keith Dando, Northern Film School Course Director in Leeds School of Arts, said:

Here at the Northern Film School we are continually delighted to see our students making interesting, original and relevant films.

Of course, we are close to these emerging filmmakers, and our hope is always that their talent will be recognised by a wider audience.  The Northern Film School’s week-long takeover of the Harrogate Film Festival’s #StayAtHomeShorts is the perfect chance for online audiences to do just that.

This screening slate shows the breadth and depth of their talents, including recent drama, documentary and animation work, from first year undergraduates to postgraduate Masters, there’s something here to suit all tastes.

The Harrogate Film Festival has been releasing films via its Facebook page, YouTube channel and website. Films will then be available to view for seven days after publishing.

Adam Chandler, Managing Director of Harrogate Film Festival, said:

#StayAtHomeShorts has exceeded our expectations with over 10, 000 people watching short films in just the first seven days of the initiative.

Now seven weeks in, we’re proud to be able to showcase some of the talented students of our education partner, The Northern Film School, in a special takeover week where we’re releasing dramas, animations, documentaries and experimental films each day, all created by the film school, as part of #StayAtHomeShorts.


Argot” BA3 Graduation Film 2018

Directed by: Matteo Palmas

Produced by: Millie Rhian Anderson

Synopsis: In a world without language barriers, Olek (20) meets his long-estranged father for the first time since childhood. The two speak different languages, but receive translations through a widely-used device called Argot. Just as Olek seems to have found a connection with his father, external events threaten to separate them once more. Their struggle to communicate comes to a head in a final heated moment where Olek and his father truly hear each other for the first time.



Virginia” BA3 Graduation Film 2018

Directed by: Francesco Puppini

Produced by: Kayleigh Platt

Synopsis: On the vigil of her son’s departure, Virginia, a psychic medium living in a petrol station, recalls a tragic memory of a fire and hides it from her son Tom. But when he is about to leave and the memories become too pervasive to handle, she finds no other way but to tell him the truth.

Morgan” BA3 Graduation Film 2019

Directed by: Eleanor Williams

Produced by: Robert Stewart

Synopsis: In this atmospheric exploration of sexual responsibility and autonomy, a young woman leaves her boyfriend’s house to get the morning-after-pill. Feeling censured by the doctor and conflicted by her own actions, she escapes out the window. Through stillness, motion and observation, Morgan seeks her own validation.

Léo MA Graduation Film 2017

Directed by: Julian Alexander

Produced by: Pilar Cartró Benavides

Synopsis: Léo has had it with his current state of living and is desperate to leave. In order to make enough cash to skip town, Léo finds himself driving a car north through France under the cover of night with a married refugee couple in his trunk. The husband is increasingly ill, lengthening what was supposed to be a simple job as Léo is forced to stop frequently. After an unexpected exchange between Léo and the couple, it is learned that they both had different information about the location of the destination. Léo must confront the couple, his boss and himself and choose whether or not he is willing to go any farther for these strangers he had no intention of helping.

Liquorice BA1 Documentary Film 2017

Directed by: Daniel L Martin & Ben Jeffery

Produced by: Ben Jeffery

Synopsis: A ‘Day in the Life’ of the oldest sweet shop in the world, from the birth of the sweets to the paper bag that they are taken home in, this documentary is bursting with nostalgia and tastes of the past. The current owners, [names} walk us though the history of the shop and give insight to why the stone walls of the shop still stand strong today – as well mentioning a few celebrities that they have met along the way. This is a very ‘sweet’ documentary.

Stuck in USSR – BA1 Animation 2018

Directed by: Poppy Brown

Produced by: Lucy Hay

Animated By: Poppy Brown

Synopsis: The true, and hilariously recapped story of a local Norfolk football who team travel to Moscow through Europe in a beaten down old bus to play football in 1985. Sitting in the pub after playing Sunday football, Jonty, the team’s goalkeeper, suggests the ill-fated trip and the team agree. One 2nd hand bus later and they’re aiming straight for Moscow. The rest is history.

Le Façade BA2 Experimental Film 2017

Created by: Alex Richards, Rebecca Richardson, Alyssa Ye, Sunbeam Howard, Jack Joseph, Faith Powell

Synopsis: A minimalist tragic love story, told through the minds and memories of two lovers. No words spoken, yet an entire relationship exposed.


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