05 August 2020

Student film project enjoys international awards success

Student film project enjoys international awards success

Seylan Baxter and Joe Cassidy in Left Behind

A student film project that premiered at the 2020 online Abertay Digital Graduate Show has enjoyed award success at two international film festivals.

Left Behind, directed by recent Abertay graduate Carla Begg, has been named Best Student Short at the Vancouver-based Bridge Film Festival, and Best Silent Short Film at the Istanbul Film Awards.

21-year-old Carla (pictured above), who studied Computer Arts at the university, was also given an honourable mention in the Female Director category at the Istanbul event.

Left Behind tells the heart-wrenching story of a mother and father as they struggle to cope with the loss of their son.

The short movie stars Dr Who actress Seylan Baxter and actor Joe Cassidy, best known for his role in The Crews.

Carla said: “It feels kind of surreal, I’m not going to lie! I would never have expected to come straight out of university with this film, which I made as a final year project, and to win awards. I’m still pinching myself.”

The film tells its story without any dialogue, and Carla believes this has been part of its appeal: “Even though it’s based in Scotland and highlight’s Scotland’s issue, the subject of drug deaths is completely transferable.

ABOVE: Joe Cassidy and Seylan Baxter in Left Behind

"Since there are no words in the film, people are able to connect with the story no matter where they are.”

The film made its debut at the 2020 Abertay Digital Graduate Show, which was held online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although the global situation has restricted Carla’s ambitions, she has attempted to use it to her advantage: “Lockdown gave me time to sit down and consider what my next steps would be. Preparing award entries is time consuming, but time is what I had so I did my best to use it well.

“This is my first time applying to be part of film festivals, so in that sense having time to prepare has been very helpful.

“On the other hand, it would have been nice for people to see the film in a cinema, and that’s something that I’ve not been able to do myself yet.

“The film was supposed to premiere in Abertay’s cinema, but because of the pandemic this couldn’t happen. I very much look forward to eventually seeing it on a big screen.”

For more information about Left Behind and Carla Begg, visit: https://carlabegg2011adf7.myportfolio.com/left-behind

For more information about studying Computer Arts at Abertay visit: https://www.abertay.ac.uk/course-search/undergraduate/computer-arts/

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