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AUB Animation wins prestigious student prize at Purbeck Shorts Competition


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From Cannes to Toronto, there are film festivals that take place across the globe. But the Purbeck Film Festival is right on the doorstep of Art University Bournemouth (AUB), which makes the win even more special. The Man Who Loved Flowers scooped the student prize while other AUB graduate films were also selected and celebrated for their incredible animation.

The Purbeck Film Festival features a range of events in venues across Dorset. Many screenings and events take place in the Rex Cinema in Wareham, which was built in 1889 and still has that traditional feel. Think plush red velvet seats and an intimate atmosphere. The festival doesn’t go back quite that far, but next year it celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Winner of the student prize

Recent graduates submitted their animations for the Purbeck Shorts Competition. This year’s winners were announced in October at the awards ceremony.

The David Holman Student Prize went to the animation The Man Who Loved Flowers, an emotive film about appreciating our loved ones while they’re still alive. The director Sonu Thomas gave a speech that was described as “better than most Oscar-winners” and was said to be “a talent to watch.”

The Man Who Loved Flowers is about an Indian man and his wife who move to the UK. He loves flowers, but never feels comfortable sharing this passion as he knows it goes against cultural and societal expectations. Eventually, he passes away, and his wife discovers a key that unlocks a secret space where he’s grown beautiful plants. She regrets that he felt he had to hide this from the important people in his life.

Special recognition

Just getting selected out of the many submissions is a big achievement. “This isn’t just a competition for students – there are lots of professional entries too,” says Dorian Terkelsen, Production Manager for the BA (Hons) Animation course. “Being selected is really special for our graduates.”

Other films considered for the prizes were Train Ride, about a boy who meets a magical girl on a train, and Cat Café, featuring felines who enjoy music and food together once the owner of the café goes home – both done in 2D animation. Nobody to Play With was a stop motion film with puppets that tells the heartwarming tale of a girl who meets a ghost in an abandoned park.

“Many graduates are still in the area, or return to Dorset, to attend the festival. It’s a great opportunity for them to attend the screening and award ceremony. This year, it was at The Mowlem Theatre in Swanage, and it was lovely as they got to see each other again and watch their film on the big screen.”

A chance to watch unique films

Each year, Dorian helps recent graduates submit their film to as many as 100 festivals. Although it’s an amazing achievement to have films shown at festivals across the globe, the Purbeck Film Festival has a special place in the heart of the University. There’s no need to pay for an expensive plane ticket to enjoy the screenings, and students can experience watching their films in a historic cinema.

From Disney Pixar's Coco to a Japanese film based on a short story by novelist Murakami, there was something for everyone at the Purbeck Film Festival 2023.

“You can watch the latest blockbusters at Purbeck Film Festival. But why not watch something a bit more unique that you haven’t come across before? All of it is on our doorstep, which is great.”

Visit the Purbeck Film Festival's website for more information.

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