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Film poster with an illustration of black and white silhouettes, each with an egg where their faces are. Three sets of film festival laurels appear above the film's title "The Egg".

Laurels for Foundation grad trio as short film debut makes Official Selection at three international film events


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The final film project of three Foundation graduates from Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) has turned heads on the film festival circuit, having been accepted into three events across the world.

Students Daniel Banchik (screenwriter, director and producer), Mya Akhina Woranithiphong (production designer, cinematographer, editor and VFX artist), both studied the International Foundation Diploma (IFD) at AUB, while Alfie McTigue (editor and producer), studied Foundation Diploma in Art and Design; all finishing their courses in 2023.

For their final project, the students adapted Andy Weir’s short story The Egg, about a man who, following his death, meets and speaks with his creator to understand the meaning of his existence.

“The original idea for the final project was a ‘talkie’ short film where two celestial beings argue opposing opinions on the state of the world and what its future should be over a game of chess,” explains Daniel.

“During the research period on the course, I encountered the story of ‘The Egg’ and thought it was an incredible idea. I really wanted to bring this story to the screen, mixing parts of it with the original idea.”

The making process of any film is notoriously unpredictable and challenging. However, Daniel, Mya and Alfie had the extra challenge of writing, producing, shooting and editing The Egg in the space of just 10 weeks on a limited budget. They explain the challenges they faced and how they overcame them:

“The weather was not very kind,” says Mya. “Even though I planned out the shots quite thoroughly in the storyboards, a lot had to be changed to accommodate the difficulties of that specific day.”

Alfie adds that editing took longer than expected as they had to use their free time to edit and refurbish the set scene after scene, this coupled with the limited timescale made the project more intense for the team.

“We started the project as early as we could and even continued the post-production after the deadline. We squeezed as much time as we could out of the project, working all day, every day,” says Daniel.

For this determined trio, their hard work has definitely paid off. The Egg has since gained Official Selection status at three international film events, namely First-time Filmmaker Sessions (hosted by Lift-Off Global Network); Corto Creativo Short Film Festival, and Kurzfilmfestival Kufstein.

Daniel says, “After all the work we put into it, we believed that having the opportunity to get advice from new eyes and maybe even better our portfolio by adorning the poster with laurels was something we had to do.

“Upon receiving the news, we were all very excited and thankful to AUB for giving us the opportunity, and proud that the work we did in the Foundation course has put us a step closer towards our goals.”

Mya adds, “Being relatively new to Film Production and an international student, I'd say the training in Foundation deepened my love and appreciation towards filmmaking. All the tutors and technicians were beneficial and helped motivate me to pursue film even further.”

Now all three study on the BA (Hons) Film Production course at AUB, Daniel says he plans to specialise in producing, with secondary specialisms in directing, screenwriting and non-fiction. Meanwhile, Mya is currently torn between editing and production design.

“After attending the specialism workshops, I think I'm leaning more towards production design,” she says, “Purely because I find it the most difficult to wrap my head around. I like to challenge myself, and that’s one of the reasons I chose to work on this project – because it is so ambitious.”

Alfie’s interest in producing and editing pre-dates his work on The Egg. “I very much enjoy editing as you’re directing the film for the second time,” he explains. “And producing gives you a chance to find good and well-performing actors and people useful for perfect roles.”

In addition, the film's striking poster was designed by fellow IFD graduate Katie Mirai Frost, who has since progressed onto AUB's BA (Hons) Graphic Design course.

Rob Amey, Progression Leader on AUB's Foundation course, says: "It's fantastic to see our Foundation filmmakers earn their first laurels so early in their careers, a feat that speaks volumes about their remarkable potential and the dedication and skills these students already have.

"To write, produce, film and edit such a powerful short in just a couple of months is something that they should be incredibly proud of. We can’t wait to see what they do next and how they continue to craft their storytelling and bring their visions to the screen."

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