Film fanatics get to festival finals

A short film created by and starring Balaklava High School students has been declared a finalist at the inaugural Adelaide Film Festival Youth this month.

Silicone School was directed by Charlie Evans, co-written by Charlie with Lachlan Gaze, produced by drama teacher Suriya Umapathysivam, shot by cinematographer Madeleine Karklins and featured a cast of fellow students including Deacon Kerrigan and Taylor White.

The crew said it felt “unreal” when they found out they were a finalist at the Adelaide Film Festival Youth program.

The six-minute film, shot entirely with iPhones in 4K resolution, was made in little over a week by the students as part of a year 11 drama assessment in 2020.

It follows Lachlan’s first day at a new school, but something’s not quite right. What, or who, is wrong with the school?

A collaborative “spit-balling” brainstorm session was held between the students to nail the idea; Charlie then wrote the script in little more than an hour before moving to production.

Performing arts faculty leader Suriya said the class undertook an in-depth study of filmmaker Tim Burton, known for his dark aesthetic, unnerving themes and quirky contrasting, for inspiration.

Adopting Tim Burton-esque video techniques, lighting and music to create an unsettling tone for the film, the crew compared the mood of the film to Frankenweenie and Edward Scissorhands.

“I was very proud when I heard that the whole class’s hard work had been recognised by being shortlisted for the Adelaide Film Festival,” Suriya said.

“This group has shown amazing ability to be creative and work together. This has only grown with the students who have continued into year 12 Drama truly working as a production company for their performance this year ‘The Brothers Grimm Spectaculaton’.”

Silicone School was to make its theatre premiere alongside 20 other                                youth-made films at the sold out, red carpet event scheduled for  Sunday, July 25, at Palace Nova Eastend in Adelaide, before the statewide seven-day lockdown was mandated yesterday.

Tickets are still available for the encore screening at 12.15pm on Friday, July 30, however, only time will tell to see if it goes ahead.

For more information visit adelaidefilmfestival.org/aff-youth/