Salford Film students win ‘Best Film’ at MAP48 awards

Categories: School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

A group of Film Production students at the University of Salford have won ‘Best Film’ at MAP48, the Manchester Actors’ Platform’s most exciting, ridiculous and high-octane short film competition.

On Friday 26 November, creative individuals across Manchester were grouped together, given 48-hours, a single prop and one line of dialogue before being set loose to create a short film. This included Salford’s Film Production students, Marte Gjesti, Jesper Bjorke, Jasper Morrisey and Joshua Lenaghan.

Participants had until 7pm on Sunday 28 November to finish filming and editing their films before they were judged by industry professionals, including writers and actors from Eastenders and Coronation Street.

Jasper shared how he and his fellow students got involved: “Josh and I heard about it because of John Tueart. He's our main network and we’ve worked with him in the past on various projects. So, he just hit us up one day because he's done this before, and was like, ‘hey guys, I’m making this short film in a couple of weekends, are you down?’. And we're like, ‘yeah, any chance for a bit of work’. And that was it.

“I don't think it could have been simpler. We just jumped at the opportunity, and then we got Marte and Jesper involved as well.”

Their team, ‘Team Frame’, also included actor John Tueart who acted as a director, actors Marc Geoffrey, Olivia Paige Marsh, Anthony Cadogen, and writer Stephie Lacey. Their given prop was a photo frame, and, from this, they created the short film 'Closed Off'. 

‘Closed Off’ follows two characters reluctantly joining a mandatory therapy session with an enthusiastic instructor who is encouraging them to use a photo frame to visualise someone who has hurt them. Only, during the session, the building they are in is locked down due to an external threat, so the two characters are forced to get to know one another.

Jesper shared: “I'm used to making films being stressful and a lot of work, but this was just fun. I didn't feel any pressure because it was just a 48-hour film. We didn't really expect the film to be amazing, but it turned out amazing.”

After all the films were judged by a panel, they were screened for all teams to see and awards were presented for different categories, such as ‘Best Editing’ and ‘Best Scriptwriting’.

Josh said: “Our film didn't get any of the department awards other than an honorary script one. So, we didn't know it was building up to us winning ‘Best Film’, and then they announced it.

“Because none of us were a part of MAP, all of us were just sat there like, ‘do we get up or can only John?’. John eventually pulled us up and we were just a little bit shellshocked, and then we get up on stage and just jumped about and hugged each other.”

After their first win at the Manchester Actors’ Platform, the students were grateful for their experience in filmmaking, especially with what they are learning from their degree.

Jasper said: “In our own time we're always jumping on any project. If there's a master’s student film, for example, that needs someone to run around and set up lights or something, we’re always there and it’s all about getting that practice in.

“That’s what I love most about the course. It’s not just the few projects you get in your modules, you also have the opportunity to work with other people; even if it's not graded, then it's just nice to meet these people and work on projects you otherwise might not have.”

In addition to the awards presented on the Sunday evening, there is one final award – the ‘People’s Choice Award’ – which allows the public to cast their vote on the best film before midnight on Friday 10 December.

You can view and vote for ‘Closed Off’.

For all press office enquiries please email communications@salford.ac.uk.