On the 16 -18 November fresh talent from across the UK was given the chance to exhibit their work on the big screen, thanks to the 17th Exposures Festival in Manchester.
There were over 450 entries; which were later narrowed down to 61 selected films to be displayed at the festival.
Sussex student Will Steer was one of the 61 entries which have been chosen for the festival screening. Steer’s documentary, ‘Beyond a Song’, follows the story of the local choir group Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus.
This is part of the choral tradition originating from San Francisco’s gay rights movement in the 1970s. Steer says that “the film explores the chorus not just as a space to make music, but as a social phenomenon that can tell us important things about the way our society is.”
Overall, Steer states that the production process had taken about a year to complete, with third year Film Studies student Tom Trott editing the documentary. His idea had stemmed from the freelance work in which he filmed the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus’ live shows prior to the project. It was whilst studying Media Practice and Theory where the opportunity to create a documentary arose, and since footage had already been collected, the idea of elaborating on it came up.
When asked about what the screening at the festival means to him, Steer replies: “The screening at the Exposures film festival is a big deal, because it’s the biggest student film festival in the country by far.
“However, I’m also very excited that it’s showing here in Brighton for the CineCity film festival, as it’s my home town and the chorus will be able to see it on the big screen!”
The film will also be screened at CineFringe, part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. Alongside the screenings, the Exposures Festival also offered 12 different events across the three days. These included: a discussion about the highs and lows of a freelance filmmaker; a directing actors workshop (including tips from Tim Hopewell – the acclaimed director of shows such as Waterloo Road and Hollyoaks); and an evening with Tony Grisoni, (presented in association with BAFTA).
Other opportunities involved a prestigious Exposures award ceremony, and the chance to win £2000 to develop a documentary.