International award for film shot and produced in Fulham


Student filmakers from London Film Academy win the 2011 Sub-Ti Short Film Competition.


By Andrew Magee

Student filmmakers have won a top international award for a short film shot and produced in Fulham.

Sushi won the 2011 Sub-Ti Short Film Competition, with the announcement made at the Venice Film Festival.

The film was produced by the London Film Academy (LFA), a film school based in an old Methodist Church on Walham Grove.

The competition, organised by international sub-titling company Sub-Ti, offers young film students the opportunity to screen their work in front of a large and distinguished audience.

Aspiring young filmmakers worked alongside experienced professionals to produce the 35 second short, which focused on the competition theme of cross cultural communication.

Directed by Maeve Murphy, an award winning filmmaker from Belfast, Sushi follows the story of a young woman on the brink of suicide.

Although the film deals with serious subject matter, it treats the issue in a light and quirky manner.

The woman plans to use her gas oven to commit the act, but after being unable to pay the bill, her supply is cut off.

In her depressed state, she encounters her Japanese neighbour outside who offers her some sushi.

Despite the cultural and linguistic boundaries, and the often cursory relationship between neighbours, the woman is distracted from her plight by the man’s compassion before realising that her life is not so bad.

“It’s a very London story, a big city story,” said Ms Murphy, who also lectures at the academy.

“This is just a moment between two strangers who are also neighbours and that happens a lot. You recognise them but you hardly ever speak to them.

“There are potentially networks of support that we don’t even realise are on our doorstep.”

The film was shot using digital cameras in a single day in and around the LFA.

Walham Grove was used for exterior shooting, with the brightness and colour of the scene adding to the film’s aesthetic.

Ms Murphy said: “The street is beautiful. It’s really bright, the green leaves and white walls stand out.”

John Danvoye, 24, from Brussels, was the sound operator on Sushi and said the experience of working alongside professionals was invaluable and they helped him enormously on the shoot.

“Maeve was lovely. It was really interesting for me to see how a professional director talks to the actors and the rest of the crew,” he said.

“The producer Holly Wells was amazing too. She made my life easy and was really helpful.”

After working on Sushi, Mr Danvoye became First Assistant Director on a longer version of the film, which will now potentially be turned into a full feature.

As well as winning the competition in Venice, Sushi’s prize was announced in a single page advert in Variety magazine.

Mr Danvoye said: “It was really enjoyable to see that, especially as I’ve been in London for just six months. We were all delighted.”

Anna MacDonald was executive producer on Sushi and is Joint Principal at the LFA, which is also a Skillset Media Academy in partnership with Goldsmiths University.

She said: “Five of our graduates worked on this production. It was a great experience for them and a part of the professional environment we try to promote.”

For more information on Sushi or filmmaking courses contact the LFA on 0207 386 7711 or [email protected].

Related Articles