In early December Screen Academy MA Screenwriting students Emma Ramsay and Orlando Vázquez Del Angel had the opportunity to volunteer at Cromarty Film Festival (Nov 30 – Dec 2). Invited by Editor/Producer Lindy Cameron (of children’s series Katie Morag) who also helps to organise the festival, Emma and Orlando got stuck in participating in all aspects of Cromarty!  As part of their professional practice development Screen Academy Scotland paid for Emma and Orlando’s travel to Cromarty while the Film Festival provided accommodation for the students while they were there.

Emma said:
“I had no idea what to expect at the festival but I was so excited to get stuck in and the experience far surpassed all my expectations.

The festival itself brought filmmakers and contributors from all facets of the industry to one small highland village. It all kicked off with a screening of stunning animated short films projected onto the lighthouse. We gathered with whiskey and mulled wine around a fire to celebrate the opening.

Matt Lloyd of Glasgow Short Film Festival brought inventive and emotive examples of beautiful international and Scottish shorts. Luckily, I was projectionist in that particular venue and got to be inspired and energised by his selections.

Another highlight was sculptor Gary Pollard who I was lucky enough to share a pint with in the bar. We had an impassioned discussion about what exactly makes a good monster!”

I can’t possibly cover everything we got up to, but I insist- If you ever get the opportunity to go, you simply must- tell them I sent you! “

Orlando said:
“I had high hopes about the Cromarty film festival, but the experience surpassed all my expectations.

Starting with the unique scenery with the sea and the snow topped hills, the cosy town’s architecture revealed a lifestyle completely different from anything I’ve ever known. The food has a special place in my heart since I think that you could taste the love that everything was cooked with.

Most importantly, the people involved in the festival, from staff to attendees, were all so kind and welcoming. I felt like a part of a big cinema loving family who was there to enjoy themselves and jointly appreciate films. I even met some residents that road tripped in my home country, Mexico, before I was born! But ultimately everyone I worked with at Cromarty was extremely kind and keen to teach me when I needed guidance. I was so happy to learn from everyone’s experiences and also be able to help along the way. I would love to go back”.

Many thanks to all at Cromarty Film Festival for welcoming our student volunteers!