The Insight Film Festival Student Filmmaker Award 2016 was launched at an event at Farm Street Church on Wednesday. The award, now in its third year, is sponsored by the Jesuits in Britain and the Manchester Universities' Catholic Chaplaincy, led by senior chaplain Fr Tim Byron SJ.
Fr Tim explained: "we initiated this award with Insight because we felt that faith was worthy of more exploration in film. Our aim is to encourage more young film students of all faiths and none to consider faith as a fruitful theme and to overcome taboos which might surround the subject.
"The theme for the festival this year is mercy, to coincide with the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. The 2016 festival is entitled Merciful Planet, which also refers to the Pope's June 2015 encyclical Laudato Si', which is focussed on care for our common home.
Insight Director Abdul Rehman Malik thanked the Jesuits in Britain for their generous support in making the award possible. He said : "Faith, film and mercy go well together because we need creativity and passion to explore what Mercy means to us today, in a world where more people are fleeing war and injustice than at any time in the last 70 years.
"Film students and recent graduates are invited to submit either a short film, a treatment, screenplay, or storyboard to the panel before the 1st May deadline. Last year there were 50 entries, nearly double the previous year. The prize is a six week all expenses paid internship with Loyola Productions, a film production company based in Hollywood and associated with the Jesuit University of San Francisco.
Those at the launch event watched a short film made by last year's winner about her experience.Details of how to submit an entry can be found on the Insight Festival website here: www.insightfestival.co.uk/