Norwich Takes Centre Stage in Film Competition Entry


Norwich takes centre stage in shortlisted Shakespeare Shorts Film Competition entry.


31 October 2013

A former East Anglia university student who used Norwich as the setting for a film inspired by the August riots of 2011 – has been commended for his piece by judges of the first Shakespeare Shorts Film Competition, organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Robert Williams, who lives in Northampton, studied film at the university based in Norwich and decided to use the city as the backdrop for his 20 minute film. The piece centres around two wives and two soldiers divided by war who discuss the horror and conflict that it brings.

The 27 year-old said, “Norwich was the right setting for our film the Crackling Glade it offered the right atmosphere to explore the conflicts of war. During the production we went to a church called St Andrew in Lammas which was perfect for the final scene. Entering with cast and crew, I was surprised to see a glass bell chamber bathed in natural light, which was perfect for what we had envisaged for the film’s ending - one of those happy accidents.

“The film’s dialogue was influenced by Shakespeare, so we are delighted to be shortlisted for the Shakespeare Shorts Film Competition. The language of Shakespeare is very cinematic, but people forget that the images that Shakespeare’s words create can also be incredibly visually arresting.  The competition offered us the chance to present Shakespeare style language to a modern audience and to retain the beauty and rhythm of his original words.”

The Shakespeare Shorts Film Competition was launched last year as part of the first Shakespeare on Film Festival organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the charity which cares for Shakespeare’s legacy in Stratford and promotes the enjoyment of Shakespeare around the world.  Film-makers of all ages were invited to produce a Shakespeare-related film using anyform of technology from a smart phone to camera equipment. Films were either a performance of Shakespeare or an interpretation of the work of England’s most famous playwright.

Judges of the competition included director Rupert Goold who has just finished filming True Story with American star James Franco, actress Kate Fleetwood who featured in this year’s Oscar hit Les Miserables, Sydney based award-winning film-maker Jason Wingrove, AJ and Melissa Leon of Misfit Inc who helped organise the competition and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s Marion Morgan who organised the Shakespeare on Film Festival and competition.

Top prize went to Polish theatre student Agnieszka Slisz, for her film called Julia, based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.  Also shortlisted was London film-maker Joe Spray with his entry the Eternal Not based on Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well.

Marion Morgan, Event Officer at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said, “All of the entries were of such a high standard that it was really difficult to make a decision. Robert’s entry showed a different treatment and response to the work of Shakespeare and although not based on a specific play, the film sounds and feels just like it could be from Shakespeare’s time. A competition like this shows the many ways Shakespeare’s creative influence is inspiring new cinematic talent.”

To watch Robert’s entry visit the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s Facebook page - Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Facebook page – search for ShakespeareBT.

Details of next year’s festival and competition dates will be announced shortly on the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust website – www.shakespeare.org.uk

Notes to editors:

Press release date: 31 October 2013

For more information or to interview Robert please contact Press and Public Affairs Officer Nurinder Mantell on 01789 207136.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is the independent charity that cares for the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites in Stratford-upon-Avon, and promotes the enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s works, life and times all over the world. The charity runs formal and informal educational programmes for people of all ages. It holds the world’s largest Shakespeare-related museum and archives open free to the public, a collection which is designated as being of international importance. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust receives no public subsidy or direct government funding; it depends on income generated through the support of visitors, donors, volunteers and Friends.