SAE Glasgow alumni bag Best Director award at St Andrew’s Film Festival

02 May 2019

SAE Glasgow Film Production graduates, Jacob Topen and Ibrahim Clayton have enjoyed success with their film Antonio’s Tale, with Jacob picking up the Best Director award at the recent St. Andrews Film Festival.

Antonio’s Tale is a highly stylised exploration of Alzheimer's Disease, the importance of storytelling, and the fleeting nature of life.

The short film is deeply personal for Director Jacob Topen, as it is based on his relationship with his Grandparents and is dedicated in memory of Bonnie Woods 1943-2018.

The film was shot in March 2018, on location in the West Coast of Scotland, near the small town of Troon.

The director told us that the aim was for all of the visuals to be symbolic of time; the waves, sand, leaves, gravestones and the continuous shot which moves in a clockwise direction.   

The elderly man who repeats the same speech over and over again is used to embody Alzheimer’s disease, the effects of old age and time itself. The empty chair at the end of the production serves as a memento of our lives, for the loved ones who we are remembered by.

Jacob Topen said:

“Making Antonio’s Tale was a challenge, that chair was quite heavy! But we all had so much fun on the shoot - and to be making something with a great bunch of talented folks, who all cared about the the project, was a wonderful experience. This was all made possible with the great support from Dan Ashman and all at SAE Glasgow. To be selected for a festival is an achievement in itself, to win the best director award is incredible. We’ve also been fortunate enough to be selected for the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival, where I have been asked to speak on a featured panel of directors. This is a really exciting time for Antonio’s Tale!"

On Monday 6 May, Antonio’s Tale will be screened at the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Glasgow, alongside other shorts from directors who were all born, educated or currently work in Scotland. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Jacob Topen, Clark Alexander, Kirsty Strain, Steven Fraser, Sophia Carr-Gomm, Gordon Collins, Linda McDonald Cairns and Dan Castro.

SAE also spoke to the film’s Producer, Ibrahim Clayton, who said:

"Producing Antonio’s Tale was a pleasure. Jacob Topen is a good friend and frequent collaborator, he had a clear vision for the project and pitched it to me by putting together a proof of concept film that really sold me on the idea. As a producer I like to work with a small and focused team, and for this project we had the privilege of working with Miles Trotter (cinematography), Alison McKenzie (sound), Pamela Clayton (production assistant) and our talented actor Ian Lorimer Milne. Jacob winning the best director award at the recent St. Andrews Film Festival is not only testament to his unique talent as a director, it is also a testament to the great team that were willing to devote so much time and energy to this project. The support and help of Dan Ashman and SAE Glasgow cannot be underestimated. SAE’s focus on practical filmmaking was fundamental to this films success, as well as other projects we are currently involved with.”

   
 

"JACOB WINNING THE BEST DIRECTOR AWARD AT THE RECENT ST. ANDREWS FILM FESTIVAL IS NOT ONLY TESTAMENT TO HIS UNIQUE TALENT AS A DIRECTOR, IT IS ALSO A TESTAMENT TO THE GREAT TEAM THAT WERE WILLING TO DEVOTE SO MUCH TIME AND ENERGY TO THIS PROJECT."

- IBRAHIM CLAYTON, PRODUCER OF ANTONIO'S TALE

   

 

Dan Ashman, Academic Coordinator at SAE Glasgow taught Jacob and Ibrahim while they were at SAE. He said:

“Supervising Ibrahim and Jacob during their studies was a real pleasure, and the creation of Antonio's Tale was a particular highlight of that experience. Both Ibrahim and Jacob have a fantastic work ethic and strong creative ideas. They approached the assessment with a level of professionalism that was indicative of the quality of the work they created. I am so proud that they have received this recognition for their work, and am excited by the work they will go on to produce in the future.”

Find out more about the screen of Antonio’s Tale at the CCA on 6 May here.

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