QMYOU Alumni Magazine Issue 75 - Page 7

Agata’s grandmother played the lead role in her film. Roll out the red carpet: Agata wins at the BAFTAs “ When I first came to Scotland I never thought about making films. Now I can’t think about anything else A ” GRADUATE FROM QMU has been awarded a BAFTA. Agata Jagodzinska, who is originally from Poland, won an award for Best Writer at the BAFTA in Scotland New Talent Awards 2012. Her short film, ‘Secret of Confession’ was also nominated in the Best Short Film category at the BAFTA award ceremony in April. Agata studied a BA (Hons) in Media at QMU. Her short film was produced as her final year dissertation project. It is the first QMU film ever to be shot in Poland and recorded in the Polish language. It is also the first QMU film to be nominated and awarded a BAFTA. ‘Secret of Confession’ highlights the generational conflict between the young and the elderly community in Poland. Many of Agata’s family members star in the film, with her grandmother playing the lead role. Agata explains: “The fil m tells the story of a religious elderly woman who is constantly confronted by misbehaving youngsters. Dismayed by the general acceptance of pornography and contraception amongst the younger population, she decides to punish them for their promiscuous behaviour. But her extreme action results in a terrible outcome.” Agata continued: “I wanted to use the film to bring to light some of the cultural issues which are currently affecting Polish society. I screened the film in my home town. It was such a thrill for everyone to see the residents of my small town up there on the big screen. None of them, including my gran, have ever acted before or been involved in any kind of film making, so it was a really big deal for everyone.” At the award ceremony, Agata said: “When I first came to Scotland I never thought about making films. Now I can’t think about anything else. I would never have been able to make this film without the support of my lecturers at QMU – Walid Salhab and Graham Drysdale. I am extremely grateful to both of them.” Jude MacLaverty, Director of BAFTA in Scotland said, “BAFTA in Scotland is committed to rewarding excellence, honouring new talent, and promoting the Scottish moving image industries to the wider public. The New Talent Awards recognise the best of emerging Scottish screen talent and we are thrilled to shine the spotlight on our winners and to support their exceptional achievements.” Jude added, “It’s great to see such a vibrant international community within Scotland’s moving images industries. There is a real feeling that Scotland is the place to be at the moment, which is why so many students and young people are flocking here to study and forge a career.” Initially screened at the Edinburgh Filmhouse as part of QMU’s graduation show, the film has since been screened at various film festivals across Europe. ‘Secret of Confession’ won the ‘Audience Award’ at the biggest travelling festival in Poland, Filmowa Gora 2011, and ‘Best Screenplay’ at the Exposures Film Festival 2012, which is one of the top film festivals to showcase new talent in the UK. Having decided to remain in Edinburgh, Agata has been spending the last year getting her own film production company off the ground. In partnership with another QMU graduate, Agata established ‘Raw Film Productions’. The team specialises in corporate videos and short documentaries. Walid Salhab, lecturer in film at QMU, said: “This is the first time that one of our student films has won a BAFTA, so this is a real coup for Agata. We often encourage our international students to shoot their films in their homeland. It helps them create a truly unique product with a distinctive look.” Walid concluded: “For such a young filmmaker, Agata produced a very high standard of work and it’s wonderful that her talents have been recognised by such a prestigious award.” QMYOU / Creativity & Culture 7