Sunderland film-maker bids for glory

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A FILM-MAKER is shooting for the stars by aiming to land a spot at the world’s most prestigious film festival.

Theodore Divanis, of Topcliff, Sunderland, is hoping to be mixing with the A-listers at the Cannes Film Festival.

The 28-year-old is in the final 10 of the Raindance 40 Seconds Straight film competition.

The contest gave film-makers the task of explaining something that would normally take a long time in just 40 seconds.

Theodore used the time slot to explain the evolution of Earth over 4.5billion years.

If his film is chosen as the best, he’ll win a trip to next year’s festival.

Theodore, who lives with his wife Harriet, 25, and their 14-month-old son, Maximus, said: “Going to Cannes would just blow my mind.

“It could really take my career off the ground.

“An opportunity like this doesn’t come around every day and even just the contacts I could make would be amazing.”

The University of Sunderland film and media graduate found out about the competition with just two weeks to spare, but says that he is thrilled with his final piece.

He said: “They told us that we could just make a film explaining an everyday thing, but I wanted to think outside the box, and I thought explaining the evolution of the world was a great idea.

“I started writing down key words that explained the process and then filmed my friends and family saying a word each and edited it together.

“If I’d had more time I might have done things a bit differently, like I had the idea of cutting images in with the words, but I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out.

“I think the fact that it’s so raw and that it explains something so big gives it an edge in the competition.”

The competition also offers a second prize, a People’s Choice Award, which will be the film which racks up the most views on video-sharing site YouTube.

The winner of this award will get tickets for the after-show party of the British Independent Film Awards in London on December 4.

Theodore said: “I’m in this to win the top prize, but even this would be an amazing opportunity. The film industry is tough to get into and you’ve got to start at the very bottom, but attending something like this could give you valuable contacts.

“I remember my first ever time working on a film, it was just the worst experience of my life but it didn’t put me off. I know I’m going to make it because I’ve got the drive and the passion to get there.”

Being shortlisted to the final 10 of the competion has given him a one-year membership with Raindance, which was founded in 1992 by film-makers, for filmmakers.

It could also see his short film screened at the 2011 Raindance Film Festival, Europe’s leading independent film festival.

l To watch Theodore’s film, search for Evolution – 40 Seconds Straight people’s choice nominee’ in YouTube.