It’s the end of term and time to reflect for us all. There are so many things to celebrate, but one of the things that stands out was the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of those working in the film industry earlier in the year. Although it seems a while ago, and almost in a different world now, students at RIC were commended in the 6th Annual Moving Image Awards held at the Southbank in January 2019 in the first year of entering as a college.
In particular, with her short film ‘Juliets’ about a widow on a journey to reconnect with the world, Hannah Marchant was highly commended and Tamia Chando was shortlisted to the final three for her screenplay ‘Black Mermaid’, a short film about a young girl who meets her mother for the first time at the age of 8. Although Tamia didn’t win, she was praised by Kate Leys, one of the judges, for having written an original narrative with a distinctive voice. Leys, a feature film script editor who works on projects at all stages of development for the big and small screen, highlighted how Tamia’s screenplay crosscuts between memories and the present day to develop her character’s emotional journey. And it is semi-autobiographical; Tamia draws upon her own experiences of the confusing introduction to her new life in the UK and her life in Zimbabwe. It’s beautifully written, with an internal monologue creating a relationship between the reader and the central character.
Plans to film this screenplay this Summer have been halted to due to Covid-19, but she will be ready to direct her first short film in the very near future. She’s about to start writing her second screenplay.
Tamia says of her writing process:
The writing process for me starts off with using topics from things around me that I relate to and understand. When I wrote Black Mermaid I found myself back in the body of my eight year-old self so it was very personal. It was a scary place to go back to, but it was also very necessary because after writing it up that way I changed everything to a third person’s point of view and in a way I was healed of all scars I had from that time. I looked at everyone and everything in my live from an omniscient lenses hence the voice over in the screenplay and by doing so I finally understood everyone involved and have come to terms with the fact that they was no villain just circumstances.
Tamia, she’s definitely one to watch!
Photos from the 6th Annual Moving Image Awards can be found here: