Focus on ‘Girls Night’ film scoops clutch of awards for student team

Girl looking over her shoulder at Girls Night text in white

A film providing a ‘women’s lens’ on the fear of walking home alone at night, written and directed by a Lancaster University student, has won a clutch of impressive awards.

‘Girls Night’ will publicly launch this week on Vimeo on Wednesday, May 17.

Third year Linguistics major Lorna Brierly, who took Film Studies as a minor subject, wrote and directed ‘Girls Night’ after hearing the many experiences of friends about walking home alone at night and how they cope with it, as well as drawing on her own experience.

She worked with a Lancaster University all-girl principal production crew to create the film as part of the Short Film Production module, which was submitted to 35 festivals, receiving 13 official selections and five top accolades.

The film scooped the Best Student Film at the UK-based Do It Zero Film Festival and, out of 5,000 entries claimed an impressive third place Pre-College Student Actress Award at the US-based Student World Impact Film Festival.

“Women’s safety at night is an important issue and I feel more awareness needs to be raised around it as thousands of women across the country feel anxiety day in day out when walking home,” says Lorna, who hails from Leicestershire.

“Whilst there are not currently many solutions to this problem it is important to continue raising awareness of it to make sure that people are still thinking about how to address this issue.”

Lorna’s intention was to create an immersive experience for the audience so they feel as though they are inside the main character’s head and experience the anxiety and worry she feels.

The film cleverly creates the constant worry and feeling that something is about to happen.

Girls Night was filmed at the time of the ‘Girls Night In’ movement across universities in the UK, protesting about women’s safety in relation to spiking in nightclubs.

“This reiterated the importance of raising awareness of women’s safety for me,” adds Lorna.

“My main aim was to make something subtly impactful, something that would involve the audience and make them think about this social issue.”

Dr Maryam Ghorbankarimi, a Lecturer in Film Practice at the University’s Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts, said: “This film was shot on location in Lancaster and Morecambe under rather difficult weather conditions plus the added complexity of filming at night time with a small crew.

“But all of their hard work has paid off and we are proud of their national and international recognition. This has been an amazing success story for Lorna and the whole team.

“Lorna listened to advice and went the extra mile while making this short film. She did not give up taking it to all the festivals. Her determination has resulted in some top results.

“And since, the take up of this module has grown. The success of this film has been a catalyst and created a ripple effect.”

You can see the film here:

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