BA (Hons) Film programme leader scores success with debut feature film

Date posted

15 May 2017


Last updated

9 November 2023

A film with roots in Edinburgh Napier has scored success at a top international film festival.

Written and directed by Paul Gray – Programme Leader for the University’s BA (Hons) Film course and alumni of Screen Academy Scotland’s MFA Advanced Film Practice course – And Violet took home the Best Dramatic Feature award at the recent Arizona International Film Festival.

And Violet is Paul’s debut feature film and is a coming of age drama about the interwoven and unravelling lives of teenage daughter Violet, her adoptive Mum and her birth Mum.

The film also scooped a Special Jury Award for Best Performance after actor Hana Mackenzie was praised for her lead role as troubled teenager Violet. Hana is a graduate of Edinburgh Napier’s BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen course.

The Edinburgh Napier links with And Violet doesn’t stop there however. It marks the debut feature film for cinematographer Alkisti Terzi who is an alumni of both the University’s BA (Hons) Film and Screen Academy Scotland’s MFA Advanced Film Practice programmes.

The film also features performances by Edinburgh Napier’s acting lecturer Ian Dunn and music lecturer Dave Hook, whose music also forms part of the score. Audio technician Petros Tsaftaridis was the film’s sound designer, with around 30 Edinburgh Napier students also gaining valuable work experience across its production. 
Scenes from And Violet
Paul said: “It has been over five years since I started writing the script for And Violet, so it was great to finally have the world premiere in Arizona and get the film in front of an audience. To then go on to pick up Best Dramatic Feature was a very welcome surprise. I am especially delighted to see Hana’s fantastic talent being recognised with the Best Performance Award, the only acting award offered by the festival, and we hope now that this marks the start for future successes for the film.”

The Arizona International Film Festival is one of the oldest and longest running independent film festivals in America. It has exhibited over 2,500 films representing 90 countries to more than 148,000 patrons in southern Arizona.

Edinburgh Napier is home to a burgeoning programme of acting and film courses and is also part of Screen Academy Scotland; a unique collaboration between the University and Edinburgh College of Art dedicated to fostering the future of film makers in Scotland.

For more information on And Violet, visit here and to learn more about the Arizona International Film Festival, visit here.

Watch the trailer for And Violet here:

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