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Rapture Film Festival

[Aimone Sharif | Sports Manager]

In the evening of the 3rd of September, the Bakehouse in St Albans shut its doors to regular customers and filled up with film enthusiasts for the launch of the “Rapture Film Hub” project. Rapture Film is a company that was founded 6 years ago by Ben Roper with the vision to promote films and get people into either the film industry in itself or just appreciate the art behind films.

As we took a seat in a room full of strangers that are getting to know each other, the atmosphere was homely, joyful and welcoming. Everybody was clearly excited to see what was going to happen throughout the night and how this launch could maybe influence what they would do every first Thursday of the month.

The night consisted of a succession of short films that had been chosen by Rapture Film for their originality. “Wind” was the first short film shown; an amusing, no dialogue animation showing life with constant wind and the adaptation of the people through situations they have no control on. With a little twist at the end the short film was fun and light hearted.

To satisfy everyone’s taste, two documentaries were screened as well as films, including a piece about a generally unknown tradition in the Greek town of Vrontado between Holy Saturday and Easer Sunday. In stark contrast another on a man transformed into a cyborg giving him the ability to hear colours and distinguishing their tones through the different pitches they emit.

The plethora of variation made it easy for everyone to enjoy their evening and have diverse discussions. The “Wikisinger”, a music video, received amazing feedback for its originality and simplicity. The simple concept of the different types of environment influencing the voice tones and pitches was perfect and impressive; making it so entertaining you didn’t want the video to end.

Kung fury ended the night with its cringy one liners across stereotypical 80’s movie drama and soundtrack yet remaining one of the best short films ever made. Kung Fury, an ex cop instantly turned best kung fu fighter in the world, goes back in time to fight Hitler. Yes the story-line is as ludicrous as the film but your life would not be complete without it, honestly it’s a banger.

We managed to grab a quick word with Ben Roper himself to find out where the idea for the Hub came from;

Where did the idea of Rapture film Hub appear?

“In St Albans, there is the film festival that has been running now for three years that is absolutely amazing; you realise how many people are ready to contribute to the industry but the thing is it’s only once a year! And I want more! So this Thursday is the first of our hopefully many events that are going to happen in St Albans to get people motivated and appreciate films. The plan is to reunite as many people as we can by word of mouth; advertising and social networking every first Thursday of every month- so keep the date open ha-ha. It’s been 6 years now that I created Rapture Film Company; this project is a side project from a desire to make the film industry in St Albans bigger.”

Where did this desire for films come from?

“I started making films from the age of seven; since then I just kept that fire going. I did a year at the University of Hertfordshire but then I dropped out because BBC wanted me to feature in a TV show they were making at the time. The TV show lasted 4 months, so when it was done I invested the money I had earned in Camera Equipment. And that’s how I founded Rapture Film. It just feels right for me to be surrounded by films; it’s always been a dream and now it is reality.”

What is the bigger dream now?

“My ultimate dream has always been to have a short piece of fiction or sci-fi, of 30 minutes or so. I have already booked the pilot so the dream is getting closer. Maybe I can do a TV series or something like that; I do not know how far I will take it or how far I will be able to take it, but all I know; it’s happening. To do it; I fasted from sci-fi movies for a year or so, to not get influenced by the ideas out there. All I can say is that the movie will be called “the Stragglers.””

What did you think of Kung Fury?

“That film was an animal… I think it actually surprised the guy who made it. He was expecting so much less funding than he actually got and so he used it in his own way and just made this. He turned it into a scope.”

And finally… what is your favourite film?

[Pretty sure we lost him in his thoughts for about a minute]

“That is a horrible question ha-ha! The Star Wars answer is the easiest way out, and probably the most common answer. Amelie is actually amazing so I will go for that, it’s fascinating and incredible. But, Speed is the best action movie ever made, no doubt.”

If you have time; check out the Rapture film hub every first Thursday of the month at the Bakehouse St Albans [AL3 4EB]. It’s a great opportunity to meet amazing people; filmmakers, producers and just film lovers!

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