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Catching up with Kristiina Kello

Since completing Cinematography and Directing Diploma in 2015, Kristiina has been touring festivals with her film 'Betty'. So far 'Betty' was seen at 28 Film Festivals in 18 countries.

Tell us about 'Betty'

'Betty' is a simple short film I wrote and directed which was inspired by a friend's experiences while caring for the elderly: an old woman living alone stumbles upon a newspaper advertisement that she finds very intriguing.

How did it benefit you undertaking the Diploma at BFS

The best thing was definitely working with the other students. We got on well as teams in school, and did projects outside school too (on a 48-hour film contest, for example). Everyone in our year had a slightly different skillset, so we learnt a lot from each other and we all took film-making seriously. Practical experience with a crew is something you can't get from books or YouTube.

With the film doing so well in the festival circuit, do you feel it has taken you to the next level?

Getting into festivals definitely gives you a better idea of what programmers and judges are looking for, especially when you see which other films have also been accepted. It's strange imagining people in other countries sitting in cinemas watching a film you took part in, and quite scary if you're actually in the audience with them, but it makes it all worthwhile.

What is the next step for you? 

Trying to get slightly less simple scripts filmed! There isn't really an obvious career path for directors, so it's also good to develop skills in other roles on other people's films. Having at least some personal experience of each department's tasks really helps when coordinating the crew's department heads, because you'll have a much better idea of what they need.

Do you have any advice for the current students?

Help out on other people's films as much as possible, even if it's just something incredibly basic like moving equipment, even if it's not the kind of project you usually take part in. You'll get to know people, pick up new skills and have fun! It's definitely not a zero sum game, everyone benefits when they help each other and are generous.

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Brighton Film School is a specialist, independent training facility located in central Brighton. The school offers two 2-year HNC/HND (equivalent to the first two years of a degree) programmes in Filmmaking and Set Design for Film and TV, a third-year BA (Hons) Film Production Top-up Degree, as well as an industry recognised Cinematography and Directing Diploma and Set Design for Film and TV Diploma. Brighton Film School also offers evening classes inFilmmakingScreenwriting and Set Design, as well as courses for young filmmakers and Summer Schools.

For more information or to apply please visit www.brightonfilmschool.co.uk