Rory Alexander Stewart was in Cannes this year with his National Film and Television School (NFTS) graduation short Wild Horses.
The film, about a teenage girl with ME realising her independence, was one of just 16 films selected from 2,600 entries for the Cannes Cinéfondation strand.
“Cannes is a great chance to get your foot in the door,” says Stewart. “And I took a lot of selfies.”
Stewart, from Leith in Scotland, was first involved in filmmaking when he took part in Scottish Kids Are Making Movies (SKAMM), a scheme for young Scottish filmmakers set up by Mark Cousins and Shona Wood at the Edinburgh Filmhouse.
“I’ve been trying to return to that, having fun with the filmmaking process,” says Stewart.
After studying film production at Bournemouth, Stewart’s first major industry recognition came when he wrote Martin Smith’s short Liar, for which he won the Bafta New Talent writing award in 2013.
Next up was no-budget improvised short Good Girl (2014), a mockumentary about an Alsatian that may also be an alien, which won The Skinny/Innis & Gunn short film competition.
His follow-up short, Misery Guts, was nominated for the Channel 4 Innovation in Storytelling Award.
Now that he has graduated from the “super intense” NFTS, Stewart is developing a feature-length version of his 2016 short In The Grass, titled Organs In The Grass, through the Belgium-based Less Is More writing lab.
He describes it as a “Fargo-like” dark comedy about a pair of murder detectives. “My aim is to be on the way to making a feature within a year,” says Stewart. “I am ambitious in that regard.”
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