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Time for tea: a scene from the short
A nice cup of tea
By Laura Joint
A short film made in Devon which celebrates the English tradition of afternoon tea has been shortlisted for a prestigious national film award.
Get the kettle on...
What can be better than settling back with a nice cup of tea and a slice of cake, and taking in a movie?
There's no chance of your cuppa going cold during this particular film - it's only two-and-a-half minutes long.
The short, called Making the Difference, is the work of Exeter-based film-makers Andy Oxley and David Williams.
The light-hearted documentary celebrates the English tradition of afternoon tea and cakes. A group of contributors - in settings including a village cricket match and a golf course - are asked which cake best complements a cup of tea.
It was made with the help of Exeter Phoenix's short film bursary scheme and won the 2008 Audience Award at the venue's Two Short Nights Film Festival.
Andy and David enjoying a cuppa
The film is now up for another gong after being shortlisted for the Virgin Media Shorts awards.
The judging panel, which included Hollywood star Kevin Spacey, selected Making the Difference along with 11 other short films after watching 2,000 entries.
Andy, 27, and David, 28, work at the Picturehouse Cinema in Exeter and make films in their spare time.
They were amazed to learn they had beaten off so much high quality competition: "When you look at how good the films are, I suppose we are a bit surprised to be in the final 12," said Andy.
"The film must have charmed someone."
So where did the idea come from? "I was just wondering about what to base the film on and a guy came into the cinema with his wife," said Andy. "She happened to mention that he was mad on Eccles cakes and that started it off.
"Afternoon tea is such a staple thing in this country and I don't think people realise what a role it plays in our day until they stop and think about it.
"I think back to my upbringing and my granny putting on afternoon tea with doilies and all the trimmings."
Andy and David have made films together before and are currently working on their next project. All have one thing in common: nostalgia.
"We are very much into this idea of a stereotypical vision," explained Andy. "We romanticise the documentary and make it in an idealistic way - to portray a green and pleasant land - rather than represent the truth.
"We've started work on our next film which has a working title of What do You do on a Sunday. We are going to sum up a stereotypical, eccentric and nostalgic Sunday in England."
The 12 shortlisted films will be shown at 214 cinemas nationwide for a year. They will also be shown on TV and on the Internet.
The overall winner will be announced at an awards ceremony at the British Film Institute in London in late September 2009 - Kevin Spacey will chair the judging panel.
The film with the most public votes on the Virgin Media Shorts website will win the People's Choice award.
You can watch Making the Difference by using the link on the top right of this page.
last updated: 17/08/2009 at 10:49