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Arts Festival Week Comes to a Close

21 March 2017
After a full week of acting, storytelling, movie pitching, film making and much more, our 3rd annual Arts Festival ended with a “WellingTen” style assembly in the College Theatre on Friday 17th March. Our guest artists from the UK and elsewhere put on a fantastic, film-themed schedule which completely immersed pupils throughout the College in the various art forms and sparked off no small amount of creativity in the process. Wellington College International Shanghai held its second WellingTEN Talks event on Friday 17th March. The ten-minute presentations and follow-up discussions involved guests from the 3rd Arts Festival reflecting on their own experience of films. The participants included: Dr Steve Jacobi, Director of Arts Fest ival; Logan Murray, author, teacher of comedy, and stand-up comedian and renowned film director Kirk Jones. Mr Adam Shaw gave the opening address of the closing assembly, highlighting the importance of seizing opportunities whenever they are made available: “When it comes to opportunities offered by events like the Arts Festival, I truly believe that you get out what you put in, and by engaging with what’s on offer you become a more thoughtful, open-minded and interesting individual. So reflect on the amazing things you’ve done this week. Think about the new things you’ve learned about yourself and each other.” Dr Steve Jacobi followed with the first of the assembly’s three WellingTen Talks. His ten minutes were dedicated to retelling the story of his first visit to a cinema as a 5-year-old boy to watch the James Bond spy thriller, Thunderball. He used this example to explain that the power of film comes from its ability to completely immerse the audience by building a world with plenty of recognisable elements that they can relate to, but one which is more colourful, adventurous or just plainly better than our own. This was followed by Logan Murray, author, teacher of comedy, and stand-up comedian, whose very humorous talk outlined his philosophy of how it is usually better for an artist to tell their own story, rather than trying to please everybody: “As a storyteller you have a choice: you can either try to please your audience by giving them what you think they want, or you can please yourself and hope that what you create will be genuinely interesting or entertaining. The difference between some of the more generic Marvel Superhero films and movies like Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Spirit Away or Kung Fu Hustle, is that each film from the latter group had a singular vision, from an artist who clearly wanted to tell a story which was important to them.” Finally, renowned film director Kirk Jones closed the assembly with his WellingTen talk which was a very brief overview of how he managed to get established in the film industry after finishing his secondary education. He emphasised to the assembled pupils the importance of persistence in order to create the opportunities they need in order to succeed: “Whenever I’ve considered myself to be lucky, it was because of two reasons: the first being hard work. The harder you work, the luckier you get. The second was because I always looked out for opportunities. Whatever you decide to do, I promise that you will have incredible opportunities. It’s very important to identify them when they come along and jump on them immediately.” These final thoughts gave everyone plenty to reflect on over the weekend after a hugely successful week of artistic exploration and creative fun. The bar has been set very high indeed for next year’s Arts Festival.