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ISB students successful in int’l film festival

Students posing with film equipment

By Nick Yates, ISB Communications

International School of Beijing (ISB) film students are celebrating after success in a prestigious competition.

It was a race against the clock for these filmmakers before the Chinese New Year Break as they were given just 48 hours to produce short movies for Clash of the Titans (COTT), a film festival involving 10 international schools from around the world with developed film programs.

ISB took part in COTT in Paris in 2019. In an innovative format for this year, it was held simultaneously in the 10 schools – or their surroundings. ISB students are learning online right now with campus access restricted, but they pushed on with the challenge and filmed in other locations in Beijing.

Thirty ISB film students in Grades 9 to 12 worked in five teams, taking on designated production roles. All Grade 11 International Baccalaureate (IB) Film students participated. Members of ISB’s acting community including the Thespian Society helped form the cast list.

At 8:00 pm (local time) on Wednesday, January 19, a live draw took place that assigned genres plus a prop that all the production teams had to use. The clock then started ticking and the teams raced to plan, film, edit, and upload their movies to the submission drop box before 8:00 pm on Friday, January 21.

The results ranged from sci-fi and horror to action, comedy, and drama, all less than three minutes in length and all involving the designated prop, a wall calendar.

Students preparing to film

COTT winners in eight categories were announced over the Break. The ISB students faced tough competition among 35 films submitted but earned seven of a possible 40 nominations, including for Cinematography, Editing, Sound Design, Best Usage of the Designated Prop, and Best Film. And ISB’s I’m Thinking of Changing Things won the award for Best Acting!

COTT was an experience full of challenging and joyful learning for the ISB participants as they rose to a tough task requiring a lot of teamwork and technical ability.

Ivy Y, who is in Grade 10 at ISB, said, “It was truly an amazing experience participating in the COTT festival this year despite going online. The collaboration and teamwork everyone demonstrated during this time made the experience so exciting and lively. Thank you to all the teachers and students that made this happen!”

Watch the nominated and award-winning ISB films on the COTT 2022 website


ISB is renowned for its film program in High School, and its students in all grades have many opportunities to explore visual arts and media. To find out more, click here.

ISB is an extraordinary school, made so by a tradition of educational excellence spanning 40 years. Establishing, nurturing, and growing such an exceptional learning community has been and remains intentional; we work hard to build strong relationships so our learning is at its best.

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