Shoot for the stars: Akinola Davies Jr, René Lorraine & Otis Tree

5th March 2021

Screen and Film School Brighton were thrilled to launch Shoot for the Stars this year- an exclusive opportunity for graduates to talk directly to the Stars of Tomorrow and make connections for the future.

Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow is an annual showcase of the most prominent new writers, directors, producers and heads of department emerging across the UK and Ireland. Screen and Film School Brighton graduates were given the opportunity to spend 30-minutes chatting with their chosen star, including Ruben Woodin Dechamps, Ella Glendining, Colum Eastwood, Akinola Davies Jr, Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn, and gain valuable insight into their careers and journeys through film. 

Each week we’ll be sharing some words of wisdom from these sessions, this week from writer/director Akinola Davies Jr who was interviewed by our Brighton graduates, René Lorraine & Otis Tree.

Top tips from Writer/Director Akinola Davies Jr – interviewed by René Lorraine & Otis Tree

  • Focus on the specifics of your experience of a human being, those things ring so true. The planet’s filled with billions of people, so there will be others that empathise with your experience. 
  • Treat your cast and crew like family, give them a voice.
  • Give yourself as much time to play as you do to work, your play can inform your work 
  • Use social media to your advantage, if there is an artist you admire, reach out and make a connection. Don’t be afraid to sow seeds – message people you would like to collaborate with on Instagram, you never know what may come of it.
  • Love and hate are the same thing, when you feel competitive, send words of encouragement! 
  • Cut your teeth making shorts, the more you do the better.
  • Work with what you’ve got, don’t worry about getting the best equipment, if you have an idea just shoot it.  
  • If you hire gear for a job, take it out on a Friday and return it on Monday. The weekend is free! And whilst you’ve got the extra days, shoot some extra projects. This is called the ‘Akinola special’. 
  • Stay Hydrated! 



A huge thank you to Akinola, René and Otis for this brilliant session and valuable insights. Don’t forget to check back next week for more highlights from Shoot For The Stars!


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At Screen and Film School, we invite you to unleash your creativity, be inspired and become industry-ready in a dedicated community where if you have a vision, you can make a scene. We have three exceptional schools – located in the heart of the UK’s most creative cities: Birmingham, Brighton and Manchester – making us a mighty force in the UK film, screen and media world.