Friday the 16th of February, an interested being of the name; Zayd Choudhry. Zayd decided to make his way to BFI Future Film Festival. Zayd didn't just walk in. Zayd was at home anxious yet excited, Zayd knew he had tickets and Zayd knew he was just going to just view some films and network with other creatives like himself. This was when Zayd realised to overcome his anxiety, sometimes he just had to act in the moment and push himself towards his dream, because no one else can truly do this for him.

Zayd arrived at BFI Future Film Festival, which was at BFI Southbank. Zayd was familiar with the premises as a fan of film, Zayd went there with his father to watch great movies such as Akira Kurosawa's 'Rashomon', so ultimately knowing where he was going was a bit refreshing. But this was Zayd's first time at a Film Festival and BFI is such a known film industry name. There were so many people of all genders, ages, races, nationalities, and creative expressions. To Zayd, this was so amazing, but a little nerve-racking to see.

It was time for the films. The line was long and people would already know someone and be chatting away. Zayd waited patiently and let the line die down a little. Some time as passed and Zayd had now scanned his ticket and entered the humongous cinema. Zayd could really see how many creatives were here and were passionate towards their dreams. Zayd's eyes swiftly scanned around the room to find a seat... not there, not here, maybe here, ah. 

Fortunately, Zayd found an empty seat close and on the edge, not disturbing anyone. Zayd breathed out and refreshed himself. It was time. Zayd got in his 'Letterboxd' mindset and was ready to enjoy and review some BFI Future Film Festival selected films.

"Wow" - said Zayd. Zayd took in all the films he had just seen, as he found a place to chill before he has to take on the networking stage. Instead of socialising at the time, Zayd checked his Instagram and decided to view the BFI Film Academy's Instagram page. Zayd is a just 22 year old creative filmmaker, who eyes swiftly scanned their profile. 
"What's this?" - Zayd asked himself.

A BFI Film Academy post displaying a competition to WIN FULL FINAL POST PRODUCTION for a short film, provided by the amazing post-production company, Picture Shop. All Zayd had to do was take a picture at the festival with his short film pitch in the caption of the post. "Wow" - said Zayd again.

Zayd didn't have much going on, but he was called on as the Producer of 'Switch On', by his good friend and talented minded Writer/Director, Esmond Yao. So, Zayd thought why not. It's an amazing story, Esmond has here and this film i'm going to be apart of is going to be epic. It's not going to hurt anyone to do an Instagram post. Zayd thought we probably won't win anyway but this will be a bit of fun and time to kill.

So instead like any normal person, Zayd was too anxious to stand in front of the personalised BFI x NETFLIX banner. Instead, Zayd sat in a corner, rested his phone on his water bottle and put the camera timer on. 3, He opened his BFI Southbank programme. 2, He made an awkward smile. And 1, To post or not to post.

Debating, Debating and Debating. 
The night was still young and Zayd remember this photo of a quote that Esmond sent him; "Dream Until Its Your Reality". That's when Zayd just did it. A post with him at BFI, with the 'Switch On' Pitch, and with all the correct hashtags. This was correct right? 

Zayd questioned himself, he tried to leave it, but it was all he could think about. Zayd kept checking his phone, a like here, a like there, and another. But Zayd wanted to know if BFI saw it. The curious producer did what he does best, and researched intensively. Related to the hashtag, Zayd saw a couple posts but more stories, but either story or post, they were all in front of that BFI x NETFLIX banner. Zayd sighed and he knew what he had to do.

... Zayd waited around the banner as he watched people take photos, some may say researched how others are took photos, some may even say that Zayd is slightly an unnoticeable figure, who's heart was beating crazy, foot tapping wild, and had his anxiety increasing...

Till a "Hi" - A lovely voice from a fellow creative person. They asked Zayd, if he would like to get a photo. Zayd said "Yes". Zayd took a breathe and got his Picture taken. Zayd thank them and found his way back to his little area. Zayd heard from a couple people that the winner would be announced at the networking session. Zayd checked his phone and still had a bit of time till then, so he put his post on his story and put the taken photo and hashtags next to it. It was done and just like that it was suddenly time for the networking session.

After a little internal prep with himself, Zayd got his ticket for the networking ready and entered. It started straight away, It was pretty packed and Creatives were chatting all over. Zayd had been to a couple networking events before, but usually had someone to go with and it's always a little scary to start with your first person. Zayd's eyes swiftly scanned the room and there a fellow creative by himself. Zayd internally hyped himself up (don't ask how he does this, because he doesn't know either and just does) and said "Hi". It was during this (what was first scary to actually be a very fun and calm) conversation that a voice via a microphone called everyone to face their direction..

"And the winner is Switch On."

If Zayd had a drink in his mouth, he would had spat in out on this fellow creative he was mid-conversation with. Luckily, Zayd did not. "Wait? That's me?" Zayd literally said out loud in a shock. 

They called Zayd up and every step Zayd took was an extra goosebump, a heartbeat increase and a face getting more and more red. People clapped, A photographer took photos and I shook Director of Client Partnerships at Picture Shop, Mark Wynter's hand and It was honestly surreal. 

Zayd's social anxiety was over the roof. Everyone's eyes on me, watching me, applauding me. What do I say? Do I say anything? What do I do? How does this work? We Won? All these questions and more ran through Zayd's head at the time. This was so amazing and strange at the same time, as that feeling was very extreme and unnatural to me. Yet I wouldn't change anything about it.

We are so grateful for an awesome opportunity, which I thought was going to be a little bit of fun, which I overly panicked about and We freakin' won it. BFI and Picture Shop enjoyed my pitch of Esmond's Yao horror story, 'Switch On' and it is truly crazy to think Zayd, Esmond, the amazing crew and cast involved have finished production. 

We are now working with an amazing Picture Shop team in Post to receive a high quality edit to submit into festivals and really raise knowledge of our skills as creatives, but more importantly raise awareness about our message within the short film surrounding negativities of educational pressure within the modern day education system.