Author Archives: Future Film BFI

The Return of the Fraffi

The Fraffi is back! Our Friday Afternoon Film is returning to social media. First up is Memories: Remembering War, as this week marks the centenary of the Armenian Genocide.

 


 

This film was made by Erhan Arik (born 1984) from Turkey. The aim of the project was to tour the villages on either side of the Turkish-Armenian border and listen to stories, meaning a journey that will extend from Kars in the north to the southernmost tip. And by listening to the stories of Turkish people, which represent a source of fear for the Armenians, and the stories of Armenians, which represent a source of paranoia for the Turks, they set out to rediscover the essence and spirit of Anatolia, to revive the memory we are letting slip by the day…

Each week, on Friday afternoon we’ll be picking a film from our Media Collection and posting it on our Doc Next Network Facebook page. Where possible it will be tied in to current events, such as our first of the new series, but occasionally it will be triggered by a recollection we’ve had, a story we heard or even just one that we think should be shared. We’ll contextualise the film as we have above, and link to it on Vimeo. A good way to take a break as the weekend approaches!

End of the Road – Gary McQuiggin

This is a cross-post from the BFI’s Media Lab blog of a post created by young media-maker Gary McQuiggin, reflecting on his documentary project to map the A1 road from London to Edinburgh. You can check out accounts for the rest of his journey by heading to his page on the blog. Continue reading

First works from the BFI Media Lab.

Just before June we launched a new phase of our Doc Next partnership – The Doc Next Media Labs. In the past, we’ve run individual bursary schemes with the Doc Next Network, giving young filmmakers a small bursary and professional mentoring to create new documentaries for the Doc Next Network (Follow the link to see these impressive films). However, as the project has progressed, we felt these individual projects weren’t as sustainable as we’d like. It’s good to support young people making new films, but we felt we could do more to nurture their talent and help them become professional filmmakers.

We therefore decided to launch the Doc Next Media Lab. Rather than work with 4 or so individuals at a time on single projects, we are now working with a group of 8 talented young filmmakers, offering them documentary mentoring, technical training and multiple opportunities to create new works with a £1500 total budget.

With mentors Phillip Warnell (Kingston University) and Kwame Lestrade (Franklyn Lane Film) on board, as well as technical assitance from Tea Films, the group will meet regularly over a period of 6 months, creating new work, visiting industry companies and learning about documentary, before having a final showcase in December.

To push our participants in at the deep end, after just 2 weeks Kwame Lestrade ran a 2 day workshop with the Labs participants, going through the life cycle of a documentary in 2 days, from conception to completion. The final films blew us away, and we were impressed by what our young media makers had produced. You can check them out here:

Doctor Loco from BFI Future Film on Vimeo.

Astronauts from BFI Future Film on Vimeo.

To find out about what our Doc Next Labs participants are getting up to now, head over to the Doc Next Media Lab blog and read more!

Video fragment from Astronauts – click to view

Reporting from Sheffield Doc/Fest.

This is an account of Victoria Fioravante’s experiences at the Sheffield Doc/Fest with the Doc Next Network.

“On a glorious British summer’s day of spitting rain upon coats and scarves, the ‘Doc Next Team’, which consisted of two Spaniards from Zemos98, two Polish ladies from Association of Creative Initiatives “ę”, a Turk from Mode Istanbul and two Londoners, arrived at Sheffield. Among visible signs of a film festival – posters everywhere, people rushing with Sheffield Doc bags, open-air screens and quite a lot of excitement – we entered without any expectations, not knowing what events we’d go to, what we would see, whether we would indeed be able to watch any films at all…

“After a pit-stop in a charming hotel (Thank you Doc Next Network!), it was straight onto the Documentary Workshop ‘Life’s a Pitch’ . After a brief sequence of games and laughs to get to know the talented members of the Second Light scheme, it was onto serious business. Andy Glynne, clinical psychologist turned executive producer of Mosaic Films and member of the Documentary Filmmakers Group, provided an excellent and inspirational speech on the hurdles, difficulties and successes of giving a pitch and what was most important; Narrative, Characterisation, the all-important question “What am I going to see?”, Access, and Demographics. His receptiveness, humour and enthusiasm were exceptional and I thoroughly enjoyed being there – especially when it came to the screenings of the short documentaries ‘Dekay’s Guide to the Estates‘ and ‘I Speak Hinglish‘. Then, after a few team exercises, we were left to our own devices to come up with a pitch that would be presented the next day – one by one, nerve-wrecking stuff. This would be the first time I’d ever presented or even prepared a pitch, so the pressure was most definitely on.

“The 24 hours I had to think of and plan my pitch were reduced to a measly hour in the middle of the night; there were too many great films and events on offer to do my time doing anything else! Our trip wasn’t only about pitching, it also involved a good deal of freedom to explore and investigate the festival. Of course, there were brilliant films – my favourites included ‘Putin’s Kiss‘ (Lisa Berk Pederson, 2011), ‘Planet of Snail‘ (Seungjun Yi, 2011), and ‘Call me Kuchu‘ (Zouhali-Worrall and Fairfax Wright, 2012). Then there were other events and talks, ranging from documentary distribution to filming in the Balkans, from Music Rights to Women in TV, interviews and – best of all – real Pitching competitions. The WorldView / Community Channel Live Pitch moved me the most – Intense pitching in action by six immensely talented applicants competing for a chance to win £10,000 to film a positive story of women in the developing world. After this, the Doc Next pitches would be a walk in the park!

“I was fully aware that there would be three industry experts (Daisy Asquith, documentary film-maker, Emma Hindley, freelance executive producer, and Ravi Amaratunga, head of Creative Diversity at Channel 4) evaluating and assessing our pitches the next day, but what I didn’t know was that there would also be a live audience – and quite a big one. Neither did I expect Matt Cuzner (of BFI fame) frantically waving signs at us with a cheeky yet embarrassed little grin. I guess he wanted to ‘help us’ by increasing the pressure. I was last in line to present, and I was pleased to see that my idea created some controversy among the panel after which a lively debate followed – which was great to see. Since then, I’ve followed up my idea with members of the panel who have encouraged me to film a teaser for my idea and to send it back to them. Then, it was on to networking in many different ways; from new talent drinks and receptions to the all important, leg-breaking Roller Disco!

“Sadly, this was the last night of our intense two-day trip. However, I’ve taken a lot from Sheffield. Andy Glynne’s motivational insights, my first ever experience pitching an idea of mine to a live audience, and most of all the opportunity to meet a group of inspiring and immensely talented group of people from all over Europe with whom I fully plan to work with in the future. And was Sheffield Doc Fest worthwhile? There is no doubt about it. I’ll see you there next year.”

What’s on now?

Zemos98's Ruben Diaz sits on the panel for the Future Film Festival Documentary Awards.

Good afternoon one and all! It’s been a wee while since I last put anything up here, and I blame that completely on the hectic time we’ve been having here at the BFI!

Last month we hosted our 5th BFI Future Film Festival, with workshops, screenings, panel discussions and more! We welcomed Dexter Fletcher and Will Poulter to talk about the new feature Wild Bill, as well as a whole host of talent, ranging from the new BAFTA nominated filmmakers of Black Pond to old hands like and David Westhead, who hosted our Doc Next Pitching masterclass. This masterclass saw 30 young people learn how to sell their documentaries, before 6 finalists from our #FFPitch competition took to the stage to battle it out for a trip to one of our wonderful partners. Congratulations to Jaha Browne for getting that one – her pitch for a doc about England’s only Technology addiction rehab clinic was brilliant!

If you want to read a little more about the festival and our guests, why not check out Pai Takavarasha‘s interviews with Dexter Fletcher, Will Sharpe and Debs Paterson. Alternatively the young people over at Mouth that Roars made a short video documenting their time there – check it out!

We’ll be posting our very own documentary about the festival soon, with filmmakers from IdeasTap, Live Magazine and the Future Film Institute coming together under the direction and organisation of cinematographer Alex Nevill to film our events. More on that soon!

So, what else have we been up to I hear you ask. Noel Goodwin and I (Matthew Cuzner) went up to Glasgow Youth Film Festival just before the Future Film Festival, where we hosted another Pitching competition that saw two talented Glaswegians join the ranks of young people we’re jetting off to our partners soon!

We’ve also been busy planning away our Doc Next Network celebration day What’s Your Story?, which is tomorrow! (Saturday 17th March). We’re screening a programme of short films we’ve funded through the network, including some new, as yet unseen documentaries by the young people over at Exposure and Screen South. They’ll soon be up on the Vimeo channel, so keep an eye out over the next week.

Along with the programme of films, apparently a new Future Film regular, Mawaan Rizwan will be hosting a panel discussion on how to get your documentary made. We’ve got representatives from , Metropolis TV and Channel 4’s Commissioning editor for Battlefront! They’re going to be dishing out advice on the whole process, from finding an idea to distribution, so come on down!

Anything else? Well yes. We’ve also been down to IdeasTap, again with Dexter Fletcher and Will Poulter for another screening of Wild Bill. And we’ve been sourcing new Docs for the media collection – there’s a whole load in the cyber-post coming over to us, which will be up soon. And we’ve been planning our event on the 31st March for the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (Featuring a bunch of great short films, a panel discussion on the representation of LGBT characters on film and our wonderful LLGFF Young Reporters Academy. And we’ve been… well, you get the drift. We’ve been busy.

It’s the Political Economy, Stupid!

Dread SCOTT, Still from Money to Burn (2010) Courtesy of the artist

This looks like a really interesting exhibition with some provocative ideas – I wish I was in New York for it! Definitely an interesting organisation to watch though…

The Austrian Cultural Forum New York is pleased to present a new group exhibition titled It’s the Political Economy, Stupid. The show, which was curated by the Austrian-American team of Oliver Ressler and Gregory Sholette, derives its name from the slogan which in the early 1990s came to define then presidential candidate Bill Clinton’s campaign, “It’s the economy, stupid”.

The economic crisis that we face today has also become a major crisis for representative democracy. The very idea of the modern nation state is in jeopardy as the deterritorialized flow of finance capital melts down all that was once solid into raw material for market speculation. It is the social order itself, and the very notion of governance with its archaic promise of security and happiness that has become another kind of modern ruin.

It’s the Political Economy, Stupid brings together an international group of artists who focus on the current crisis in a sustained and critical manner. Rather than acquiesce to the current calamity, this exhibition asks if it is not time to push back against the disciplinary dictates of the capitalist logic and, by use of artistic means, launch a rescue of the very notion of the social itself.

The exhibition includes documentarian approaches, such as works by Julia Christensen, who explores the transformation of defunct Big Box stores throughout the U.S. as an example of the resilience and resourcefulness of those affected most by the crisis. A piece by Yevgeniy Fiks, Olga Kopenkina, and Alexandra Lerman, documents those who have the experience of working in the corporate environment, the field of finance, as well as several professors of economics as they participate in a discussion about Vladimir Lenin and his ideas about finance capitalism. Films by Jan Peter Hammer and Melanie Gilligan reflect the artists’ fictionalized takes on the crisis, by drawing historical paralells and showing the microcosmic point of view of those directly involved, respectively.

Quite a few artists and collectives took a performative and decidedly actionistic path, all of which represent artistic precursors to the Occupy Wall Street movement: Performance artist Dread Scott literally burned money on Wall Street, until he was stopped by the police. The flo6x8 group staged flamenco-dancing flashmobs in Spanish banks to protest against the financial system, while Alicia Herrero staged public fora at the National Bank of Argentina, in which experts, artists, and activists discussed theoretical models and ideas for economic and political change. The collective known as the Institute for Wishful Thinking (IWS) tackles the eternal recurrence of the capitalist crisis with a series of site-specific visual commentary on the infamous 1975 New York Daily News headline: “Ford to City: Drop Dead”.

Austrian artist Isa Rosenberger‘s piece, Espiral – A Dance of Death in 6 Scenes, takes a 1930s Weimar-era political ballet, and transposes it to reflect the present-day crisis. Zanny Begg and Oliver Ressler employ the medium of animation to explore how governments in the United States, and other places in Europe such as Ireland, managed to turn a banking crisis into a budgetary crisis.

As a tangible complement to these video works, Austrian artist Linda Bilda was commissioned to produce a wall mural for the exhibition. Her graphic series The Golden World is a point of departure, as it explores themes such as greed and competition in the monetary world.

The opening reception for It’s the Political Economy, Stupid will take place on Monday, January 23, 2012, from 6PM to 8PM. Barbara Prammer, the President of the National Council of Austria, will be present to support and officially open the show. The opening will be preceded by an artist talk featuring participating artists Linda Bilda, Melanie Gilligan, Alicia Herrero, Olga Kopenkina, Alexandra Lerman, Dread Scott, and the curators Oliver Ressler and Gregory Sholette. The talk will take place in the auditorium of the Austrian Cultural Forum from 5PM to 6PM (Free admission. Due to limited seating, rsvp is req’d for the talk. For tickets, please visit acfny.org/event/726).

About the Austrian Cultural Forum New York
With its architectural landmark building in Midtown Manhattan the Austrian Cultural Forum New York is the cultural embassy of Austria in the United States. It hosts more than 200 free events annually and showcases cutting-edge Austrian contemporary art, music, literature, and academic thought in New York. The Austrian Cultural Forum houses around 10,000 volumes in its state-of-the-art library, and enjoys long-standing and flourishing partnerships with many venerable cultural and academic institutions throughout New York and the United States.

Visit acfny.org for more information.

The busy end of a year and start of another busy one!

The Winning Pitch (Literally) Siobhan Schwartzberg at Encounters Fresh Flix.

Good afternoon! Happy new year and all the associated festivities, I hope you all enjoyed the classic Christmas films on TV, I saw It’s A Wonderful Life at least 4 times.

 

First up is to tell you all how much of an amazing time we had at IDFA 2011! Between us we saw many great films including Jafar Panahi’s This is Not a Film, which was a really interesting idea perfectly executed.

In case you don’t remember, Alex Nevill and Mawaan Rizwan, two fantastic young media makers, came with us and took part in the IDFA academy. They had some wonderful things to say about the experience, from how it provided them with ‘a fascinating insight into how filmmakers across the world are telling stories as well the issues they are facing’ to how ‘the opportunity to exchange ideas and opinions with fellow filmmakers from all over Europe was paramount to me and I found myself involved in some incredibly insightful discussions that will affect my filmmaking practice for a long time to come.’ Definitely a positive experience.

 

While we were at IDFA, we also managed to split our workforce in two, and run 2 events in the UK as well! Firstly we had the We The People Film Festival Youth Film for Development Day, which involved the screening of short fiction and non-fiction films from across the world, including a couple of Doc Next Network films, with MODE Istanbul’s Scavenger picking up the second prize in the awards! We also hosted our first #tweetapitch competition, in which 6 finalists pitched their documentary ideas. All of the pitches showed flair and ingenuity, but there has to be a winner, and ours was talented young filmmaker Mat Ortega, who won a £500 bursary to make a film documenting the stories of recovered drug addicts in San Patrignano, who have transformed their lives and now impact the world through the arts.

 

That night, Noel then sped across the country to Bristol, to get ready for The Winning Pitch at Encounters Short Film Festival, in which 3 different finalists from a different twitter competition pitched their different documentary ideas to a different panel of experts for a different prize! Confusing right? Well this time the winner was Siobhan Schwartzberg of Black Mountain Films, who will be jetting off to one of our partners for a film workshop in the near future!

So what’ve we got coming up I hear you cry. Well, on the 14th January we have our young filmmakers session at the London Short Film Festival. We’re running a panel discussion on what the point of short films are, and why young people should be making them as well as screening a selection of short films themed around the subject of growing up and coming-of-age. For more information point your browser at this link right here.

Exciting right? Well that’s not all! We’re also heading up to Glasgow Youth Film Festival in February for another round of #tweetapitch, then the 18th and 19th February is our 5th BFI Future Film Festival! We’ve got a packed programme of events, but it’s all still under-wraps at the moment, so check back here in a couple of weeks for an update!

 

That was a bit of an epic post, so congratulations for making it to the end! As a reward check out Train of Thought by Leo Bridle and Ben Thomas. This short won our award for best animation at the festival last year, and impressed us so much that Leo is making the trailer for this years’ Future Film Festival so keep an eye out for that!

IDFA 2011!!!

Mawaan Rizwan (Left) and Alex Nevill (right)

Good afternoon (morning or good night depending on when you read this)! For once this blog post has one subject, and one subject only; IDFA 2011!

We’re jetting two talented young filmmakers, Mawaan Rizwan and Alex Nevill off to take part in the IDFA academy, where they’ll get the chance to take part in workshops and discussions about film and in particular documentary!

Mawaan is a presenter for T4′s Battlefront, a campaigns TV show that provides young people with a platform to run a campaign about issues they feel strongly about. We chose Mawaan for several reasons, primarily because we find his online videos HILARIOUS. His work with Battlefront shows how committed he is to making a difference to the world around him and as a filmmaker he’s picked up several awards, including the Film London Best of Borough Audience Award for his film Jimmy Will Play, which is also being screened at our very own London Film Festival! Definitely a good choice we felt.

Our second participant is Alex Nevill. Alex has worked on quite a few short films and 3 feature films, both privately and professionally. We first came across Alex when he submitted his film King Cone to our very own BFI Future Film Festival in 2010, where it won the Best Documentary award. His CV is peppered with festival screenings and film awards, and his latest documentary ‘Launderette’ may even be screened at IDFA 2011! His cinematography is inspired, and he’s really impressed us with his last few films have blown us away, so we felt he would be the perfect candidate for the IDFA academy.

That’s pretty much it for this update, aside from saying we’re incredibly excited to be heading to Amsterdam in under a month, and we hope to see you there! Check out more information about the IDFA 2011 Participants and the Full IDFA 2011 programme!

Various updates and events!

Good afternoon!

We’ve (once again) got a lot going on at BFI Future Film at the moment, so I’m here to give a little update to all of you wonderful readers.

First and foremost, our Step2TV bursary winners have started filming, and we’re looking forwards to seeing the work they produce. Hopefully it’ll be as good as some of the previous work the bursary scheme’s have produced. On the note of bursary schemes, keep an eye on that link, as we’ll soon be uploading our first documentary bursary films, including the hilariously brilliant Baroque’n’Roll.

Submissions are nearly closed for our 5th Future Film Festival, so if you’ve got a film to submit, get a wiggle on! Entries will not be accepted after the 31st October! The programme is slowly being assembled for the festival itself on the 11th & 12th February 2012, so put some crosses next to the dates in your diary – you won’t want to be anywhere else!

What else is new in Future Film land? We’ve got the We The Peoples Film Festival – Young Filmmakers for Development Day coming up on the 19th November (I know, I know, it’s at the same time as IDFA, but if you can’t afford the flights to Amsterdam, swing by the BFI instead!) The programme for that is looking impressive, with two new feature films and many youth-made shorts being screened. We checked out one of the features at this year’s London Film Festival and it was brilliant, beautiful and heartwarming, so if you can do, definitely come along!

Don’t forget we’re also currently running a Twitter competition, in which 12 lucky finalists get a chance to pitch to a panel of experts at Encounters’ Fresh Flix festival in November. The final winner, chosen by the panellists, will then get an all-expenses paid trip to a workshop with one of our partner Hubs in Europe! Exciting! Check out more information here.

‘Is that everything?’ I hear you ask, and I reply ‘NO!’ We’ve got more.

There’s two girls doing work experience with us at the moment, and they’ve been watching LFF Press Screenings and writing reviews on them, which we’ve in turn been posting online to our Future Film Facebook page! So head on over there to check them out. They’ve seen some fantastic films, from Coriolanus to Friend Request Pending.

Our Four Lions screening with the Chris Morris Q&A was fantastic, thank you for asking, and highlights will soon be posted on our Facebook. We’ve also got big things in the pipeline with IdeasTap, so keep an eye out, and we’ll update you as we’re allowed.

We’re also heading to the 2011 London Screenwriters Festival this weekend which we’re all rather excited about! The programme looks jam-packed with good stuff so we’ll be updating you with what we learnt over the weekend in a couple of weeks.

That’s pretty much all for now, so I’d like to say So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersen, Goodnight. Adieu, Adiue, to you and you and you.

IDFA 2011!!! (And other exciting news)

Good afternoon (morning or good night depending on when you read this)! Boy have I got a lot to squeeze into this wonderful little update. Let’s get straight to the point – IDFA 2011!

We’re jetting two talented young filmmakers, Mawaan Rizwan and Alex Nevill off to take part in the IDFA academy, where they’ll get the chance to take part in workshops and discussions about film and in particular documentary!

Mawaan is a presenter for T4’s Battlefront, a campaigns TV show that provides young people with a platform to run a campaign about issues they feel strongly about. We chose Mawaan for several reasons, primarily because we find his online videos HILARIOUS. His work with Battlefront shows how committed he is to making a difference to the world around him and as a filmmaker he’s picked up several awards, including the Film London Best of Borough Audience Award for his film Jimmy Will Play, which is also being screened at our very own London Film Festival! Definitely a good choice we felt.

Our second participant is Alex Nevill. Alex has worked on quite a few short films and 3 feature films, both privately and professionally. We first came across Alex when he submitted his film King Cone to our very own BFI Future Film Festival in 2010, where it won the Best Documentary award. His CV is peppered with festival screenings and film awards, and his latest documentary ‘Launderette’ may even be screened at IDFA 2011! His conematography is inspired, and he really

Check out more information about the IDFA 2011 Participants and the Full IDFA 2011 programme!

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