Film of the Month: Ira Sachs

Posted October 1st, 2016 by Matt Turner

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 19: Actor John Lithgow and director Ira Sachs take part in an intimate conversation on their upcoming film "Love is Strange" during AOL's Build Speakers Series at AOL Studios on August 19, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

Ira Sachs is an intelligent, cine-literate director born in Memphis, Tennessee, later based in New York. His subtle, smart dramas echo his experiences of living in these two places, as well as drawing wider from his collaborators and influences.

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Ben’s Blog: Spoiler Alert!

Posted September 27th, 2016 by Ben

When discussing films the etiquette is always not to give away the key beats of the story for fear of spoiling someone else’s enjoyment. Revealing those important final twists drives some into open fury, as if they’d just heard the date and manner of their own death. But can you really spoil a film? I mean, beyond the obvious like casting Cara Delevinge as a space witch? If the only reason to watch a film is to find out what’s happened, then surely that film has already been spoilt by the people who made it.

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Film of the Month Winners: July

Posted September 26th, 2016 by Matt Turner


In July we hosted Apichatpong Weerasethakul, one of the all time great modern arthouse directors. A filmmaker’s filmmaker, Apichatpong won the Palme d’Or for his 2010 film Uncle Boonmee, having won prizes at Cannes for two features before that, Blissfully Yours and Tropical Malady, and has been a critical and festival favourite since his debut feature Mysterious Object at Noon.

Some warm and incisive words from the brilliant Thai director on the three finalists in July’s Film of the Month competition, below. These were three very strong films with no clear winner, as reflected by Apichatpong’s praise for each work.

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Festival Focus: Shorts 2 Features at Encounters

Posted September 22nd, 2016 by Matt Turner

Each year, Encounters features several features amongst its programme of short films. These films, from alumni of the festival or favoured filmmakers demonstrate successful transitions from short to feature filmmaking, as well as the appeal of moving back and forth between varying lengths. We spoke to the filmmakers who have features at Encounters, about the differences between short and feature filmmaking, their experiences with the industry and their thoughts on Encounters.

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Ben’s Blog: Being An Imperfectionist.

Posted September 20th, 2016 by Ben

It is not surprising that filmmakers tend toward perfectionism. A feature film will devour years of your life and will quite possibly outlive you – naturally you want to get it right. Of course there’s a less rational reason too. A film is a house built in a storm on a geological fault line, there are so many things that can and will go wrong the desire to perfect what few elements you can control quickly becomes pathological. Making sure the guy in the background wears the right tie won’t stop the lead walking out, but at least something in the scene will be right…

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Ben’s Blog: Nothing Short Of Failure.

Posted September 13th, 2016 by Ben

Why are you making a short film? Shorts are not abbreviated feature films so as a training for your longer work they’re about as useful as preparing for a Grand Prix by riding in the Grand National.

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Festival Focus: London Film Festival Programme Preview

Posted September 6th, 2016 by Matt Turner


The BFI’s London Film Festival have unleashed their programme for this year’s edition, and as well as offering a bumper programme of regular features, shorts, experimental works and newly restored archive treasures, they’re building a temporary 800 seat theatre to home more film fans in the capital. The 2016 edition takes a special focus on diversity, directing the annual Network @ LFF for emerging filmmakers specifically towards minority entrants, opening with Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom, and closes with the commencement of the BFI’s three month focus on black actors – Black Star.

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Ben’s Blog: One Act Structure

Posted September 5th, 2016 by Ben

Besides the obvious, there is no good reason to attempt to start your film career by making shorts. Granted, the obvious reason remains something of an ace – they are shorter, but not only are short stories harder to tell well, telling them is little like telling long stories. Perfecting the art of the short is definitely an end in itself.

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Festival Focus: Shooter’s Encounters #2

Posted September 5th, 2016 by Matt Turner

Last week, we spoke with three Shooting People members who have films included in Encounters Short & Animation Festival later this month. Here, we hear from two more – the talented, comedy focused filmmaker Kate Herron and Finland-born, Edinburgh-based new artist filmmaker Katri Vanhatalo.

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Festival Focus: Shooter’s Encounters #1

Posted September 1st, 2016 by Matt Turner

Arriving at the end of September is Bristol’s popular Encounters Festival, one of the UK’s premiere stages for short film and animation. To get you in the spirit for all things short film, we’ve spoken with five Shooting People members who have films included in the competition, about the paths they took into filmmaking, the films they’ve made, and what they’re working on next. Here’s the first three.

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