Film of the Month: Omer Fast

Posted June 3rd, 2016 by Matt Turner

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Omer Fast is a Israel born, Berlin based video artist turned feature filmmaker. Born in Jerusalem, he spent much of his youth travelling back and forth between Israel and the United States. Much of his art builds from this dual-identity. “I grew up with two identities and two languages that I had to speak fluently, and so what is always connected to my work is this notion of being perceived as authentic, and how much that is a performance.” His films work with these dualities and contradictions, blending fact and fiction, reportage and storytelling, personal experiences and those of others, all the while mixing modes and approaches.

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Festival Focus: Open City Docs Programme Preview

Posted May 16th, 2016 by Matt Turner

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Running just a few weeks after its larger cousin Sheffield Doc/Fest, Open City Documentary Festival has, in just a few years, established itself as a formidable provider of quality documentary filmmaking in London. Founded by Michael Stewart, a documentary producer and lecturer in Social Anthropology at UCL, alongside the school and their year round screening programme, Open City aims to champion creative non-fiction filmmaking and showcase a mixture of new talent and interesting, disruptive works from more well known documentarians.

This year features their best programme yet, featuring 60 features alongside mini-retrospectives of the films of the Ross Brothers and of filmmaker and ethnomusicologist Vincent Moon, as well as masterclasses with Lucien Casting-Taylor, Marc Isaacs and Helena Třeštíkov, and a number of intriguing sounding panels and talks. Here are five features you might want to book early for.

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Film of the Month Winners: April

Posted May 9th, 2016 by Matt Turner

PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 26: Director/writer Robert Eggers of "The Witch" poses for a portrait at the Village at the Lift Presented by McDonald's McCafe during the 2015 Sundance Film Festival on January 26, 2015 in Park City, Utah. Larry Busacca/Getty Images/AFP

Robert Eggers, director of the terrific horror phenomenon The Witch, has returned with his feedback on the April finalists for Film of the Month, choosing Cowboy Ben as the clear standout within a trio of impressive, and particularly beautifully shot, shorts. Congratulations to the various cinematographers who are not mentioned here, as well as the directors credited..

A terrifically well shot, compact but fully realised drama that plays out the whole history of a relationship in less than 10 minutes, for Robert, Scott Rawsthorne and Jon Shaikh’s Cowboy Ben “is anchored by a fantastically tormented performance by Shaun Dooley. His face is both perfectly haggard and perfectly child-like. The film is simple (in the best way) and confidently executed, with the tension building extremely well to the inevitable and satisfying climax.”

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Festival Focus: Sheffield Doc/Fest Programme Preview

Posted May 6th, 2016 by Matt Turner

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Sheffield Doc/Fest, one of the world’s foremost showcases for documentary filmmaking, have revealed their programme in full ahead of the festival next month. The programme includes 160 films and 25 alternate realities projects, a talk with Michael Moore alongside the (premiere) of his new film, and mini retrospectives on the recently departed Chantal Akerman and the very much alive D.A. Pennebaker, who’ll also appear in conversation.

As we have noted before with no small amount of pride, there are 20+ films made by members of Shooting People there, so we hope anyone who has a film at the festival will let the community know about it so we as delegates can be sure to watch them. In addition to this, we select five films from the wider programme that look of particular interest in a very strong year, two of which were made by the membership.

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Script Pitch: Sci-Fi Special

Posted May 4th, 2016 by Matt Turner

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May the 4th be with you!

Yes, it’s our annual SCRIPT PITCH SCI FI SPECIAL.

That means you have before you the best new script projects in the SF genre. Anywhere. That’s a fact.

Here are the loglines from this year’s Sci-Fi Pitch.

To read complete pitches and to contact any of the writers, please email Andy.

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Film of the Month: Alice Lowe

Posted May 1st, 2016 by Matt Turner

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This month we welcome the multitalented, hyper-prolific Alice Lowe, a writer, director and actress known for her work in British comedy.

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Guest Blog: Breaking Into Film with Robert Eggers

Posted April 21st, 2016 by Matt Turner

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After receiving a raucous reception and the Directing Prize in the U.S. Competition at its Sundance premiere, Robert Eggers’s debut film The Witch has proven to be a far greater success than he could have ever anticipated. We spoke with him about how he got to this point, his route from a career in art and production design for fringe theatre, into making short films and finally financing a feature.

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Festival Focus: Frames of Representation Programme Preview

Posted April 15th, 2016 by Matt Turner

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A new festival, co-curated by BRITDOC‘s Luke Moody and Nico Marzano from the ICA, Frames of Representation offers a selection of the sort of documentaries that rarely reach UK audiences through regular distribution. Presenting new styles, methods and forms for non-fiction filmmaking, the programme focuses on films that present their subjects in unique and innovative ways. Their inaugural edition is based around the theme of the ‘New Periphery’, looking at documentaries that bring marginalised individuals to the forefront of the screen and offer voices to those traditionally unheard or silenced.

We’ve picked out three films from the festival’s selection of eight features and three masterclasses that you must not miss.

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Film of the Month Winners: March

Posted April 11th, 2016 by Brooke Blake

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The esteemed Mark Cousins has provided his thoughts on the highest voted entries for March Film of the Month.

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Guest Blog: KitMapper’s Dave Charlesworth

Posted April 11th, 2016 by Matt Turner

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Renting filmmaking equipment can be a costly and arduous process. A lot of the time its easier and much more cost effective to borrow from friends and collaborators. Newly launched service KitMapper offers a much easier and affordable way to source equipment, letting filmmakers hire kit from other nearby filmmakers. Listers can advertise their equipment on a browsable or searchable map, and hirers can search for what they need and where they can find it near them. We caught up with their founder Dave Charlesworth to hear about how the service came about and what it can offer to filmmakers.