Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ruminations on Film London News Bulletin

Great supports are supplied by Film London and other British institutions. Yes too much subsidy may weaken creativity, but for the truly creative, how great to have such opportunities offered. Think of the talent in U.S. which gets no government support. Think of the untapped and fantastic untold stories of new African filmmakers. Oh to have such opportunities!

Items I find of great interest:

The Black Film Exhibition Publicity Fund (BFEPF) Fast Track Fund will be suspended indefinitely from midday on Monday 29 June, pending a high number of requests on the remaining funds. If you would like to make an application to the fund for £3,000 or less, please do so before this deadline.

I wonder if Americans and other African diaspora filmmakers can is a bit late this round , but this is helpful for filmmakers looking for a way into the international world of African diaspora film making, marketing and selling.

Film London's Exhibitors' Surgery offers consultation advice to help plan, market, and fund your festival. You bring the project; we bring the expert advice in one-to-one sessions tailored precisely to your needs. Book your place on the next Exhibitors' Surgery on 25 June.

Again, I wonder if this is only for British? If not, I would think world festivals would flock to this (except of course, it's too expensive for the ones most needing it so maybe someone should digitalize such a service). It's a great way to network and find ways of festivals to cooperate, find sister festivals like cities find sister cities, sharing programming and other trades, training festival administrators. This offers the chance for festivals to grow up into the new digital age. Maybe they can figure out how to compensate filmmakers whose films they show. Yes a trip is definitely about some of the ticket money the public pays the festival? Maybe the Film Festival Summit also serves in this way. I've never been so if anyone knows, I'd like to see a discussion on this, and of festivals and their place in the business generally.

The following articles are brilliant in regards to the education project I am envisioning for teaching literacy through film to the working poor of the Latino neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Thank you again to the UK Film Council for recognizing officially what brought me into the film business in the first place already so long ago it seems (Does 30 years sound like a long time to you?)

The UK Film Council has launched Stories We Tell Ourselves: The Cultural Impact of UK Film 1946-2006. It is a timely and stimulating report, confirming that film has been one of the most powerful cultural and social agents of the last 100 years.

Young London film-makers have delved into local archive footage to provide a vibrant insight into their local community. Our Moving Histories, a free screening programme on 24 June, presents two short documentaries about Sutton's heritage. Year 10 students from Wallington High School for Girls took part in a 4-day film-making workshop run by Chocolate Films, in partnership with Sutton Local Studies and Archives Centre. During this intense training period the students acquired basic film-making skills, as well as the enthusiasm to research and construct their own documentary projects.

Eastside Community Heritage working in partnership with Hibiscus Caribbean Elders present The Kamal Chunchie Story as part of the Story of London. Kamal Chunchie was an important role model and community leader who devoted his life to the Black and Asian communities of east London during the 1920s and 1930s. This project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, will screen on 26 June from 6.30 to 8.30pm.

And the following is for everyone now looking for new ways to launch their vision of having a business servicing the film business rather than creating the content of it. Someone recently brought it to my attention that during the California Gold Rush of 1848, it was not those seeking the gold who got rich but those who serviced them, the laundries, bars, hotels, and Levi-Strauss who made the blue denim for tents and later the miners' clothes.

I recently joined a great entrepreuneurial group here in Berlin called E-Factor and-- no that is not the group I joined, but this one also looks spectacular especially if you're from this part of Britain. The one I joined is called E.Factor too but it's website is Are these two related? I have already met people of great interest to me personally as well as professionally. A Dallasite now based in Berlin with Design Hotels who I helped hook up with Celluloid Dreams and Criterion Collection's new digital distribution system for specialty and art films called The Auteurs. Another very attractive offering of theirs is one member's online language course. The price is good and I can have one Skype connected teacher for both Spanish and German, my two currently favorite language. French always is there. My Dutch is really bad now.

Booking for BECTU's fourth annual Freelancers' Fair is now open. The event takes place on 26 June, at BAFTA's London headquarters. There will be a varied and exciting seminars programme including Pitching for Success which is still open for entries. The all-day career development and networking event, welcomes members and non-members. Entry is free to BECTU members and £10 to non-members. Book your place.

Music, the language of the world and Film, the visual language of the world. I hear of several new film festivals and financing entities who want to focus on music and film. It might help the music business to pay attention to how film handles distribution since it nearly killed their business. If the only way musicians and singers can make money is through live concerts because the music is pirated (caution to the film industry too), then MTV cannot be thriving - can it? Whether it is or not, how about new ways to make money through digital distribution of new designs of content.

BBC New Music Shorts has extended the entry deadline to midnight on 6 July. In partnership with 6 Music, BBC Electric Proms is challenging film-makers to make original new films inspired by new music tracks from artists Metronomy and Florence and the Machine.

The New British Cinema Season at the ICA continues with screening and Q&A's including The Disappeared*, The Blue Tower and The Dummy*. Book your tickets and support new British film-making talent.

And finally

The trailer for Jon Amiel's Creation* is now online. The film, based on the book Annie's Box: Darwin, His Daughter, and Human Evolution by British conservationist, author and great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin, stars Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly.

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