dawn photo from Flickr by gemteck1
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"Don't make us feel small. Remind us to be larger."

on . Posted in diaries

Submitted by Super User

"From another perspective, the news is not good at all. Everybody's miserable. Everybody's had about enough. People are sick to death of being valued only as potential buyers, as monetary grist for some modern-day satanic mill.

They're sick of working for organizations that treat them as if they didn't exist, then attempt to sell them the very stuff they themselves produced. Why is a medium that holds such promise — to connect, to inspire, to awaken, to enlist, to change — being used by companies as a conduit for the kind of tired lies that have characterized fifty years of television? Business has made a ventriloquist's trick of the humanity we take for granted. The sham is ludicrous. The corporation pretends to speak, but its voice is that of a third-rate actor in a fourth-rate play, uttering lines no one believes in a manner no one respects.

Oh well. That's OK. We'll get by. We've got each other.

I have to laugh as I write that. The Internet audience is a strange crew, to be sure. But we're not talking about some Woodstock lovefest here. We don't all need to drop acid and get naked. We don't need to pledge our undying troth to each other, or to the Revolution, or to the bloody Cluetrain Manifesto for that matter. And neither does business.

All we need to do is what most of us who've discovered this medium are already doing: using it to connect with each other, not as representatives of corporations or market segments, but simply as who we are... Tell us some good stories and capture our interest. Don't talk to us as if you've forgotten how to speak. Don't make us feel small. Remind us to be larger. Get a little of that human touch."

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LFF review: 12 Years A Slave

on . Posted in reviews

ejioforfassbenderThe third feature from artist-turned-director Steve McQueen needs little introduction.

It's a visceral, unpredictable tale of life as a slave in 1840s America, based on the true story of Solomon Northup (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, who, as ever, disappears effortlessly into the demanding role), who was born a free man in New York.

 

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LFF review: Captain Phillips

on . Posted in reviews

held at gunpoint

 

The 57th BFI London Film Festival opened with this belter of a thriller, based on the real-life hijacking of a US container ship by Somali pirates in 2009.

Tom Hanks stars as Captain Richard Phillips, an American, whose job it is to steer the MV Maersk Alabama through the danger-filled Somali Basin to mombasa, Kenya.

(watch out for spoilers below)

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Creative colleges co-op collaborate on slate of features

on . Posted in Screenings

Submitted by Andrew Torr

Five new films made by members of the Co-operative British Youth Film Academy have been showcased to 500 students at a red carpet screening in Manchester. A co-operative of twenty colleges and universities, The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy combines professions from the worlds of film and education to give young people unique opportunities to gain hands-on experience of the thrills and challenges of a real film set.

It is backed by The Co-operative as part of its commitment to inspiring young people and, is designed to bridge the gap between education and professional employability, offering accessible opportunities for young talent to be nurtured and developed.

Last year, The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy (BYFA) movie "The Rochdale Pioneers" – co-directed by film-makers Adam Lee Hamilton and John Montegrande who came through BYFA's ranks – was screened on Film4 as part of the channel's British Connection Season. 

The new films, which were given a red carpet screening last month in city-centre Manchester, were filmed at movie making summer camps based at member colleges: Grimsby Institute; Kirklees College; Stoke on Trent College; Wigan and Leigh College and Yale College, Wrexham.

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"Dear lover cinema, forgive me"

on . Posted in Editorial

Submitted by Nic Wistreich

When I look through my adult life so far there are a few constants - the love of family and some good friends - yet the most regular rhythm, the most dependable refrain is that of change and disruption, of uncertainty. One thing, though, holds true through all of that, and it’s odd that I only seem to recognise it now. When I enter the quiet dark hall of a cinema, arms laden with sugar or beer perhaps; when I find a seat as centrally as possible, ideally with no-one in front of me… as the lights dim, my heart pounds a little as if on a plane about to take off. And as the screen starts to glow, as another world emerges to seduce me, my day’s problems begin to fall from me like a man dropping his clothes before he jumps in the sea.

It is strange that it has taken me so long to articulate this - not just in web text - but in my mind too. The distractions of the day, the worries and anxieties and frustrations about this abuse of corporate or government power, or that slight from someone dear, may be eased a little through meditation, sometimes a lot through a great book, but none for me so totally as through a good film in a darkened space. Even a mediocre one. These last few days my worries have been transformed into something hopeful through the brilliant yet McBlockbuster Wreck It Ralph, the visceral if hackneyed Oblivion, and then the powerful epic Midnight’s Children. Imperfection is not a problem, I seek just a voyage to a convincing new world, and people I can pin my internal struggles to, and reason to think much bigger than my own worries for a while.

Cinema feels like a lover I’ve depended on for as long as I can remember, but too rarely stop to say thank you, to recognise its wisdom and power. And this in turn reminds me that although Netribution is mostly tumbleweed, dust and spam links now, it reflected my excitement at where cinema will travel to next, in a connected world of ever cheaper kit and decentralised distribution.

The last thing I wrote on this site was nearly two years ago. I was a keen digital cinema entrepreneur taking the lessons from Shooting People and self-distributing the funding book into ventures new. And then my sister died after a brutal battle with cancer - and as I started to get over that, a friend killed herself. And I couldn’t talk about it here, indeed I still don’t really feel skilled enough. So I said nothing, but begun to question almost everything, Our current media space helped neither of them, while the superfast hyperconnected ad-driven pervasive digital frenzy that’s replacing it seems even worse equipped. While overflowing with ideas and research projects and possible new businesses, I floundered, unsure what would kind of media world would have been better for them. And I still don’t really know how to get to that, save for the fact that a good film can be as healing as a medicine, a great story as powerful as a hug or good conversation. 

So, dear lover cinema, forgive me my unfaithfulness, my absence and neglect. You’ve been there for me when others haven’t. You’ve made me mad and struck me sane. You’ve shaped so many of my views - often misguidedly and with the values of one race, class and gender - but also most regularly with a reminder that what makes me human and hurt, makes everyone human and hurt - it’s shared by us all. Thank you. Let’s begin again.

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Oska Bright Film Festival 2013

on . Posted in Festivals

Submitted by Lisa Wolfe

 

Festival: The Corn Exchange, Brighton Dome

Sunday 17 – Tuesday 19 November 2013

The 6th international festival of short films made by people with learning disabilities is ready to roll.

Oska Bright is unique. It is the first and only festival managed and promoted by learning disabled artists as a showcase for their creativity and skill as film-makers. Submitted films are selected by a panel and there is a variety of categories for which awards are offered.  There are networking opportunities over the three day event, projections onto the outside of the venue and it culminates in a lively awards ceremony.

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Exeter Phoenix Digital Short Film Commissions

on . Posted in Finance

Exeter Phoenix Digital is launching three new Short Film Commission schemes for 2013. We are looking for proposals to shoot short, digital format films of 5-12 minutes duration. Films must be based on an original script or treatment but can be of any genre and are to be filmed by September 2013.

Exeter Phoenix Digital will award successful proposals a commission of £500, which can be used towards the film making process.

THE COMMISSIONS:

2013 DEVON SHORT FILM COMMISSIONS

Proposals are invited from individuals and groups who reside in Devon, UK and we actively encourage applications from students and first time filmmakers, as well as those with previous experience.

How to apply
Submissions are invited from Monday 3 December
Closing date – Friday 15 Feb 2013

All applications must be submitted using our online application process.
Download guidelines >>
Online application form >> 

2013 NATIONAL SHORT FILM COMMISSION

Proposals are invited from individuals and groups who reside in the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and we actively encourage applications from students and first time filmmakers, as well as those with previous experience.

How to apply
Submissions are invited from Monday 3 December
Closing date – Friday 15 Feb 2013

All applications must be submitted using our online application process.
Download guidelines >>
Online application form >>
 

2013 CROWD FUNDED COMMISSION

The 2013 Crowd Funder Short film Commission will be a match fund award of £500 on the condition that the applicant can raise equal funds through Crowdfunder.co.uk. The applicant will be expected to create their own online campaign to raise funds of up to or exceeding £500.

How to apply

Submissions are invited from Monday 3 December.
Closing date – Friday 15 Feb 2013
All applications must be submitted using our online application process.

Download guidelines >>
Download tips to Crowd Funding >>
Online application form >>

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Co-op Youth Film Academy Searches for Scripts from Budding Young Film Writers

on . Posted in Scripts and Development

Submitted by Andrew Torr

Are you made of the ‘write’ stuff? a youth film academy has started its search for screenplays to be made into full length feature films next year.

The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy gives 14-25 year-olds unique experiences of the movie industry and is seeking new scripts or, screenplays of classics, for next summer’s filming schedule.

It is backed by The Co-operative Group as part of its commitment to inspiring young people and, this year, it shot four movies at film-making summer camps which combine professionals from film and education to mentor students and offer everything from acting to make-up and camera through to post-production.

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Cineworld’s indie selection

on . Posted in Screenings

Submitted by

When you’re deciding what film releases you want to see this autumn, don’t forget to find out what indie films are being shown at your local cinema. Cineworld has always been a solid supporter of indie films and has several of them on offer over the next few months.

Showing this month in Cineworld theatres is the indie film Ruby Sparks. Written by actress Zoe Kazan, who also plays the character Ruby, this is a story about a struggling writer who brings his fantasy woman to life.

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LFF preview: No and Grassroots

on . Posted in Feature film

skatey

Grassroots and No are both political films based on real events that concentrate on the competition: to win a local election in the former film, and to win a regime-changing plebiscite in the latter.
 
The fact that No succeeds as an engaging film to such a greater extent than Grassroots shows that political races on film need to be contested by sharply-outlined protagonists. Furthermore, while there can be laughs, playing the whole contest for laughs kills the anticipation.