Nuru Rimington-Mkali: 22-year-old winner of Filmaka.com's $5m feature prize

"No matter how powerful an enemy is, you can always escape - there’s always a way, somehow. But how the hell do you escape your own head?"

Nuru Mkali

Director of I Refuse to Forget, winner of $5m feature funding prize, and Laura MacDonald, Creative Director for Filmaka.

nuru_rimington_mkali.jpgBack in 2000 TCM's £5,000 short film prize seemed huge -  you could almost make an El Mariachi for that much money. Fast forward a few years and there's Iris' £25,000 Gay & Lesbian Short Film Prize, before MySpace's MyMoviesMashup prize of $1m raised the bar once more. And then Filmaka.com came along with it's $5m full feature film finance prize and rewrote the rulebook.

Picture it. You’re 22 and making your first tentative steps as a filmmaker. You signup with a website and start making films in the hope of getting your work seen by an impressive lineup of judges – Neil LaBute, Wim Wenders and Werner Herzog – and pay £10 to upload each film. Then, after winning a series of contests, they offer you $5m to make your first feature. No film school. No climbing up the ladder from tea-making. No depending on the favors of well connected relatives. No casting couch.

Hold back your envy, and meet Nuru Rimington-Mkali, the London filmmaker who did just that with his winning film I REFUSE TO FORGET. After seeing the film - which we stream below - I had to find out more, and went on to interview Filmaka's Creative Director Laura MacDonald as well...

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Dan Hartley - from Harry Potter to Joseff Hughes

dan hartleyWho gets the first cut on a Harry Potter film these days? Thanks to desktop editing  many scenes are now roughly edited on set - and in some cases effects and music added - so that the director can tell if a sequence is working before progressing. 

Meet Dan Hartley, the UK's first 'Floor Editor', who got into the film industry by walking onto set, knocking on a 2nd AD's trailer and asking for a job (within a fortnight he was driving Ewan, Ray and Bob around Soho). He's also author of the Rogue Runner gonzo blog (occasionally seen on Netribution) and director of the acclaimed short film Love You Joseff Hughes, currently screening online and at Cannes in a mini competition. For anyone looking for proof that you don't need to go to film school to make it in the industry, Dan provides hope a plenty that commitment and enthusiasm will win out and that you can progress from extra to runner to key player on a blockbuster and back to short filmmaker. Either that or he's the king of the blaggers.

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