Cine-Sister’s first screening!

If you’re in Manchester this weekend come and see the launch of my first film programming venture Cine-Sister!

Support female filmmakers and some fantastic charities (MASH, Women’s Aid, & Shelter) and there’s loads of other great stuff happening at the event. The screening starts at 2pm on the 4th of March 2017 in at Texture, 67 Lever St, Manchester.

Cine-Sister will be launching with a short film screening featuring 7 female directed/produced films. The films in this screening deal with themes of gender, race, religion, body and identity. There is a mixture of drama, comedy, animation and documentary short films so there is something for everyone to enjoy and learn from.

You can find out more about the films here: https://cinesisterfilm.com/wonder-women-4th-of-march/

This screening is part of Wonder Women 2017 at an event held by Traffic MCR and you can find out more here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1333296603410652/

Manchester Animation Festival 2016 (Day 3)

The third and final day of Manchester Animation Festival! The stars of the show were, of course, the Ray Harryhausen puppets on display during the day. In the morning, John Walsh and Connor Heaney gave a talk on the lost treasures of Harryhausen and an insight into his world of stop-motion creature effects. Other highlights included the live recording of the Skwigly podcast, which included interviews with some of the filmmakers from the festival.

In between events I was able to watch the short film programme “Student Films 2,” my personal highlights were Ama by Emilie Almaida, Liang Huang, Mansoureh Kamari, Julie Robert, Juliette Peuportier and Tony Unser. Perched directed by Liam Harris and Mr Madila by Rory Waudby-Tolley which although I had seen before at a This Is Not a Cartoon screening a few months ago it’s still a fantastic and funny film.

Overall, this was a fantastic event to photograph and attend. I wish I could’ve stayed for the award ceremony right at the end but unfortunately, I had to set off.

I hope to come back next year and I hope anyone reading this gets the opportunity to attend next year also!

Manchester Animation Festival 2016 (Day 2)

Day 2 of Manchester Animation Festival kicked off with a special virtual reality animated experience called HooDoo by the animation company BlueZoo who gave a masterclass later in the afternoon. There was also the fantastic “Women in Animation” panel discussing the representation of women in animated films (something right up my street as you may know) as well as loads of great screenings although unfortunately, I didn’t get to see any films on this day!

Above are my photos for day 2 of the festival.

You can keep up with the festival itself on Facebook and Twitter.

Manchester Animation Festival 2016 (Day 1)

Last week I was a volunteer photographer for the Manchester Animation Festival 2016, it was a great experience I met so many lovely people and saw some weird and wonderful short films. The itinerary for day one featured highlights such as a masterclass about the film Phantom Boy, a life drawing class and a conversation/award ceremony for Aardman Animation.

Above are some of the photos I took for the festival of day one.

I was also able to see a programme called “Student Films 1”, my personal highlights of this were Fishwitch, a fantastic stop-motion short directed by Adrienne DowlingTough an interesting look at familial cultural differences by Jennifer Zheng.

I will be posting a selection from Day 2 and 3 later this week!

You can keep up with the festival itself on Facebook and Twitter.

A Day at the London Film Festival.

On the 6th of October I jumped on the train to attend the BFI London Film Festival, I’d never attended before and was excited to see how it would compare to similar scale festivals I’ve been to previously. I had tickets to see 2 films I’ve been excited about months Amma Assante’s A United Kingdom and the first Non-Japanese collaboration from Studio Ghibli The Red Turtle both of which were conveniently screening at the big Odeon Cinema in Leicester Square. I got there ridiculously early (which won’t surprise anyone who knows me). My first screening of the day was at 11:30am, it happened to be the Gala Screening of the night before and they were packing up the rest of the red carpet and wall when I got there. So I waited outside the box office, picked up my tickets and was ready to begin.

A United Kingdomaunitedkingdom2

Set in the 1940s and starring David Oyelowo (Selma, Queen of Katwe) and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, Pride and Prejudice). A United Kingdom tells the story of the real-life marriage between Seretse Khama, Prince of Bechuanaland (now Botswana) and British office clerk Ruth Williams and the international uproar their union caused. I absolutely loved this film. It was emotional, funny and heartbreaking in places. It tackles feelings of identity, love, and prejudice from both countries involved. The film’s score compliments the sweeping romance of the film whilst the cinematography captures the two very different countries perfectly using colour and framing. This feels like a triumphant and culturally relevant film. Definitely, recommend!

The Red Turtletheredturtle
This wordless animation follows a man stranded on a desert island who is prevented from leaving by a mysterious giant red turtle. As I said previously, this is a collaboration with Studio Ghibli and french director Michael Dubok de Wit. For me, seeing the familiar logo of the studio at the start of the film filled me with emotion immediately. This is a very different animation style to the Japanese films made at the studio and Michael Dubok de Wit described the creative freedom he had working with them during the Q&A as an “adventure” for the both of them. The film itself was beautiful animated and simplistic which made up for it being slightly predictable in its story.

When asked at the Q&A why he chose for the film to have no dialogue he explained that he didn’t want the audience to know the nationality or cultural background of the character allowing him to be a blank canvas for the audience to project on. I think this worked perfectly in the context of the film and I really hope that Studio Ghibli does more collaborations in the future.

Overall, I have a great time and would love to go back next year for longer!  Did you attend the BFI London Film Festival? If so, what did you see?

Translucent Screening- Nottingham

A quick update post about the screening of my film Translucent which is at an LGBT short films night hosted by the Nottingham Alternative Film Network called “Translucence” on the 20th of September at 8pm in the Lord Roberts and costs £5.

TranslucentPostervimeo

“Translucent is an uplifting, unobtrusive exploration of self-identity that discusses being transgender in a way that seems highly refreshing and open.”

Sadly, I cannot attend but I hope you will make it if you can!

http://nottinghamalternativefilmnetwork.com/translucence/

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry (2014) Review.

On Friday the 21st of August I attended a screening of She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry at the London Feminist Film Festival in the Rio Cinema. Directed by Mary Dore, this documentary celebrates the almost forgotten history of the women’s liberation movement from 1966-1971.

Shes-Beautiful-When-Shes-Angry-Screenshot

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry is a mix  of modern day interviews weaved together with archival footage of protests, meetings and political speeches. Whilst it mostly focuses on gender it also touches on the intersectionality of race and lesbianism and the conflicts that did arise through these issues within the feminist movement and continue to today. The best thing about this documentary is that it encapsulates the spirit of the 1960s-70s without romanticising the time period, it is both funny, infuriating and heartbreaking at times, particularly when discussing the illegal Jane Collective who helped thousands of women have safe abortions. I found the film particularly interesting as most of what was shown was completely knew to me, it’s scary really how much of women’s history can be lost.

The film is both exhilarating in energy and poignant about highlighting these issues in a modern context and even points out that some rights gained during this time period are now being taken away in the USA (for example, reproductive rights).  As discussed in the panel after the screening the film did have some problematic elements, barely covering racial tensions in the feminist movement and leaving out trans women altogether. I do sympathise however, as this was a huge topic to cover in a feature length film.

Overall, I very much enjoyed the film and hope it gets a UK distributor so more people can see it!

Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival 2015

On Saturday the 30th of May my film Translucent will be screening at Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival. It is screening in a section called “A World I call Mine”  which has a selection of short films. Some of the big films screening at the festival are The Way He looks, Love is Strange and Appropriate Behaviour.  It’s so exciting to have my film playing at this festival alongside these great LGBT films.
551b0ef6c4d51Screen-1920x1080-1024x576Translucent will be played at 2pm on 30/05/15 in the Goethe-Insituts (Max Mueller Bhavan) Venue. Which is next to the Jahangir Art Gallery.

Although I am not able to attend the festival I hope that if any of my readers live in Mumbai you will go and support the festival!

A full list of the films showing and more information can be found here:

http://mumbaiqueerfest.com/kashish-2015-list-of-films/

Queer as Film.

queerasfilmOn Saturday the 28th of February my film “Translucent” was screened at the Queer as Film event in London. This was the first time the film had been shown outside of my University plus I did a Q&A afterwards. There were 7 short films shown in total all with a theme of LGBT.  There was a range of funny and sad films, some silly and others far more dark and serious. Queer as Film was founded in 2009 by Robert Gershinson and Craig Ford and was hosted by comedian Tom Allen.

The event was really great, laid back and had a  friendly, supportive atmosphere which made me slightly less nervous to do the Q&A after the screening! The other films shown were good, a particular favourite being “A Little bit Country” by Amy Coop which compared coming out as a country music fan to coming out as gay which was very funny and poignant.

For my film “Translucent” I got a really good response, and I’m very happy with how it went. I’m grateful to the people at Queer as Film for selecting it! Below is my Q&A.  

Berlinale 2015

Last week I had the great opportunity to go to Berlin film festival with my University course. We were only there 2 full days so I didn’t get to spend a lot of time at the actual festival unfortunately. But from the time I  did spend there I can say that there’s a really great atmosphere and love of film, particularly in the main area of the festival Potsdammer-Platz. I would love to go next year for a full week if I can! I was able to see two films in total.

I also saw Ava DuVernay (Director of Selma) and David Oyelowo (plays Martin Luther King Jr in Selma) after they did a press interview regarding the film. It was a great interview, DuVernay touched on some great points about the film and its Oscar nomination. I remember in particular her comment on not getting nominated for best director and that everyone else seemed more upset about it then she was. I for one, definitely think she deserved a nomination!

Nena

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 I actually ended up seeing this film by accident. I had tickets for a film called Koza but got lost on the trains in Berlin and missed it. Fortunately the way the festival works is that half an hour or so before the screening you can ask at the venue for spare tickets. This is how I ended up seeing Nena. I went into the film knowing nothing about it but ended up really enjoying it. Directed by Saskia Diesing, the film is about a 16 year old girl (called Nena) who is confronted with her paraplegic father’s wish to die. Despite having such a serious topic as the basis for the story it’s on the whole lighthearted and funny at times. The character Nena played by Abbey Hoes was a very honest representation of a teenage girl. She falls head over heels with a boy and spends most of her time trying to look cool. I also particularly liked the relationship between Nena and her father, the actors had great chemistry and they played well off of each other. Another interesting aspect of this that was mostly lost on me due to just reading the english subtitles was that the film jumped between the characters speaking Dutch and occasionally German when Nena speaks to her father. I just wonder what effect that has on a German or Dutch speaking viewer. Overall, I thought this was a really great film and I’m glad I watched it. 

H.

H

 This film is one that I still can’t quite get my head around. It was incredibly strange. The film is split into four chapters and essentially it’s about two married women both named Helen. One is an older woman who has a baby doll but treats it like a real child. The other is much younger and pregnant. Both don’t have very happy marriages. Something happens that is never really explained that sets off lots of surreal things in this film. People start disappearing and strange things start happening to the two women. I wasn’t really a fan of this film but I did find it interesting. The sound in particular was excellent, it had a great score and sound design. It also had a lot of great and disturbing imagery about motherhood. I’ve read that many aspects of this film relate to and play with greek myths and legends. Overall, I think this is one that if you like films that mess with your head you will like this.