July 2014 Archives

It is great to see The Toxic Camera (2012), by British Artists's Jane and Louise Wilson still touring internationally and attracting such a wide audience.

I produced the film through Forma Arts with funding from Film London's FLAMIN scheme. The work was commissioned to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, and was inspired by the film Chernobyl: A Chronicle of Difficult Weeks (1986) made by Soviet filmmaker Vladimir Shevchenko in the days immediately following the accident. Shevchenko subsequently died years later as a result of radiation poisoning. The film, explores interconnecting stories from interviews conducted with Chernobyl 'veterans' and with Shevchenko's film crew, 25 years after the incident.

The narrative includes the story of the camera that Shevchenko used which became so highly radioactive that it was subsequently buried on the outskirts of Kiev. Adriane Searle, upon reviewing The Toxic Camera had the following to say:

"The camera glides, rises and falls. It is a witness and guide, leading you on and detaining you ... The Wilsons' work is more than just a film"

Back in March Jane and Louise were invited to show the film at the exquisite cinema in Florence as part of the Lo Schermo Dell'Arte Film Festival, where they were invited to deliver a Q&A.

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And in June, Jane and Louise were invited by Art Basel in Germany, the world's premier international art show for Modern and contemporary works, as part of Art Basel Film | Thinking About the Aftermath. Curated by Marc Glöde, Thinking About the Aftermath brings together works that deal in various ways with the catastrophic and the events that follow. The screening of the film was followed by a Q&A Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani, and Marc Glöde.

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It's great to be working with them again on a new project for the Imperial War Museum which we will start filming this August.

Roxanne

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Tomorrow is the last shoot day on Roxanne, a short film written and directed by Paul Frankl. It's been great reconnecting with Paul to help him and his producer Akua Obeng-Frimpong make this film.

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When we were filming Water Song last year - or was it the year before that?! - Paul had two scripts he had written and that he really wanted to direct. One was Roxanne. I think something that seems to connect most of Paul's work is his interest in unusual characters. Characters whose stories aren't usually the main focus in films - the outsiders, the non-conformists! In Water Song, he set the story in a swimming pool and his heroine was a deaf-dumb girl, so the film was all in sign language. He has great instincts. The winner at this year's Semaine de La Critique was Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy with the amazing film THE TRIBE which swept the board winning the Nespresso Grand Prize and all the other available awards too! The Tribe was set in a boarding school for the deaf-and-dumb and filmed entirely in sign language.

But anyway, I digress! Here, our main protagonist is Roxanne, a transgender sex-worker, the setting is the gorgeously seedy Soho and the little creature who is about to turn Roxanne's world around is little 11 year old Lily.
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I've been so impressed with Paul's resourcefulness and energy. Not only a successful Kickstarter campaign, but he approached a brand for support and they came on board with the rest of the funds too. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to mention the brand just now, but they have been incredibly cool and supportive. This also means Paul and Akua will have support right through the festival period and beyond too, making sure the film gets out to as wide an audience as possible. He and Akua have gathered together an amazing crew and a fabulous cast. You can see how great Miss Cairo is as Roxanne by watching the teaser on the Kickstarter campaign. Thea Lamb plays Lily and, you wouldn't know it to watch her, but this is her first ever performance. Paul has directed them with great warmth and confidence.

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Paul really wanted to shoot the film on 35mm and his long term collaborator and talented DOP Rina Yang was also very excited at the cinematic dimension this would bring to the project.

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Between them, the team were able to pull a big ole Panaflex Platinum camera and enough film stock for a 5 day shoot - together with a lot of support from Panavision and i-dailies.

It's gonna look great!

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guanajuato film festival 2014

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Oh dear way too much going on to update the news feed! But very excited Crocodile will be playing at GIFF in Mexico. Gaëlle and I are gutted not to be able to go. It starts tomorrow and the first screening will be at 14:00.

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Cast and crew screening at BAFTA

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We were delighted to welcome so many to BAFTA last week for our cast and crew screening of Crocodile. We missed those crucial members who couldn't make it. David Ungaro and Carly Reddin for example!! But we were happy to have Michael Gould, Alecky Blythe and so many of our fabulous crew around us. Gaëlle drew everyone up on stage after the screening.

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thank you to Céline and Doug's friend Zulfquar Ali for the pictures!