Hebden Bridge Film Festival this weekend

From Friday to Sunday Hebden Bridge Film Festival will be online. I’m delighted to be hosting a panel looking at narrative and care in making documentary films. We had hoped to do this in person last year. The disappointment in cancelling that event at the onset of the pandemic is quelled by looking forward to this weekend and the hope I’ll be there in person in 2022.

‘Because we spoke our secrets to each other’

The Picture House by Clare Shaw

TOGETHER / APART is the theme of this year’s festival. This feeling is beautifully evoked in Clare Shaw’s poem The Picture House read by Maxine Peak below. It conjures the magic of cinema going, the joy of being part of an audience and the irresistible pull of storytelling. I’m really looking forward to the festival’s Virtual Foyers where you can meet other festival goers online. The sessions are on Saturday at 4pm and Sunday at 3pm.

REAL LIFE: The Challenge of Documentary
1:30pm Sunday 21st March 2021

“I’m interested in shy people, telling small stories, quietly… my camera can be a loudhailer”

https://www.jeaniefinlay.com/about

I’m thrilled to be joined by the following speakers for a live discussion about making documentaries. We’re going to talk about how to find narratives and to handle stories and their subjects with respect. The panelists have great skill and sensitivity in common and all understand the responsibility of telling stories with care. We’ll hear more about their work and what matters to them when documentaries are made.

Preparing for BtM Conference

Tomorrow and on Wednesday I’ll be taking part in the Beyond the Multiplex conference. I’ve been preparing for the sessions I’m hosting, rereading the speakers’ papers and becoming acquainted with Padlet, which is new to me. Here’s a preview of the two discussions I am chairing.

Audience choice, programming and digital platforms
14:10, Tuesday 2nd March 2021

  • Paul McEvoy (BFI Research and Statistics Unit) will present ‘Pick and Mix’ – cultural access, screen engagement and film appetites in the UK’s nations and regions
  • Prof. Mattias Frey (University of Kent) will present Film and Series Choice in the Age of Netflix: Results from an Empirical User Study
  • Dr Vejune Zemaityte (Tallinn University), Prof. Deb Verhoeven (University of Alberta) and Dr. Bronwyn Coate (RMIT University) will present Programming foreign films: Analysing cultural diversity in the global exhibition sector

Independent film exhibition support and development
14:40, Wednesday 3rd March 2021

  • Robert Livingston (Regional Screen Scotland) will present Developing diverse audiences in Scotland
  • Yasmin Begum will present Decolonising (D)evolving Film: Notes from Scotland and Wales
  • Monika Rodriguez and Michael Pierce (Cinema Nation) will present Imagining Cinemas as Eco-Systems
  • Rachel Hayward and Andy Willis (HOME, Manchester) will present Celebrating Women in Global Cinema: Curating a year-long programming initiative at HOME, Manchester

At the end of the conference I am joining Prof. Bridgette Wessels to reflect on the Beyond the Multiplex findings and recommendations and reflect on audience response. I intend to follow up here after the busy two days.

The aim of the BtM was to understand how to enable a wider range of audiences to participate in a more diverse film culture that embraces the wealth of films beyond the mainstream; and how to optimise the cultural value of engaging with those less familiar films. It did this by investigating how audiences engage with and form around ‘specialised’ films in four English regions, the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, North West/Greater Manchester and the South West. Here, Audience formation is understood as the processes of engagement with films that generate audience experiences.

https://www.beyondthemultiplex.net

Beyond the Multiplex

I’m working with the project team on the final stages of AHRC funded Beyond the Multiplex: Audiences for Specialised Film in English Regions. This includes a conference on 2nd and 3rd March where I’ll host a closing session exploring the research project’s recommendations in light of the conference discussions.

Find out more about the conference here

The aim of the BtM was to understand how to enable a wider range of audiences to participate in a more diverse film culture that embraces the wealth of films beyond the mainstream; and how to optimise the cultural value of engaging with those less familiar films. It did this by investigating how audiences engage with and form around ‘specialised’ films in four English regions, the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, North West/Greater Manchester and the South West. Here, Audience formation is understood as the processes of engagement with films that generate audience experiences.

https://www.beyondthemultiplex.net

Preparing for Sheffield Creative Guild Sessions

I was really gratified to find I am fully booked for the business planning advice sessions I am hosting for Sheffield Creative Guild this month. I’ve been preparing for the first set of bookings tomorrow and really excited to meet the practitioners.

Sarah Grace Dye

Sarah’s Instagram feed

I am really looking forward to meeting Sarah, I love paper, artists’ books and all things folded. Having seen the photos from Sarah’s recent studio move and the absolutely beautiful space she’s created I’m going to have to work really hard to stay on topic in the limited time we have as I could spend hours discussing found objects and why we’re drawn to collect things.

Katy Billington

Katy has some stunning prints and the making behind them in her feed. I probably have more prints on my walls than anything else and I find the process intriguing. How a printmaker can reverse and isolate all the elements in a composition is so impressive to me. Katy uses lots of different printmaking techniques sometimes combining them.

THATLOOKSQUEER

Strength is often portrayed as a physical triumph over adversity, challenging a commonly held convention and testing ourselves to the limit. But what happens when we break? How do we heal and centre?

A Fallow Time: Strength in Isolation by THATLOOKSQUEER

This writing from my third booking tomorrow is really beguiling. I particularly loved the description of Phoebe Davis’ work in Site Gallery last year. Describing a fallow time earlier in this pandemic resonated with me too.

Book a workshop with me in January 2021

Thrilled to be doing these with Sheffield Creative Guild

Sea Change

A professional and personal development lab for women in the film industry set on the Isle of Tiree

In September I was incredibly lucky to produce Sea Change Development Lab. I worked with Jen Skinner who runs Screen Argyll and founded Sea Change. Jen had a clear vision to bring talented women together in a wonderful setting. She worked with the wonderfully generous community of people and businesses on the island to create a unique and nourishing environment.

Being surrounded by such a phenomenal and intelligent group of women was such an amazing feeling of support

The My Story sessions were great , because it gave every single person a chance to present themselves in a way of their choosing

I’ve found it very hard to express to anyone at home exactly why and how it was such an incredible and impactful experience