In the run up to the Festival’s launch we spoke with some of the filmmakers with productions in this year’s programme about their day-to-day lives. Let’s hear from Teniola King, director of Gidi High Life

What gets you up out of bed in the mornings Teniola?

“…The fact that I’m alive, well and pursuing a career I’m passionate about. Unfortunately there are many people that aren’t in that position so I believe the best way I can show gratitude is to ensure I make the most of my day…”

Director Teniola King

What if you weren’t a filmmaker, what would you be doing instead? “…Oh definitely a radio presenter. I used to host a show when I was in Lagos, Nigeria and it was one of my best experiences whilst there. I just loved the fact I could speak to people I’ve never met before on a variety of topics and that I had a chance to hear other people’s opinions too when they called in…” 

Teniola says the following three things would help to improve the industry for independent filmmakers;

“…More opportunities to collaborate with filmmakers that have high budget productions through possible on-set training schemes. Mentoring schemes from more experienced filmmakers. Workshops on how to get more funding for films…”

Lucy Rose, Director

Lucy Rose Williams is the director of Peak and she gave us her heads-up for 2020’s Oscars. “…I really hope that Little Women and Harriet are somewhere up there. Particularly Harriet, this is a story that needs to be told and heard and frankly is long overdue. I hope to see lots of inclusion and diversity and the championing of diverse work…”

Lucy says that Baba Yaga is her favourite fairy story. “…I run an indie press focused on diverse fairy tales/writers and so reading all the different stories is part of my job. Baba Yaga is one that has really stuck with me and I’d love to see a more diverse adaption. It’s wacky and dark and I just love it…”  She likes a good horror film too! “…Hereditary I thought was just horrible but wonderful. Aster’s exploration of family trauma was just so raw and real and I loved watching Midsommer and can’t wait to see his other work…”

Lucy has her own ideas about the improvement of the industry too. “…More diversity in front of and behind the camera. More inclusion of the North of England (in particular disenfranchised/working class areas). Oh and less snobbery…”

RCL Graham’s SOUL Of A Black Woman film poster features in our primary promotional activities and opens the Festival. We spoke to the director about why she felt that film festivals were important. “…Film

Rebecca Graham, Director

Festivals are a vital way for indie filmmakers to get their work seen and to network with other filmmakers. Relationships are created at festivals which lead on to the creation of new amazing films…” She gave us a tip for 2020’s Oscars…”I think Joker will win, no doubt…”

We’ve just left Halloween and we were keen to know the thoughts of filmmakers about this genre. Does RCL Graham have any favourites in this genre? “…Ring (1998), the Japanese original. There’s something about Japanese horror that is far scarier. I have to watch those types of films during the day and watch some Disney films afterwards so that I can sleep. lol…”

Karla Huffman is the producer of the short Renee. If she wasn’t in the filmmaking business she’d be “…working as a medical assistant…” She says of film festivals; “…they put the indie filmmaker in the room with their admirer and the probably the people/person they admire…”

Follow the link for the full Festival programme: Here

Various passes available from: Here

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