Independent Cinema Office Blog

News and views on the world of independent film

Posts from December 2016

Our biggest and best blog posts of 2016

Posted Thursday 29 December 2016 by Duncan Carson in News Round-up

San Marco Theatre, Florida

Every Thursday, we aim to bring you all the cinema news that's fit to print. While you're trying to think of creative uses for leftover Turkey and polishing off the last Quality Street, we thought we'd give you some quality reading material. Here's our most read and most recommended blog posts from 2016.

Remember, if you have an idea you want to share or a project you want to highlight, you can always send us an email to pitch a story. See you in 2017 with more inspiring, instructional and thought-provoking takes on the independent film scene.

Top blog posts of 2016

How your film festival can build sponsorship and funding: Festivals are always keen to bolster these areas, so no wonder that expert advice from Toronto and San Sebastian Film Festivals proved our year's biggest hit.

Five things to avoid if you want your LGBTQ film screening to reach the queer community (and how to do it right!): We spoke to the team behind Wotever! DIY Film Festival about how they reach a large, impassioned audience of LGBTQI people and how you can too. 

How cinema can help people with dementia live a life more ordinary: the Dukes Lancaster: Cinema can have a transformative effect on the lives of people with dementia. Direct, easy-to-follow advice in this excellent blog post.

Dreamland Cinema: Programming in focus: We loved the work of this Brighton-based programming duo in 2016. We spoke to them about how badges, dolls' houses and balloons made their programming stand out. 

Cinema therapy: screening film in hospitals with Medicinema: NHS hospitals with cinemas? Medicinema is an absolute life-line to people in need of healing. Find out about their great work. 

5 pieces of data your cinema needs to grow your audience: Marketing shouldn't be about guesswork. Sarah Boiling gave us this guide to how you can get more bums on seats via clever use of data you already hold and what you should be capturing about people coming through your door or on your site. 

The unseen history of women's filmmaking in Britain: So called 'amateur' filmmakers are a treasure trove of the suppressed history of films made by women. We spoke to the East Anglian Film Archive about what they've uncovered and how your cinema can share it.

5 reasons why you should go to an independent cinema right now!: Not that you need convincing, but director and programmer Julia Marchese gave us this heart-warming reminder of why what we do counts.

Five tips for building strong rural audiences: If you think Tarkovsky doesn't play outside the cities, this blog post from top film festival Borderlines should set you right. 

The Lexi & The Nomad: Exhibitor of the Month: We loved talking to the team at the Lexi in North London about how their cinema is doing good for their own community and far beyond.

5 ways to make your venue more accessible for D/deaf people: We've got a LOT more planned in 2017 to help improve things for Deaf audiences, but this is a good place to start.

The future of cinema technology at IBC in Amsterdam: High-frame rate, high-dynamic range, laser projection... Team Tech Skills look at the retina-blazing future at one of the world's largest technology shows. 

Abbas Kiarostami: Saint of Cinema: We lost many greats this year, but one of the saddest losses was Iran's master filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami. Our own David Sin speaks about how his films influenced cinema and his role in sharing the filmmaker's work in the UK.

5 tips on how to build your own community cinema from Star & Shadow, Newcastle: Perhaps 2017 is the year when you rally your local community and start something special. The Star & Shadow have been bringing people together for over a decade and give you their tips on the eve of their new cinema space opening. 

FEDS 2016: Naomi's experience with Film Africa: One of our big inspirations in the office is the FEDS scheme. Naomi, who took on a placement at Film Africa, runs us through how she made a big contribution to the festival. 

From streaming to cinemas: careful curation with MUBI: MUBI does something online that'll be familiar to all cinema programmers: careful, audience-drive curation that pushes people's taste forward. We talked to them as they began distributing films in cinema as well as online.

FEDS 2016: Krushil's experience with Glasgow Film Theatre

Posted Wednesday 21 December 2016 by Ellen Reay in FEDS scheme, Training & Conferences

krushil

We spoke to Krushil Patel, one of 2016's FEDS trainees, about what he learned during his time with Glasgow Film Theatre and what advice he'd give to those wanting to get started in film exhibition. Krushil is now a full time member of staff, having been hired by his host company straight out of the scheme. To find out more about FEDS and to apply click here. The deadline is 3 January!

My placement was at the Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT), an independent cinema at the centre of Glasgow. As a Programme Assistant, I was able to get an excellent overview of the nuts and bolts of programming at an independent cinema.  As part of my placement, I was able to assist with ideas and selection advice to the wider programming team; research rights and print sources; write copy and proof read; and assist with planning and execution of specialised events. After the placement, I was offered the position Programme & Events Assistant with the Glasgow Film Festival.

What are the experiences you most enjoyed while working at GFT?

Working at the GFT, firstly as part of the programming team and now as part of the film festival, has been a very insightful and rewarding experience. The first few months started off a little slow as Glasgow Film Festival 2016 had just finished, and so it was a massive drop off period for the staff. At the time it was a little frustrating as I was itching to get stuck in, but in hindsight it was probably a blessing in disguise as it allowed me to get used to a new city, accommodate to my new surroundings and settle into a new working environment. By May, things began to pick up and I was into the full swing of things. My placement occurred at an interesting time, with the biggest screen (around 400 seats) being closed due to refurbishments in the cinema and the GFT launching its new website over the summer.    

Over this period, being able to work across different areas of programming and seeing how the various elements combined to put together a monthly programme was, in itself, a thoroughly valuable and enjoyable experience, one that reinforced my desire to work in film programming.

But if I had to go with one particular highlight, it was attending Gdynia Film Festival in September to identify potential films for Glasgow Film Festival. It was the first time I had gone to a film festival as a guest, wearing my work hat, and it was a fabulous experience. Through this I was able to learn a little about Polish cinema and to use the knowledge and understanding I had developed about GFT audiences to identify quality and interesting films that would work for Glasgow Film Festival. I always thought there would be nothing better than getting to watch films for work, and although viewing four films a day with little breaks was quite tiring, it's still something I would love to do again.

Image result for it's a wonderful life
It's a Wonderful Life is one of GFT's annual bestsellers.

What advice would you give someone who wanted to break into working in exhibition?

Getting your foot in the door

One of the key things I learnt from my placement was that the film industry is a small world and everyone seems to know everyone. To some extent, from the outside it had always seemed like this, but having spent a good stretch of time in the industry, it was reinforced and this always felt like a barrier, especially coming from a non-film background. When roles need to be filled quickly it’s easier to opt for someone who’s recommended to you. 

So how can you make your way and get your name out there? Unfortunately there aren’t enough schemes like FEDS, especially ones that pay and allow you to support yourself, so you may have to look into other options. My first steps into the film industry came through volunteering at a small film festival. This was an invaluable experience that allowed me to see the inner workings of a film festival, while keeping a part-time job. Volunteering at a smaller film festival can allow you to do more than just ushering duties, so you can get to grips with the nitty-gritty side of film festivals, which can be useful for the future.

Building relationships is essential

Once you’re in, building and maintaining relationships is paramount. With the film world being so small, you’re bound to bump into familiar faces. Often you will be dealing with many of the same people, whether it’s distributors, other venues, programmers or individual organisations. Contracts are usually temporary and job-hopping may be the only way early on, so maintaining these relationships will allow you to discover opportunities earlier and make you more likely to be recommended for openings elsewhere. However, beyond the opportunities it can afford you in the future, it will make your life easier in the workplace.

Trying to be Flexible

I moved from London to Glasgow for the FEDS placement. This was a big move but one that I definitely feel has paid off. Only after moving did I realise that being able to move around, especially when starting out, is key, affording you more opportunities to work throughout the UK and abroad. Of course, this is not something everyone can do, but it has been a huge benefit to get away from the London bubble and realise that there are good opportunities outside of London!

Opportunities a-plenty

There are various aspects to working at an independent cinema. If programming is not your thing, then there is finance, marketing, front of house, projection or events and all the departments that exist within a cinema environment. My biggest take-away from the placement was how close together all these departments work to allow for the smooth running of a cinema.   

If you're a talented person of colour or someone who considers themselves disabled, we are looking for people like you to apply for FEDS. Click here to find out more and apply.

The ICO's best of 2016

Posted Thursday 15 December 2016 by Ellen Reay in General

films 2016

Some of our 2016 favourites were Embrace of the Serpent, American Honey, Things to Come and Arrival

We can probably agree there's not been much to cheer about in 2016, but politics, natural and man-made disasters aside, the ICO team have found reasons for hope and celebration in films old and new.

Jemma Buckley, Britain on Film on Tour - Project Manager

willy wonka

Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory proved an instant hit with Jemma's five-year-old

Ten most-watched films this year

Asked to supply my top ten films of 2016, I realised with horror just how little I had made it to the cinema this year! While I completely blame my five-year-old (as I do for many things) for being unable to leave the house of an evening, it dawned on me that as a result I have spent a large part of 2016 digging out my favourite childhood films to share with/impose upon my daughter. So although we’d rather be watching these on the big screen than the sofa, here are ten of our most-watched films this year (good and bad):

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) Tim Burton’s version is always On Demand, but after Gene Wilder passed away in August this version reappeared and won hands down.

Home Alone (1990) Actually debuted this at end of 2015, but tacking it on to this list as it stuck around until at least Easter.

The Sound of Music (1965) Probably a bit ambitious but I was determined with this one; although did have to find various and creative ways to sell it (in our house Julie Andrews is now referred to as ‘Princess Maria’).

Labyrinth (1986) Have had this on DVD for a while just waiting for her to be old enough to watch the film and – just as importantly – sing along to the soundtrack.

Bugsy Malone (1976) We were lucky enough to attend the 40th Anniversary celebrations at BAFTA, complete with dressing up and splurge guns. Has been on repeat ever since.

The Land Before Time (1988) Tears. Lots of tears. Even before Diana Ross kicked in.

A Little Princess (1995) If we had to pick a 2016 winner, this would be it. A different sort of princess film that was loved on the first screening and guarantees 97 minutes of peace every time.  

Oliver! (1968) Slight bit of diverting attention needed when Bill Sykes meets his grisly demise, but musical numbers kept her engaged for the lengthy running time.

Superman (1978) Dad’s choice. I said it wouldn’t work. He said she’d love it. He won.

Free Willy (1993) Ok, so this didn’t actually make the most-watched list as I’ll admit it failed miserably. Perhaps she was a bit young. But that won’t stop me from trying again next year - along with The Goonies, Into The West and The Never-Ending Story. Roll on 2017.

Duncan Carson, Marketing, Communications & Events Manager

More than any other year, I needed cinema to make me feel refreshed, thoughtful and hopeful, and thankfully it didn’t disappoint. I can't be sure these films herald a brave new generation or are anomalies, there was plenty to push me back from the edge of the abyss. I really appreciated seeing films that were thieves in the temple of cinema (Neruda, Love & Friendship and Bone Tomahawk playing on the biopic, period drama and Western respectively) or opened up me up to new places and ways of thinking and being (The Red Turtle, American Honey and Embrace of the Serpent) or represented experience that is all around us, but seldom represented in art (Moonlight, Things to Come). Shout out to Letterboxd for making compiling the end of year list so much easier. If you’re a film fan, it’s a great way to discover films and log your viewing (if you’re of the trainspotting persuasion…).

Top Ten New Films in 2016 (sorry for including 2017 releases, but at least they're all set for UK distribution!)

Neruda
Embrace of the Serpent
Love & Friendship
The Red Turtle
Moonlight
Bone Tomahawk
(especially for the reaction to her rescue by the supposed damsel in distress)
American Honey
Julieta
Things to Come
Certain Women

Honourable mentions: Couple in a Hole, After Love, The Handmaiden, A Quiet Passion, Train to Busan, Your Name, The Salesman, My Life as a Courgette, Little Men

Please excuse me putting an ICO distribution title in my discoveries of the year, but Kathleen Collins’ Losing Ground is a film I hope will become regularly seen, taught and enjoyed. I’m looking forward to reading her short stories in 2017. Thanks to all the work of curators of older material, whether in the cinema or on home video. What you do is really important, and it’s mostly invisible.    

Older films I discovered in 2016

Losing Ground
Napoleon
Youth of the Beast (this film has the most beautiful insert shots of telephones being answered I have ever seen)
Dragon Inn
The Moon and the Sledgehammer
Robin Redbreast
Tetsuo: The Iron Man
El Sur
The Flower of My Secret
A Tale of the Wind
Candyman
Chameleon Street
The Hitch-Hiker
Stormy Weather
Penda’s Fen

Jonny Courtney, Senior Film Programmer

son of saul

 Oscar-winning Son of Saul is one of Jonny's film of the year

Top 10 films released in 2016

Son of Saul
Mustang
Things to Come
Joy
Embrace of the Serpent
Spotlight
Under the Shadow
One More Time with Feeling
American Honey
Arrival

Top Ten Reissues (bit of a cheat but worthy of mention!)

Tarkovsky x 7
Ivan's Childhood
The Mirror
Solaris
Sacrifice
Stalker
Nostalgia
Andrei Rublev
Boys n the Hood
Ran
Barry Lyndon

Top 5 films to watch in 2017

Moonlight
La La Land
Jackie
Manchester by the Sea
Graduation

Jo Duncombe, Film Programmer
i Daniel blake

Ken Loach's call-to-action I, Daniel Blake made a lasting impression on Jo

Top Films from 2016, in no particular order:

The Hard Stop
Things to Come
Victoria
I, Daniel Blake
Embrace of the Serpent

Films I am most excited about that will be released in 2017:  

Moonlight
Elle
Toni Erdmann
Certain Women
Manchester by the Sea
Jackie
Aquarius
The Fits
  

Corinne Orton (Training & Professional Development Manager)

chiraq           

One of the best performances of the year according to Corinne: Teyonah Parris in Chi-Raq 

Top ten female performances of 2016

2016 has been an abysmal year, not least for politics and celebrity deaths. It is one I’ll truly be glad to see the back of. How grateful was I then to be able to escape to the dark comfort of the cinema and see women tearing up the screen like never before. Here’s my pick of top female performances of the year.

  1. Rima Te Wiata as Bella in Hunt for the Wilderpeople
  2. Teyonah Parris as Lysistrata in Chi-Raq
  3. Sasha Lane as Star in American Honey
  4. Sonia Braga as Clara in Aquarius
  5. Florence Pugh as Katherine in Lady Macbeth
  6. Hayley Squires as Katie in I, Daniel Blake
  7. Isabelle Huppert as Natalie in Things to Come
  8. Laia Costa as Victoria in Victoria
  9. Amy Adams in everything, but especially as Louise in Arrival
  10. All the daughters, but especially Gunes Sensoy as Lale in Mustang

  11. Hatice Ozdemirciler, Head of Training & Professional Developmentyour name

    Makoto Shinkai's instant classic Your Name had Hatice chuckling

    The six most memorable films of 2016

    The quiet masterpiece I kept thinking about for days… The Salesman from Asghar Farhadi

    The one that finally saw a trusted virtuoso return to form … Julieta from Pedro Almodovar

    The one that made me laugh … anime instant classic Your Name from Makoto Shinkai (and not just because I’ve been doing Japanese lessons and could joyfully understand basic greetings! Sumimasen!)

    The one I just bloody loved… Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival. Don’t overthink it. It’s a stroke of genius.

    The one with the Q&A that made me realise maybe I don’t always hate Q&As… documentary The Hard Stop by George Amponsah and Dionne Walker, at a packed out North London screening at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham, complete with passionate filmmakers, key characters, humble Tottenham Police Chief and a very lively audience who kept the Q&A running for longer than the film

    The one that everyone needs to see next year… Manchester by the Sea from Kenneth Lonergan.  No spoilers. Just watch it. It’s very powerful stuff.

    Ellen Reay, Events and Marketing Assistant

    mustang

    Deniz Gamze Erguven's powerful debut Mustang made Ellen's top five

    Five favourites of 2016

    As best of 2016 lists begin challenging Trump despair for control of my social feeds, I've been confronted with just how few films I've managed to see this year - I blame my MA-induced lack of funds and time - and how delicious my Christmas holiday catch-up will be. Despite the 50-strong list of films I have yet to see, I have a tough time imagining these five won't make the final cut:

    Embrace of the Serpent
    I, Daniel Blake
    Manchester By the Sea
    Moonlight
    Mustang

    Honourable mention to the two re-releases that had me swooning over lighting: Barry Lyndon and El Sur.

    Sarah Rutterford, Operations Officer

posters 2016 portrait

Top ten posters

  1. Cemetery of Splendour - UK release poster 
    This poster for Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s acclaimed release manages to be both simple and richly mysterious, alluding to the film’s poetry and immediately catching your eye.
  2. Queen of Earth - US release poster 
    This hand-painted poster for Alex Ross Perry's Queen of Earth, showing Elisabeth Moss’s character tumbling into madness, wittily satirises the spirit of the film.
  3. A Bigger Splash - UK release poster 
    Louche summery vibes and a nice, slightly '70s geometric design, plus a dance-y Ralph. 
  4. The Neon Demon - early festival poster 
    Riffs off Nicolas Winding Refn's preoccupation with seductive, cultish visuals and the centrality of the film’s star, Elle Fanning.
  5. Julieta – UK release poster 
    Unusual, bright, striking. This Spanish poster is also great.
  6. Arrival – teaser posters
    These teaser posters of alien spaceships looming over various international locations are instantly arresting. 
  7. Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World – US release poster 
    Cable salad
  8. Arabian Nights trilogy – UK release poster 
    A colourful, standout design incorporating the trilogy's three titles. 
  9. Son of Saul – UK release poster 
    Simple but effective and entirely consistent with the film's austere realism.
  10.  ... and some extras (US/festival posters for early 2017 releases): The Handmaiden (this original Korean poster for Park Chan-wook’s latest looks like a beautiful illustrated manuscript), Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt's latest was one of my favourites at LFF; this poster casts her soulful female stars as Montana pioneers) and Moonlight (a clever design representing this breathtaking film's tri-part structure and its protagonist's conflicted inner self).

posters 2016 landscape

David Sin, Head of Cinemas

Dheepan

One of David's privileged top three was Dheepan

Top three of 2016

Our Little Sister
Dheepan
Little Men

The very best film I saw in 2016 was Asghar Frahadi’s The Salesman, which will be released in 2017. Other 2017 releases that I would recommend are:

Toni Er~mann
La La Land
Elle

FEDS 2016: Naomi's experience with Film Africa

Posted Thursday 8 December 2016 by Ellen Reay in FEDS scheme

Naomi headshot

We spoke to Naomi Rathod, one of the most recent cohort of FEDS trainees, about what she learned during her time with Film Africa and why she'd recommend FEDS to anyone wanting to get started in film exhibition. To find out more and apply, click here.

My placement was at Film Africa, London's Annual African Film Festival, which exists as part of the Royal African Society (RAS), a membership organisation which aims to promote and celebrate the African continent. The festival's sixth edition was celebrated this year, on 28th October-6th November. As festival coordinator, I assisted with several different aspects of the organisation of the festival, including programming, marketing, volunteer arrangement, guest hospitality and event management alongside, Rachael Loughlan, the festival producer and the Film Africa team.

What you didn’t realise about film programming?

Simply how long it takes to acquire and select the films that make up the programme - it is a hearty job!  One of my first jobs was to filter through roughly 1,500 submissions and pick out all of the relevant films, leaving approximately just over 400 submissions to watch. Watching the submissions was fun as I had viewing days at home (yes I stayed in my PJs)!  Though this was a time-consuming process, it was always a lovely moment finding a shiny gem of a film after spending all day watching unsuitable submissions. It reminds you of why it is worthwhile to have submissions and help support and champion emerging talent that needs recognition.

We also considered other African titles for our programme through our own research. I had the task of finding contact details for the purpose of obtaining screening links. I never envisaged spending hours looking for email addresses and contact details. Understandably, not everyone will have an official website or portfolio for their film, so it is a case of being patient and persistent. Only a film programmer knows the mini fist pump moment that occurs when you finally come across that crucial email address, on that 24th tab! My researching skills definitely improved during this process!

film Africa brochure 2016

Image source: Film Africa

What was your experience of film festivals before coming to work at Film Africa?

In 2015 and earlier this year, I volunteered at the London Asian Film Festival (due to my background interest in Indian cinema) and that was my first experience of a film festival. I had never actually attended a film festival before, not even as a spectator! The experience was brilliant, and I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of volunteering. The icing on the cake was being able to watch the unique films being presented and I met some wonderful, enthusiastic people with similar passions to my own. Quite often I found myself chatting to fellow volunteers, instead of rushing to catch the last tube home!

Volunteering is therefore, definitely worth it and rewarding in aspects you may not be anticipating.

It definitely whet my appetite, determined my interest in the film industry and ultimately led me to feeling confident enough to apply for the FEDs scheme!

How do Film Africa think about audiences? Is there one demographic they're interested in their programming or do they think about many different groups?

Film Africa's main target audience is the wide diverse African diaspora that exists within London, with the aim to bring them African films and stories direct from the continent, making it an easy, accessible and enjoyable way of staying connected with the continent and their respective African heritage. Generally though, our audiences are very mixed, varying in age, gender and ethnic origin which is great as we also want to reach people who want to try something new and those who have an interest in global cinema.

From feedback it is clear that subject matter is important to our audiences, so the programme strands help organise the films into themes and relevant topics. One of the strands this year focused on migration, due to its global relevance today, which would have attracted a variety of people. We also work closely with our venues to make informed decisions on which films would be suitable to their programme and be appealing to their audiences, for example the ICA exhibited some challenging subject matter films, as they tend to attract a discerning audience.

Another initiative that we launched this year was the Film Africa Education programme which reached 950 school children. Children essentially are our future audiences, so we are aiming to engage them from a young age as well as encourage African stories to be explored and incorporated into school curriculums.

Considering your audience therefore is extremely important as well as looking on methods of developing and creating new audiences!

Naomi Film Africa

Image source: Film Africa

What do you think people who have never worked at a festival would be surprised about?

How long it takes to prepare for it and at the same time accepting that you can never be fully prepared; no matter how much you envisage to be organised you will inevitably be swept up in the festival whirlwind!

My placement began in March and at first it was not so busy but then I suddenly found myself crazily multi-tasking, so from July onwards it was non-stop. I think managing time is crucial to be on track and generally it's a case of slow and well-paced progress at the beginning. It is not the sort of job where you get instant recognition, satisfaction or fulfilment - you have to be patient to see your results. 

Though as mentioned above I had days where I was snuggled under a duvet, with a hot drink, watching submissions,  there were also the days where I was running around like a headless chicken from one venue to the next, getting stuck in tube barriers (thank you pop-up banner) and problem solving at silly times in the morning! In a nutshell, festival work =varying extremities and dry shampoo. But the good, bad and the ugly experiences are standard practice in the world of festivals, and ultimately are beneficial for your personal development, skills, general persona and stamina to name a few! Embrace all experiences.

What are the challenges about delivering an African cinema festival in the UK?

Film Africa as a festival is unique and niche and for the team, programming and finding the films is the easy part. However, one of the main challenges is finding the audiences and ensuring that they know about the festival. We are aware that there are various networks and African diaspora located within London and we know that not all of them know that we exist. The job associated with this challenge is the marketing and distribution, which is a huge task that needs a lot of focus, time and manpower! There is a small team of people who work at Film Africa, so its a struggle to to maintain a strong and broad marketing strategy as we would need several people working on it for an extensive period of time. This is a work in progress of course!

Competing against mainstream cinema is a constant problem for all festivals and independent exhibitors and fitting in with cinemas and battling for space within venues is always tough, especially when Awards season and Christmas are on the horizon. On an even wider note, the sheer number of activities in London is overwhelming, which is a positive thing, however it is difficult to stand out, and festivals like us have to work on just how to stand out!

film Africa feds

Image source: Film Africa

What was the best thing about working for Film Africa?

It is difficult to pin down the best thing as there were lots of positives! One of the best things was having the opportunity to work with the Film Africa team, all amazing, passionate individuals who were so supportive and friendly throughout. I enjoyed working with the guests and volunteers who were all lovely! Also, I was able to work on Africa Writes, the Royal African Society's Annual African Literature festival which was a good experience and practice before Film Africa!

Another element I valued was the chance to learn about African cinema, which I have definitely got a taste for. African cinema was completely new to me so it was a breath of fresh air. I learned of the patterns and tendencies of African films and audiences as well as touching on its culture, history and even its geography!

Finally, the fact that I was able to work on the entire festival from start to finish, is something I will always appreciate, as I was able to learn the absolute basics and root tasks, right through to the madness of the event management at the end.

What is the one skill you’re glad to have gained?

When you work for a festival it is inevitable that you will be tested in some way and there were several moments where I found myself dealing with various issues and problems. I definitely have gained a strong sense of resilience and this position has assured me of a few innate characteristics that have been strengthened: patience and staying calm under pressure.

Upon dealing with one issue before the festival had begun, my manager said, “It's not the end of the world”, so without realising I must have kept this in mind and as a result I found myself calm and looked at situations with perspective (well... most of the time!) and dealt with them responsibly. Having a calm and collected role model throughout was really helpful, so thank you Rachael!Naomi feds

What would you say to someone considering applying for FEDS this year?

Go for it! It is an invaluable experience and a brilliant way to get kickstarted into the industry in a really nurturing manner. I thought it would be quite intimidating but you realise that there are some brilliant influencers out there who are simply keen to help! The ICO are great and you get to experience lots of various factors and events within the industry both during and post-placement. My placement at Film Africa was amazing, and a wonderful journey with a fulfilling end result!

Having grown up in a small town with one mainstream cinema, I cannot say I was well equipped with a huge amount of knowledge of the industry and the celebration of independent exhibition. I can now say that I have left with a mountain of knowledge and am feeling more competent, confident and knowledgable thanks to this experience. It has inspired me, developed my skills and I am willing to learn more and work towards bigger goals. If you are passionate about film, you are in the right place. Get applying people!!

If you're a talented person of colour or someone who considers themselves disabled, we are looking for people like you to apply for FEDS. Click here to find out more and apply.

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