Sizzling Summer Bytes

Article by Beverly Notman

The July Forum Bytes was a well-attended summer screening at the Mockingbird, compered by the ever engaging Mark Pressdee, that saw Kevin McDonagh, Co-Founder of the Birmingham  International Film Festival, paying a visit to view some of our members’ work.

The night started with a first half that began and ended with two submissions from NFX Films’ Idriss Assoumanou who collaborated as director on one film and producer/cinematographer /editor on the other. He showcased Adam Y, a witty take on being black and Muslim during Ramadan, challenging concepts of race and religion and Bang Bang, an homage to 80s Action Flicks set in an office full of disgruntled employees.

Idriss brought a full complement of friends and collaborators to enjoy his entertaining shorts and the other members’ fantastic submissions shown throughout the night and answered questions along with members of his cast and crew about the films. 
Bhulla Beghal then showed a series of creative messages he had made for Deafness Awareness Week, involving a cross section of groups of workers and bloggers, signing. He explained after the showing the challenges around time and the support he had from his family in making the films.

Rebekah Fortune, director at Sea Horse Films showed her sizzle real for an upcoming project The Plough explaining the principles and uses for of sizzle reels and their value in pitching a project to potential funders and distributors giving a valuable insight for anyone new to the world of film production.

A teaser for a documentary, The Long and Winding Road, was presented by its director, Pip Piper, giving us a taste of his documentary which charts the very real challenges currently faced by live music venues in the UK.

The last shorts presentation between Adam Y and Bang Bang was from Alison Grade, a producer who brought two trailers and a clip from her live streaming and recordings of theatre productions. Alison explained some of the issues she faces in bringing these theatre productions to a cinema screen and like all the producers/directors on the night was happy to answer questions about her work.

After a short break the evening rounded off with two longer films, the first,15 from Neil O’Neil is based around the concept of 15 people in 15 minutes, exploring what might happen if a group of people are faced with the end of the world.

The last film of the night was Wolfskin from Peter Mimmack, looking at gender driven behaviours and instincts against a dystopian back drop. Peter discussed the difficulty in placing certain films in festivals when they don’t meet a specific genre description.

It was an entertaining and lively evening giving audience and film makers the chance to share work and ideas and discuss their projects in a relaxed friendly atmosphere.

A big thank you to all who attended.