BFI Future Film Festival 2014: Focus on writing, lighting and inspiring fiction
This “ultimate film weekend” is a young film buff’s paradise. BFI Southbank plays host this weekend to the 7th BFI Future Film Festival, with workshops, masterclasses and screenings ranging from documentary to animation. Yesterday was documentaries, today was fiction – the itinerary included a screening of the award-winning Gravity and a question and answer session with special effects supervisor Neil Corbould and workshops on scoring, filmmaking and budget.
What really stood out was the diverse range of talent, age groups and background of the attendees. This is a festival aimed at 15-25 year-olds but was visited by all and sundry, testament to the quality of the events offered. Future Film Fiction Awards screened the year’s best fiction shorts and courses on production design and lighting which covered all bases, while elsewhere the BFI Academy showcased their top fiction films and the stars of We Are the Freaks presented the coming-of-age drama.
One excellent seminar tackled a major issue still plaguing the film industry; Writing Herstory with Euroscript focused on writing powerful female leads into film, and explored strong women as characters both currently and as potential going forward. Future being a central theme to this forward-thinking and open-minded festival, all the events seemed geared towards moving on and learning lessons from mistakes and shortfalls. Gabriella Apicella presented her case with passion and conviction, sharing shocking statistics – that women make up only 29 percent of speaking characters in PG and PG-13 films, and that female characters are four times more likely than male to be sexualised, even in children’s films – and opening the floor to debate. What emerged was a consensus that the situation is edging towards greatly equality, with strong characters such as Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games and Merida, portrayed by Kelly Macdonald, in Brave, but much is left to be done. This is encouraging, and leaves one with a sense of empowerment and excitement.
Film critic Ashley Clark presented an excellent workshop focusing on breaking into writing about film, illustrating the multi-faceted approach to this media in the ever-growing digital spectrum and global cultural conversation. This is a festival that is inclusive of everyone, beginner to experienced, curious to knowledgeable, and one that should be attended by anyone interested in the future of film. BFI Future Film holds events every month – get down to Southbank and get involved.
Photo: Courtesy of BFI
BFI Future Film Festival is at BFI Southbank until 23rd February 2014. For further information about future events visit the BFI’s website here.