indie film

Hunting

There’s different levels of grieving. And Hunting deals with ones on the top of the scale. And manages to find the key to it as well. Quite literally.

And because we think you are special and deserve double the fun we’ve got a double interview. With Katie the producer and Jack the director.

There is an ad in a newspaper with your photo in it. What does it say?
Katie: Has anyone seen this person? She might be hiding in a cupboard somewhere surrounded by budgets.
Jack: If I was selling something I imagine it would be rather boring — a bank account or washing up liquid — something disappointing sensible. I just hope I got paid well...

When it comes to complexity and difficulty of producing an art work filmmaking is very close to the top. What makes the whole journey, often unpleasant, worthwhile for you?
K: The difficulty is the organisation of all the 'small things' that often get overlooked - the getting kit from a kit house to a location and where to store it and who will drive it etc as an example - there are always small things that can easily turn out to be big things if you let them be but the worthwhile thing about this crazy world of filmmaking is that it's a puzzle with thousands of pieces and the moment it all comes together and everyone is smiling - you know you have done your job well.
J: I think it’s something to do with a film being a collection of other works of art — some larger than the film — the music composition, the architecture and design of the art department, the writer, the actors, the photography of the DoP. I’m drawn to the curation of other people’s brilliance. I love that it’s collaborative: maybe that shared endeavour is what makes the difficult moments both easier (a team alongside you) and worth it.

Why this film?
K: It was the twist that got me, I felt really intrigued by the script which was brilliant and felt flipped by the ending - I knew it was going to be a great one to make. Jack is a brilliant Director so it was a great one to help bring to life for him.
J:
I was flat-hunting and it struck me how invasive looking around a property is: how vulnerable the person living there, but out at the time, is. How a simple estate agents viewing could be manipulated by someone to darker ends. Plus it wasn’t too big a challenge to take on for my first film: two people, one location, performance driven.

You have unlimited budget, green light for your dream project and can cast anyone you want...
K: Constraints are what makes a film - that's where the passion lies. You get the real determination come out when you have hurdles to climb. That said though, developing a TV series such as The Affair would be a dream.
J: I’m not sure I’d want to work without constraints — for me restrictions (budget, time, my ideas) seem to help foster my creativity. But I’d love to adapt a sweeping multi-generation novel (see my answer to question 2 — other people’s art)

What are your future goals regarding filmmaking?
K: To continue to produce exciting content that moves people. I'm working towards my first feature and have written a pilot for a TV series which has been an ongoing project of mine.
J: To keep directing alongside my work as an actor. To take on new challenges and explore new genres and mediums.

Any Instagram, Twitter or websites where your future fans can stalk you?
K: @huntingfilm
J: @mrjackhawkins and @likeahawkfilms

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Hunting - with all of its’ twists and turns - will be screened July 9th at 19.30 at the Streatham Space Project. Be there or be somehwere else.
Tickets, as usual, HERE.

I am Sherlock Holmes

You should not let the title decieve you. Except in this case.
Or should you? The answer might not be as elementary.

Sherice Griffiths wrote, directed and produced - yes, women are indeed the only human beings capable of multitasking - I am Sherlock Holmes and here’s how she answere our questionare.

There is an ad in a newspaper with your photo in it. What does it say?
Film director accidentally films the wrong movie!
Due to a mix up in the production office two scripts became one when the latest James Bond movie script was printed alongside Sharknado VII. Indie director turned Hollywood director, Sherice Griffiths, pens the strange mashup movie to be the next big thing, ‘Shark-en not stirred!’

When it comes to complexity and difficulty of producing an art work filmmaking is very close to the top. What makes the whole journey, often unpleasant, worthwhile for you?
This is a great question, because you’re right, it is incredibly difficult to make a film. What makes it worthwhile for me is getting to meet so many incredibly talented and creative people whilst doing it. I love the collaborative element of filmmaking and a lot of my closest friends I’ve made on filmsets. I really love working with actors and hearing the words on a page come to life. When you do finally get into the edit and see everyone's hard work come together you get a huge sense of accomplishment.

Why this film?
I love films that have a twist. I’m a big Christopher Nolan fan and at the time of writing ‘I am Sherlock Holmes’ I had recently re-watched Memento and wanted to look at ways to tell a story differently. The theme of mental health awareness is something that just seemed to fit the story and it’s a subject matter that I am very passionate about.

You have unlimited budget, green light for your dream project and can cast anyone you want..
This is a tough one, it would probably be either be an action film with lots of martial arts and stunts or a fantasy film where anything was possible. In terms of casting there's a lot of actors I would love to work with, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sally Hawkins, Ian McKellen and Anne Hathaway. If they were all in a film together I've no doubt it would be an amazing (somewhat strange) film.

What are your future goals regarding filmmaking?
At the moment my short term goal is to realise my next short film project, a short sci-fi drama that I’m currently developing. Long term I’m hoping that I can move into directing television or narrative features. 

Any Instagram, Twitter or websites where your future fans can stalk you?
Twitter: Sherice_g
Insta: Sherice.g
Facebook:
www.facebook.com/daredynamicproductions

Sherice Griffiths

Sherice Griffiths

To see this amazing twisty short and speak to Sherice in person come to Streatham Space Project July 9th at 19.30.
And just to make sure you get your seat maybe check for tickets HERE.

Bingo Ladies

Ever wished you were a fly on the wall in a ladies’ bathroom? Well, we hope not as that’s called being a pervert.
On the other hand eavesdropping on a gang of elderly ladies playing bingo is quite a natural urge. And in this film you get to see that ladies don’t get old. They get refined.

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Merve Erde, producer and co-writer of this gem, answered our questionare. And away we go:

Tere is an ad in a newspaper with your photo in it. What does it say?
It says: "A story without headline".

When it comes to complexity and difficulty of producing an art work filmmaking is very close to the top. What makes the whole journey, often unpleasant, worthwhile for you?
As a small creative production company, it is very challenging to get clients to survive as a filmmaker. It is also quite hard to get exposure and recognition for the work we do. However, the magic and necessity of filmmaking goes beyond those limitations and hardships. It gives you the possibility to take a feeling, an idea or an image to different realm where you can narrate, represent or manipulate them as you wish. It allows you to communicate your story and share it with the world in the most charming and direct form. Depending on the stylistic and intellectual approach, you can tell the same story in many different ways and each element (light, camera, script, sound etc) contributes to it differently to form a uniformed body. The whole creative process of filmmaking makes it very worthwhile. It is also a collective form of art which brings creative people together to create a unique piece of art.

Why this film?
Our production company, That Thing, had an office next to a bingo hall at the time. Irina was quite amazed by the elderly ladies who went there very regularly. They all had a particular style, a particular attitude. Bingo was more than a game for them - it allowed them to socialize, make friends and enjoy their time. In a city like London, where everything is quite frenetic and organized around youth culture, we thought that bingo halls opened up an alternative space for these women. We can discuss how satisfying of an experience this is for them, or whether it is positive or negative. However, we wanted to get to know them and their stories better. On the other hand, we did not want to romanticize it so we introduced some absurd moments in it and tried to blur the line between "fiction" and "factual" in their narratives.

Another aspect that we were interested in was to make these women "protagonists" of our film. Elderly women have a very limited range of roles in film and these roles are generally repetitive and stereotypical. We wanted to challenge this as well.

You have unlimited budget, green light for your dream project and can cast anyone you want...
We like dark comedies and the sense of absurdity/ridiculousness that arises in unexpected tragic moments. It would be probably such a story. With Vincent Gallo playing the main character.

What are your future goals regarding filmmaking?
We have some short film projects. We are also working on a series of video portraits such as the bingo ladies.  The next one we will take place in a hair salon in Brixton.

Merve Erde

Merve Erde

To see what the Bingo Ladies have to say - and boy do they like to talk - come on down to the good ole’ Streatham Space Project 9th July at 19.30 and just so you make sure you get your seat you might as well buy a ticket right now. Right HERE.

The Fourth Trimester

The Third film in our Sisters Of The Silver Screen CineShots is about the greatest power of women - the power to give life. Which can quite often turn into a burden no one really talks about.

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Phoebe McCaughley is the single mother of this beautiful project. Here’s what she had to say about giving birth to this film:

There is an ad in a newspaper with your photo in it. What does it say?
She likes to move it: Phoebe McCaughley an animation graduate who tells stories through her hands.

When it comes to complexity and difficulty of producing an art work filmmaking is very close to the top. What makes the whole journey, often unpleasant, worthwhile for you?
I believe that Stop Motion; the type of film making I use is pretty high up there on the unpleasant scale. The nature of the medium means I have to be stuck in a dark room for hours on end contorting my body into uncomfortable repetitive positions to bring these puppets to life at a ridiculously slow pace. The puppets I create from their beginnings of wire skeletons then go on to come to life on screen with their own personalities, it is the most magical and satisfying feeling.

Why this film?
The birth of babies is often portrayed on television, but there’s very little about how difficult looking after a new-born can be for many parents. Through interviews and research I found the topic to be taboo, because you’re immediately supposed to have a love for your baby that is incomparable to anything else. This is not always the case. I sought to communicate the reality of the struggle that many new parents face and open a conversation to challenge the mainstream portrayal of childbirth. I thought that the medium of stop motion film would be suited to a subject which requires empathy as the technique requires care and human touch. Though touching on a sensitive and serious topic, elements of humour in the film make it more relatable and uplifting. I often reverse the roles of mother and baby to communicate feelings of vulnerability.

You have unlimited budget, green light for your dream project and can cast anyone you want…
I would love to make a comical horror film; I’m very inspired by the work of Lee Hardcastle. In terms of cast, I think I would always like to stick to the miniature lifeless puppet type but if I were to pick voice actors, that would be a privilege as I often have to convince my boyfriend to turn himself into any given character. I think Michaela Coel and David Tennant would be great in a Horror animation.

What are your future goals regarding filmmaking?
I’m not too sure on what specifically I’d like to do yet as I have enjoyed switching between roles of maker, mover and director. I hope that my creativity continues to grow in whatever role I take next. I enjoy telling stories which reflect the details of life that are often overlooked.

Any Instagram, Twitter or websites where your future fans can stalk you?
My Instagram is @phoebestopmotion
My Website is
www.phoebemcc.co.uk

Phoebe McCaughley

Phoebe McCaughley

The Fourth Simester will be screened, along with five other female-made short films, 9.7. at 19.30 at the Streatham Space Project.
Make sure you get your tickets right over HERE.

#eatpretty

This month CineShots is the ‘Sisters of the Silver Screen Special’! Which means all of the six selected films ahve been made by female filmmakers.
Yes #eatpretty is about the whole Instagram influence overdosing. But it’s different. Yes it’s about how our values are going in the wrong direction. But it’s different.
It’s still life. But it’s different.

#eatpretty

#eatpretty

Rebecca Culverhouse is the mastermind behind the fine art that is #eatpretty. Here’s what she told us:

There is an ad in a newspaper with your photo in it. What does it say?
Filmmaker from Burnley discovers portal to a parallel world - documentary out now!

When it comes to complexity and difficulty of producing an art work filmmaking is very close to the top. What makes the whole journey, often unpleasant, worthwhile for you?
I've always enjoyed painting, photography and writing as well as filmmaking, especially as these art forms allow me complete artistic freedom to create whatever I want at any time. But I'm addicted to the filmmaking process. It's the buzz of infecting a team of people with a make believe world, and everyone is passionate about bringing something of themselves to the story. And the harder the struggle to get a film made, the more rewarding it is when you are finally able to bring a film to life and share it with the public.

Why this film?
There's that phrase "You are what you eat". I think this also applies to what ideas you take in or allow to occupy your mind. Now more than ever we face overwhelming amounts of information, ideas and aspirational images, both real and fake. Social media's hypnotic corporate influence encourages an endless sense of longing, where our lives or our bodies are never quite good enough. #eatpretty focuses on the pretty dream world many of us inhabit online, chasing products and brands that have been sold to us as tokens that will bring us status and happiness. It also hints at the ugly truth lurking beneath - that we are collectively destroying the world and ourselves in our quest for a “perfect” life. The scary part for me is that we are becoming trained to be so wrapped up in ourselves that we don't realise that we are becoming isolated and distracted from huge environmental and socio-political events.

You have unlimited budget, green light for your dream project and can cast anyone you want...
A sci fi action film about a body swapping assassin, starring Viola Davis and Oscar Isaac.

What are your future goals regarding filmmaking?
I'm currently working on an experimental project about synaesthesia, as well as adapting a short film I made in Japan into a feature script.

Any Instagram, Twitter or websites where your future fans can stalk you?
My website: https://www.rebeccaculverhouse.com/
Instagram: @rebel_cub / @annaeatspretty
Twitter: @kichigai_movie

Rebecca Culverhouse

Rebecca Culverhouse

So now you know!
To see #eatpretty pop by at Streatham Space Project 9th July at 19.30 and watch all six short films.
Tickets HERE.

Straight Faces

There’s a thin line between reality and adding made up bits to a story to tell your friends. “Straight Faces” crosses that line very early on. Very boldly.

Rally Ridberg - the face behind the Straight Faces - was cool enough to answer our very straight questions.

There is an ad in a newspaper with your photo in it. What does it say?
London-based writer/director with a passion for satire and genre-blending as social commentary.

When it comes to complexity and difficulty of producing an art work filmmaking is very close to the top. What makes the whole journey, often unpleasant, worthwhile for you?
I've always enjoyed making films...yes, it can be stressful at times - but the pros always seem to outweigh the cons. I think it's our expectations that let us down, aspiring directors expect the world and on one level - why shouldn't we? In this day and age anything's achievable. But it doesn't necessarily follow we're therefore going to impress with our first, second or even third films. I reckon it takes a lot of experience and honing of the craft to close that gap between what we visualise and what ultimately makes it to screen.

Why this film?
Sensationalist and obsessive homophobia has always intrigued me. There is just too much going on with that sort of visceral aggression to ignore.

You have unlimited budget, green light for your dream project and can cast anyone you want...
I feel as though my favourite actors may not be right for my dream project. But when I think of a role for say; De Niro, in my scathing critique of social exclusion and marginalisation in contemporary Britain - I'll be sure to let you know!

What are your future goals regarding filmmaking?
I see myself writing.

Straight Faces

Straight Faces

Straight Faces was officially selected (we never select anything unofficially) for the June edition of CineShots and will be screened accordingly on 11.6. at the Streatham Space Project.
For tickets, timings and tiny little details hop on HERE.

Bath

Can one word ruin a holiday? Can it ruin a relationship? Or can it build one?
So little words, so many questions!

Bath is written and directed by Meredith Dobbs whom we are more than delighted to host for the second time at CineShots. And she never manages to let us down. Meredith, take it away.

There is an ad in a newspaper with your photo in it. What does it say?
Maybe an interview about a film I've made? But an advertisement? I don't know what it would be for.

When it comes to complexity and difficulty of producing an art work filmmaking is very close to the top. What makes the whole journey, often unpleasant, worthwhile for you?
I just genuinely love working with actors and a team of filmmakers. If I'm going to anything worthwhile worth my time, it will always be this.

Why this film?
I wanted to tell a story about invisible queerness and how hard it can be to stand up and say, "I want this invisible thing to be seen." I was trying to work out how a loving partner could be the antagonist that, to create the central conflict in my film, and I thought about how politics can affect our intimate relationships negatively. So invisible queerness and politics in relationships became the central themes, and I think both are quite topical and relatable.

You have unlimited budget, green light for your dream project and can cast anyone you want...
Casting would depend on the project, but I'd definitely want to work with actors I get along with really well. I think that's especially important for improv, because the method requires the director and actor to ask a lot of each other. As for the unlimited budget, I'd use it to make sure everyone on set was paid fairly, had reasonable working hours, childcare on set, long enough breaks between shifts, etc. And after that we can talk about crane shots and expensive GFX.

What are your future goals regarding filmmaking?
I want to write and direct narrative features. And probably edit them, too. I'd also like to edit features directed by others because I do really love editing.

Meredith Dobbs

Meredith Dobbs

We won’t tell you much about the film but let’s just say there’a a lot at stake here. And you’ll just have to pop down to the ol’ Streatham Space Project on 11.6. at 19.30 to see how it all unrolls.
Tickets right HERE.

"Have You Seen Buster?"

If CineShots was a Scooby Doo cartoon Emmanuel Li and his gang would be a bunch of meddling kids and we, the old guys, would always be angry at them for showing everyone we’re just a bunch of pretenders.
And that’s because the guys behind The Big Tent Films know their ropes pretty well.

We interogated Emmanuel Lie - writer and director of Have You Seen Buster? - in a haunted castle right after his Mistery Machine van broke down.

There is an ad in a newspaper with your photo in it. What does it say?
It'd be a very unflattering photo of me followed by "MISSING: Have You Seen Emmanuel Li? Last Seen in the Walthamstow Marshes."

When it comes to complexity and difficulty of producing an art work filmmaking is very close to the top. What makes the whole journey, often unpleasant, worthwhile for you?
Film is such a unique and fantastic art form in its accessibility and ability to appeal to absolutely everyone. I've always had a passion for stories and to be able to have the creative control and freedom to bring a story to life from script to screen is intensely rewarding. The process is, of course, arduous and often frustrating, be it writer's block or on-set complications, but filmmaking being the ultimate team sport, working with so many talented people, sharing in these ups and downs, solving problems together, all while striving to tell a great story will never cease to spark joy in me. And hopefully, when all is said and done, it will spark joy in the audience as well.

Why this film?
Having just come off making a bleak, gritty drama last summer, with many more dark comedies in the works, I wanted to take a departure and make something sweet and charming without any cynicism. I love dogs but have never had one, so part of the "searching-for-a-dog" plot came from that. The location also played a big part - exploring Walthamstow Village made me think of all the wacky characters that could inhabit such a colourful, vibrant world, a world I desperately wanted to share with audiences. Being a magician, I love twists and I won't spoil it here, but the ending came from something that happened that was really close to me, which was the main inspiration for the film.

You have unlimited budget, green light for your dream project and can cast anyone you want...
Wow, what an opportunity! I'd make a darkly comedic Neo-Western crime caper - think Reservoir Dogs with a Coen Brothers twist. It'd be set in harsh, urban LA and then transition to the gorgeous, sunswept backdrop of the Mojave Desert and hell, the Grand Canyon while we're at it! It'd follow a ragtag bunch of criminals who made off with the wrong suitcase containing something seemingly worthless but are now hunted by rival gangs, a corrupt detective with a crossbow, and a female assassin whose preferred method of transport is horseback. It'd star Taron Egerton, Daniel Kaluuya, Dean Norris, Timothee Chalamet, Joaquin Phoenix, and Charlize Theron. It's a crazy, chaotic wild ride and maybe even a bit messy and trashy, but among the madness, I'd love to explore what drives people to commit crime and the complex disparity between generations through the father-sons relationship of the main group.

What are your future goals regarding filmmaking?
My dream would be to continue doing what I love - filmmaking and storytelling - for the rest of my life and be lucky enough to make a living out of it. There's nothing quite like the collective sharing of a story through film, and to be able to provide that experience and create art that makes the drudgery of life that much more bearable would be an honour.

Emmanuel Li

Emmanuel Li

To see if anyone’s seen Buster you’ll have to pop to Streatham Space Project 11.6. at 19.30 and watch the film with five other amazing shorts. Emmanuel will also be there for Q&A and your regular autographs.
Make sure you get your TICKETS.

The Trouble With Retirement

Watching a film about two old buddies tha just got retired doesn’t sound too exciting, really. Knowing one of those guys is a retired assassin, well, we’re stirring things up a bit. Realizing they’re both retired assassins. Now we’re in trouble.

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An interesting film requires an interesting idea. Surely an interesting idea requires an interesting filmmaker…
Here’s Charlie Lilly:

There is an ad in a newspaper with your photo in it. What does it say?
A young upcoming writer/director, Charlie Lilly, uses his love for genre cinema to talk about his generation in his new feature film.

When it comes to complexity and difficulty of producing an art work filmmaking is very close to the top. What makes the whole journey, often unpleasant, worthwhile for you?
I have often heard directors and producers refer to the filmmaking process as high level problem solving and I couldn’t agree more. No matter how much you plan or prepare for a shoot things will always go wrong, but actually sometimes things going awry on set can be a blessing in disguise; having to think up a quick solution on your feet often leads to a new idea that is better than the original one. Sometimes what you thought was going to be your masterpiece turns into a rough draft so bad it makes you physically ill, and you think all the long hours spent shooting have been a waste. What makes filmmaking magical to me is to then bring creativity and new ideas and turn what at first appears like an irredeemable mess into something you’re not only proud of, but has even exceeded what you’d first imagined.

Why this film?
I’ve always liked the idea of normalising larger than life jobs that people might have. The concept behind this short comes from a simple question; what happens to a hitman when he retires? Does he still get leaving cards, and drinks at the pub? The film starts with a working class hitman retiring and taking his friend for some drinks in the pub before going on holiday with his wife. It’s a comedy-crime that doesn’t want to be a parody – it follows the visual tropes and beats of a crime genre film. Although there’s plenty of humour and over the top violence, the film also has emotional moments – my hope is for the audience to feel like the characters are real, relatable people.

You have unlimited budget, green light for your dream project and can cast anyone you want... 
My dream project would be to make a British hangout movie like Dazed and Confused where the audience gets to know and love the characters, to then bring in an unexpected horror element half way through. Too often characters in horror feel like cannon fodder, eliminating the tension and the drama from the killing – I want the audience to be genuinely terrified because they don’t want to see the characters they’ve grown attached to getting picked off one by one. I envision it as Richard Linklater meets From Dusk Till Dawn but (the threat being something a little more grounded than an army of vampires). I think that would be a truly terrifying experience. I’d like to cast young, British actors such as Will Poulter, John Boyega and Letitia Wright who are naturally likable and charming but have shown extreme flexibility when it comes down to acting, excelling in different genres and styles.

What are your future goals regarding filmmaking?
My future goal regarding filmmaking is to start making features. I want to one day be seen as the director who brought the public’s eye back to Britain and its culture, hopefully starting a new wave of big budget original British storytelling. European and British cinema has an enormous pool of talent for films that too often is relegated to small releases. In the past, films such as Babylon, The Long Good Friday and Alfie brought British culture of their time into the mainstream - but I feel like there’s been a gap since then and my generation has been mostly represented in American films, which while great can’t represent exactly the same experience as my own.

Charlie Lilly

Charlie Lilly

The Trouble Wiht Retirement will be screened in all its’ glory on the Streatham Space Project’s big screen 11.6. at 19.30. Well, that’s when the door opens, the screenings will start at 20.00 so you have a time for a quick pint.
Tickets HERE so you won’t be left standing outside. (They’re also available on the door but they’re a quid cheaper online. Just sayin’)

The Drive

How does one talk about memories when the memory starts dissolving?
There’s films about father-son relationships and there’s films that make you want to call your parents and tell them how much you love them. Guess which one is The Drive.

Adam Thomas Wright is much younger than he should be to create a film such as The Drive and we’re always amazed by the talent and will of the new filmmaking generation.

There is an ad in a newspaper with your photo in it. What does it say?
Adam Thomas Wright: Starring in Mr Potato Head biopic

When it comes to complexity and difficulty of producing an art work filmmaking is very close to the top. What makes the whole journey, often unpleasant, worthwhile for you?
Yeah, filmmaking can be very challenging. Take, for example, the sheer unpredictability of it. On The Drive, the weather really influenced the project in a bad way. When you are on a shoestring budget, you've got to plan properly with stringent time restraints on kit hire etc. And when Mother Nature comes along and throws it awry, it can be hard. But each challenge is an experience to learn from. Everything gets a little easier after each challenge you face. And that's worth it.

Why this film?
I was actually sitting in a car, driving down a country road late at night. I thought about how cool it would be to have a series of shots using the repitition of street lights and road markings. Then I thought about the type of conversations people have late at night on a long journey. I have had experience of dementia in my family, and I thought it was a topic worth discussing and perhaps be able to find some light in such a difficult situation.

You have unlimited budget, green light for your dream project and can cast anyone you want...
Some kind of surreal twist on reality; I love films that take real life and make it even more uncomfortable. I like the idea of making audiences really feel something indescribable. There are so many talented actors out there, but John Malkovich and Paul Dano are personal favourites, and Elsie Fisher was a delight in Eighth Grade this year.

What are your future goals regarding filmmaking?
I am writing a new script at the moment for a new short. It's a bit different in theme, but I've learnt lessons from The Drive. 

Adam Thomas Wright

Adam Thomas Wright

The Drive will be screened 11.6. with Adam as our guest for the Q&A.
Tickets are available HERE and they will open the door for you at 19:30 at the usual Streatham Space Project.