london

Leak

It doesn’t happen often that we come across a film which is so very raw and so explicit and so directly on point that we simply cannot pass it.
Leak is all of the above.

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Lead is a film about periods and vaginas and it’s about bloody time someone made it. It took four breasts, two vaginas and one camera to make this film and they all belong to Charlie and Rubina. Take it away ladies.

There is an ad in a newspaper with your photo in it. What does it say?
Badass females trying to close the gender pay gap, end violence against minorities and make content that can empower and enlighten.

When it comes to complexity and difficulty of producing an art work film making is very close to the top. What makes the whole journey, often unpleasant, worthwhile for you?
Being able to tell stories we've never heard before and having no shame in raising our own voices. By day we both work for big TV companies and our side hustles - like making our podcast DAS and indie films like this - allow us to let loose after a lot of graft working for the man. When we're together we are the boss, its freeing to only have to answer to ourselves.

Why this film?
Periods are something we both had a lot of shame about. We could never quite vocalise where that came from or how to move past it. We wanted to explore our feelings about menstruation the good, the bad, the bloody. Being on a very small budget meant we had to be experimental, the two of us did every role on and off screen. It was important to us to make something completely self-sufficient. LEAK allowed us to be messy and dirty and gross. That process taught us all those things are absolutely fine and natural, we hope that's what people take away from watching this film.

You have unlimited budget, green light for your dream project and can cast anyone you want...
We'd make a feature archive drama doc about the Spice Girls. We were teenagers in their heyday and 90's culture has definitely shaped our feminism and our politics. It's where we've come from. It would be very satisfying to critically analyse and pay homage to that time in our history.

What are your future goals regarding filmmaking?
We'd just like to keep making stuff and keep getting better. Everything we do we're learning and working together means we have someone else to keep the other going. The journey is as exciting as the end product. We love making films, its exciting to think about whats next and where we could go. We are both very excited about trying new things and experimenting with bits of kit, we hope that we can keep making content that surprises people. International fame and a shitload of cash would also be nice too ... and would anyone like to fund us to make that Spice Girls feature doc?

Any Instagram, Twitter or websites where your future fans can stalk you?
@thisisdas

Rubina & Charlie

Rubina & Charlie

To see the short that cannot be unseen you’ll have to get your tickets HERE and then pop down to Streatham Space Project 9th July at 19.30. Charlie and Rubina will both be there for Q&A and the after chit-chat.

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.

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.

RUCK IT!

What starts out like a sports commercials, gets you to tears three minutes later and ends up making you feel all warm and hopeful?

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Ruck it is one of those films one simply can’t and shouldn’t ignore. On the top of it being very well made.
Kelvin DeSena, the director, answered our series of questions.

There is an ad in a newspaper with your photo in it. What does it say?
‘’If he can make films. Anyone can! Look at that melonhead!’’

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’m no tortured artist nor do I see filmmaking as special. Yes it’s hard, but so is anything worth doing. I think we should spend less time talking about how hard it is and more time talking about how easy it is. Filmmaking has never been so accessible. More people should be doing it! It’s so much fun!

Why this film?
Honest answer is, I was approached to make it by a guy at Mencap. He had been to a private screening of a short documentary telling the story of a swimming club called Swim Dem Crew. He wanted to do something similar as they have some incredible stories to tell and we were lucky enough to be approached to make it! I thought it was an amazing opportunity and threw myself into it. Plus, I'm a big rugby fan as well!

You have unlimited budget, green light for your dream project and can cast anyone you want…
I would make an awful big budget film. It would probably have giant laser beams in the sky with Arnold Schwarzenegger lifting large heavy objects whilst delivering terrible one liners...actually that sounds pretty cool!!!
I think I would use the money to make five low budget films, casting new and exciting actors that can add a new voice. Would also be nice to have Riz Ahmed on board as well. I would love to see British Asians represented more in film as I think we have something to contribute.  

What are your future goals regarding filmmaking?
To make more and to get better, whilst making new friends and having a laugh, and if I can continue to pay my rent as well, then that would be a bonus.

Kelvin DeSena

Kelvin DeSena

Ruck it! will be screened on our May CineShots and we will have Kelvin DeSena there to talk to so get your questions ready, get your tickets here and we’ll see you Tuesday, 14.5. at 19.30!

Two Aliens

Two people, a weapon of mass distruction, one room, eleven minutes.
Both in power, each with their own agenda. Doesn’t really get any better than that, does it?

Written and directed by Liam Pinheiro-Rogers who’s been making film since he was 13. And, boy, are his skills on display.

Liam Pinheiro-Rogers

Liam Pinheiro-Rogers

As everyone Liam also got served a fistful of our questions. Here it goes:

There is an ad in a newspaper with your photo in it. What does it say?
A young 23 year old filmmaker from London who specialises in genre specific films, mostly in the horror and fantasy genres, with surrealism added in.

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?
The passion and the adventure. I love making stories, creating characters and especially my own world. 

Why this film?
This film is topical when it comes to the military industrial complex and it best showcases my style in terms of dialogue.

You have unlimited budget, green light for your dream project and can cast anyone you want...
I would make an alien invasion film with a twist. I would have Tom Hardy, Viggo Mortensen, Mary Elizabeth Winstead etc.

What are your future goals regarding filmmaking?
I want to be a writer and director of various genre-related films (horror and fantasy are at the top).

And if you’re still not convinced join us 16.4. at the Streatham Space Project, watch all the films and have a chat with Liam (and us) afterwards.

Tickets sold now and HERE.

Rituals For Change

Did you know witchcraft is still a thing?
And did you also know it can actually be a good thing?
Whatever your answers to the questions above “Rituals for Change”, creatied by Leanne Davies, is a beautiful experimental short documentary meditating on that idea.

Leanne Davis

Leanne Davis

We shot our regular set of qeustions at Leanne just to get her know a bit better.

CineShots: There is an ad in a newspaper with your photo in it. What does it say?

Leanne Davis: Oh I honestly have no idea. I'm still figuring out who I am as a filmmaker so I think other people are probably better placed to answer that than me at the moment! 'A work in progress' maybe?

CS: 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?

LD: I ask myself this a lot! I don't know, I just feel compelled to do it! One of my friends who is an incredible filmmaker likened the process to birthing a child - it's this irrational compulsion to create something and something happens to block out how traumatic the actual delivery is! It's frustrating but also exciting because you never really know how it's going to turn out, to a level which I think it's unique to film.

CS: Why this film?

LD: I've always been really drawn to witchcraft and the occult, and so it was a great excuse for me to explore my interest in it. But I was also fascinated by the recent resurgence of interest in it and what it meant politically, and what happens to the archetype of the witch when it becomes commodified and assimilated into the same system to which it is the antithesis. I was also curious about how to represent such practices in the medium of film. I still haven't quite figured that out!

CS: You have unlimited budget, green light for your dream project and can cast anyone you want...

LD: Well I don't tend to work with actors so I would probably spend the budget on music and locations! I would love to travel around the world and meet different communities of witches!

CS: What are your future goals regarding filmmaking?

LD: I would love to collaborate more as it's just been a one man band job so far. I'd love to work with other filmmakers and artists from other disciplines, especially sound artists, and get a proper budget so I can hire a producer! I'd also really like to experiment with different mediums, particularly 16mm.

Her film will be screened 16.4. at our 3rd CineShots, followed by a Q&A and a chance to have a chat with her and everyone else.

Be there or be somehwere else.