streatham

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.

The Trouble with retirement.jpg

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.

Where is Europe?

The last few years have been very strongly marked by migrating crisis all over the world. Some resulting in dividing countries, some in people’s lives being lost.
Where is Europe went on board a rescue vessel that was right in the middle of it all.

Valentina Signorelli, the director, answered the CineShots questionnaire.

There is an ad in a newspaper with your photo in it. What does it say?
Valentina Signorelli (PhD Film) is a professional writer and producer based in London, UK. In 2016 she co-founded Daitona production in Italy, recently awarded as the most innovative young production company of the country. 

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 idea that what you first had in mind can potentially reach millions of people and make a positive impact on their lives. 

Why this film?
This film is set on board the NGO migrant rescue vessel Aquarius, the same kept stuck at sea in 2018 for over a week and with 629 refugees onboard. Where is Europe? explores one of the most tragic humanitarian crisis through the eyes of the humanitarian operators in their everyday life on board the rescue vessel.

You have unlimited budget, green light for your dream project and can cast anyone you want...
I would love to produce a series out of this short exploring who are the people of Europe today and what is the impact of the EU on their everyday life. Each episode would follow the life of a group of Europeans living in a strategical, geographical, political or cultural area in the hope to promote awareness and call for cooperation. 

What are your future goals regarding filmmaking?
With another couple of colleagues, I run a small production company based in Italy, Daitona. In the near future, I would like to expand our network and co-produce other projects with new partners around the world.

Valentina Signorelli

Valentina Signorelli

The amazing short Where is Europe will be screened 145.2019 at Streatham Space Project.
Click for tickets.

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.

Bella's Requiem

Rarely do we get films made by filmmakers who have only been on this Earth for 15 years (or less). And even rearer is the case when a film made by young filmmakers has the level of quality that ‘Bella’s Requiem’ does.

Photo 3 F7251F9C-9FB5-4C04-8DD5-6373436A6447.jpg

We’ve talked to Joel Black - one of the young creators - so without further ado enjoy the interview.

There is an ad in a newspaper with your photo in it. What does it say?
“South London teen filmmakers take on the big boys”

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 end result of all hard work and progress made throughout the journey. The learning process from start to finish, and the ability to understand and appreciate how films are produced gives us an enjoyment that you cannot find elsewhere.

Why this film?
We wrote this film when we were 13 years old and filmed when we were 14, we are now 15 and keen to show the world what we are capable of. We have grown with this story and become very attached to our characters. A group of young boys, coming of age and the conspiracy surrounding an unresolved mystery along with an intricate narrative mixed with crushing betrayal make this, our debut film a must see in our opinion.

You have unlimited budget, green light for your dream project and can cast anyone you want...
Idris Elba, because he can carry a strong antagonist role - Rosamund Pike, because she can appreciate a very serious role and Alex Lawther, since he is perfect for the thriller genre, one of our favourite genres to create.

What are your future goals regarding filmmaking?
As young filmmakers we want to be taken seriously and for our work to be respected. We want to make films that intelligently challenge viewers and also entertain. We are keen to make partnerships with older more experienced filmmakers and industry professionals from whom we can learn and develop.

Join us 16.4. at 19.30 (tickets right HERE) and watch their film, meet them at the Q&A and have a chat afterwards.
But for now enjoy the trailer!

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.

2:40 to London

It’s surreal, has a sneaky plot, a lot of lumbersexual and chilli with a secret ingredient!

It’s also an award-winning short film made by an award-winning director (and that’s a lot of awards won in a sentence!)
Meet Gavin, a Northern-Irish writer/director based in London. He’s studied film in Wales, was also a photographer, artist and a musician. An all-around guy one could say.

Gavin Irvine

Gavin Irvine

We’ve dared to ask Irvine a couple of questions just so you get to know him better before watching his film and chatting with him live.

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

Gavin Irvine: The newspaper: Practical Pigs
Headline: Dependably fresh. Dependably delicious. Cookstown Sausages are the best!

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?

GI: Being tied to the whipping post.

CS: Why this film?

GI: Because I missed the 1:40 to London.

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

GI: I'd have a time machine built and nip back to collect Betty Davis, Charles Laughton, Peter Sellers, Oliver Reed and Marlon Brando.

CS: What are your future goals regarding filmmaking?

GI: Not to miss the 2:40 to London again, not to be tied to the whipping post again, hope that my Cookstown Sausages are always dependably fresh and dependably delicious, and that someone builds me a time machine soon

Gavin’s film 2:40 to London will be screened at CineShots 16.4.2019. Enjoy the trailer below!