Tag Archives: BFI

Sir Ian McKellen casts magic spell on Mumbai: launches Shakespeare on Film collection

Ian Mckellen addresses school children at the BD Somani school, Mumbai

Ian Mckellen addresses children at BD Somani school, Mumbai

The actor was in Mumbai between 23- 26 May, as a guest of the British Council and the British Film Institute, to launch the Shakespeare on Film Collection at the NCPA in Mumbai

Calm and collected. Sir Ian McKellen’s on-screen persona matches his real-life self. ‘Gandalf’ aka McKellen kicked-off his Shakespeare tour of India in the balmy weather of Mumbai, with an hour-long Twitter chat with fans from across the globe, on 22 May.

Having arrived the night before on a long-haul flight from London, McKellen was gracious enough to entertain questions from fans across the globe who enquired about his eating preferences to his favourite Shakespeare roles on-screen. Check out updates from the tweet chat here.

Having discovered Shakespeare “at the age of 9″, McKellen is known for his acting on stage in plays such as Macbeth, Henry IV; King Lear and Richard III. The next day, 23 May, he spent an entertaining evening, in-conversation with actor Aamir Khan at the NCPA, Mumbai.

With a full house, the nearly 1,000 audience members listened intently as both veterans discussed Shakespeare and acting influences.

It’s no surprise that McKellen is a master of the stage and that fact was exemplified when he delivered an impromptu performance of the Elizabethan play, Sir Thomas More, to a chorus of applause.

Ian McKellen with Robin Baker at the NCPA Mumbai talking about 'Richard III'

Ian McKellen with Robin Baker at the NCPA Mumbai talking about ‘Richard III’

The next day, McKellen screened his BFI classic RichardIII to a small gathering of Shakespeare fans from Mumbai.

The 108-minute screening was followed by a lively discussion on the influences behind the movie, between him and Robin Baker of the BFI!

 

 

Not just Shakespeare, McKellen is known for being a global LGBT rights celebrity having been vocal about his opinions from an early stage.

Ian at Kashish Opening Ceremony

Ian at Kashish Opening Ceremony

He was also the guest of honour at the Kashish MIQF festival on 25 May, where he also celebrated his 77th birthday with a cake-cutting ceremony. On the final day of his visit, Ian had a school engagement where he addressed children from the BD Somani school, who also staged a version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. 

 

 

 

 

Further Reading: 

Alan Gemmell talks about Ian McKellen visit, Shakespeare and the Digital Open Call  

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From Pixel to Pixelloid

Our day in London started with ‘Power to the Pixel’ a digital distribution and film innovation forum where presenters like Michel Reilhac, Exceutive Director of ARTE France Cinema talked about ‘Gamification of life’. Where he explained different behavioral changes with games from disorder to order and how people get attracted more towards games as players can be anyone in their fantasy games and do anything they want, that is something not possible in real life.

Mike Monello, co-creator of highly successful cross-media film project ‘The Blair Witch Project’ shared ideas on how to design and develop a cross-media project and cleverly market it. Few points: Design for communal experiences where many people can participate. He mentioned how to create sensational news and get extra publicity by quoting ‘Stolen Audi in a car expo’ incident which created a lot of hype. He also mentioned, one should build a larger world than the characters and have tangibility.

Among all the presentations, WireWAX was one of the most exciting new technologies that were showcased. WireWAX is a clickable interactive video service where you can tag people and products. It opens up huge doors for advertisers, sellers and for interactive information.

The next day, the first meeting was with Protagonist films at British Council, London. They do lot of distribution and rights management for films. They produced world’s first 3D dance movie ‘Streetdance’.

Second meeting was with Film London. It’s the capital’s film and media agency. They explained how they promote London for filming and the services they offer. Film London plays a major role in helping film productions and makers to find suitable locations, post-production facilities and to avail government tax credits. One of their recent projects was ‘Inception’.

Rebecca O’Brien, Co-founder of Sixteen Films was our 3rd meeting. She’s a highly regarded producer who works with director Ken Loach. They have a long history of film making. They have just 2 rooms for the office and manage all their projects. Another surprising thing I got to know is they still use traditional ‘Steinbeck’ for their film editing. We went to Rushes along with Rebecca where we met Joe Bateman, he is the festival director at Rushes Soho Shorts Festival. He explained how Rushes started their short films festival, how they organize and screen the shorts. It’s a 10 days festival where they attract more than 1000 entries from all over the world.

On the third day, our first meeting with Big Talk productions. They produced hits such as Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, most recently, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Matthew Justice and Rachael Prior gave us a lot of insight of growing the company from just a few people to more than twenty. At the time of expansion, they needed someone very experienced and networked and they recruited Rachael Prior who was then working with ‘Working Title’.

City Screen Picturehouse is a leading independent cinema operators in UK. Their venues screen a lot of mainstream, independent art house and foreign language films.

We met Tina McFarling, Head of Industry Relations of UK Film Council and British Council office. UKFC is a government funded agency for film in the UK ensuring economic, cultural and educational aspects of film are effectively represented. They fund around 100k for British Productions and have a program called First Light for young film makers. Recently, UK government merged it with BFI London and we’ll have to see what kind of changes they come up with.

Our last meeting for the day with Eddie Berg, Artistic Director with BFI. He worked with British Council before moving to BFI and he understands about YCE and other programs British Council takes up. British Film Institute (BFI) promotes understanding and appreciation of film and television heritage and culture. BFI London is one of the most popular film festivals in the world.

Day 4 was our Judging day at British Council followed by a day off. On Sunday we travelled to Bristol.

Monday morning started with meeting with Mehjabeen Price, Director of Finance and Operations at South West Screen. SWS funded by UKFC, Skillset & South West of England Regional Development agency. There are about 1800 companies in wildlife media and 90,000 in creative media industries. Bristol has tech companies like HP and airplane industries. 25% of world’s nature programs created in Bristol. They have well known media companies like BBC, Aardman Animation, Endemol, Bournemouth. South West Screen fills the gap carries industry need to policy makers.

Second meeting at Aardman Animation. A very pleasant and joyful place to work and visit. They have a huge studio and a nice entrance with some of the characters created for their movies and TV programs. Our young entrepreneurs turned kids and ran around the whole place to take pictures. We met Miles Bullough, Head of Broadcast who gave us a presentation about Aardman. Just 2 people started the company and they won several Oscars as well. We had a pleasure meeting Mr.David Sproxton for a few minutes.

Our third meeting was with The Watershed. It’s Britain’s first dedicated ‘Media Center’ and delivers a year round diverse, cultural programme of films, festivals and is a leading exponent and commissioner of digital and online creativity through its website dShed.net where you can view and engage with debate, projects, pod casts and artists commissions and short films and through its Pervasive Media Studio.

Then we travelled to Cardiff where we began by meeting Dragon DI, which is located in Sony Technology Centre outside Cardiff. It’s more like a boutique studio running Quantel systems for their digital intermediate services. They primarily work on London, Scotland and some of the European budget productions, where London handles high-end post.

Our next meeting was with Boomerang. They have a group of companies whose activities include program production, post-production services television facilities and talent management. They have both English and Welsh language productions specifically made for Wales. They have co-productions with some of the French and Canadian companies due their welsh language speaking population in those countries as well.

British Council, Cardiff.
We had a networking lunch at British Council, Cardiff. There were a few presentations from Owain Gillard, Film Office, Wales Screen Commission explaining how they are trying to promote film and related activities in Wales. Films like Robinhood shot in Wales beaches and forests.

Fresh Launch event at Atrium. They offer courses in animation, design, broadcast, music, fashion, communication and drama. They have huge space dedicated for their educational facilities.

Day 9: Back to London and a meeting at Dodwoof, a leading UK film distributor specializing in social issue films, documentaries, independent films and world cinema. They are known for their ethical documentaries, such as Black Gold, Burma VJ, Food Inc among others.

Q&A with Duncan Kenworthy, a highly respected producer whose credits include Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Love Actually. He shared his experience from his days when he was working for someone then eventually took the risk of being a producer and the hardships then the joy of it.

Then there was a panel discussion about cross platform trends from the UK and emerging international markets. 19 years old Jamal Edwards, SBTV gave an interesting presentation about his YouTube channel with more than 13,000,00 upload views and Top 100 most viewed & subscribed directors of all time. http://www.sbtv.co.uk/

Another presentation from DamianoVukotic, RSA Films turned the attention of all the audiences when he showed Philips Cinema Parallel Lines – The Gift. http://www.rsafilms.com/company/rsa-uk/director/carl-erik-rinsch/philips-cinema-parallel-lines-the-gift-1265

Day 10: End of IYSE Tour.

It was a great opportunity for all of us to get together learn about each other, then visiting and meeting different companies and people. It was once in a life time experience. I’m sure at least some of our IYSE finalists would work on something together at some point. It was such a great group and total pleasure being a part of the whole program!

Thank you British Council and Aanchal, Claire & Rwituja!

Post by – © Yugandhar Tamareddy

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