BIFA 2018...

And the winner is…

Last night I attended the BIFA 2018 awards. How I got there remains a mystery. All I know is that back in the summer, one morning I got a call on the landline at home. Usually I pick up and quickly cut the caller off so I was surprised to find it wasn’t the usual scam cold call but a very polite person from BIFA inviting me to submit Voyageuse to their awards. Which was nice of them but how did they get my number, I wondered, let alone be aware of my film?

Sometimes it’s best not to question these things too deeply. In the tiny village of film, people talk and sometimes the talk falls in one’s favour. So I submitted V not thinking too hard about it – after all, the film was rejected by every film festival we (me and Owen) submitted it to last year, including the LFF, Raindance, Tribeca and several others I’ve since erased from my mind because it became all too painful.

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Invisible...

As the days grow shorter and colder I’m glad to be back in Glasgow after my travels with Voyageuse. Glad too because I’m able to focus on my latest project, Tilo in Real Life, which after months of thinking, writing, re-writing and testing I’m confident can work as a film, or at least a film I’m able (and want) to make within my meagre resource. How do I know this? I don’t, but I trust my instincts more than I trust my government.

Chances are you’re reading this via a link on social media which these days is essential for any independent filmmaker even though it’s hard to be heard above the noise of all the other filmmakers, writers and artists plying their wares.

Here I marvel at the chutzpah of my peers and the apparent ease with which they promote themselves, their goals and achievements, from winning awards to shaking down followers on crowdfunding campaigns. If only I had the nerve, I tell myself, to make bolder claims for my work.

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Watershed...

For weeks now I’ve tried to settle in my shed to complete the screenplay for Tilo in Real Life only to be distracted by the ongoing business of Voyageuse. This week proved no different. On Wednesday – Halloween – I travelled to Bristol where the film was scheduled to screen at the Watershed followed by a Q&A.

En route, I received the news that V. has been nominated for the Discovery Award at this year’s BIFAs – the British Independent Film Awards. A few months ago, out of the blue I received a call from BIFA asking if I’d care to submit. After perusing the various categories I decided the Discovery Award was my only shot, thinking – somewhat glumly – that a film with as many festival rejections as V didn’t stand much of a chance. For once I’m glad to be proved wrong.

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To the Light House...

I’ve just returned from Dublin after a wonderful and well-received screening of Voyageuse at the Light House cinema, thanks to the Glasgow Film Festival, the Dublin Film Festival and the Scottish Government office in Ireland. It was also great to spend time with Douglas King and Darren Osborne, the director and actor/production designer of Super November, a film that also screened at the GFF earlier this year which I’m looking forward to when it plays in Glasgow – when else – this November.

What our two films share in common is they’re both self-funded, made on what the industry calls a micro-budget. Both films have proved popular with audiences too. That we received the warmest of welcomes in Dublin couldn’t be more of a contrast to how overlooked we are at home.

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