- Looking to break into the film Industry? Here's your big chance!
- Me, Myself, and I
- Buff Enterprises is launching the 2011 British Urban Film Festival (aka BUFF)– bringing together independent filmmakers from across the country to submit their own films. In return, organisers of the festival plan to offer free cinema tickets to the public, to ensure that the widest possible audience gets to see the showcase of films on offer.
This year's event takes place in London's West End. The deadline is the end of July for producers and directors wishing to submit films. Festival director Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe has also confirmed that Lonyo Engele, Isaura Barbe-Brown and Stephen Lloyd Jackson will feature in a live question and answer session on the opening night of the 3-day festival later this September. A DVD screener, EPK, plus a non-refundable entry fee is applicable to film-makers wishing to submit a short film, documentary or feature-length movie. All cheques are to be made payable to ‘Buff Enterprises Ltd’. c/o 4front Films, 27 ITHICA HOUSE, ROMFORD ROAD, LONDON E15 4LJ
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The 2011 British Urban Film Festival announces its' opening feature
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Organisers of the British Urban Film Festival have confirmed that 'David is Dying', written and directed by Stephen Lloyd Jackson, will be making its' UK premiere at the annual showpiece later this summer. It marks the acting debut of Lonyo Engele (familiar to fans of UK Garage music) who plays the male lead alongside fellow debutante Isaura Barbe-Brown.
Billed as a bittersweet tale of love and lust, the film tells the story of David Brown, a confused and tormented man, haunted by his past, in which, as a boy he fell in love with his French-Caribbean mother - a glamorous courtesan who entertained men for money. Her death heralds a downward spiral in David's adult life as he attempts to settle down with his partner (Carla). Early reviews for the film are hailing it as "raw, unadulterated mental torture both beautifully told and shot".
The British Urban Film Festival (aka BUFF) is 6 years old and continues to grow with this year's event taking place in London's West End (TBA). The full line-up of festival selections will be announced towards the end of July when the deadline closes for producers and directors wishing to submit films for due consideration. Festival director Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe has also confirmed that Lonyo Engele, Isaura Barbe-Brown and Stephen Lloyd Jackson will feature in a live question and answer session on the opening night of the 3-day festival later this September. Seats are free to book by phone and available on a first come, first served basis from August the 1st onwards.
See the festival trailer here: http://youtu.be/ejI2vscDPcg
0 Comments 102 weeks
From a spunky heroine to ‘the’ flashback, from ‘Babymother’ to ‘Sus’, Anjela Lauren Smith has graced British cinema for the best part of 2 decades and continues to adorn the big screen and the small screen. Behind the scenes, her versatility and passion for the industry shows no sign of abating either. The latest string to her bow was her recent appointment to the board of members at Buff Enterprises. We’re delighted that Anjela has accepted this position at a time where British actors and actresses are very much the flavour of the month both at home and abroad. The likes of Aml Ameen, Noel Clarke and Chiwetel Ejiofor are sprinkling some of their golddust to other disciplines with the three in question turning out to be pretty decent film directors aswell. And to paraphrase that often trotted out cliché, the world is indeed anyone’s oyster. For now though, Anjela’s focus is on this month’s edition of the BUFF blog – the blog written by those ‘in the know’...
HOW DID IT ALL START OFF?
My journey began at a very young age... I always had a hidden desire to perform when I was a child. There weren’t many of the drama workshops and classes that are so easily accessible to children now. My performing was limited to dance and singing shows at school. My love of film stems from the many VHS’s (that's what we had back in the day) that my dad owned of classic films and musicals; I would spend school holidays watching films over and over again.In my teenage years, I fell by chance into being a fashion model - it was either that or go to university at the time. I chose to give modelling a try as I thought it would be a good experience, it's as simple as that! Through modelling I then got to utilise my dance skills working on music videos, touring and travelling frequently - all the stuff my dreams were made of. Music videos were different back then; it was all about a performance, usually some narrative and not just shake your booty. I am very proud of those days - I met a lot of interesting, talented, creative people and for me it wasn't about being famed for my looks or being the best dancer, it was a time in the 90's that people were expressing themselves as they saw creatively fit and continue to do so. Many of the people that I worked with, partied with etc. are now my peers in the industry and I'm very proud of them... it was all about life experience – then and now. Experience in front of a camera helped me to learn about how any production works. I also worked in events management during that time… I will always give something a try, or challenge myself.
My first film was very low budget and shot in and around Notting Hill - In ‘Respect’, I played a community activist called 'Angela', it was through a friend that I found out about the audition and pushed myself forward to get seen, as I didn't have an agent at the time. I managed to get my Equity card and a showreel together, which led me to meet my lovely agent Elaine Murphy. Within 3 months I was auditioning for the lead in a feature film, 'Babymother'... 10 weeks and 9 screen tests later, I was cast in the role of ‘Anita’. Playing Anita was a role that I had to fight for; at least 500 actresses, singers and dancers had auditioned. It was a year of beginnings and endings, as I gave birth to my son 7 months before being offered the role and my dad passed away - so spiritually I felt connected to the role in terms of being a young mother and also the loss of a parent. Both my agent Elaine Murphy and Michael Keane have always had belief in me which really helped me as a young actress, who had a lot to learn!
WHAT ARE YOU DOING AT THE MOMENT?
I've just been asked to be on the BUFF board of members which is cool! Thanks BUFF! I attended BUFF for the first time last year, as ‘SUS’ was launching the festival; SUS is a feature film starring Clint Dyer, Rafe Spall and Ralph Brown. It is a very p
0 Comments 106 weeks
British urban film is a new genre and everyone’s excited by what’s happening in urban music. It’s been a great year and there’s that same sense of excitement in film – it’s our time. And whilst one is always looking for that opportunity to blow its’ own trumpet, those opening remarks were quoted by Mo Ali, the director of recently released Shank, the futuristic drama starring Adam Deacon (Adulthood), Ashley Thomas (aka Bashy) and Kaya Scodelario (Skins). Recent Buff blogcasts have marked the cards of audiences far and wide to the conveyor belt of films hitting UK cinemas in 2010 - on a scale not seen perhaps ever. With Noel Clarke’s 4,3,2,1 on the future horizon, Disoriented Generation, makes its’ cinema bow this month having first captured the attention of audiences at Buff 2009. The film’s star, Wil Johnson (who also co-produces) recently agreed that British urban film has earned its’ place at the high table of British cinema. And whilst it is easy to label British urban film, new genres are by definition open to interpretation.
Not since the late Gene Anthony Ray burst onto our screens 30 years ago will there be such a fervour for dance at the movies when Streetdance is released later this summer. Over the years, audiences have been spoiled by the likes of Dirty Dancing, Billy Elliott, Step Up, Save the Last Dance and Beat Street, the last of which was screened by the Cannes Film Festival in 1984. British TV audiences have been spoiled too with the likes of Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing on Ice in recent years and this year BskyB have joined in with Got to Dance, not forgetting the BBC’s other dance competition – So you think you can dance? It remains to be seen whether the winners of Got to Dance and So you think… can achieve popularity on the scale achieved by Diversity and George Sampson, the last 2 winners of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent.
The company Vertigo Films, who previously served up the uk’s 1st hip-hop musical in 1day are now behind the uk’s first film to be shot in 3D in collaboration with the UK Film Council and BBC Films. One look at the Streetdance link on the BBC films website makes for interesting observation as to what constitutes British urban film.
The first thing that springs to mind upon hearing the words amateur filmmaking is a sense that the best these people can do is to create home movies about domestic life which would only interest the filmmakers themselves, films that are technically flawed and which are shown in private places (presumably because someone deemed the material as not worthy for a bigger and more critical audience).
Youtube recently celebrated its’ 5th birthday and has done more than most to catapult digital filmmaking into the spotlight. TV programmes like ‘You’ve been framed’ also did their bit though the brief was merely to entertain and not just to educate, entertain and inform (as the BBC would say). And as for Nollywood, well look no further…
One could say that digital filmmaking is not what you would call ‘easy on the eye’, i.e. not buff to look at. In many ways, Buff can be seen as an antidote to the whole glitz and glamour of traditional Hollywood and certain british fayre, and has come to transcend these values not only by providing filmmakers with a platform but by screening films at venues one wouldn’t normally associate with multiplexes – and its’ all free of charge.
Snobbery is extremely prevalent in the film industry and one of the many charges that has been brought against the British Urban Film Festival is that only a certain type of film will get shown at these types of events because its’ free and because its’ urban. This has been perceived to mean that because the audience is not encouraged to pay to see a film that they’re going to be shown ‘any old stuff’ and also, that all the films are made by or about black people – which excludes 60-65% of the potential audience available.
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