Docs & Film Festivals

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Sheffield Doc #2 (Thursday)

The second day of Sheffield was a good with a mix of sessions, documentary and parties. The first stop was The Sheffield Town hall where More than just the Money Unexpected Benefits of Crowd funding session was held. Jennifer Fox from Zohe Films  was one of the panelists and she spoke about her recent documentary My Reincarnation, a documentary about a Tibetan master in exile and his relationship with his Italian born son. The documentary was filmed over two decades and funded with crowd funding on Kickstarter. On the film´s website one can find several articles on crowd funding. And one should learn from the pros. The crowd funding broke all records on Kickstarter, raising more than $150.000. My Reincarnation is currently touring film festivals all over the world and has had great success. More info on film festival screenings etc. can be found on the website.

Jeanie Finlay, award-winning British artist and film maker was also on the panel and shared her experience of crowd funding with Indiegogo. She funded her film Sound it out on Indiegogo, a documentary about the last surviving vinyl record shop in Teesside, North East England. Finlay talked said crowd funding was first and foremost about engaging with the audience, giving as much as receiving.

After session time at the Town hall, the videotheque was Docs & Film Festivals next stop. As with many other film festivals, the majority of the films only screen once at Sheffield Doc/Fest. Luckily Docs & Film Festival has access to the videotheque where most of the docs can be watched in your own time. The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom was the choice this time. Directed by Lucy Walker, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom, was nominated for an Oscar as Best Short Documentary earlier this year. As the name suggests it´s about the tsunami that hit Japan 11th of March last year and the aftermath. The documentary is one of the first ones about the tsunami – if not the first one- and shot over short period of time. As a result it just touches the surface of the massive catastrophe and gives you little more information about it than what you already know from the news coverage. However, it´s beautifully shot and the music by Moby fits it perfectly. The cherry blossom has a special place in the heart of Japanese people who admire the beautiful pink flowers for as long as they are around. The cherry blossom became especially important to people after the tsunami as symbol of hope and it also gave people the strength to carry on their lives. The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom is one of few films with second screening; second screening being Saturday the 16th @ 10:30 AM in Showroom 1.

Next up was the Icelandic Delegation Party at the Phoenix bar. The party was well attended and a lot of people came to ask about documentary filmmaking in Iceland, both about Icelandic docs as well as how to go about making one in Iceland in regards to funding etc. We might be seeing a lot more international documentaries being made in Iceland in the coming years, from what we have had previously. At least there is not a lack of great ideas around.

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