The Birds Eye View Film Festival (8-13 April) has announced details of their 2014 programme, which promises to be a packed six-day celebration of women filmmakers from across the globe. Boasting numerous premieres, special presentations and events, this year’s Festival showcases some exciting new talent including works by British director Destiny Ekaragha and Laura Checkoway, as well as films by Lena Dunham and Kelly Reichardt. The Festival will also celebrate some inspiring female filmmakers and actors, such as the late pioneering animator Joy Batchelor; Broadway legend Elaine Stritch and award-winning British filmmaker Gurinder Chadha.
Birds Eye View Film Festival Artistic Director, Kate Gerova said, “Our 2014 programme is a real statement of intent from a new global generation of female filmmakers aiming to inspire audiences with new stories and perspectives. We believe audiences are eager for different, edgy and exciting cinema – and these filmmakers offer that in spades.”
Showcasing 19 features including 10 UK premieres, from edge-of-your-seat thrillers to heart-in-your-mouth personal stories, highlights include the UK premiere of German director Katrin Gebbe’sremarkable debut NOTHING BAD CAN HAPPEN, which caused controversy at Cannes and confirms Katrin as a striking new voice in European cinema; the London premiere of Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky’s WATERMARK, the long-awaited follow-up to the pair’s breakthrough documentary hit Manufactured Landscapes (2006), due for release later this year. The programme also includes an American Indie strand featuring Kelly Reichardt’s acclaimed thriller NIGHT MOVES starring Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning; Chiemi Karasawa’s ELAINE STRITCH: SHOOT ME, an intimate portrait of the Broadway legend with contributions from Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey, James Gandolfini and Nathan Lane; and the UK Premiere of LUCKY, Laura Checkoway’s extraordinary story following a homeless mother’s survival on the streets of New York City over five years.
Nana Ekvtimishvili’s and Simon Groß’s award-winning Georgian feature IN BLOOM will receive its UK premiere for the Festival’s Opening Night on Tuesday 8 April. The Festival’s Closing Night will be the UK premiere of Lola Bessis and Ruben Amar’s touching French-American family drama SWIM LITTLE FISH SWIM on Sunday 13 April, with both events taking place at BFI Southbank.
Cutting-edge documentaries feature heavily in this year’s programme, showcasing filmmakers whose bold new approaches push the boundaries of the documentary form. From Anna Eborn’s brutally beautiful account of a marginalized Native American community in PINE RIDGE (UK Premiere), to Narimane Mari’s striking, prize-winning trance-film BLOODY BEANS, which follows a group of children during Algeria’s War of Independence. Also featured is Mia Engberg’s intricately edited and evocatively scored BELVILLE BABY, a playfully original look at love, time and things that get lost along the way, shot on everything from real-life cellphone video to super-16 footage.
Special screenings include Gurinder Chadha’s BHAJI ON THE BEACH, to celebrate its 20th anniversary, which includes a Q&A with Gurinder and Special Guests, plus Claudia Weill’s iconic film GIRLFRIENDS, recently ‘re-discovered’ by Lena Dunham.
The glamorous Festival favourite Fashion Loves Film returns to look at how images of fashion reflect culture, heritage and identity for female filmmakers across the world. From the experimental to the luxurious, highlights include Lena Dunham’s brilliantly quirky BEST FRIENDS for the Rachel Antonoff Fall line 2013; SHOWstudio Head of Fashion Film Marie Schuller’s exploration of Asian Couture; Kathryn Ferguson’s Irish fantasia MATHAIR; and MIU MIU’S WOMEN’S TALES by directors including So Yong Kim, Ana Duvernay and Zoe Cassavetes. A panel discussion at the ICA will follow.
The country’s exciting new talent, Bright & British sees a day of celebration and anticipation for what’s to come in British cinema. Saturday 12 April offers a packed day of screenings and industry events including ‘Welcome to the Audience’, which sees three British filmmakers discuss the different stages of their journey; ‘Small Talk’, in which producer-director Amy Hardie and Melissa Silverstein, author of renowned IndieWire blog ‘Women & Hollywood’, delve deep into the modern film mind. A number of short films will also screen, including Georgina Oakley’s FRAYED and Tamara Drewe writer Moira Buffini’s FATHER. Audiences will be able to buy a BFI day pass to all of this and more, cilminating in the Special Screening of BHAJI ON THE BEACH.
From international award-winners to undiscovered gems, a host of international shorts will screen at the Festival on Sunday 13th April, including Sundance Award-winner THE CUT from director Genevieve Dulude-Decelles and Anahita Ghazvinizadeh’s Cannes award-winning film NEEDLE.
The ever-popular Sounds & Silents strand returns with a celebration of ‘Women in Jazz’, which sees cutting-edge live music scores to silent films by incredible new female artists. A live score by Niki King, one of the UK’s leading singer-composers and winner of the prestigious Perrier Jazz Vocalist of the Year Award, to the classic comedy WHY CHANGE YOUR WIFE? starring the radiant Gloria Swanson, at BFI Southbank. This year also sees the return of singer, musician and songwriter Amira Kheir whose live score to SUMURUN (ONE ARABIAN NIGHT) will take place at the Barbican.
For younger audiences, Children’s Cinema Club: Famous Fred and animated shorts, workshop and Q&A promises an afternoon packed full of animated fun that includes a screening of BAFTA-winning animation FAMOUS FRED, starring Lenny Henry as a cat who secretly moonlights as a feline singing sensation. Children will also have the opportunity to participate in a ‘make-your-own animation’ workshop where they can bring their own animations to life, plus they will have the chance to speak directly to some of the filmmakers.
In addition to screenings and filmmaker Q&A’s, this year’s Festival is pleased to announce a Training & Craft programme that offers practical skills, invaluable insights and inspiration for the aspiring filmmaker and the fascinated fan. Filmonomics presents a number of events including ‘The Black Art of Being Confident’ led by independent creative producer Mia Bays (Shifty, Ill Manors, Lilting). There will also be a special event and panel Q&A: Joy Batchelor – A Life in Animation to celebrate the centenary of the British pioneer animator whose credits include BAFTA-nominated feature animation Animal Farm. The event, curated by Batchelor’s daughter Vivien Halas, includes rarely seen clips alongside an in-depth overview of her career, followed by a panel discussion with animation programmer and author Clare Kitson, BFI Curator Jez Stewart and Vivien Halas. Additional events also include An Afternoon Tea with Critics, Actors & Directors in partnership with M.A.C. Cosmetics at Kettner’s Champagne Bar in Soho, tickets for which are free and will run throughout the Festival.
Events and screenings will take place at BFI Southbank, Barbican, Curzon Soho, ICA, Electric Cinema, Hackney Picturehouse and Clapham Picturehouse.