Widening the Lens – Training Event

Aspiring filmmakers at an early stage in their career undertook a series of workshops with leading industry experts to help develop their skills and broaden their knowledge around pre-production, funding, as well as exhibition and festival strategies.

Over the course of two days, 15 young filmmakers were taken through a dedicated programme including workshops, masterclasses and one to one mentoring with industry professionals to complete a personal project and further develop their skills and knowledge. The course is designed to remove barriers and increase opportunities for underrepresented filmmakers at an early stage in their career.

On March 2nd, after a short introduction at the Encounters Offices, our filmmakers enjoyed an introductory workshop on ‘Personal Creative Development’. This was lead by Kirk Thompson, a Creative Consultant in emerging experimental cultures, developing projects, partnerships and personal performance.

The workshop was followed by a Q&A session with Producer Nicky Bentham, who was able to share her knowledge as acting Executive Producer on the BFI Shorts Scheme from 2012 to 2014 and the current board member of two ingenious film funds.IMG_20170302_161315

In the afternoon, author of The Good Immigrant and Coconut Unlimited Nikesh Shukla held a Story telling Workshop for the filmmakers, before they were reunited with the Encounters Festival Team for a round table session on Festival Strategy.

Having enjoyed a well-earned group meal, the participants were invited to the Bristol Watershed for a screening of Barry Jenkins’ Academy Award Winning Moonlight.

“The festival directors went above and beyond to connect with us and cater to our individual needs. It felt like they actually care and want to help us succeed. I cannot recommend this scheme highly enough!”

The fifteen filmmakers were up early again the next morning for a Masterclass on ‘How to Crowdfund a film‘ from professional advisor and investor Guy Hayler. The participants learnt about Crowdfunder, the UK’s largest crowdfunding network, who have launched thousands of projects and raised millions for businesses, charities, social enterprises and individuals.Jon Craig 20170303 8

Filmmaker Shola Amoo was up next, leading a Q&A session in which he offered insight into his creative process as a filmmaker whilst recounting the trajectory of his own successful filmmaking career.This was followed by another masterclass on commissioning short films and festival strategy by Katie Metcalf, the current Shorts programmer for Sundance Film Festival.

Having gained a great deal of knowledge from a variety of industry experts through workshops and masterclasses as well as one-to-one sessions with the festival team, the young filmmakers were able to sit back and enjoy a selection of shorts from the 2016 Encounters Film Festival. The two days were appropriately rounded off by Networking Drinks at the Watershed.

“There was so much breadth to the programme of speakers, and it felt like a 360 degree approach to the filmmaking process.”



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