I’m really excited about my forth-coming trip to the Baltic Region and you’ll be the first to hear all about it LOL! Right now, I would like to focus on some British stuff.
Living in Berlin as an expat and as The British Berliner, means that I get to go to such fabulous activities and events such as:
As a British expat in Berlin, I also get invited to British stuff such as:
In short, I’m quite privileged as it goes, so in January, one of my favourite German girlfriends sent me a message on Facebook and asked me if I was going to the Festival.
“What festival I asked?”
She sent me a link.
As soon as I saw it, I contacted the organiser, a German man called Jürgen Fehrmann.
The fact is, Berlin is Germany’s capital city and a lot of things tend to happen at the same time. A lot of things. In fact, that very week I had events to attend on Wednesday and Thursday. The Festival was to start on 15.01.15 which was a Thursday. I couldn’t make it on Thursday but I went on Friday and pretty much spent the whole weekend there!
I’m married and I have a child and activities and events have to be carefully organised so that everything fits nicely. Thankfully, “The Tall Young Gentleman” had gone camping that weekend with the Boy Scouts of America. Outdoors.
And The Music Producer had another album to produce, and so I was free to go where I wished. I wished to go to the British Shorts Film Festival.
The British Shorts Film Festival is a collection of 111 British and Irish short films shown within a span of five (5) days from the 15th – 19th January, 2015!
This was the 8th edition of the festival and even with the crisp, cold January weather, the British Shorts has evolved to become a true international audience festival with one of the most interesting platforms for British and Irish short films, outside the UK and Ireland.
Well, this film festival is for established film-makers, promising newcomers, talented film students, and anybody else who has an interest in the making of short films. Indeed, the likes of Judi Dench (James Bond – 007), Michael Fassbender (The X.Men), and Martin Freeman (Sherlock Holmes (BBC) & The Hobbit) have all appeared in previous festival films.
It doesn’t matter if you have a large budget, a low budget, or no budget at all (like we had LOL!). At the end of the festival ANYONE can present a film to be judged by a respected jury, as well as the audience.
Well, the film screenings have the following categories:
We live in Berlin.
Berlin is an exciting city filled with young inspiring talent so of course, there were other interesting and exciting events and items such as:
This is the 8th year and the festival always takes place at the home base cinema called Sputnik Kino in the suburb of Kreuzberg, with some screenings taking place at the Badehaus Szimpla, Acudkino, and Filmkunst 66.
Oh, I remember the Sputnik Kino!
Anyway, in those days, this cinema was not as comfortable as it is now.
Oh dear me no.
The seats were made of bricks! Yes, you heard me.
In Germany, you can take bottles of beer and glasses of wine into the screening with you.
Well, on this occasion, a long time ago. In the 90’s. The audience were a little upset about the film they were watching, and began to shout and throw bottles all about and at the big screen.
We got out of there pronto!
Cue 15 years later.
The seats are still made of bricks but now have soft cushions to lean on LOL!
And you can still take your drinks in with you and the clientele has changed, so nobody throws glasses and bottles about.
We’re far too artistic for that!
The Sputnik Kino has a lovely reputation of supporting aspiring independent film-makers and once a month, every third (3rd) Wednesday, has an Open Screening. This Open Screening allows film-makers to show their movies to a live audience, and is in both English and German.
No appointments are necessary, no application forms, no testings made, it doesn’t have to be “finished,” any language is accepted, no previous qualifications necessary.
It’s a forum whereby you can “test” your film, and a live audience can ask questions, make comments, positively criticise or praise your film.
Not more than 25 minutes. And members of the public are the judges of the film.
Absolutely nothing! For both the film-makers and the audience!
I’m not a film-maker either LOL however, I do love British films.
I saw various clips of film between 2 and 30 minutes. Most were really interesting and clever, and some were downright weird, but I’m glad that I had the opportunity to see them!
I watched a whole host of Documentary Specials and also short Animation Films after which I dragged myself home in the wee hours of 2:00!
The performances were completely packed out, showing British and Irish talent in a Berlin setting.
I also watched a few live performances and a live stand up comedy show by the Scottish Variety Award nominated newcomer Eleanor Morton and her “Lollipop” stand-up show. She’s hilarious by the way and a right laugh!
You certainly can!
The attraction of British films for an international crowd is either historical drama such as Downton Abbey, The King’s Speech, and Titanic or gritty down-to-earth films such as Trainspotting, Billy Elliot, and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
I like British films because of the grit as I do Berlin films, such as Lola Rent and Goodbye Lenin.
At the British Shorts Film Festival, we even got to watch the very first film that Ridley Scott ever made with his younger brother Tony Scott riding on a bicycle somewhere outside Durham, I think. The film was black and white and was called Boy and Bicycle.
At the film festival we booked into a workshop on film-making!
I actually went for the fun of it and to see what it was all about but my German girlfriend actually wanted to learn some movie-making techniques, and we eventually ended up making a 5 minute movie which we had to submit for film-making criticism!
We only had 48 hours to make it and I perked up I can tell you! We spent 48 hours wandering the streets of Berlin for inspiration in the German cold of January.
And then we made the film.
It’s out and it was judged. Apparently, it was OK but I can’t tell you where it is, as it’s enormously raw.
We’re actually thinking of editing it properly and showcasing it as her film portfolio and perhaps mine too. It’s arty and a far-cry from the subject matter of my blog, but you can never have too many skills LOL!