Birds Eye View’s International Delegate Programme, run with the British Council, welcomes 21 emerging and established filmmakers from across the globe – Cuba to Pakistan, Sudan to Iran, Italy to Argentina – for four days of training, networking and events.
The programme got off to a flying start on Friday morning with a range of illuminating discussions surrounding the role of women in the film industry. What if Frodo Baggins had been female? That and many other questions turned heads at the Filmmakers’ Breakfast, co-presented with BAFTA. Discussion of the usefulness of cinema’s gender fairness yardstick – the Bechedel Test – raised some interesting questions from our delegates. Should this test become compulsory for all films? British director Jacqueline Smith suggested that perhaps the test could encompass a way of measuring female involvement across all aspects of cinema, not just in front of the camera.
Delegates shared their experiences of film distribution in their respective countries, finding common ground in the issue of piracy in the age of the digital native, with some delegates finding inadvertent positives from these new unorthodox modes of distribution. Laurence Magloire summed it up perfectly, with a succinct “Distribution is hard!” Something that all delegates were able to agree on.
The afternoon saw a myriad of industry speakers sharing inside tips and industry tricks with our delegates. Producer Julie Baines (Puffball, Triangle) had an optimistic outlook for women in film stating “there are lots of opportunities out there”. Julie advised any budding filmmaker to start out in short film or micro-budget projects to showcase their talent before moving onto the BIG ONE. Representatives from a range of exhibitors and distributors were on hand next as delegates engaged in industry speed dating to expand their contacts and expertise.
The day’s final session, co-presented with MoFilm, looked at the potential for creative collaboration between corporate brands and emerging filmmakers. MoFilm’s director Rebecca Sykes alerted delegates to the range of opportunities on offer for filmmakers starting out by offering a ‘way in’ through a variety of creative, funded and competitive projects. After some well-earned drinks and the opportunity to network aplenty, delegates were treated to a screening of the gripping Belleville Baby (Swe, 2013). All in hard day’s BEV!