Next Film Festival, Denmark

Back in September,  Steve was really lucky to spend an action-packed week working with film education practitioners from across Europe at the Next Film Festival in Odense, Denmark.

Issy Snailham’s film Lux was selected for inclusion in the festival and the organisers invited three young people and one adult from the production team to attend the festival and a parallel programme of workshops for young filmmakers and film educators.

So Issy, Lilly and Elkie and I have spent a week learning new skills and sharing practice. The trainer workshops brought together sixteen Danish film educators to meet and explore practice with international film facilitators from film projects in Ireland, Spain, Croatia, Germany, USA and the UK.

It’s also been great getting to spend lots of time watching films. Funny how sometimes there just isn’t enough time to watch films, but not here.

We attended an Evening with Irish filmmaker Ken Wardrop, looking at his experimental documentaries. He’s making feature documentaries now, so it must have been hard for him to have to look back over short documentaries produced at the start of his career, but I really enjoyed his revealing and emotionally exposing take on his own family. One truly remarkable film explores his relationship with his mother through her naked body and another explores the family dog. Both films, really worth seeing, powerfully demonstrate the adage that you should make work about what you know.

We also spent an afternoon with Danish filmmaker Ulaa Salim. Ulaa, born in Demark to Palestinian parents showed two very powerful drama shorts. The first film combined a spoken word performance with drama and explored his relationship with his father and the experience of growing up an immigrant in Denmark. The second explored his fathers’ relationship with his homeland. Ulaa is working on a feature now and on the strength of these two films, he’s a filmmaker to watch.

The whole festival was a great success with packed houses for every screening. Huge congratulations to Nisse and Susanne for managing such a successful programme and a personal thank you from the Bristol contingent for inviting us and for making us all feel so welcome.

On the last day of the festival we watched all the international student filmmaker productions and where thrilled to find that Lux had been nominated for best screenplay. The filmed missed out on the prize, but still deserves to be seen widely. Check it out here…