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British Independent Filmmaking

How do films in Britain get made?
This course looks at the journey from idea to cinema screen using a wealth of personal knowledge as well as drawing on examples ranging from the work of Noel Clark to brilliant new voices such as Jellyfish and Farming.

Week 1An introduction to British independent Filmmaking.
A historical study of the British film industry, contextualising this 6 week course and the trials and tribulations of the filmmakers that fight to get their films made.   From Powell and Pressburger to Andrea Arnold and Steve Mcqueen and from Carry On to Merchant Ivory and through to emerging talent in films like Blue Story.
Suggested Viewing:  Kes (1969)  Sexy Beast (2001) Chariots of Fire (1981)

Week 2 - Establishment or Maverick?
Mike Leigh, Andrea Arnold, Ken Loach, Lyn Ramsey.
Their footprint on British and world film has been significant.
This week we look at how these outstanding British filmmakers went from fighting the system to being embraced and lauded.
We also look at their methods and how their work finds the balance between artist integrity and establishment accolades.
Suggested Viewing: Ratcatcher (1999) Fish Tank (2009)

Week 3 - Gangsters vs Dandy’s.
The last four decades has seen two very disparate genres become a backbone of British cinema.   The gangster film and the period piece.
In many ways these two genres represent more of an imagined England, rather than a truly reflective one.
This week we look at how these two alien genres have been so bulletproof and the cultural and societal context for their popularity.
Suggested Viewing: Another Country (1984)   The Long Good Friday (1980)

Week 4 - The unspoken audience.
When Kidulthood was released in 2006 the industry were surprised by its popularity.
When Adulthood proved to be an even bigger hit the industry still reacted with surprise.
A large proportion of the UK audience were simply not represented in cinema and Noel Clarke was one of the leading pioneers in UK black cinema.
This week we look at Noel’s work and the battles he has undertaken to become a production powerhouse in film and television.
This discussion widens into the broader topic of the continued marginalisation of black cinema that’s recently been highlighted once again with Andrew Onwubolu’s Blue Story.
Suggested viewing: Kidulthood (2006)  Rocks (2019)  Blue Story (2009)

Week 5 - Contemporary British film in depth.
We take two recent British films –  James Gardner’s Jellyfish and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s Farming, and chart their story from script to screen, highlighting the battles that British filmmakers have to get their work to an audience in these times of changing distribution models and the squeezing out of independent film in the multiplexes.   Just how do these films find their audience?
Suggested Viewing: Jellyfish (2018)   Farming (2019)

Week 6 - Getting your voice heard.
From Ken Russell to Steve Mcqueen to Gurinder Chadha and Sarah Gavron.
Throughout the history of British cinema individual voices have punched through the mainstream to tell their stories.
In this final session we look at the challenges the modern filmmaker has in getting their films seen and celebrate the fact that no matter the changes in the landscape of film the true artists will always have their voices heard.
Suggested Viewing: The Devils (1971)  Shame (2011)
Blinded by the Light (2019)

Course runs from 10 February 2021 for 6 weeks at 8pm GMT for 2 hours per session.   Total cost £42