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Review – A Film By Abigail

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Review by Joanna Gravett:

“This superhero does not have a plane, no jet-pack – he has a mechanical horse!”

Yes, it can only be the marvellous and magical words of a child.

Whether you grew up with younger siblings or have young children yourself, we’ve all had the privilege of sharing the fabulous and funny minds of the younger generation. But do we ever listen to them? Do we stop to look at what is going on in their world? One minute you’re photographing them shoving fourth birthday cake into their mouths, and the next, you’re waving goodbye as they drive off in a tightly packed car to university.

A Film by Abigail is a fabulous portrait of a young girl, caught on camera by her brother, Paul.  Shot in the filmmaker’s home, it provides an intimate impression of her life, her dreams and aspirations, which will be forever preserved in a documentary-style time capsule.

“I think I want to make a sort of film, you know, a film star sort of film,” announces Abigail with conviction and gusto.  The little mite takes us through the very logical steps to producing a film, which, to hell with logic, is about the weird and wonderful world of Captain Cowboy and the Snake Girls!  (One is the good twin and one is evil!)

After planning what it is going to have in it “a bit of romance, a bit of, like, joy and happiness, and a bit of, like, funniness, like that,” Abigail sets about drawing out her characters in detail, and planning the ever thickening plot line of the story.

The camera beautifully allows us to experience Abigail’s all-star imagination as we are presented with shots of Abigail at her eye level, and then gaze up at her, the mighty director, from a low angle, reminding us that a child’s mind is a powerful, creative force.

We even follow Abigail under the dining room table to finish her drawings.  This heart-warming image of Abigail’s life, her habits, and her ambitious nature, also makes a striking point in its five minute running time.  I’d bet good money that Abigail could single-handedly write a script for her own Captain Cowboy cartoon show, which I could fully imagine running on any good children’s television channel. We spend all this money on these children’s writing courses to find the next author or director or laser-zapping-evil-doctor creating cartoonist, when really we need look no further than the little body that’s sitting at our very own dining room table.

I think the future looks bright for Abigail, and as she plays with her pink ‘Vtech’ camera, I wish her every success for the future!  No doubt she really will be making audiences say “that was awesome!” one day. Although with her cool Captain Cowboy plot, she already has!

 

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A Good Fight

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Film Title: A Good Fight

Length: 05:44

Description:
Tarsem Singh Bhullar arrived in England from india during the early 60s and lived in Birmingham. A Punjabi sikh immigrant he attended a local school along with several other indian boys.

At school they faced communication problems due to them not being able to speak English as well as cultural differences and this led to the other local white and black youths becoming frustrated with them and seeing them as easy targets to inflict harm upon.

As the violence against them continued unabated Tarsem and his friends decided that they needed to make a stand and fight back against their oppressors and gain respect in their new home.

Credits:
Director:Delraj Takher
Actors: Mike Leo Brown, Sam Varney

Dogwoof Pop Up Cinema

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Short post on the Dogwoof Pop Up Cinema website from a previous Docfilm Festival:

The Dochead:

John Coster (Dogwoof Ambassador) Likes Docs. So he screened lots of them at his local cinema. Along with some Q&As, filmmakers and special previews thrown in for good measure.

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He had too many films and not enough space so did a clever thing. He whacked them all on at the same time on different walls and gave his audience members headphones. Voila silent cinema…

Have a festival programme in mind? Contact popup@dogwoof.com

Website – http://popupcinema.net/

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Man of Steel

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Film Title: Man of Steel

Length: 11′ 00″

Description:
“After decades working in the manufacturing industry, Castleford lad Steven Williamson started to assemble large steel sculptures in his garden shed. His love of his town is communicated through his artwork, despite having no prior ‘artistic experience’.

Encouraged by Alison Drake of Castleford’s Heritage Trust, he is only now beginning to exhibit his work around the post-mining community. This intimate portrait is told through imaginative imagery and sincere interviews that fuse to create quite a profound documentary about two passionate, yet humble people who together try to bring new hope to a forgotten town – using art as the catalyst.”

Director: Mark Redfearn

The Ice Cream Men

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What does an ice cream man do during the winter months?

What you’ve never wondered?

Here is your chance to find out with the World Premiere of Paul Vernon’s mockumentary that will bring a smile to your face on a cold November evening!

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Hamedullah: The Road Home

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This is the story of Hamedullah Hassany, a young teen who fled here from Afghanistan and lived safely and happily in Canterbury (with his friends Zaker, Momin and Nasim).

Then police and Border Agency officials broke into the house in the middle of the night, threatened the boys and snatched Hamedullah’s best friend Zaker.

Information site – http://www.hamedullahtheroadhome.com/

A collection will be made after the screening to be split between Hammedhullah himself and the group After 18, that work with this vulnerable group in Leicester.

 

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Struggle with Life & Race against Time

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Film Title: Struggle with Life & Race against Time

Length: 6’11”

Description: documentary based on my Grandfather; Surendrakumar Bhagat capturing his journey from being a helpless, brave Typist to a hard-working Bank Manager.

This is a real story of how a simple person’s life began through such struggle and crisis. His journey began with many difficulties. But ended with happiness.

Struggle with Life and Race against Time takes you on an emotional journey, bringing an inspiring soul to life.

When a human is born on earth, God sends them with a purpose…”

Director: Meera Darji

Cast: Surendrakumar Bhagat