30 Seconds with… Simran Hans

Name

Simran Hans

Profession

Writer and Critic

Three words to describe your feelings about film:

Can’t quit it.

What inspires you daily?

My friends.

What’s the most challenging thing about being in the film right now?

Endemic racism and misogyny.

And, the biggest opportunity?

The chance to create new canons.

What was the last film you saw?

A Bad Moms Christmas (2017, John Lucas & Scott Moore.

Video on Demand: forces filmmakers to think differently or ruining the cinematic experience?

A good way of widening access that will never replace the sacred space of the cinema.

Positive discrimination: essential for the film sector or the wrong approach to equality?

A start.

Choose your own adventure films: an exciting development or will destroy the shared cinematic experience?

Also known as “video games.”

VR in film: enhances the experience for the viewer or negatively impacts traditional storytelling?

Just another type of storytelling.

Director / Talent Q&As: insufferably boring or a great way to engage and develop audiences?

Added value when the talent is wielded by a skilled host.

What are you looking forward to most about TWU 2017?

Being grilled by Gaylene Gould!

What part of the TWU 2017 debate are you most interested in and why?

I’m very interested to hear about how various exhibitors are defining ‘Ethics & Resilience’ and how (if indeed they are) they’re factoring those themes into their practice.

Where can people find you online?

I’m @heavier_things on Twitter.

Simran is one of the three keynote speakers at THIS WAY UP 17.

In her session, Simran will consider how sector structures and value systems are being interrogated by wider societal changes. What kind of labour props up the UK film exhibition industry? Are groups and networks formed through programming pursuits running at odds with this?

30 seconds with… Moira Sinclair

Name

Moira Sinclair

Profession

Chief Executive, Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Three words to describe your feelings about culture

Life-enhancing, mind-blowing, powerful

What inspires you daily?

The resilience and creativity of people and communities in difficult circumstances

What’s the most challenging thing about being in the culture right now?

It sometimes feels too exclusive and it sometimes feels too hard to find the way to change that

And, the biggest opportunity?

People’s need to connect is real and film and culture can play a special role in enabling that connection

What was the last film you saw?

What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015), Liz Garbus

Video on Demand…

Forces filmmakers to think differently

Positive discrimination is…

Essential. A diversity of voices in filmmaking, creating, storytelling and performing seems to me to be essential for the future health of the sector – we need help to make sure that happens

Choose your own adventure films are…

Going to become an exciting development (but I don’t think we’re there yet), but it certainly won’t destroy the shared cinematic experience

VR in film…

I’m just starting to see its potential, but there’s a long way to go to ensure it is genuinely experience-enhancing rather than technologically-distracting

Director / Talent Q&As…

Are a great way to give engage and develop audiences. If done well, it’s a huge treat and privilege to hear direct from those involved in creating stories – which we cynics would do well to remember

What are you looking forward to most about TWU 2017?

Meeting a group of people I don’t usually get the chance to speak to and to understand better what they do and what makes them tick

What part of the TWU 2017 debate are you most interested in and why?

I should say resilience as I think that’s essential in this day and age and it’s what I’ll talk about. But that’s very connected to the Power of Culture. Culture has the power to tell astonishing stories, to connect people, to put you in other people’s shoes, to change the way we see the world.

Where can people find you on Twitter?

@MoiraSinclair1

Moira is the Chief Executive of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, find out more about the work of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation at:

www.phf.org.uk

30 seconds with…Hugh Odling-Smee

Name

Hugh Odling-Smee

Profession

Film Hub NI Project Manager

Three words to describe your feelings about film

Other people’s stories.

What inspires you daily

Colleagues, ideas and audiences. And a lot of poetry and nicotine.

What’s the most challenging thing about being in the film right now

The wide backdrop to our work which we have taken for granted for the last 30 years – Europe, internationalism – is changing, the idea that others stories are as important as our own is narrowing to a more limited view of what it means to be a citizen, a whole person.

And, the biggest opportunity?

Luckily, there is a push against this by many in our industry, and the opportunity lies in continuing to see cultural spaces as places where ideas, open-mindedness and dialogue can prevail and be celebrated.

What was the last film you saw

Bad Day for the Cut (2017), Chris Baugh. ‘Farmer-noir’ from County Tyrone.

Video on Demand: forces filmmakers to think differently or ruining the cinematic experience?

I suppose that is up to how cinemas respond. Video was meant to kill cinema in the 80s, but all it did was change it. People value the collective as much as they value their sofas.

Positive discrimination: essential for the film sector or the wrong approach to gender equality?

Essential. Everyone knows the barriers, age, race, economics, so we should take action to bring them down.

Choose your own adventure films: an exciting development or will destroy the shared cinematic experience?

An exciting development. It’ll always be just a part of the overall offer, so I don’t think people should be threatened.

VR in film: enhances the experience for the viewer or negatively impacts traditional storytelling?

It is probably witchcraft.

Director / Talent Q&As: insufferably boring or a great way to engage and develop audiences?

Audiences seem to like them according to the figures, so I think talent is a good way to engage people. People like asking why.

What are you looking forward to most about TWU 2017?

Hearing about new and interesting ways to develop film exhibition in Northern Ireland, spending time in Hull and catching up with friends.

What part of the TWU 2017 debate are you most interested in and why?

‘Places and spaces’ in light of the changing world we’re living in.

Where can people find you onLINE?

@smeeho7 – apologies in advance for all the NI politics tweets.

Also at;

@FilmHubNI Twitter

Facebook/FilmHubNI

And, www.filmhubni.org

Bonus Question: A UK Film Festival dedicated entirely to cat videos, yes or no?

Yes, but only if we get cats to programme it.

30 seconds with… Gary Thomas

It’s two weeks until this way up 2017 and gary thomas from our partners, british council, tells us his views on some things in just 30 seconds…

Name

Gary Thomas

Profession

Film Programme Manager, British Council

Three words to describe your feelings about film and culture

Essential. Essential. Essential.

What inspires you daily

My colleagues. No. Really. And the power of film to challenge and engage.

What’s the most challenging thing about being in the film and culture right now

Maintaining relevance.

And, the biggest opportunity

Impact through relevance.

What was the last film you saw

Alan Warburton’s Goodbye Uncanny Valley on Vimeo. It’s a brilliant – as one of the Vimeo comments says – “full on state of the VFX union”.

Video on Demand: forces filmmakers to think differently or ruining the cinematic experience?

It’s possible to enjoy watching films in a cinema and on other screens.

Positive discrimination: essential for the film sector or the wrong approach to gender equality?

On screen, it seems fundamental to me that members of a society should expect to see themselves reflected in the stories that society’s culture tells. A story telling art form that can’t do that should be ashamed of itself. And the same goes for a culture where only some sections of the population has access to or control of the stories being told.

Choose your own adventure films: an exciting development or will destroy the shared cinematic experience

Kill. Me. Now.

VR in film: enhances the experience for the viewer or negatively impacts traditional storytelling?

Well, I think there’s VR film, and there’s film film. They’re different experiences. A bunch of people simultaneously experiencing VR in the same space is all to silent disco for me.

 

Vintage Mobile Cinema at This Way UpWhat are you looking forward to most about TWU 2017?

I am fit to bust that we’ve brought the Vintage Mobile Cinema bus to Hull and thrilled we’re showing some great shorts.

Read more about the Vintage Mobile Cinema schedule by clicking here.

What part of the TWU 2017 debate are you most interested in and why?

Global Community. I work for the British Council, but that’s what I’d say anyway.

Where can people find you on twitter?

@British_Film

30 seconds with… Madeleine Probst

Name

Madeleine Probst

Profession

Cinema Producer, Watershed & Film Hub South West & West Midlands and Vice-President of Europa Cinemas

Three words to describe your feelings about cinema

Essential, transformative, inspiring

What inspires you daily

The smell of fresh coffee

What’s the most challenging thing about being in the cinema culture right now?

The lack of capital investment in existing and new spaces and the lack of risk-taking in programming films that go beyond the mainstream.

And, the biggest opportunity?

The social and communal elements are the DNA of cinema. Being active in the “before and after” the film moment is the biggest opportunity right now.

What was the last film you saw

Daphne (2017), Peter Mackie Burns

Video on Demand: forces filmmakers to think differently or ruining the cinematic experience?

I think that for filmmakers, there is always a primacy of the cinema screening. It’s an event where you can get an immediate visceral response from people and the reason why festivals have become increasingly significant and the cinema remains essential.

Positive discrimination: essential for the film sector or the wrong approach to gender equality?

Why not given where we find ourselves? Representation is key as are inclusive organisational cultures that constantly and collectively work at this…

Choose your own adventure films: an exciting development or will destroy the shared cinematic experience?

I go to the cinema to be taken on a journey not to make my own story. There’s definitely room for more active experiences but I see more potential in cross art site-specific immersive experiences than choosing your own narratives…

VR in film: enhances the experience and for the viewer or negatively impacts traditional storytelling?

It’s not an either or… I see it as part of a continuum in the story of moving image, a very young artform that will keep on evolving in 2D and beyond. There is something distinctive about the point of view, the levels of empathy VR can make you feel, the more dreamlike narratives and the importance of sound that could inflect storytelling.

Director / Talent Q&As: insufferably boring or a great way to engage and develop audiences?

It completely depends on who’s onstage, talent and host, and whether audiences are invited in. I also think more informal opportunities to engage in conversations and spaces can be really great.

What are you looking forward to most about TWU 2017?

Visiting Hull for the first time and finding out more about what’s been happening as part of city of culture & getting inspiration from other practitioners

What part of the TWU 2017 debate are you most interested in and why?

The power of culture in this mad world we find ourselves in.

Where can people find you TWITTER?

@maddyprobst

30 Seconds with…JENNY SEALEY MBE

Name

Jenny Sealey

Profession

Theatre Director

Three words to describe your feelings about arts and culture

An Essential Necessary Human Right

What inspires you daily?

The people I work with.

What’s the most challenging thing about being in arts and culture right now?

Sadly in my world it is juggling the double whammy of standstill funding and cuts to Access to Work (a scheme supporting access for Deaf and disabled people in the workplace).

And, the biggest opportunity?

Artists, no matter what is going on in the world, will always find a way to make art.

What was the last film you saw?

At the cinema? Pride (2014) Matthew Warchus, at Dalston Rio because it is my local and it had subtitles!

Video on Demand: forces filmmakers to think differently or ruins the cinematic experience?

I can’t answer this re theatre but I am struggling with how much some theatre streaming costs – almost as much as a theatre ticket which feels very wrong given theatre is about being live! But I also do understand that theatre can get to people who cannot access it easily, however cost must be kept down as that is often the reason people don’t go to the theatre!

Positive discrimination: essential for the film sector or the wrong approach to gender equality?

The film and theatre world need to take a serious look at all of this… and casting.

Director / Talent Q&As: insufferably boring or a great way to give engage and develop audiences?

Depends on who the director is!

What are you looking forward to most about TWU 2017?

Meeting new people and learning from them.

What part of the TWU 2017 debate are you most interested in and why?

All of it as a lot of it is outside my comfort zone which is good for me.

Where can people find you online?

Jenny Sealey credit Micha Theiner

On Twitter: @GraeaeJennyS or online   www.graeae.org.

In real life, as a keynote at TWU17 in Hull!

30 seconds with…Laura Rothwell

Laura Rothwell is our resident marketer, last year she delivered our TWU16 marketing one-to-one sessions in Glasgow, and runs a marketing agency devoted to all things arts and culture. She gave us thirty seconds…

Name

Laura Rothwell

Profession

Marketing person, founder of Crystlsd, marketing for creative organisations.

Three words to describe your feelings about film/cinema/culture

For. The. Soul.

What inspires you daily?

Big ideas. Talking to people about their ‘stories’ and reasons for doing what they do.

What’s the most challenging thing about being in the film/cinema/culture right now?

From a marketing perspective, trying to be all things to all people, doesn’t work, can never work.

And, the biggest opportunity?

That there are so many new stories to tell to new audiences. We just have to tell them!

What was the last film you saw

Their Finest (2016), Lone Scherfig

Video on Demand: forces filmmakers to think differently or ruining the cinematic experience?

VoD is a necessary development in the market, the market is responding to demand. It is on filmmakers who aspire to the big screen to make the ‘big screen experience’ worth it. I enjoy Netflix as much as I enjoy visiting my local cinema (Tyneside Cinema). Different moods, different experiences, different demand.

Positive discrimination: essential for the film sector or the wrong approach to gender equality?
Right now?

Absolutely FREAKING essential. Across gender and ethnicity. It’s in no way acceptable that white men run boardrooms/film/production/everything else. (Nothing against white men, some of my best friends are white men).

Choose your own adventure films: an exciting development or will destroy the shared cinematic experience?

A fun fad that won’t last.

VR in film: enhances the experience for the viewer or negatively impacts traditional storytelling?

Can enhance, but doesn’t eclipse traditional storytelling.

Director / Talent Q&As: insufferably boring or a great way to engage and develop audiences?

I think they could be better delivered, and I think they could engage more people, i.e. thinking about what the barriers for audiences are and allowing the events to cater for that. For example, getting audiences to submit questions via social beforehand (or on paper before the screening) for the chair to ask, would probably improve the experience, by removing that ‘fear of asking questions’, thus more voices are heard and the discussion is more vibrant.

What are you looking forward to most about TWU 2017?

Finally getting to hear some speakers! Last year I was delivering workshops and had massive FOMO.

What part of the TWU 2017 debate are you most interested in and why?

I’m really interested in the places and spaces that culture occupies. I am wholly against the idea that culture exists only “in a place”, only in a gallery or museum or theatre, and I believe that those organisations must embrace the idea that their presence, influence and responsibility extends beyond their four walls; digitally, geographically, ideologically.

Where can people find you online?


On Twitter @notmacbeth

On Insta @lauramrothwell

Or, for more professional utterings: www.crystlsd.com

And of course, IRL at TWU17 in Hull!

30 seconds with… Annabel Grundy

ONE OF THOSE Q&A SESSIONS…

30 seconds with Annabel Grundy, part of the THIS WAY UP 17 team.

Name

Annabel Grundy

Profession

Arts Do-er, Producer, Developer  (currently co-managing Film Hub North)

Three words to describe your feelings about film, cinema and culture?

Beauty. Transcendence. Connection.

What inspires you daily?

The creativity and passion of Hub members – they’re all striving to create space and welcome places for culture, from the pop-ups & community screens to the larger venues.

What’s the most challenging thing about being in the film and cinema right now?

Ever reducing funding and ever-increasing KPIs.

And, the biggest opportunity?

Tech – there are literally new frontiers and ways of expression & storytelling being developed right now, which means there’s scope to hear some entirely new voices.  Also, tech is making it easier for anyone to become a ‘cinema’. A screen + passionate people + hall/field/cave/ (insert unique location here) to create all kinds of experiences.

What was the last film you saw?

Not quite a film but I saw the projected installation Waterlicht beamed onto Winnats Pass in the Peak District last night as part of AND Festival – it was ethereal, magical, and technologically exciting.

Video on Demand: forces filmmakers to think differently or ruining the cinematic experience?

Forces filmmakers – and by extension commissioners – to be more unique and aware of audiences, to create films and experiences beyond the everyday or that follow a homogenous blueprint.  VOD has brought threats, but there’s a huge case for diversity shown by the imaginative and new content coming from streaming platforms – who know people are watching it.

Positive discrimination: essential for the film sector or the wrong approach to gender equality?

Essential when it comes to public investment in film production or subsidized exhibition.  Beyond this, let’s see more work like that of Creative Federation, BECTU and Raising Films, highlighting issues for freelancers and parents in a gig economy.

Choose your own adventure films: an exciting development or will destroy the shared cinematic experience?

Sounds more like a game than a film to me.

VR in Film: enhances the experience for the viewer or negatively impacts traditional storytelling?

A different beast to cinema, as right now it’s a very individual experience.  I’m excited about companies like Magic Leap developing interactive AR worlds and environments to explore too.

Director / Talent Q&As: an insufferably boring, waking nightmare, or a great way to engage and develop audiences?

A fantastic addition to the cinema offer – vastly improved by having the right moderator and bringing lesser-known voices to the fore.

What are you looking forward to most about TWU17?

More in-depth sessions and room for debate and conversation.  Our Tuesday night drinks are going to be quite special too…

What part of the TWU17 debate are you most interested in and why?

Tech has a place in my geeky heart, but I’m most interested in ethics – part of culture’s job is to keep reminding us that we’re human, special, flawed, beautiful, with more to offer than the money spent on a ticket.

Where can people find you online?

On Twitter at @annabel__always

or at filmhubnorth.org.uk.

And in real life, at TWU17 in Hull this November!

Promotional side note: delegate passes are still available, click to buy.

30 SECONDS WITH… JOAN PARSONS

ONE OF THOSE Q&A SESSIONS…

Next up in our ongoing exploration of the thoughts and views of THIS WAY UP pals, colleagues, speakers and facilitators, Joan Parsons, of Showroom Cinema.

Name

Joan Parsons

Profession

Senior Programmer

Three words to describe your feelings about film and cinema

Essential. Political. Nourishing.

What inspires you daily?

My wonderful team, breakfast foods, tea.

What’s the most challenging thing about being in the film and cinema right now?

Balancing cultural ambition, commercial imperatives and personal satisfaction.

And, the biggest opportunity?

A chance to change the way the industry relies on opening weekend box office.

What was the last film you saw?

Beach Rats (2017), Eliza Hittman

Video on Demand: forces filmmakers to think differently or ruining the cinematic experience?

Potentially ruining the theatrical marketplace, having a lasting impact on audience taste and behaviour – however, more analysis and sharing of data is required to really gauge the effect.

Positive discrimination: essential for the film sector or the wrong approach to gender equality?

Needs careful consideration, at all levels. If audiences can be encouraged to apply to their choices, programmers to theirs, funders to theirs, training providers to their schemes. Positive Discrimination is a blunt tool to use when the industry is so complex.

Choose your own adventure films: an exciting development or will destroy the shared cinematic experience?

Gamification of narrative, where is the creative vision and powerful storytelling? I’ve no desire to choose a film narrative, I want it to grab me and take me wherever the filmmaker wants me to go.

VR in Film: enhances the experience for the viewer or negatively impacts traditional storytelling? 

Can be a nice additional element, however, this is a separate art form at fledgeling stages still so very reluctant to decide now before it has a chance to blow my mind.

Director / Talent Q&As: AN insufferably boring WAKIng nIGhtMARe or a great way to engage and develop audiences?

Some, of course, can be rather frustrating but when they work, they are a fantastic way to engage audiences with films, and filmmakers with their audiences. However, every time I hear “I don’t have a question, it’s more a comment…” I have major internal sighing.

What are you looking forward to most about TWU17?

Being inspired by other industries, thinking outside of venues, welcoming the industry to Hull.

What part of the TWU17 debate are you most interested in and why?

Basically everything! I think I’ll be watching the ‘Power of Culture’ and ‘Ethics and Resilience’ conversations very closely.

Where can people find you online?

On Twitter at @joan_parsons.

 

 

 

 

 

SEE YOU IN HULL!