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Film4 Innovation Forum Tomorrow

17 Nov, 2014 Posted in: Behind The Scenes, Film4.0, Talent

Film4 Innovation Forum 2014

In Partnership with Creative Skillset.


Happy Monday! We look foward to seeing you at our Forum tomorrow. We hope you’ve all managed to take a look at our pre-forum package, but just to jog your memory, all the info is here.

As a pre-cursor to the day, we’d love you to take some time to check out two of our case studies so that we can explore them in more depth tomorrow.

FRANK: A Twitter Prequel
Jon Ronson in conversation with Hugh Garry



Iain Forysth & Jane Pollard & Anna Higgs with Matt Locke at Brighton Digital Festival

Nick Cave


Please find below our proposed agenda for the day (subject to change):

Arrival -1.15pm
-Please note lunch will NOT be provided but water and snacks will be available on arrival and there will be two tea and coffee breaks throughout the day.

The afternoon will include:

Welcome – David Kosse

Film4 Innovation Overview – Anna Higgs

Forum Keynote: Frank Rose
Digital anthropologist, world-leading expert, author and consultant in immersive storytelling, Frank Rose will take us through key trends and explore how creative storytelling in this space can lead to greater audience engagement and bring powerful returns.

FRANK : A Twitter Prequel
Digital creative behind the FRANK digital storytelling project, Hugh will walk us through the project, explore how he worked with partners and share our results.

Storytelling with psychological profiling: Blast Theory App Storytelling Showcase
Matt Adams from leading artist collective Blast Theory gives an exclusive sneak preview showcase of their new storytelling app KAREN with
some interesting audience interaction!

Stories from the Borders with National Theatre Wales
Artistic Director John McGrath walks through how a traditional theatre company have integrated digitally seamlessly into their groundbreaking productions and engaged live audiences as well as increasing wider participation in, and access to, top quality storytelling.

Storyworld Panel: Extending the Narrative on Multiple Platforms
With Bekki Wray-Rodgers and Johnny Hardstaff, chaired by Hilary Perkins. Key creative leads behind UTOPIA and PROMETHEUS projects join us to share their learning about extending authored narratives beyond usual film and television boundaries.

Plenary Session: Key Themes & Next Steps
With Frank Rose, Digital Creative, Bekki Wray Rogers, Matt Adams and Anna Higgs, chaired by Louise Brown.
Key experts from across the day and beyond come together to join up the learning and take forward questions from the Forum. What are the new models and ways of working that we can adopt? Why is it important that story, idea and talent come first? How can we work together to experiment in a way that brings together platforms, rather than pits them against each other?

Followed by a well deserved drink.

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday!

All the best,
Film4 Team

This scheme is supported by Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, which is funded by the BFI with National Lottery funds, through the Skills Investment Funds



Film4 Innovation Forum 2014: Digital Storytelling

13 Nov, 2014 Posted in: Behind The Scenes, Film4.0, Talent

Film4 Innovation Forum 2014


This year the Innovation Forum day, in partnership with Creative Skillset, is the focus of what we hope will be a bigger information sharing and learning experience for us all.

During the afternoon of the Forum we’ll be hearing from experts on Film4 projects and other great examples of work that engages audiences through storytelling across multiple platforms from the worlds of TV, theatre, gaming and beyond.

With this in mind, this mail is packed with links, documents and information with all the background, learning and context for the projects that will be discussed on the day to help you be prepped and ready to engage with the themes as well as enjoy really in-depth Q&As with the speakers. We hope you will find it inspirational stuff!

Film4 Project Case Studies



A groundbreaking digital storytelling prequel to the film created by Hugh Garry in collaboration with director Lenny Abrahamson and writer Jon Ronson.

Hugh will be talking about the results of the project at the Forum, but to understand the project before the day you can explore Jon Burrough’s story across the following platforms, by clicking on the links to the sites:

This Is My Jam

You can also access all the responsive tools and games that were built based on listening to audience sentiment on social networks here:

Sadly Jon Ronson can’t join us for the Forum, so Hugh taped a conversation about their creative processes in this project which we will send out just before the Forum.

20,000 Days on Earth

20'000 Days On Earth

An holistically commissioned film and digital project, 20,000 Days on Earth is a bold vision of one of music’s most mysterious and charismatic figures, the iconic Nick Cave. In their debut feature directors Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard fuse drama and documentary by weaving a cinematically staged day in Cave’s life with never-before-seen verité observation of his full creative cycle.

The film is the UK’s highest grossing documentary of 2014 so far, won two awards at Sundance as well as many other international festivals, and is nominated for 3 British Independent Film Awards. To find out more about the film, take a look at at our Film4 Interview Special.

Museum of Important Shit

The digital project, commissioned in partnership with Picturehouse Entertainment and supported by the P&A Fund at the BFI, is a unique extension of core themes from the film and grew directly out of the filmmakers’ vision for engaging with audience in innovative ways. The Museum of Important Shit, developed with BAFTA-winning digital studio Somethin’ Else is going from strength to strength and can be explored by clicking here.

Sadly Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard will not be able to attend the Forum to talk about the project due to shooting commitments, so we will be sending out a workshop video that serves as an overview of the project.

Other Case Studies at the Forum

A range of makers, artists and storytellers from other creative industries will also be joining us at the forum to share their expertise for us in film. We recommend you take a look at their work in advance of the Forum so that you can make best use of the panels and Q&As.

National Theatre Wales


Of the numerous immersive and multi-faceted projects created by the company, the most notable use of multi-platform storytelling was for their 2012 and 2013 show The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning. This show was a live theatre performance which invited audiences from across the world to engage through a live stream component of the show. However it also went further by inviting online audience members to comment on both the show but also the issues that the show was dealing with. These comments were on view to the live theatre audience adding a new layer of conversation and constantly changing narrative to the show. This show was viewed by people from across 80 different countries.

Their current project Bordergame is another example of how live performance and immersive theatre is embracing, engaging and experimenting with digital platforms and tools to add new to the audience experience and Artistic Director John McGrath will be talking about the project at the Forum.

You can participate in Border Game here:



Dennis Kelly’s enigmatic thriller Utopia centres around The Utopia Experiments, a legendary graphic novel shrouded in mystery. When a small group of previously unconnected people who have met on a forum, find themselves in possession of an original manuscript of the fabled book, their lives suddenly and brutally implode, relentlessly pursued by a shadowy unit called The Network who will stop at nothing, to keep its origin and meaning secret.

Across the first series, a story-led digital project was undertaken to immerse audiences further into the show’s shadowy world. The resulting BAFTA nominated digital work is recapped in this video here, and will be a key focus of the panel.

The series two viral marketing can be explored at



Led by filmmaker Ridley Scott and writer Damon Lindelof, Prometheus set a new benchmark for broadening the storyworld of a film around its release.  The heart of this universe was the Weyland Industries site, launched by Peter Weyland’s TED Talk with a difference – it appeared on the TED blog, but came from the future:

You can find out more about the genesis of the world in this article How to write a Ted Talk from the future with Damon Lindelof.

At the Forum we’ll have Filmmaker Johnny Hardstaff who made the David8 films with Michael Fassbender that were another key part of the story universe’s expansion.  Meet David8, the newest android from Weyland Industries here and take an in-depth look at Elizabeth Shaw here.

Karen from Blast Theory

Blast Theory

Blast Theory is an artist group based in Brighton making interactive work. The group has been commissioned to make work for the Venice Biennale and the Sundance Film Festival. Their work has been nominated for four BAFTAs and Can You See Me Now? won the Golden Nica for Interactive Art at Prix Ars Electronica. Blast Theory has also shown interactive and screen based works in galleries such as Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, National Fine Art Museum in Taiwan and Tate Britain. Ivy4Evr was a commission for Channel 4 Education. Matt Adams is Visiting Professor of Interactive Media at Central School of Speech and Drama.

Karen is a smartphone app that uses psychological profiling in the background as you interact with a character. Developed in partnership with National Theatre Wales the app is now in alpha. Matt will present the first public showing of the app and discuss techniques for combining story telling, interactivity and game play.

Other Digital Storytelling Examples

There’s also a huge amount we couldn’t fit into the day itself, so this section is filled with links to active projects, Q&As and examples of other great digital storytelling from around the world, which we recommend you take a look at before the Forum.

David Cronenberg’s Body Mind Change

Produced by the Toronto International Film Festival and the Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab, Body/Mind/Change had Cronenberg partner with BMC Labs, a fictional biotech firm, to develop Personal-on-Demand (POD) biotech enhancement implants inspired by the intellectual property found in Cronenberg’s films.

Miranda July: We Think Alone

A simple sharing of emails turns into an investigation on the changing nature of privacy and quiet acts of self-portraiture in the Internet age.

Dear Photograph

The concept is simple: take a picture of a picture, from the past, in the present. A really interesting example of how a very clean call to action can generate textured stories from your audience.

Welcome to Pinepoint

Produced by the National Film Board of Canada and created my Michael Simons and Paul Shoebridge, Welcome to Pinepoint is beautiful story that takes the form of an online photo-album/scrap book housing memories of a town that no longer exists.

The Wilderness Downtown

This interactive video by filmmaker and digital maverick Chris Milk uses a simple piece of personal information (the street where you grew up) and the technology of Google Earth to create a short bespoke video that takes you on an unexpected journey.

The Other Side

Daniel Wolfe (Catch Me Daddy) directs this new interactive Honda advert. Hit the R key on your keyboard to see the parallel narrative. A very simple but cinematically effective use of a technical trick.

Follow Our Speakers

If you can’t wait to find out a bit more about our exciting speakers, you can explore their worlds on Twitter and beyond by following the below links:

Frank Rose @frankrose
Frank’s fascinating media blog is at
You can also buy Frank’s incredible book ‘The Art of Immersion’ with a 40% discount here. Just follow the link and add WN305 when prompted at the check out. You can also check out Frank’s article on the ‘The Blockbuster Syndrome’ which can be found here.

John McGrath @john_ntw

Hugh Garry @Huey

Matt Adams @blasttheory

Hilary Perkins @cowbite

Rebekah Wray-Rogers @grumpybekki

Johnny Hardstaff @JohnnyHardstaff
As well as the grounbreaking project surrounding Prometheus, Johnny did some work on The Counsellor, which you can watch here & here.

Innovation Forum


This scheme is supported by Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, which is funded by the BFI with National Lottery funds, through the Skills Investment Funds

Film4-backed films receive 27 nominations at British Independent Film Awards

03 Nov, 2014 Posted in: Awards, BIFA


Film4-backed films have received a total of 27 nominations at this year’s British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs). Yann Demange’s ’71 received 9 nominations, the highest number of all films on the list. Daniel and Matthew Wolfe’s Catch Me Daddy, Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank and Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner have picked up 5 nominations each. Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s 20,000 Days on Earth also received 3 nominations.

’71 and Mr.Turner are nominated in the Best British Independent Film category while Yann Demange, Mike Leigh and Lenny Abrahamson are all nominated in the Best Director category at the annual awards, which celebrate achievement in independently-funded British filmmaking. (See full details on nominations below).

The jury for 2014 has also been announced and includes: Jury Chair – Tom Hooper (Director), Jonathan Romney (Writer, Director), Jon S Baird(Writer, Director), Luke Treadaway (Actor), Mary Burke (Producer), Sean Ellis (Writer, Director), Shira MacLeod (Film Programming Consultant), Stanley Tucci (Actor, Director), Thea Sharrock (Director), Tinge Kirshnan (Director) Tracy O’Riordan (Producer) and Zawe Ashton (Actor, Director).

The BIFAs are held on 7th December 2014 at Old Billingsgate in central London.


Full list of nominees (Film4 nominations in bold):


Sponsored by Moët & Chandon



Mr. Turner


The Imitation Game


Sponsored by AllCity & Intermission

John Michael McDonagh – Calvary

Lenny Abrahamson – Frank

Matthew Warchus – Pride

Mike Leigh – Mr. Turner

Yann Demange – ’71


Sponsored by 3 Mills Studios

Daniel Wolfe, Matthew Wolfe – Catch Me Daddy

Hong Khaou – Lilting

Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard – 20,000 Days on Earth

Morgan Matthews – X+Y

Yann Demange –  ’71


Sponsored by BBC Films

Graham Moore – The Imitation Game

Gregory Burke – ’71 

John Michael McDonagh – Calvary

Jon Ronson, Peter Straughan – Frank

Stephen Beresford – Pride


Sponsored by M.A.C Cosmetics

Alicia Vikander – Testament of Youth

Cheng Pei Pei – Lilting

Gugu Mbatha-Raw – Belle

Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game

Sameena Jabeen Ahmed – Catch Me Daddy


Sponsored by Movado

Asa Butterfield  – X+Y

Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game

Brendan Gleeson – Calvary

Jack O’Connell – ’71

Timothy Spall – Mr. Turner


Dorothy Atkinson – Mr. Turner

Imelda Staunton – Pride

Maggie Gyllenhaal – Frank

Sally Hawkins – X+Y

Sienna Guillory – The Goob


Sponsored by St Martins Lane

Andrew Scott – Pride

Ben Schnetzer – Pride

Michael Fassbender – Frank

Rafe Spall – X+Y

Sean Harris – ‘71


Ben Schnetzer – Pride

Cara Delevingne – The Face of An Angel

Gugu Mbatha-Raw – Belle

Liam Walpole – The Goob

Sameena Jabeen Ahmed – Catch Me Daddy



20,000 Days on Earth

Catch Me Daddy


The Goob


Chris Wyatt – Editing – ’71

Dick Pope – Cinematography – Mr. Turner

Robbie Ryan – Cinematography – Catch Me Daddy

Stephen Rennicks – Music – Frank

Tat Radcliffe – Cinematography – ’71


20,000 Days on Earth

Next Goal Wins

Night Will Fall

The Possibilities Are Endless




Emotional Fusebox

Keeping Up With The Joneses


The Kármán Line


Blue Ruin


Fruitvale Station


The Badadook


Flim: The Movie…



Keeping Rosy

The Beat Beneath My Feet

THE RICHARD HARRIS AWARD (for outstanding contribution by an actor to British Film)

To Be Announced


To Be Announced


Announced at the Moët British Independent Film Awards on Sunday 7th December

Film4 Innovation Forum 2014

29 Oct, 2014 Productions Posted in: Behind The Scenes, Film4.0, Talent


Film4’s Innovation Forum 2014 partners with Creative Skillset and confirms storytelling as the focus of this year’s event.

Film4 Innovation Forum 2014

How can a filmmaker’s vision be protected and enhanced in the interactive age?
How do we respond to audiences that want to be increasingly immersed in story worlds within and without a cinema experience?
What tools from our expertise can we use to strengthen the bonds between storytellers and their audiences?

Following on from the success of last year’s event, Film4’s Innovation Forum returns on 18th November and will focus on storytelling; exploring how emerging trends and technologies can be embraced by filmmakers to help them tell their stories in innovative ways and connect with audiences more deeply.

The Forum brings together top filmmakers and industry professionals from across the UK at Channel 4 headquarters. It will once again be an opportunity for people to come together to share innovation work and examine how the UK industry as a whole can move forward together in these exciting new times. In partnering with Creative Skillset, the industry skills body for the Creative Industries, the aim of the day is to ensure that the forum is at the centre of a bigger learning journey for our participants as well as for emerging talent right across the UK.

In response to the theme of this year’s Forum, the keynote speaker will be Frank Rose, a leading thinker on digital culture. His most recent book, The Art of Immersion: How the Digital Generation Is Remaking Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the Way We Tell Stories, shows how entertainment and advertising are responding to overwhelming technological change and how storytelling forms such an important part of this change. Additional speakers appearing on the day will be announced at a later date and are all pioneering new forms of storytelling from the worlds of film, theatre, publishing and beyond and will share their learning with attendees.

This scheme is supported by Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, which is funded by the BFI with National Lottery funds, through the Skills Investment Funds.

Follow @Film4Insider on 18th November for full coverage of the Film4 Innovation Forum. Talks and materials will be uploaded to the Film4 blog at a later date. Click here to revisit 2013′s Forum.

Film4 Productions at TIFF 2014

18 Sep, 2014 Productions Posted in: Behind The Scenes, Toronto

We round up the enthusiastic reception of the six Film4-backed films which played at Toronto 2014, including the world premieres of The Riot Club, The Duke Of Burgundy and Second Coming.

The Riot Club


Left to right: Sam Claflin, Max Irons, Lone Scherfig, Holliday Grainger, Ben Schnetzer and Douglas Booth

Ahead of its UK release this week, Lone Scherfig’s Film4-backed adaptation of Laura Wade’s acclaimed stage play Posh received its world premiere in Toronto, and the dapper cast – including leads Sam Claflin, Max Irons and Douglas Booth – took to the red carpet. Critics praised these young stars, with The Telegraph’s Tim Robey writing that the film is “perfectly cast in its main roles [...] Sam Claflin has a hard, bitter edge to him – he’s a lone wolf, seeing what he can get out of this bunch, seizing his chances to pounce. Douglas Booth affects a raffish nonchalance that’s perfect for a character whose corruption and predatory contempt for women are papered over by a veneer of charm. And Max Irons, given range for a lot more doubt and self-awareness than Miles had on stage, is hugely impressive.”

The Riot Club is in UK cinemas now.

The Duke Of Burgundy

Chiara D'Anna and Peter Strickland introduce The Duke Of Burgundy

Chiara D’Anna and Peter Strickland introduce The Duke Of Burgundy

Director Peter Strickland took to the Bell Lightbox stage to introduce his third feature with a list of continuity errors in one hand (’11 minutes in, we’ve got a problem with a compost heap…’), and a recording of mole crickets in the other, giving the audience a taster of the unique viewpoint and amateur entomology that makes up The Duke Of Burgundy. Rave reviews followed in The Telegraph (‘hair-raisingly kinky’), The Guardian (‘this is not just a filthy movie. It’s a considerable work of art’) and The Hollywood Reporter (‘a constant delight’), and the film was included in festival season highlight round-ups in The DissolveLittle White Lies and Variety.

The Duke Of Burgundy screens at the BFI London Film Festival in October.

Second Coming

Second Coming

Second Coming

Receiving its world premiere in TIFF’s Discovery strand was the directorial feature debut of playwright Debbie Tucker Green, starring Nadine Marshall and Idris Elba as a couple whose domestic life breaks down in the aftermath of an unexplained pregnancy. Andrew Barker at Variety called the film an ”engrossing psychodrama” which offers “a fine showcase to a very fine cast”.

Second Coming screens at the BFI London Film Festival in October.

Mr. Turner

Timothy Spall

Timothy Spall

After premiering in Cannes earlier this year to rave reviews and a Best Actor prize win for Timothy Spall, Mike Leigh’s biographical drama about British painter J.M.W. Turner travelled across the Atlantic for appearances at both TIFF and Telluride (as did Misters Spall and Leigh, as you can see above and below). NPR’s film critic Bob Mondello called it “a wheezing, growling, snorting work of art; every frame worthy of a frame”.

Mike Leigh

Mike Leigh

Mr. Turner will receive a Festival Gala screening in October at the BFI London Film Festival and goes on general UK release on 31st October.


Yann Demange

Yann Demange

Both director Yann Demange and future megastar lead actor Jack O’Connell attended the Canadian premiere of their Troubles-set thriller, which opened earlier this year at the Berlin Film Festival. The film was screening in the festival’s Discovery strand, and critics squarely focused on both the first-time feature director and his rising star. In Vanity Fair, Jordan Hoffman wrote: “it takes a great deal of skill to shoot chaos in an orderly way, and Demange nails it. The first 30 minutes of the film are pure and direct, in a deceptively documentary-seeming style, but with a furious mounting tension,” and remarked that, paired with his breakout performance in last year’s Film4-backed prison drama Starred Up, “it is clear that O’Connell’s got chops”.

’71 screens at the BFI London Film Festival in October, and goes on general release in the UK on Friday 10th October.



The cast and crew of Hyena introduce the film (photo courtesy of Ben Roberts)

The cast and crew of Hyena introduce the film (photo courtesy of Ben Roberts)

A full entourage of cast and crew were out in force to back up director Gerard Johnson as he introduced the Toronto crowd to his compelling corrupt cops thriller, which Sight & Sound contributor Ashley Clark called “nasty, grimly funny, and stylish with a great, perma-ruffled lead turn from [Peter] Ferdinando”.

Hyena will be released in 2015.