Latest from Film4 Team

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Film4 at Sundance Film Festival

09 Dec, 2014 Productions Posted in: Festivals, Sundance

The selections for this year’s Sundance Film Festival have been revealed. Three Film4-backed films will feature at the festival, including two World Premieres.

John Maclean’s Slow West, starring Michael Fassbender and Kodi Smit-McPhee, features in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition.

Louise Osmond’s Dark Horse will feature in the World Cinema Documentary Competition.

Both films will receive their World Premieres at the festival.

Also featuring in the festival’s Spotlight selection is Yann Demange’s ’71, which last night won the Best Director award at the British Independent Film Awards.

The festival runs from 22nd January to 1st February in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Sundance, Utah.

Slow West Dir. John Maclean


A western set in frontier America at the end of the 19th Century, Slow West utilises Colorado’s dramatic landscape as a setting for the unlikely crossing of Silas Selleck (Michael Fassbender), a wild and dangerous drifter, with guileless adolescent, Jay (Jodi Smit-McPhee). Here, in the dense and feral forests of the American West, where confrontation with a stranger would normally mean a duel to the death, Silas, instead of killing Jay, offers to protect him in exchange for cash. Jay has come to America to be reunited with the love of his life, Rose, a fugitive from their native Scotland. Silas’ true motivation, however, is as enigmatic as Jay’s is true-hearted. It is on his journey with this unlikely saviour, fraught with peril, betrayal and violence, that Jay is forced to question Silas’ loyalty towards him, as he realises all too late that America takes no pity on the innocent.

Dark Horse Dir. Louise Osmond


Dark Horse tells the larger than life true story of how a barmaid in a former mining village in South Wales bred a racehorse on her allotment that went on to become a champion. Jan had successfully bred dogs and birds and believed she could do the same with a different animal – though she knew nothing about racing and had never been on a horse. Convincing a handful of locals to part with ten pound a week for her scheme, she found a thoroughbred mare with a terrible racing record for £300, a stallion past his best, put them together and – against all the odds – bred a winner. It’s an audacious tale of luck and chance and beating the odds; a story of how a gaggle of working class folk from the Welsh Valleys took on the racing elite, broke through class and financial barriers, and brought hope and pride back to their depressed community. Dark Horse is an inspirational, emotional story with as many heart-stopping moments as any ‘jump’ race; it’s a story about dreams coming true.

‘71 Dir. Yann Demange

71 jack o connell

A young British soldier is accidentally abandoned by his unit following a terrifying riot on the streets of Belfast in 1971. Unable to tell friend from foe, the raw recruit must survive the night alone and find his way to safety through a disorienting, alien and deadly landscape.

Film4-backed films take five awards at the 2014 British Independent Film Awards

09 Dec, 2014 Productions Posted in: Awards, BIFA

Five Film4-backed films received awards at the 17th annual BritishIndependent Film Awards which took place last night, including Yann Demange who took home the Best Director Award for ’71 along with Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard who received the Best Debut Director Award for 20,000 Days on Earth.

20'000 Days On Earth

Sameena Jabeen Ahmed, awarded Best British Newcomer at the London Film Festival Awards, was once again recognised for her role in the forthcoming Catch Me Daddy and took home the Most Promising Newcomer Award.


Best Screenplay was awarded to Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan for Frank. Stephen Rennicks took home the Best Technical Achievement Award for his music on the same film.

Jon with Frank and the band

David Kosse, Director of Film4, says, “We are thrilled that our filmmakers, in front of and behind the camera, have been honoured at this year’s British Independent Film Awards. Film4’s work with new talent is hugely important to us, so it’s very exciting that they have been recognised with these awards.”

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