Jacqui and Craig can you give us a little update on what’s been happening since NIFF launched back in April?
Where to begin????
It’s been non stop. We thought things would slow down after the festival but it’s busier than ever. We’ve been to Spain, India, France and Spain again since we delivered our first international film festival and we’ve never been off the phone as we expand our plans for global partnering for both NiFT 2019 and 54Films
What changes have you made?
Unfortunately and as with all new companies we’ve had to part company with some of the first years team as there were elements that just didn’t work for us and them longer term. But with a renewed focus we look to a much brighter future as we set about ‘being the difference that makes a difference’. It’s important to both Craig and I that whatever we do we do it with integrity and that as a result we provide opportunities for those wanting a career within the sector we are working hard to improve in the north east of England and over time across the wider uk.
Craig and Jacqui
What did you learn from the fist event?
That we were maybe have been a little over ambitious and that it’s very important we take our community and the industry that already exsists in the north east along with us on the journey. It was never nor ever shall be our intention to compete but to shine a light on our wonderful region and bring together the great and good of the film world along with business and education from all over the world and to eventually make a sustainable difference for all
What was the response like in the movie industry?
Outstanding, the feeback has been incredible and the film industry have definitely heard about Newcastle now! We have also received so much recognition and support for the festival 54 and our HIT model and practice from many established practitioners and institutes within the industry as well as support from central government, its a very exciting time.
Ammar Mirza CBE and Jacqui in Newcastle
Tell us more about 54Films?
It’s a sister company to our festival created to bring beautiful global stories to the screen using our HIT model (making films with honesty, integrity and transparency). As a business woman with many years of international trading experience, I have been shocked and disappointed at some of the unscrupulous companies that have been set up within the industry with the sole purpose of misusing government incentives and creative individuals talents. It’s high time that this industry was treated with the respect it deserves and that the profits enjoyed be fairly distributed throughout the entire process. Through our brand new model incorporating distribution we hope to make a very positive impact to all those we partner with in the future. Its essential to have buisness and creatives working together openly and transparently to offer our UK and global opportunities for investment to thrive and flourish going forward especially for the independent scene, this too should carry right the way through Into sales and distribution so we can work with cinemas and distribution companies to maximise the revenues available from the work produced at the right level and not the inflated versions we see too much of these days.
We also need to satisfy the intelligence and appetite for our audiences more through the varied release platforms we have available to us now, offering more of the rich, diverse and culturally mixed stories we produce and share those, rather than the constant formatted blockbuster approach to multiplex viewing after all films should go back to making stars not stars making films, theirs an awful lot of talent being missed and not enough opportunities being given. As Sean Pertwee said in our actor on actor session at NiFF “Essentially old school is the new school.”
Now your planning for 2019, any exciting news you can share with us?
Absolutely we are about to do open auditions casting our first independent movie in our native north east working with local colleges and universities as well as local business to get everyone involved in the process. Our first feature is also helping award winning Directing Duo and fellow northerners “The Bashford Twins” to shoot their directorial feature debut which again is vitally important for us as we look to offer mentoring skills and training which leads to employment for the region and offers exchange and experiential support on an international perspective. Our vision is to make a difference for the long term.
Will there be any year-round festival activities?
We are looking at the possibilities now and when we decide on a programme of what these activities may be we will let everyone know via the above medium as well as through the usual printed and online media.
What we can disclose at this stage however is that entries for NiFT 2019 will be open from mid to late June onwards and 54Films will be in production from August to November, its a truly exciting and inspiring time.
How so we stay informed about the festival all year round?
Through our social media sites. We are on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and have our own YouTube channel so there are plenty ways to keep up to date.
Please visit us at…
Craig and Jacqui in Dubai