Director Q&A Lineup
Not only do we have an incredible line up of feature films and short films screening throughout the festival weekend, we are thrilled to be joined by some of the creative talent behind the camera for a number of post screening Q&A's.
Check out the full Q&A line up below and make sure you swing by to pose you questions directly to the filmmakers, who will be happy to share their insights and anecdotes.
Saturday 3rd February 13:30
New Boy – Q&A with Director Norman Tamkivi
About the Film: 11-year-old Mike feels secluded in his new school and develops an obsession to buy a fancy augmented reality toy that the other kids are playing with together. His single mother cannot afford to buy it, so Mike sets out on a quest to collect the funds on his own and buy the game no matter what, so he could finally make friends at school.
About the Director: Norman Tamkivi is an Estonian-born filmmaker based in London. He started making films at the early age of 10 and has more than 8 years of professional experience in the field. Norman trained in the prestigious London College of Communication BA (Hons) Film and Television course. His shorts have won several awards at international film festivals. In addition to short films Norman has made numerous music videos, corporate promos, live event films, documentaries as well as television content. He was also one of the directors of an Estonian feature film in 2011. Norman loves to create powerful drama, gripping emotions and stunning imagery. He excels at directing, cinematography and editing and is also an experienced producer, colourist, photographer and Steadicam operator. He is an energetic and enthusiastic leader who pays a lot of attention to detail. Currently Norman runs his own production company Skyland Films and works for other creative agencies.
Saturday 3rd February 16:30
Someone Good Will Find You – Q&A with Director Leelila Strogov
About the Film: A well-intentioned Chinese immigrant father tries to teach his son, David, how to “make it” in America. When David becomes enamored by a Superman costume in a store window, his father sees an opportunity to impart to him the importance of hard work, thrift, and delayed gratification. But when the time comes for David to reap the rewards of his efforts, it turns out that the lessons he’s learned transcend those his father intended. Revealing the human capacity for connection, compassion, and sacrifice, Someone Good Will Find You is a story about the lessons parents try to teach their children, and the unintended ones children learn on their own.
About the Director: Leelila Strogov is an investigative journalist, writer, editor and entrepreneur. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Someone Good Will Find You is her debut film.
Saturday 3rd February 18:30
A Girl Needs A Bike – Q&A with Animator and Visual Artist Vivien Mason
About the Film: In rural villages in Ghana, Clara faces the challenges of teaching, as her students discover the happiness of having wheels. This playful animated documentary shows how bicycling brings joy to a new teacher and independence to her students.
About the Director: Vivien is an Australian animator and visual artist. Her work has been exhibited in France, Spain, Germany, Romania, Greece, India, USA, Brazil and Australia.She is experienced in the production of film and television, including productions for the ABC (Australia), Al Jezeera and renowned animation studio Animal Logic.In 2015 Vivien was awarded a residency at the Cité internationale des arts, Paris. During 2016-7 Vivien was an artistic resident of Arts Tasmania, Hobart. In 2017 Vivien took up a place at the Royal College of Art in London to study an MA in Digital Direction.
Sunday 4th February 11:00
Blue Hollywood - Q&A with Director Francesco Gabriele and lead actress Helen Watkinson
About the Film: Sharing the same dream two young actors embark on a journey filled with desire, determination and disappointment. When reckless Italian Alessandro meets cautious Englishwoman Celeste at a London acting school, they decide to move together to LA in the hope of striking gold in the Hollywood film industry. It tells the story of how dreams crash when faced with ugly reality, and how souls can be consumed by ambition.
About the Director: Francesco Gabriele is an Italian Award-winning Film Director based in London. He holds an MA in Film Directing from the London Film School and an AA in Acting from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles. He also attended acting and directing courses at USC, UCLA and LAMDA.He is the founder of the London-based production company Thespian Films Ltd. His latest short film, Italian Miracle, played at over 35 festivals worldwide including the Oscar & BAFTA Qualifying LA-Shorts Fest and won, among other awards, the Jury Award-Best Short at the Stony Brook Film Festival in New York.Recently, he completed his first feature length-film, Blue Hollywood. The film premiered at the Regina International Film Festival & Awards (RIFFA) in Canada where it was awarded the Best International Feature Award and had its UK Premiere at the BT Tower in London as the closing night film of the British Urban Film Festival. It was also screened in Italy, Sweden, Bulgaria and USA.He is currently developing two feature-length projects.
Sunday 4th February 16:00
Language is Dead - Q&A with Director Jermaine Manigault and lead actor James Physick
About the Film: When words fail to describe his feelings a man seeks the aid of a therapist; the two then embark on a journey exploring human connectivity and its limitations.
About the Director: Born in Queens, New York in 1991 Jermaine Manigault is an African-American and Native American director and screenwriter. The son of a New York dancer and Philadelphia writer; he studied Psychology and Film Studies in college while working on sets as a production assistant under mentor, David Andrew Stoler (Daadi) for Sameer Films. During this time Jermaine began to write and experiment with visuals while seeking investors to bring his debut vision "Language is Dead" to life.
Sunday 4th February 18:30
Rookies – Q&A with Director Charlotte Percle
About the Film: Rookies is a film about 4 athletes learning the ropes on the world stage of freeride skiing. Navigating the line between a documentary style and traditional ski film, Rookies follows the trails blazed by 3 Verbier locals - Elisabeth Gerritzen, Carl Renvall, Yann Rausis and one mad kiwi - Sam Lee.Exploring the stress and simultaneous euphoria the athletes experience during their premier season on the Freeride World Tour. On this journey, we learn with the Rookies from veterans of the sport about how to focus, perform on comp day and keep their spot on the Tour.
About the Director: Keeping true to the name, I am a complete amateur film maker. I set out last June to dedicate 1 year to learning how to realise a project from start to finish. With virtually no experience in filming - this was the biggest learning curve I have ever experienced. I'm pretty sure I made every mistake in the book.Luckily, I had the best team of athletes and together we’ve experienced the most incredible adventure along the way. Thank you to everyone who helped me and to the Rookies for being patient with me through all my own rookie mistakes!
Sunday 4th February 17:00
The Seventh Summit - Q&A with Director, Elia Youssef and Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani
About the Film: The Seventh Summit is the story of mountaineers who took on the Seven Summits Challenge in 2009. Less than 350 people to date have accomplished this challenge. Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani was the first Qatari to climb Mt. Everest and his two friends, Raed Zidan as the first Palestinian man to climb Mt. Everest, & Massoud Kalafji, from Iran. They had summited 6 of the 7 summits together, and now face the challenge of summiting Mt. Denali in Alaska, as their seventh and final summit. Suzanne Al Houby, the first Arab woman & Palestinian to summit Mt. Everest is a friend of theirs and she too had finished 6 of the 7 summits with Mt. Denali also remaining, to accomplish her title and be the first Arab woman to reach all 7 summits. They face a lot of difficulties and get stuck in a storm that was announced to be the longest storm ever recorded on Mt. Denali.
About the Director: Elia Youssef, a Lebanese filmmaker born in Beirut in 1986, completed his studies in filmmaking and has attended many film workshops around the world.Elia began his journey by working on a mix of projects including music videos, Tv commercials, television shows and documentaries. He has over 10 years experience. Working in many different areas of the world, Elia likes to work on different kinds of projects as he broadens his horizons by meeting and working with new cultures and setting out on new adventures. His latest feature film won him many awards and he currently has a few more works in the making. Being passionate about sports, traveling the world and life in general, Elia’s ambition and talent is making him soar through to higher levels of success.