I am compiling this on the plane as I fly to Rhode Island… I had considered having a rant about the state of British Film and the UK film council, but I realised that many of the comments I received after the Kodak screenings and events did it much more eloquently than I could. So here are a few of those messages, with some names and roles withheld to avoid unfair embarrassment as the film makers themselves cannot directly defend their films – and fundamentally, any movie that is made and screened is a minor miracle, so lets celebrate that at the very least…
Anyway, in no particular order…
I didn't hang around long after the films because I was actually stunned at the state of things and didn't really get my head back until later on…Today was an example of how we British manage to take something so valuable and turn it into crap. I am fairly scathing about Americans but I can not deny they do this so much better than us… Graham
I just wanted to say congratulations on the Kodak award! Your videos and blog posts about the event were great, and you've inspired me to make a short film that is entertaining rather than one that I hope festival judges will like. It's a question that I've been subconsciously worrying about for ages and you've helped make up my mind…Tim Mewton
I am really thrilled and very emotional about this award you just won… because of your commitment and passion to movies and the way you manage to transmit it to others… keep looking for your own way, because it is there and you're not the only one to see it…Marc Lallemand
Gone Fishing is an amazing gift to the planet that wins in spirit and content. Just yesterday, as you were receiving the award, I was actually fishing on a lake, much like yours, but in northern Ontario and telling everyone, as the pike and bass came flying out of the water, that they had to see your film… It is an honor to be an associate producer… Kathy Fedori, Canada
Let me be the 8763th person to send you my deepest congratulations on your success at the Kodak film Awards. After all the hard work I can only imagine how thrilled you must be! Louise Steggals
Congratulations! I have goose bumps and am very happy for you! You deserved it fair and square! I love the fact that you have made a short film unlike anything I have ever seen…! You beat the Cinema Extreme film which was made on a much higher budget! Johnny Roberts
I saw XXX (I know the first AD on it) and was wondering when the story was going to kick in, then XXX, and I was almost screaming at the screen with boredom and depression. ‘Love Does Grown on Trees’ was a welcome respite as it was funny in parts, then I saw a minute of XXX and decided to give it a miss. I have met XXX who directed XXX and was contemplating staying for that one, but based on another short film made by the same director, I wasn't inclined to stay. I like to see short films that are uplifting, have a story and leave a lasting impression on me, which Gone Fishing did in spades…A. D. (London), writer and Film Maker
I went to the Curzon today and duly watched the first five of the shorts – it was too depressing to sit through any more as each one was bleaker than the last! Thank goodness for Gone Fishing to prevent my friends having to go on suicide watch…
Gone Fishing didn't belong in that festival – it was too big, too well made and had too great a storyline. The others are what I would be expecting of good young British film makers at the moment – lots of moral message, angst, grainy handheld stuff with youth 'on-target' messages, designed to get all sorts of government grants and good will for future projects. Gone Fishing felt like a million light years away from such banalities, as if it were made by people with a totally different audience in mind. So in that sense, it didn't have the 'feel' of a movie that belonged in a short film comp but rather one that should be doing the more commercial rounds and possibly, bigger more serious shorts festivals…
The irony of Kodak sponsoring this event when the LEAST important thing at the festival was the quality of the screening area (and thus picture visibility) or indeed sound quality, does not escape me. It was a testament to the sheer force of Gone Fishing that I was able to switch off from the clanking of bottling up at the bar and concentrate totally on what unravelled before me…Katherin
I brought three people and we voted for "Gone Fishing" obviously. Hard to see the film properly though, with people walking through the screen, kids crying and no dimmed lighting. Have a word with Curzon… Kath
All good food for thought… Next time you hear from me I will be at the Rhode Island Festival. Getting EXCITED!
Onwards and upwards!