Indie filmmakers unite to celebrate town's arts scene
Independent film-makers will unite at the Westway Cinema in Frome on Saturday, when The Independent Filmmakers' Gathering network showcase at the newly digitalised cinema.
It should be a great opportunity for not only filmmakers but also all those involved in making films – musicians, actors, actresses, scriptwriters, cameramen and directors to have an outlet for their creativity by having somewhere to network, showcase and share ideas.
Your Time spoke to organiser Sara Coffield to find out more.
Your Time: Where did the idea for The Independent Filmmakers' Gathering come from?
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Sara: It was a vision that came along to cultivate life in our struggling independent cinema, especially with the advent of a multiplex in Trowbridge soon.
Can you tell us about all the film-makers appearing at this event?
Howard Vause is an award winning independent film-maker, digital artist and performer based in Frome, Somerset.
In 2012, Howard co-founded Frome Media Arts CIC to promote the use of creative technology for all people.
He makes multimedia for international theatre and performance, is an animator and his illustration work appears in everything from organic cook books to fantasy art anthologies.
In 2011 his audio work was featured by the visual artist and playwrite Jyll Bradley in a major exhibition at the Bluecoat Gallery in Liverpool.
He'll be showing Greenspin, a collaboration with Frome-based poet Helen Moore, which has just picked up an award at the 2013 Liberated Words International Videopoetry Festival.
He admits to never having outgrown his childhood fascination for the macabre and describes his work as playful, grotesque and probably true.
Mark Carr is a multimedia artist using video as part of site specific artworks/exhibitions.
He recently exhibited Suppression at the the Rook Lane Chapel and has exhibited widely in this country and abroad.
He describes himself as a 50-something guy with a lot of angst.
His film Hand of God works on many levels – suppression, control, belief, SOS.
Bargus was formed in 2003 by film enthusiasts Simon Bowman, Adam Bowman and Will Adcock.
Since their first short, they have gone on to create music videos, an award winning short film and a feature length film, all made using local talent and resources.
Simon told me that they were going to show Grace which is described "a sister unaware of her brother's rediscovery of a long prohibited technological elixir, must contend with her brother's passion for eternal life and their mother's impending death".
Ross Thomas describes himself as a "professional clown with Gerry Cottles Circus".
He studied graphic design at Central Saint Martins. His film Checkpoint is based on the a tale of Nasrudin, the Sufi holy fool.
He said: "I wrote a series of six shorts, had them optioned by a TV production company, had Warren Michel on board to play Nasrudin, pitched it at the BBC as an Islamic Del boy and the next day was 9/11."
We are also delighted to have Tales of the Tunnels v1.0 (see pictured).
It is the film of the Frome Festival 2013 site-specific performance of Tales of the Tunnels, produced and directed by Bo Bowman-Shaw and Andrew Shackleton of Recondite Spaces.
Reflecting on the past, present and future, Tales of the Tunnels v1.0, set within the famous Frome tunnels, muses on the state of mankind's relationship with the Earth, each other and itself.
It was filmed and edited by Alan Campbell and Trevor Biggs of Frome Film and Video Makers club.
Has Frome got a strong filmmaking community?
Well we had a very good initial meeting a few months ago with a few key members of the community including Mike Walker who, amongst other things is the retired Director of Media Arts at Frome Community College.
With his company, Camelot Productions, he produced and directed a multimedia version of The Collector in 2011 to great critical acclaim, so he'll be pretty well-connected.
There's also the Frome Film and Video Makers, Howard Vause's Frome Media Arts and all those that used to be involved with Frome TV plus one of the lads who used to work at the Westway Cinema is now assisting Steven Spielberg and my neighbour's friend's son is working with Ridley Scott.
How important is the Westway in this project?
Very. It is so full of soul and Martina O'Connor is such a generous, warm-hearted and wise lady with a passion for serving her community, in memory of her dad, which combines to create flourishing goodwill!
What do you hope people get from the event? What can people expect?
Initially, a place where creatives can come and be inspired, share ideas, network and manifest their ideas, leading to inspiring, informative and thought-provoking entertainment for the community.
We aim to make them monthly (at least).
What do you think about Frome and why do you think it's such a hotbed for artistic creative types?
I think Frome is very special! I discovered it by coming to a few open mics at the Garden Café/Griffin Pub and immediately liked the people I was meeting.
Its style pleases me as I see a good combination of grounded, salt of earth, artistic and a bit rock 'n' roll types without the drugs and confusion, who have a good sense of humour and know what really matters.
There is such a great community spirit in Frome, which is such a gem in this often depressed and fragmented world.
It's a haven from the insanity of dictatorship, selfishness, barriers, war, corruption – a place where you can feel the peace and flow and connect to nature and each other, which, to me, is what the artist is looking for …
For further information visit the Independent Film-makers' Gathering's Facebook event page.