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While we are busy working simultaneously on This is CinemaLa Belle NoiseThe Benefit of Doubt and The New Hope 2, we are also delighted to announce the completion of Vladimir and William.

Vladimir and William consists of eight video letters sent between William Brown and Macedonian experimental filmmaker Vladimir Najdovski between 2017 and 2018.

The film is inspired by various epistolary movies, such as Chris Marker’s Sans soleil, Erik Baudelaire’s Letters to Max and Mark Cousins and Mania Akbari’s Life May Be.

Featuring images of Skopje, London, Edinburgh, New York, Paris and Abu Dhabi, the film offers thoughtful considerations of various contemporary issues as well as perennial philosophical conundrums.

Here is a link to the film. If a password is required to view the film, then do get in touch with us and we shall happily send one to you.

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We are delighted to announce that Circle/Line has been selected to play at the 2017 East End Film Festival.

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The film will play on Saturday 3 June at 5pm at Old Spitalfields Market, 16 Horner Square, London E1 6EW, UK. The screening is FREE!

EEFF Screening

Circle/Line involves asking people outside or near the stations of London Underground’s eponymous yellow line one deceptively simple question: are you happy?

Circle/Line is, then, a documentary comprised of vox pop interviews with ‘everyday’ people – from the homeless to the hopeful, from the ambitious to the activist, from task-driven Londoners to tourists.

Inspired by Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin’s classic documentary, Chronique d’un été/Chronicle of a Summer (France, 1961), Circle/Line is nonetheless an original work and a fascinating insight into the lives of people in contemporary London.

Shot by Beg Steal Borrow regular Tom Maine, the film is both a portrait not just of people, but also of the city of London itself.

Do come along to the screening, which looks set to the first of several summer screenings of Beg Steal Borrow films!

 

 

 

 

After a successful first preview screening at the Whirled Cinema in Brixton in July, we are delighted to announce a second preview screening of Circle/Line at renowned visual effects house Double Negative.

We are also pleased to say that the screening sold out shortly after tickets became available – hopefully a sign both of how the first screening was well received and of how people are interested in seeing a film about happiness in contemporary London.

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The DNeg screening has kindly been made possible by Garry Madison, a senior colourist at the company, and who has worked on such prominent films as The Dark Knight RisesInterstellarEx Machina and Paddington.

Garry saw Circle/Line at the Whirled and was sufficiently impressed to propose the second preview screening, which takes place at 6.30pm on Thursday 29 September. Places may become available at the last minute, so if you’d like to join a waiting list, please contact us.

The Circle/Line preview screening is just one of a few screenings of Beg Steal Borrow films set to take place over the next few weeks: Circle/Line will have a private screening at the University of Skövde in Sweden, with Selfie enjoying a forthcoming screening at the University of Roehampton, The New Hope playing at the University of Central Lancashire, and En Attendant Godard due for a screening in Curitiba, Brazil, in October.

More information will follow about these screenings when details have been confirmed.

About Circle/Line

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Are you happy?

This is the question that we ask people outside or near the stations of London Underground’s Circle Line.

Circle/Line is, then, a documentary comprised of vox pop interviews with ‘everyday’ people – from the homeless to the hopeful, from the ambitious to the activist, from task-driven Londoners to tourists.

Inspired by Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin’s classic documentary, Chronique d’un été/Chronicle of a Summer (France, 1961), Circle/Line is nonetheless an original work and a fascinating insight into the lives of people in contemporary London.

Shot by Beg Steal Borrow regular Tom Maine, the film is both a portrait not just of people, but also of the city of London itself.

 

 

Two new personnel have joined the crew of The Benefit of Doubt as post-production work continues with the film.

Francisco Janes, an artist and filmmaker currently based in Vilnius, Lithuania, has come on board to carry out a sound mix for the film, while Oliver Campbell, a Beg Steal Borrow regular, has stepped in as an executive producer.

Francisco’s work has been exhibited internationally, including at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Human Resources, AT1 Projects and the Kristi Engle Gallery.

Reminiscent of the work of filmmaker James Benning, Francisco in particular has a wonderful eye for form and space, as can be seen at his website here.

And for a sample of Francisco’s work, here is untitled (Last Chance Range, Benton Way), which Beg Steal Borrow’s William Brown first saw as an installation at the Cinema Camp in Gelgaudiškis, Lithuania, in 2014.

Oliver, meanwhile, has helped out on various Beg Steal Borrow films, perhaps most notably Common Ground, in which he acted the part of the missing brother of lead character, Dennis (Dennis Chua).

We are delighted to have both Francisco and Oliver on board – and are very enthusiastic about being able soon to show The Benefit of Doubt to viewers.

So look out for more news on the film’s progress here!

About The Benefit of Doubt

The Benefit of Doubt tells the story of Ariadne (Hannah Croft), a woman who finds herself single after ten years in a relationship, and who is now in her mid-thirties unsure as to what to do with her life.

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Hannah Croft as Ariadne in The Benefit of Doubt

Deciding to go on holiday to Nice, she drifts around before encountering Nick (Nick Marwick), an actor who has just taken, and who is about to start, a job teaching in order to supplement his attempts to break into the world of theatre and film.

Finally, she then also encounters Greg (Greg Rowe), a drifter who also finds himself in the south of France.

The three strike up an unlikely friendship as they walk around Nice discussing life, love and also their sense of doubt regarding their validity or worth in the world.

The film is inspired by the myth of Ariadne from Greek mythology. Having helped Theseus to defeat the minotaur by giving him a thread of wool, Theseus fulfils his promise to help her to escape from Crete and her tyrannical father, King Minos.

However, Theseus quickly abandons Ariadne on the shore of Naxos – leaving her alone and without support. Fortunately, Dionysus/Bacchus turns up and the two get married and have children.

And so, The Benefit of Doubt also features Nick and Greg as two aspects of Bacchus: one as the god whom most people do not consider to be a ‘true’ god (a struggling actor who is not recognised) and the other as a man of wine and the life Bacchanalean.

To be shot by Beg Steal Borrow stalwart Tom Maine, the film will draw upon both the numerous artworks and artists that are on display in or near Nice – from museums dedicated to Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall and Pierre-Auguste Renoir to nearby places dedicated to art naïf, modern and contemporary art and, in St Paul de Vence, the Fondation Maeght – as well as upon other films.

For, The Benefit of Doubt certainly takes inspiration from Jean Vigo’s classic 1930 experimental documentary, À propos de Nice, as well as from films like Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise and Eric Rohmer’s Le rayon vert/The Green Ray, which sometimes is also referred to as Summer.

The film reunites various Beg Steal Borrow regulars, including director William Brown, cinematographer Tom Maine, actors Hannah Croft (En Attendant Godard), Nick Marwick (AfterimagesCommon GroundThe New Hope) and Greg Rowe (The New Hope), with Andrew Slater (Afterimages, Common Ground, The New Hope) helping on the production side of things, together with contributions from Annette Hartwell (The New Hope) and Lucia D. Williams (Common GroundThe New Hope).

The film will also feature some first-time contributions from Nice local Mark Hodge. And music-man David Miller (Common GroundUr: The End of Civilization in 90 TableauxThe New Hope) will be providing music for the score, together with original pieces by Amy Holt (who also did music for The New Hope and Circle/Line) and Alex Fixsen.

Filming is to take place in Nice between 1 and 9 October. Weather-permitting, we shall successfully finish what is Beg Steal Borrow’s ninth feature.

Beg Steal Borrow is happy to announce a preview screening of their documentary, Circle/Line, which will take place at the Whirled Cinema in Loughborough Junction on Sunday 14 August at 2.30pm.

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The Circle/Line poster was designed by the talented Angela Faillace.

To reserve a free ticket for the event, just follow this link and fill in the necessary details.

Here is a trailer for the film, with some further details below:

Are you happy?

This is the question that we ask people outside or near the stations of London Underground’s Circle Line.

Circle/Line is, then, a documentary comprised of vox pop interviews with ‘everyday’ people – from the homeless to the hopeful, from the ambitious to the activist, from task-driven Londoners to tourists.

Inspired by Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin’s classic documentary, Chronique d’un été/Chronicle of a Summer (France, 1961), Circle/Line is nonetheless an original work and a fascinating insight into the lives of people in contemporary London.

Shot by Beg Steal Borrow regular Tom Maine, the film is both a portrait not just of people, but also of the city of London itself.

Beg Steal Borrow is delighted to announce the completion of two new movies, Letters to Ariadne and St Mary Magdalen’s Home Movies.

Letters to Ariadne
Letters to Ariadne is a film comprised of a series of letters from William Brown to his two-year old niece, Ariadne.

Created using footage gathered in various places in 2015, the film contains reflections and advice for an infant growing up in today’s world.

The film takes in various key themes, including art, migration, nature (especially flowers), metamorphosis and Greek mythology – especially the myth of Ariadne (whose thread helped Theseus to defeat the minotaur).

The film features very brief cameos from filmmakers Mania Akbari and Lav Diaz, while also featuring friends and family members from places as diverse as England and Scotland, Canada and the USA, Italy, France, Mexico, Sweden, Macedonia and China.

The film is partly indebted to a Brown Fellowship that William won from the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas, to spend a month at the house of the late artist and photographer, Dora Maar, in Ménerbes, France.

Furthermore, the Macedonian section of the film was made possible thanks to the CineDays Film Festival in Skopje, while the Swedish and Chinese sections were made possible thanks to the Universities of Skövde, Gothenburg and Nottingham Ningbo China, respectively.

Ariadne

Ariadne (above) lies at the heart of Letters to Ariadne

St Mary Magdalen’s Home Movies
Drawing on over a dozen films, St Mary Magdalen’s Home Movies demonstrates the way in which Magdalen College, Oxford, has repeatedly been used by filmmakers in a strikingly patterned way.

Across nearly every film set or shot at Magdalen, the college’s front-facing tower has repeatedly been represented as a space associated with heterosexuality, coloniality and the regulation of time, while the college’s rear New Buildings and, more particularly, its deer park, have been depicted as one or a combination of female, postcolonial and in particular queer.

The aim of this essay-film, however, is not simply to demonstrate an esoteric pattern exclusive to the analysis of an equally exclusive place. Rather, it is to suggest that there is a ‘sexuality of space’ that both is expressed by and which expresses places that regularly we see on film.

That is, beyond the case study given here, St Mary Magdalen’s Home Movies demonstrates a new way of looking at how particular locations are treated in cinema – while at the same time using the essay film form itself as a means of providing a ‘queer’ (back) entry both into film studies and, in this particular instance, into a space that is otherwise accessed only by a privileged few.

St Mary Magdalen’s Home Movies draws inspiration from a combination of films like Rock Hudson’s Home Movies (Mark Rappaport, USA, 1992) and Les dites cariatides/The So-Called Caryatids (Agnès Varda, France, 1984).

It features footage from a variety of films, including Scholastic England (James A FitzPatrick, USA, 1948), Accident (Joseph Losey, UK, 1967), Purab aur Paschim (Manoj Kumar, India, 1970), Summoned by Bells (Jonathan Stedall, UK, 1976), Howards End (James Ivory, UK/Japan/USA, 1992), Shadowlands (Richard Attenborough, UK, 1993), Robinson in Space (Patrick Keiller, UK, 1997), Wilde (Brian Gilbert, UK/Germany/Japan, 1997), The Mystic Masseur (Ismail Merchant, UK/India/USA, 2001), Blue Blood (Stevan Riley, UK, 2006), The History Boys (Nicholas Hytner, UK, 2006), Brideshead Revisited (Julian Jarrold, UK/Italy/Morocco, 2008) and Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe (Charlie Brooker, UK, 2015).

The film was made with thanks to Rachel Dwyer, Christine Ferdinand, David Pattison, and Mr and Mrs 55, whose translation of ‘Koi Jab Tumhara Hriday Tod De’ is featured in the subtitles.

The film premiered at the 2016 Film-Philosophy Conference at the University of Edinburgh – and we hope that there will be screenings of both films at other venues soon!

William Brown has given a workshop on ‘guerrilla’ filmmaking at the Fest Film Festival 2016 in Espinho, Portugal.

FEST

The workshop, which took place on 22 June, was keenly attended by some 50 filmmakers from different parts of the world.

William discussed his unorthodox approach to filmmaking, before talking the audience through the ways in which limitations and perceived ‘imperfections’ can in fact be the most vital and important aspects of filmmaking and the films that result.

William is also on the Jury at Fest for Documentary and Experimental Shorts.

In 2013, Fest screened Common Ground, which is described in the 2016 catalogue for Fest as a film that ’caused quite a sensation.’

William is also curating a screening of films by students at the University of Roehampton in Fest, which takes place at the Filmmakers’ Corner in the Centro Multimeios in Espinho on 24 June at 8pm. All are welcome!

 

Beg Steal Borrow’s Selfie has screened at Skopje’s Kino Kultura.

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Skopje’s Kino Kultura, a leading independent arts venue in Macedonia’s capital.

The screening took place on Saturday 14 May, playing as the second part of a double bill with Vladimir Najdovski’s experimental film, Phi (Macedonia, 2016).

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Kino Kultura’s wonderful big screen.

A wonderful and enthusiastic crowd turned out for the films, with discussion lasting into the night at a local hostelry.

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William Brown and ‘friends’ on the big screen at Kino Kultura.

Many thanks to Vladimir Najodvski and Veronika Kamchevska for helping to organise the screening, and in particular for subtitling Selfie – a mammoth task that truly is appreciated.

The screening also received some coverage in the local news and online, with journalist Svetlana Simonovska conducting an interview with William Brown for local website Dnevnik Online.

Selfie screening

Dnevnik Online coverage of the screening of Selfie in Skopje

Further online press coverage of the event has been collated here. If you read Macedonian, take a look!

Keep on the lookout for other forthcoming Beg Steal Borrow screenings. There are rumoured to be screenings of The New Hope in Berlin, Selfie in London, and perhaps even a screening in Curitiba, Brazil, in the autumn. And of course a forthcoming premiere of Circle/Line.

 

Beg Steal Borrow reports with great pleasure the launch on Radio 4 of The Croft and Pearce Show.

The show is co-written by and stars Hannah Croft, the leading actress in Beg Steal Borrow’s forthcoming feature film, The Benefit of Doubt. Hannah also starred in Beg Steal Borrow’s debut film, En Attendant Godard.

Hannah is one half of comedy double act Croft and Pearce, who recently embarked on a nationwide tour with their latest material – as well as playing several dates in New York.

Evidently, we are super excited and proud to work with such successful and talented performers. And maybe one day our website will be as good as theirs!

The first episode, which aired on 9 March, is currently available here on BBC’s iPlayer.

Croft and Pearce

Hannah Croft (left) and Fiona Pearce of comedy duo Croft and Pearce.

The Benefit of Doubt tells the story of a young woman, Ariadne (Hannah), who arrives in Nice, France, after the end of a long-term relationship. There she befriends fellow visitors Nick (Nick Marwick) and Greg (Greg Rowe), who embark upon a promenade des anglais (et écossais) around the city so memorably depicted in Jean Vigo’s classic, A propos de Nice, which is a visual inspiration for the film.

Shot in October 2015, The Benefit of Doubt is currently in post-production. Keep your eyes peeled for more on the progress of that film as and when it comes together!

Meanwhile, Hannah’s first Beg Steal Borrow film, En Attendant Godard, will be screened at the University of Roehampton, London, on 18 March 2016 as part of the Film programme’s Film History & Criticism module.

Beg Steal Borrow is delighted to announce that Selfie will screen at Kino Kultura in Skopje, Macedonia, on 14 May 2016.

The screening, which has been organised through talented and local low-budget filmmaker Vladimir Najdovski, will take place at 8pm.

Director William Brown is hoping that he’ll be able to make it to the screening – depending on flight price and availability!

Kino Kultura is a centre for contemporary performing arts and independent culture run jointly run by LOKOMOTIVA and Theatre Navigator Cvetko.

Kino Kultura was a thriving cultural venue in the 2000s, having recently reopened in February 2016 after a 10-year absence. It has been described as ‘the symbol of urban life in Skopje’ – and we can think of no better venue for a film like Selfie.

Selfie Poster

The Selfie poster, designed by the talented Angela Faillace.

Selfie is an essay-film about selfie culture. It was shot between January and May 2014, and it is composed almost entirely of moving image selfies taken by director William Brown during that period.

The Kino Kultura event will follow soon after a screening of En Attendant Godard at the University of Roehampton on 18 March 2016, as part of the Film History & Criticism module taken by first-year students on the university’s Film course.