Beg Steal Borrow Films is delighted to announce the launch of a crowd funding campaign to finance their new film, This is Cinema.

Running until 3 June, the campaign is being hosted by LiveTree, and is hoping to raise £3,000 to support the production of This is Cinema, the 11th Beg Steal Borrow feature.

If you are interested in supporting the film, then please sign up to the campaign here.

The film tells the story of Ben, a university lecturer who is grieving the loss of his wife and child. One day, his brother-in-law, Dennis, unexpectedly arrives on his doorstep with Radhika, a homeless woman who is fleeing an unhappy marriage.


Meanwhile, Latoya is a diligent and popular student taking one of Ben’s classes. Her brother, Wilhelm, is also in Ben’s class, but he hardly attends, preferring to sell weed on campus in a bid to finance his musical aspirations.

Things become complicated when Ben and Latoya get a match on a dating app while Ben is on a drunken night out. Furthermore, Ben’s world also unravels when he is threatened with redundancy for not being productive enough.

Tensions rise, then, as Dennis struggles to rearrange his life after losing his own marriage and falling into drink, while Latoya wrestles with depression and Wilhelm a mounting debt that sees him turn to dealing cocaine.

As Ben tries to work through his grief, and as all of the characters try to find meaning in their lives, This is Cinema explores the lives of two very different families as worlds collide in contemporary London.

The film is thus about those who desire intimacy and trust in a city where neither is easily forthcoming, and where traditional barriers must perhaps be broken down if trust is to be found.

Set against the backdrop of the neoliberalisation of British university education, This is Cinema will partially be shot in the areas of London where François Truffaut made his 1966 adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s famous 1953 novel, Fahrenheit 451. In this way, the film’s setting will echo Truffaut’s use of south west London spaces in order to investigate how in addition to politics, the very architecture of the city plays a role in placing the freedom of thought under threat.

Starring Al Trevill as Ben and Dennis Chua as Dennis, This is Cinema is set to feature performances from various Beg Steal Borrow stalwarts, while also featuring performances from brand new collaborators, including Radhika Aggarwal as Radhika, Cherneal Scott as Latoya and Femi Wilhelm as Wilhelm.

Shot by stellar cinematographer Tom Maine, we also look forward to sound recording from Julio Molina Montenegro, as well, hopefully, as musical contributions from many of our long-standing collaborators (Radhika is the drummer in Extradition Order for whom we have shot a couple of music videos).

This is Cinema thus looks set to be a wonderful addition to the Beg Steal Borrow canon. And if you are interested in supporting the film, then please take part in our crowdfunding campaign, a link to which is available here.

Beg Steal Borrow News, Friends of Beg Steal Borrow, New projects, This is Cinema, Uncategorized

Benefit of Doubt’s Hannah Croft on Radio 4

Beg Steal Borrow News, En Attendant Godard, Friends of Beg Steal Borrow, The Benefit of Doubt, Uncategorized

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.

Selfie screening in Skopje

Beg Steal Borrow News, En Attendant Godard, Screenings, Selfie, Uncategorized

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.

Circle/Line Filmmaker’s Diary #4

Beg Steal Borrow News, Circle/Line, New projects

Day 11: Sunday 14 June (Victoria)

It is quite surprising how most people whom we interview are very cagey about revealing not only where they work, but also what they do for a job as a whole. I am not sure if people are always worried about what judgements they think that others will make once the nature of their work is revealed, but few people seem willing to say the area of their work.

With regard to naming the company for which they work, the reluctance to name a company speaks surely, meanwhile, of a lack of job security in the current climate: if X interviewee says Y thing about Z company, then Z company might have good cause to sack X interviewee. Indeed, anyone who is in work clothes (from Transport for London employees to Big Issue vendors, both of whom we have interviewed) has in fact been trained not to talk to people in front of a camera. In this instance, the company is also afraid of a lawsuit, since if X interviewee says Y thing about Z company, then W viewer of the film in which the interview takes place might sue Z company because they take offence at X interviewee’s comment/Y thing.

For me, this has two effects. Firstly, it makes me sad that we live in such litigious times, in which people are running scared the whole time, and in which we fundamentally live in a condition of bad faith because no one trusts anyone else.

And secondly, it reveals as in some respects untrue people’s claims to be happy, especially when they relate their happiness to their work situation (which is the first thing that people mention in the majority of cases). For, if they were happy at work, they why not sing from the rooftops what work it is that they do, such that others might be inspired by these claims and thus want to work in the same, happy-making industry themselves?

Nonetheless, at Victoria we meet a TfL employee who does mention his place of work. I am not sure whether I shall include any such mentions in the film – for fear of getting our interviewee the sack! But they seem happy both with work, and to talk to us for a few minutes into their shift. He also speaks about his family, which seems spread all over the world, as a source of happiness as he works on his music.

Across the road from Victoria, in Grosvenor Gardens, we also meet two young chaps who are up in town after their exams. They are studying at a private school outside of London, and are about to break up for the summer – heading back to their respective homes in the north of England and Hong Kong. And we also speak to two young Bulgarian women, one of whom has been in London for a few months now, and one who has arrived today, and who is in transit towards Edinburgh.

In particular, these women speak of how the perception of Bulgarians in London is that they are here to nick jobs from ‘proper’ British citizens. However, from their own perspective, they are just young people looking for a bit of a change of scene. Both hope to make it to New York at some point.

At the end of the interview, the one woman who has lived in London for a while suggests that there are too many black people in the area of London where she lives (Stratford). I am sure that the comment speaks more about an unthinking cultural prejudice, rather than a considered, conscious evaluation of a race of people. Nonetheless, after a pleasant and informative conversation about being young and Bulgarian in London, this seems disturbing, if out of character.

Furthermore, the comment is unjustified given the wonderful conversation that we then have with Egbert, a Dominican Rastafarian who has been living in London for many years now. He speaks of living in the moment and embracing a loving attitude towards others that is inspirational and cheery-making.

Finally, we end in Victoria with a conversation with Lini, a Malaysian cleaner who must be about 60, and whose English is very limited. She smiles broadly, though, exudes a warmth and pleasantness that, while making for a not particularly successful interview, means that she has a memorable face and persona.

Day 12: Monday 15 June (Tower Hill)

Since Grosvenor Gardens proved a successful hunting ground for interviewees (surely the fact that people are sitting down and not rushing is key), Tom and I decide to start out in Trinity Square Gardens, just opposite the entrance to Tower Hill, which otherwise is undergoing works.

We speak to Alex, who is studying history at Queen Mary, University of London. He says that art and other wishy washy things along those lines do nothing for him with regard to happiness, but that he instead is made happy by things logical. We then speak to George, a West Ham fan who is in the area to see a concert at the Tower of London. George is in particular good to speak to, because he is of about retirement age (I would not like to speculate on a precise age) and thus represents a demographic – over 55s, let’s say – that we have had trouble convincing to speak to us up until now.

And then, like the proverbial London buses, along come Mark and Dennis, both of a similar age to George, and who also talk to us. Mark is down from Lancashire on business. Having been involved in the London 2012 Olympics, he still does some work in London, but it seems as though his passion is (beyond his family) playing and training others to play rugby.

Meanwhile Dennis, an Irish-American New Yorker who has been travelling the world of late (he has just touched down from Malaysia), is one of the most enlightened interviewees whom we have met: the oldest of 12 children, he was the senior male in his family after the death of his father in his early teens. He tells us that struggling to raise the family was great shakes compared to the struggles that the average young person faces today, but he does not lord this over anyone. Instead, he is humble and suggests that seeking happiness is today is the only worthwhile philosophy in life – even if it is a philosophy that took him many years to cultivate.

Day 13: Wednesday 17 June (Great Portland Street)

I am always worried when I turn up at a station that I am facing another Moorgate: a station where no one will stop to speak to us because they are too busy. After a couple of false starts, however, we do manage at Great Portland Street to speak to a woman, Sarah, who has worked in housing for many years, and who tells us about the problems with housing in London at the moment.

There are, she says, not enough houses for the growing population, and with too many people snapping up houses that remain unoccupied – a fact also reported in our media. Space, Sarah is convinced, is key to happiness – and without space, it is harder for people to be happy.

We also speak at Great Portland Street to a nurse, Michael, who was born in the UK, grew up in New Zealand, but who returned to the UK as an adult (he still has a New Zealand accent). In what seems like another serendipitous coincidence (three more senior men at Great Portland Street, two people who work in issues relating to social welfare), we discuss the National Health Service in the UK and the role that it, too, plays in ensuring the happiness of as many people as possible.

Finally, Tom and I speak – in our longest interview yet (40 minutes; most are between 12 and 20 minutes, though some are of course shorter) – to two artists, Lyndon and Toby, who have just been putting up stands at London’s Taste Festival.

Lyndon is about to start teaching at a school in Suffolk and is worried about leaving London – although he recognises that the capital is also a hard place in which to eke out happiness as a result of the swelling of its population and the seeming lack of job opportunities.

Toby, meanwhile, is staying in London, where he runs an illegal psychedelic ice cream van that sounds like a sort of installation/performance art piece that he drives around London (getting told regularly to move on because he does not have a license to sell the generic ice creams that he stocks).

The pair also work on party-event-installations, the last of which sounds stupendous if crazy: everyone came in costumes designed by other people attending the party, which had as its theme something in equal measure amusing and bizarre (although my poor memory – I write eight days later – does not recall).

After some early noes, then, Great Portland Street works out well.

Day 14: Monday 22 June (Sloane Square)

Sloane Square itself seemed likely to prove a good place to talk to people – and yet most refused to speak to us. I hate the tone of voice that people adopt when, after I have spent a few minutes explaining what we are doing, a lack of trust remains, a thin smile crosses the would-be interviewee’s lips, and they explain that they do not want to take part. It’s not so much that it is a no, but more what I perceive to be insincere friendliness.

I am sure that in this I am wrong, because there is of course a camera present, but I cannot help but feel that to say no to someone who wants a conversation is unfriendly, and so to try to be friendly in saying no is insincere. The presence of the camera: why does this affect people’s decision not to talk? Because they are wary of their appearance, perhaps. But this speaks of how we are all supposed always to look not like ourselves but ready for a camera, or cinematic. Or perhaps they say no because they are worried about what they are going to say and how it will be portrayed. Again, understandable, but to experience someone’s general lack of faith (they do not trust others) is hard not to take personally (they do not trust me). Clearly I am not good enough (cannot be good enough) at explaining/demonstrating to people that I am, or hope that I am, trustworthy.

And yet, Sloane Square is also the venue of the most annoying interview yet – an interview in which someone does agree to speak to us, and then proceeds to spend 20 minutes being as vague as possible in their responses, resisting right up until the end the invitation to say anything interesting about themselves. Furthermore, the man in the end refuses to sign our Letter of Release, insisting that he gets a cut of the film before we do anything with it because, in his own words, I might put him in a porn film.

While to get rejected is frustrating and a cause of self-doubt, to get accepted – he agreed to do the interview – only then to film 20 minutes of ongoing rejection, which ultimately I am unlikely even to be able to use – just seems to be obstructive and destructive, as if the man took pleasure in wasting my and Tom’s time (in his defence, the man did start by saying that he had nothing to do, so why not do the interview – i.e. he had some time to waste).

The man runs a watch company and has lived in Sloane Square all of his life, except for two years in Westminster, which apparently were awful, although there was a fantastic flat on offer there, so he had to take it. I ask him whether working with watches has changed the way he thinks about time. No. How did he think about time before he started working in watches? He didn’t. How did he get into working with watches? You can do this several ways. Which ways are those? There are several of them. Which one did he do? With some seeming regret he says that he got trained – as if it were an embarrassment to admit that anyone else might have helped him in making his fortune… The interview is painful and, ultimately, unpleasant.

Thank heavens, then, to meet Luke and his friend Ivan. Luke is a writer who writes stories for people for money. He is a traveller and has an uncontrollable laugh and smile – full of the joys of the universe. He cheers us up no end before going off to a Beethoven concert in Cadogan Hall.

Finally, outside the Royal Court we talk briefly to Paul, an actor who, despite wearing shades**, speaks candidly about how most people who tell you that they are happy are liars, and that he is not. I like Paul. I like Luke. I like Ivan. I guess you cannot like everyone.

** I have a theory about sunglasses. Basically it runs this way: curious people look, but curious people also want to show that they are curious by also showing that they are looking. This is a means then to start dialogue, which can engender learning, which satisfies curiosity. Sunglasses are what one wears in order to look, but not to be seen looking (as well as being associated with ‘cool’ – with cool in most of its forms being associated with detachment from, rather than engagement with, the world). I’d much rather be and demonstrate the fact that I am enworlded, and that we are all entangled with the world and with each other than putting on some masquerade that somehow I am detached from the world and that I have nothing to do with it. People who tend to believe that they are simply the authors of their own destiny tend to be the sort of people who have lived lives of privilege, and whose greatest privilege is to believe that they were owed or won their privilege, and to forget the fact that they are enworlded, rather than remembering that all that they have necessarily depends on the contributions of other people.

Circle/Line: Filmmaker’s Diary #2

Beg Steal Borrow News, Circle/Line, Interviews, New projects

Day 8: Thursday 28 May (Westminster and St James’ Park)

Today, Tom and I returned to Westminster because we did not feel that we had enough interviews there first time, even though we did speak to an unhappy footballer.

Fortunately for us, we got three interesting interviews. The first was with Faiz, who is a journalism student from Balochistan, and who was outside the Houses of Parliament in order to commemorate the fact that on 28 May 1998, Pakistan detonated six atomic devices in Balochistan and in order to exert pressure on the UK government in order to help bring about independence for Balochistan, where otherwise Balochis are treated as second class citizens, complete with what Faiz describes as unlawful arrests, state-sanctioned torture and worse.

Faiz is generally happy and believes that most Balochis are happy. Nonetheless, he still believes that for general happiness to be brought about, work needs to be done. And perhaps by all of us.

We then had a brief chat a student from Spain who is about to finish after eight long years his degree in aeronautical engineering, and to Mark, a laconic, big white-bearded black man who lives in a hostel nearby and who also claimed to be happy, suggesting that what goes around comes around.

Meanwhile, at St James’ Park, Tom and I had what is for certain our longest interview, talking to two civil servants who may or may not have had a few drinks prior to our arrival. Aggressive in their counter-questions, they put me to the test in terms of why I am doing the film. Clearly very smart, I worried that they also found me a bit dumb, not least because they think that the idea of limiting ourselves to stations on the Circle Line is a silly idea…

However, most interesting of the day were the people who declined to speak to us. Not because the average person who says no is that interesting. But in fact two people, one a woman approaching us from Whitehall at Westminster, and one a man in a blue suit called Sam who walked past us at St James’ Park, both refused to speak with us, not because they did not want to, but because they cannot go on camera and be seen… In other words, it was interesting to see that Westminster in general is home to some people who feel compelled (who need) to keep a low visual profile. I wonder what their Facebook pages are like…

Finally, since it was getting late, Tom and I had a drink in one of the pubs by St James’ Park, where we spoke at some length to Derrin, an ex-army officer who claims to be a ‘patriot’ (although I did suggest to him that if he were such a great patriot, then he might at least pronounce the word in the British (‘pat-tee-ut’), rather than the American (‘pay-tree-ut’) fashion.

He did not declare to be a UKIP supporter, but definitely referenced UKIP as he explained to us his (detailed) knowledge of British history, especially our involvement in various wars, and the difference between terrorism in the UK at the hands of Irish Republican Army and terrorism in the UK at the hands of Islamic fundamentalists. He believes that better a few civil liberties be denied than anti-patriotic sentiment be allowed to bloom.

I may not agree with all of what Derrin says (I don’t agree with much of it), but he was both admirable in many ways and certainly would have made for an interesting voice in this project.

With only one (admittedly long) interview at St James’ Park, we might need to head back at some point.

Circle/Line Shooting Commences: Filmmaker’s Journal #1

Beg Steal Borrow News, Circle/Line, New projects

We are happy to announce that filming has begun for Beg Steal Borrow’s new documentary, Circle/Line.

The premise of the film is to interview people at all of the 26 stops on the ‘regular’ Circle line of the London Underground (this does not include the stations that stretch from Edgware Road to Hammersmith and which now are part of a combined Circle and Hammersmith & City line).

We interview people about life in general, especially regarding whether they are happy, with the idea being to compile a vox pop film along the lines of two of the great documentaries from the 1960s, Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin’s Chronicle of a Summer (Chronique d’un été, France, 1961), and Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme’s Le Joli Mai (France, 1963).

The rationale behind the film is to see how happy people are in 2015, with a particular emphasis on people in London. The reason for shooting at Circle line stations is because our hypothesis is that this will take in a mix of locations, at least within central London, while at the same time setting a natural limit on the film.

Meanwhile, given that I (this is William Brown writing) am not sure what happiness is, or if it can exist in the way that I think it could (everyone being happy), then I am intrigued by paradox, which ties in with the idea that a circle is somehow supposed also to be a line at the same time.

Tom Maine is shooting the film, but in portrait style. The idea is also, then, to film the architecture around the Circle line stations, and to see how organic and/or symbiotic is the relationship between the people whose portraits we take, and the buildings that surround them.

This post is intended not only to announce that we are making the film, but also to act as a journal of sorts about making the film. There may not be too many entries, but it can function as news about the production nonetheless.

Day One (Friday 1 May 2015 – Liverpool Street)

I am a nervous sort, in that I don’t particularly like approaching strangers to talk to them, and yet this is the basic remit of this project. Having hovered at Liverpool Street for a few minutes – during which time Tom and I bumped into Rosie Frascona, our star from Ur: The End of Civilization in 90 Tableaux – we finally decided to set up by Broadgate Circus.

And who should walk past for our first interview but my old friend Jonathan Stanley? He agrees to take part, and so suddenly talking to strangers feels very easy – if in fact we are only going to have to interview friends whom we bump into randomly on the street.

Buoyed by the luck of bumping into Jonathan, Tom and I then interview various other people for the next couple of hours, including a group of British lads who had been comically walking into the shot of and trying to sabotage the interview that we filmed with a couple of Spanish women. All seems to go well as we rack up several interviews in no time, with only one or two people actually saying no. Clearly filming in decent weather on the Friday evening of a bank holiday weekend is a good strategy. Most people seem happy.

Day Two (Saturday 2 May 2015 – Temple, Embankment, Westminster)

Tom and I meet at Temple and progress from there down to Westminster. Our interviewees include a devout Christian, a Big Issue seller, a couple of musicians who discuss Nietzsche and their baby with us, and more.

More people than not are saying yes to being interviewed, which surprises us still, while more significantly more people than not are saying that they are happy, which also surprises us.

We get our first unhappy person at Westminster, a footballer from Portugal who feels that he has not achieved his life goals. We get a few interviews at Westminster, but Tom and I think we’ll come back at a later point to do some more.

A few preliminary observations: most people talk about their jobs first of all, suggesting that work is the balance between happiness and not. Family comes second. No one has discussed love necessarily. And no one has mentioned politics. I feel that I need to devise some more questions in order to draw out different shades of happiness and how people feel them.

It also strikes Tom and me that perhaps only people who are going to say that they are happy are going to be drawn towards speaking on camera. Anyone who is not happy likely is to be unwilling to talk with us. This is interesting, but also problematic for the film. Can one truly get a cross-section of people to talk to us?

Day 3 (Sunday 3 May – Kings Cross, Euston Square, Baker Street)

Kings Cross is easy pickings, oddly enough. Lots of people waiting around, lots of people happy to talk given the good weather: a Danish-Vietnamese woman discusses leftist politics, we have our second person tell us he’s unhappy, a cheerful group of French tourists, and our first older lady talks to us. Tom and I are happy more or less about the mix of people that we are interviewing, but older people seem in particular wary of us.

At Euston Square we talk to an ethnomusicologist at some length. She is most interesting. As are some young men at school and a student at UCL. It strikes me that many people have wise things to say.

Tom and I skip Great Portland Street. e will be back, but our thinking is that the place is pretty dead at the weekend, and after spending a long time at Euston Square for few interviews, we decide to go straight on to Baker Street.

There we have a long conversation with a couple who talk Tom and I into going to watch an experimental short film in Shoreditch that night.

Day 4 (Wednesday 6 May – Aldgate)

The first of our weekday evening shoots. The time of day makes us think that less tourist-driven stops might work well at around the end of office hours. Aldgate is a relatively tough stop, but Tom and I get some interviews with some interesting people, including an Indian cricket fan and a chap about to get married.

Day 5 (Thursday 7 May – Farringdon, Barbican)

Thursday is the new Friday, it would seem, since Farringdon is busy and lots of people seem happy to talk to us, including an Irish construction worker, two ladies who work in fashion, an ambitious wannabe barrister.

Nearly everyone with whom we speak still seems remarkably to be happy. It being election day, we do ask people about their political happiness. Not many of those to whom we speak profess to care about politics at all.

Tom and I suspect that Circle line stations that are next to pubs work well, because we move along to Barbican – where suddenly it seems very difficult to get people to stop and talk to us. This surprises us, since we think that pre-theatre types going to the visually impressive Barbican might be interested in having a chat on camera – but apparently not. Without a pub, and being a bit of an in-and-out station with nowhere really to loiter, it’s not necessarily that good for interviews.

Day 6 (Friday 8 May – Monument)

Oceans of people wave past us, with barely anyone willing to stop to talk. This despite the fact that an entire office block has had a fire alarm and is loitering just by the station. However, none of them talk to us.

As Tom and I begin to get a few rejections, it is amazing how it knocks the confidence out of you. The suspicious look as the person you approach feels that you are going to sell them something, the head ducking down into the mobile phone, the ‘no’ and walk away before you have even opened your mouth to explain what it is that you’re doing.

Nonetheless, after some struggle – and this on a Friday, thereby scuppering our belief that it would be easier after Liverpool Street – we manage to interview three lads in sales, one of whom professes to have voted UKIP at the election (and who looks me up and down, sees my shabby trainers and hole-marked jumper, and remarks sarcastically that ‘you’re obviously doing all right for yourself’), and a lady who is studying for her accountancy exams and who takes the longest time out of anyone so far to think about how to answer the question.

Day 7 (Tuesday 12 May – Moorgate)

Our first washout. About 75 minutes at Moorgate station, asking maybe 50 to 60 people if they’ll talk to us – and every single one, without exception, says no, including a couple of ‘talk to the hand’ gestures that refuse any eye contact whatsoever.

Finally, we manage to speak to someone, Kai, who refuses to be on camera (or for us even to record his voice). He suggests that Moorgate is a bad place to talk to people because everyone is unhappy with their jobs, it is the end of the financial year, and the weather in May is too changeable for anyone to feel comfortable. It is a good conversation, not the first of the evening that would have been great for the film, but for the fact that the interviewee does not want to be recorded.

For, upon arrival at Moorgate Tom and I start chatting to Lulu, who is working a shift handing out flyers for a homeless charity. Her shift ends at 7.30pm, so jokingly we tell her we’ll collar her then.

Seventy thirty pm rolls around – and since we have had no joy whatsoever, we decide that we will collar Lulu, who packs up her charity stall with two of her colleagues. We’ve told them about the project, but not what our question is, since we like to keep responses unplanned to our first question (‘are you happy?’ – the only person to have heard the question in advance is Jonathan Stanley at Liverpool Street).

However, Lulu and her friends – who have been stopping people in the street to discuss charity – say that they are too busy to talk to us. I ask them what their charity is. Jehovah’s Witnesses, they tell me. ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t have the time to talk to us?!’ I reply, and they laugh.

We then have a great conversation with these and other JWs who join them and in which we explain the project in more detail. Even though we talk for 10-15 minutes or so – easily the time required for an interview – they still don’t agree.

And so Tom and I leave Moorgate empty-handed. We are not sure whether to leave the station blank in the film (a black screen to indicate the lack of willing participants), or whether we shall return back soon to try our luck again, maybe on a weekend or at a lunchtime if we can.

Beg Steal Borrow Music Videos Launched

Beg Steal Borrow News, Music Videos, Screenings, Selfie

Beg Steal Borrow has made two music videos for post-punk outsider band Extradition Order.

The first video is for the single, ‘I Love an Eyesore (LBJ ’60)’, which was released by Jezus Records on 5 May 2015, while the second is for ‘Boy In Uniform,’ which is set also to be a single from the band’s new album, Kennedy.

The ‘Eyesore’ video sees archive footage of Lyndon Baines Johnson mouthing the lyrics to the song as the band, disguised in LBJ masks, frolic and play in a grand-looking house. At certain points, LBJ is pictured giving various versions of the famous ‘Johnson Treatment’ to the band members.

The video for ‘Boy in Uniform,’ meanwhile, sees the band in pseudo-Village People outfits performing an illegal gig at an unspecified venue. Part way through the song, the police arrive to shut down the gig, but two enthusiastic young cops are seduced by the music and end up acting out a live version of Banksy’s famous ‘Kissing Coppers’ mural.

The band’s album, Kennedy, is a concept album based upon political events and figures from the USA in the 1960s.

In addition to the band, the ‘Boy in Uniform’ video also features Beg Steal Borrow regular Dennis Chua as a police chief, with newcomer Ariel Pozuelo playing one of his amorous underlings.

Beyond that, Beg Steal Borrow’s Selfie enjoyed a warm reception at a screening at the Cinémathèque québecoise in Montreal, Canada, in late March. Keep reading for news of any other Beg Steal Borrow screenings coming up!

Poster for The New Hope unveiled

Beg Steal Borrow News, The New Hope

Beg Steal Borrow is excited and proud to reveal the new poster for The New Hope.

Designed by the talented Angela Faillace, the poster shows leading characters Dennis and Hadrian silhouetted against two suns as their shadows are cast over an expanse of grass.

The poster draws its inspiration from Star Wars and in particular one of the posters for The Phantom Menace, in which a young Anakin Skywalker casts the shadow of Darth Vader, thus suggesting his shadowy destiny.

Here, however, the shadows that Dennis and Hadrian cast are, respectively, of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza as in the 1955 sketch that Pablo Picasso created of the two characters for Les lettres françaises.

Blending Star Wars with Don Quixote, then, the poster conveys the key themes of the film, which is an adaptation of the first part of Miguel de Cervantes’ great novel – although in this updating of Cervantes’ story, the main character believes he is not a knight errant, but a Jedi knight.

Finally, the grassy expanse conveys the way in which the film takes place mainly in London’s Hyde Park, itself a common ground that is free for anyone to visit.

The setting in this way ties in with the democratic aspirations of the film. Not only is it a movie about a man who wishes to be a Jedi knight (thus proving that we can be whoever we want to be), but so is the movie’s zero budget a bit like tilting at the windmill of the mainstream film industry.

If one charges with enough conviction, though, maybe one can give hope to people, by showing that one does not need expensive equipment and flashy CGI to make a film, but that there is equally magic in a park, a Boris bike, a scooter, a stick and a dustbin lid.

Designer Angela Faillace is currently a student at the University of Roehampton, London, where director William Brown also teaches. She also designed the poster for Selfie, her work having caught William’s eye through the posters she designs for the Roehampton Film Society, which she also runs. Angela also worked as a crew member for Beg Steal Borrow’s video of Extradition Order’s ‘Boy in Uniform’ and can be seen in a couple of shots in Selfie.

Designed by the talented Angela Faillace.

Designed by the talented Angela Faillace.

Beg Steal Borrow direct first music video for Extradition Order

Beg Steal Borrow News, Music Videos, New projects

With the finishing touches being put to The New Hope, and with Selfie and Ur: The End of Civilization in 90 Tableaux slowly beginning to be submitted to select festivals (keep your eyes open for screenings!), Beg Steal Borrow Films has moved for the first time into the world of music video direction.

William Brown directed the video for Extradition Order’s new song, ‘Boy in Uniform’ in early December 2014. The video was edited over the Christmas period, and is now just awaiting grading and a confirmation of release date from the band’s label before becoming available shortly – online and in other places, no doubt.

The clip tells the story of the band playing an illegal concert that the police disrupt. However, the music is just too seductive for the coppers, who soon find themselves seduced into having fun, rather than doing their job!

Inspired by Banksy’s famous ‘Kissing Coppers’ mural, the video features performances from Beg Steal Borrow regular Dennis Chua and first-timer Ariel Pozuelo, while Tom Maine was as usual in charge of cinematography.

Beg Steal Borrow's video for Extradition Order's 'Boy in Unifirm' takes inspiration from Banksy's famous and controversial mural, Kissing Coppers.

Beg Steal Borrow’s video for Extradition Order’s ‘Boy in Unifirm’ takes inspiration from Banksy’s famous and controversial mural, Kissing Coppers.

Beg Steal Borrow newcomer Tony Yanick acted as assistant director, while the crew was made up of Angela Faillace, Bahareh Golchin, Sara Janahi and Dasha Sevcenko.

Friends of the band acted as party goers and crowd as shooting took place in Roehampton, London on 6 December 2014.

Extradition Order consists of lead singer Alastair Harper, bassist Nick Boardman, lead guitar Jez Walton, with Radhika Aggarwal on drums and Matt Bergin on keys. For the video, the band all wore costumes inspired by the Village People.

Extradition Order‘s new album, Kennedy, is due for release in early spring 2015.

En Attendant Godard has UK premiere on

Beg Steal Borrow News, En Attendant Godard, Press and Blog Mentions, Reviews, Screenings

Beg Steal Borrow’s first film, En Attendant Godard, will this weekend screen on as part of their FilmFest at 8 season.

The screening takes place on the evening of Sunday 19 October at 9pm. You can watch it on Freeview channel 8 or Virgin 159 in the Brighton area, or via livestreaming at

The logo for, who will be screening En Attendant Godard on 19 October.

The logo for, who will be screening En Attendant Godard on 19 October.

We are delighted that the film will screen – and for the first time in the UK since its very first screening at The Loft bar in Clapham in late 2009.

So do check out the film if you can – especially if you live in the Brighton area!

In addition, En Attendant Godard also recently enjoyed a review by great American experimental filmmaker and film theorist, Wheeler Winston Dixon, which can be read here.