Special Screening: Half Nelson
With a Best Breakthrough Director and Best Film win at New York's Gotham Awards, not to mention an Oscar-nomination for Best Actor, Half Nelson has catapulted debut feature filmmakers Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck to the top of the US indie-scene.
Without rich Hollywood parents, the co-writing pair had to be resourceful, recruiting friends and amateurs to help make their film – but they had to compromise. Lacking the budget for a feature, they could only afford to make a 20-minute short first. Gowanus, Brooklyn won them the 2004 Sundance Short Filmmaking award and enough investor interest to eventually make their critically acclaimed feature.
|Amanda Palmer with Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck|
Set in a New York Brooklyn school, Oscar-nominated actor Ryan Gosling delivers a tough performance as teacher Dan Dunne, simultaneously battling his own narcotic addictions and trying to mentor a teenage girl whose family has been torn apart by drug dealing.
Joining Amanda Palmer and an enthusiastic audience full of aspirant film students, Anna and Ryan talk about how they convinced one of Hollywood's rising stars, Ryan Gosling, into working for peanuts; how they turned 15-year-old non-actor, Shareeka Epps, into an award winning one; and how young filmmakers can make it without heading to Hollywood.
This month marks the 200 year anniversary since Britain banned the slave trade, and two recent films tackle the abolition movement from very different perspectives.
Veteran British director Michael Apted's Amazing Grace focuses on the 18th century abolitionist campaigner and politician, William Wilberforce. It also features an acclaimed acting debut by Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour, who plays freed African former slave Olaudah Equiano, who was integral to the abolitionist movement.
|The Amazing Grace|
Apted's been unapologetic that his film deals more with politics of the slave trade, rather than giving his audience a close up of the misery it caused.
Set and filmed in Nigeria, Jeta Amata's The Amazing Grace does delve into the reality of slavery and the transatlantic voyage which is estimated to have killed 1.2 million African slaves.
The film also tells the reformation story of British slave trader John Newton, who wrote the redemptive hymn which inspired both movie titles. The Amazing Grace is Nigeria's first major international film and has swept the board at this year's African Academy Awards
The Giant Buddhas
In 2001, the small central Afghanistan town of Bamiyan made international headlines, when the Taliban destroyed two 1500-year-old giant Buddha rock carvings on a nearby cliff face as part of their campaign against non-Islamic iconography.
|One of the |
The people of Bamiyan had not seen the Buddhas for five years, until Swiss filmmaker Christian Frei brought his documentary about their destruction to town for Bamiyan's first ever screening.
If The Naked Samoans sound familiar, it is because they were behind FPS featured Kiwi smash hit Samoan Wedding. But aside from wreaking havoc in the world of film, the Polynesian comedy group have been causing a stir back home with animation TV series bro’Town.
Set in a multi-ethnic working class-suburb of Morningside, the series has been branded 'childish, offensive and very un-PC'. But this has not stopped the government-funded show winning numerous awards and attracting guest stars HRH The Prince of Wales and New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark.
This edition of The Fabulous Picture Show will air daily from Saturday 24th March 2007 at the following times:
Saturday 24th March – 21:30 GMT; Sunday 25th March – 07:00 and 18:00 GMT;
Monday 26th March – 00:00 & 11:00 GMT; Tuesday 27th March – 20:30 GMT; Wednesday 28th March – 07:30 GMT; Thursday 29th March – 05:30 GMT;
Friday 30th March – 10:30 GMT; Saturday 31st March – 08:30 GMT
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