Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Duncan Jones joins a brilliant line-up of talent at Branchage Festival!

Branchage is thrilled to announce that Duncan Jones will be joining us in Jersey to present his feature debut, the much-lauded lunar odyssey MOON - our Closing Night Gala Screening at Jersey Opera House on Sunday 4th October. Read about Duncan Jones in this Independent article.

Duncan Jones will round off a rich and varied array of Special Guests coming into Jersey over the next 5 days from around the world.

We are delighted to welcome Emmy Award-Winning director Joe Bini to Branchage 2009. Bini has worked alongside director Werner Herzog for well over a decade, and will be flying in from LA especially to join us for our Opening Night Gala screening of ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD.

Australian director Andrew Lancaster will spend a few days in Jersey to accompany the screening of ACCIDENTS HAPPEN, starring Gina Davis.

We’re also looking forward to welcoming a host of fresh documentary filmmakers including Jamie Jay Johnson (SOUNDS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT), Nick Abrahams (THE POSTERS CAME FROM THE WALLS) and Gideon Koppel (SLEEP FURIOUSLY), as well as Mercedes Stalenhoef who will fly in from Amsterdam for our screening of CARMEN MEETS BORAT on Sunday 4th October. Several of these films are presented in association with the True/False documentary film festival, the boutique festival of choice for documentary filmmakers, and great supporters of Branchage. David Wilson from True/False will be over from his home in Missouri for the duration of Branchage 2009.

We can’t wait to meet son of BIG RIVER MAN (and ever supportive star of the film) Borut Strel who will be donning his togs and jumping into the Channel for a sea swim with the Jersey Long Distance Swimming Club before the screening!

Our centrepiece gala screening of enchanting children’s animation THE SECRET OF KELLS will feature a Q&A with its Dublin-based Art Director Ross Stewart and we are honoured to have both the directors of British documentary ISOLATIONLuke Seomore and Joseph Bull – at its screening in the Jersey War Tunnels. Luke Seomore will perform his original soundtrack to the film along with musicians David Stephens and Michael Garrad.

Other special guests include the understated and perfectly poised star of UNRELATED, Kathryn Worth, actor David Wood who’ll reminisce with us at our screening of the classic schoolboy wish-fulfilment film IF… and all the way from Durban, South Africa, one of Kim Longinotto’s fiercely compassionate ROUGH AUNTIES, Eureka Olivier.

There’s just time to mention a host of UK film industry visitors, including guests from BAFTA, the UK Film Council, Skillset, London Met, Soda Pictures, Dogwoof, Future Shorts, and not forgetting the our valued partners, Shooting People, who will be running the SHOOTING PEOPLE FILMMAKING CAMPUS throughout the festival.

Finally, we’d like to thank our Festival Patrons who will both be joining us in Jersey this year. Simon Chinn, producer of Oscar-winner MAN ON WIRE, which opened Branchage 2008, and Andrew Kötting, who will be with us this year to launch his 2010 project – A JERSEY JAPE.

We're certain that the outstanding and world-class talent attending the festival will inspire and entertain festival-goers, and in return we'll be giving them a very warm, energetic welcome to the island for Branchage Festival 2009!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Branchage Team Recommendations

With 3 days to go until Branchage Festival bursts into action, some of the team recommend the events that they are looking forward to the most...
Xanthe Hamilton (the genius behind Branchage and the big boss of the show)

WFMU LIVE RADIO BROADCASTFrom New Jersey to ‘old’ Jersey, as WFMU radio station broadcasts live from the Barclay’s Wealth Speigeltent out across New York on a ‘big apple’ Friday morning.

A rollercoaster ride of emotional twists and turns as Eureka and the rough aunties of Bobbi Bear fight against child abusers in South Africa. I’m so excited to meet the mighty Eureka who’ll be attending Branchage as one of our guests of honour.

Definitely a Branchage highlight. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this spectacular live music event as British Sea Power perform their own new soundtrack to this classic 1930’s documentary about a remore Scottish island fishing community.
Philip Ilson (pleased to see the months of watching films, visiting venues and discussing ideas with the team, all come to fruition as the film & events programme is now in place and ready to roll)

SLEEP FURIOUSLY – a Saturday morning at the Classic Herd Barn in rural Jersey; local food produce breakfast barbeque surrounded by moo-ing cows before enjoying one of the documentary experiences of year. Wallow in the changing seasons of Gideon Koppel’s stunning document of a year in the life of a frozen-in-time Welsh village. Gideon joins us for a post screening Q&A.

ISOLATION – an unmissable event in the German War Tunnels, as we present this powerful and moving document of how soldiers cope when returning from war into normal society, accompanied by a live soundtrack by the filmmakers and a specially put-together band of musicians.

BRANCHAGE IN THE ASYLUM – indie rocking sound & vision at Jersey’s premiere indie club headlined by a screening of the Warp Films documentary of the All Tomorrow’s Parties music festival alongside films on Soulwax and Dizzee Rascal + local bands.

A TOWN HALL MEETING WITH ANDREW KOTTING – idiosyncratic and award-winning filmmaker Kotting comes to Jersey to launch his Jersey Jape 2010, a Branchage commission following on from his Gallivant around the coast of Britain, where he’ll be doing the same in Jersey, meeting and engaging with the locals and collecting stories and archive for this unique project for Jersey.
Carla MacKinnon (kicking serious *ss and whipping us all into shape as Branchage Festival Producer extraordinaire)

THE VAUXHALL 48 HOUR FILM CHALLENGE - Looking forward to seeing five films screened in full technicolour glory on a 50ft blow-up drive-in cinema, while knowing that 48-hours before they were barely a twinkle in the screenwriter's eye. Anticipating some proper raw, down-and-dirty filmmaking here.

THE BATTLE OF BRANCHAGE - Creative and technology collectives seeper and Flat-e come together to tamper with time and space in this large-scale projection onto a castle hailing from the High Middle Ages. It's worth the trip to Jersey just to hang out on this site - a gorgeous, crumbling fortress saturated with history from the 13th century through to the Second World War. We're even roasting a hog for the occasion.

FREE EDUCATION FOR ALL! - Learn everything in the world at the Shooting People Filmmaking Campus in the very grand Barclays Wealth Spiegeltent and schmooze until your mouth falls off at our daily Happy Hour Networking sessions, while sipping a mix with a kick courtesy of the Branchage bar and Hierbas. Good times.
Chris Bell (our pr man-on-the-ground out here in Jersey, AKA The Midnight Expresso)

BIG RIVER MAN - Anyone who drinks two bottles of wine a day, eats horseburgers and can still swim down the Amazon River has to be seen. (+ we welcome the Big River Man’s son, Borut Strel, to Jersey to take a swim with the Jersey Long-Distance Swimming Club)

LE DONK - great to see the Shane Meadows / Paddy Considine partnership reunited and looking forward to seeing them making another foray into comedy. A modern day Spinal Tap!
Harriet Fleuriot (our London based queen of social networking)

BORDEE D'BRANCHAGE - I saw Kitty Daisy & Lewis at Primavera Festival a few months ago and the multi-talented energy they were letting loose was very impressive, the crowd was really going for it. I can't wait to see them and The Correspondents in the Barclays Wealth Spiegeltent - its such a perfect venue. I recommend a slick hair-do and some strong dancing shoes. And don’t forget Jersey’s own Premiere Brass play acid house hits from the 80’s courtesy of Turner-prize winning artist Jeremy Dellar and his Acid Brass project.

AMIMAGICA - Lotte Reiniger's work and life is completely intriguing and inspirational. This is such a unique event and Amiina, all the way from Iceland where they work closely with Sigur Ros, will definitely do Reiniger's work justice with their incredible, beautiful music. The Paper Cinema and Kieron Maguire are a magical compliment.

- These screenings are FREE and contain some of the best UK shorts this year. You would be crazy not to attend at least one of these events.

Matt Fiott (our resident Jersey liaison keeping the sponsors happy & wined & dined)

I KNOW WHERE I’M GOING - Powell & Pressburger's delightfully English love story.

- When will I get the chance to go to a drive-in again?

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Branchage has taken up residence at our super new Box Office in the Weighbridge. It’s a foliage-filled forest of loveliness in here and definitely worth a peek.

From where the Branchage Team are currently perched, we can see some serious greenery cascading across the centre of the shop, as well as a small but perfectly formed drawing room cum library area complete with armchair, decanter and musty books.

Décor aside, pop in to see us at 15 Weighbridge (opposite the Royal Yacht) where we’re itching to chat about what’s on, recommend some programme highlights and sell tickets for all the brilliant films and events on at Branchage 2009.

See you down here!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Branchage at 4docs Launch Party

Last Wednesday saw the launch party of the much-anticipated 4Docs site (, which is the new home of all things pertaining to British short documentary.

With this in mind, the 4Docs team went about re-creating a British seaside themed knees-up for all the Londoners who were craving fish and chips and low-flying seagulls. There were tables full of rock, an abundance of beach balls (complete with a hula-hoop contest) and most importantly, a well-stocked parlour of Jersey Dairy Ice Cream courtesy of Branchage. Of all the complimentary sweets, it was the ice-cream that really sealed the deal. In fact, we don't think we've seen so many ice cream moustaches since our trip to Skegness in 1998. It was exactly what people wanted after a hard day in the office.

Helen Jack, 4Docs blog editor and party producer said, "The ice cream was utterly delicious. We were eating the apple cinnamon ice cream out of the pot with wooden BBQ skewers when we lost the spoons. It really completed our party and we were totally grateful for Branchage's donation and sponsorship of the parlour. I look forward to more ice-cream licking at the festival in October!"

So, for all those who missed out on the London launch, you'll be please to hear that there will be a 4docs Happy Hour at Branchage Festival on Saturday October 3 at 16.00 in the Barclays Wealth Spiegeltent. The 4Docs team look forward to meeting you there for a cocktail (mixed with Hierbas by our friends at Taste of Ibiza).

Monday, 14 September 2009

Call for entry: Journalist mentoring opportunity with The Quietus

Branchage has teamed up with online film and music journal The Quietus to offer aspiring young critics the opportunity to experience the festival as a member of the press, reviewing events and interviewing guests.

This scheme is open to all school and college students on the island. Entrants need to send in their reviews and two mentees will be selected. They will be mentored daily by Luke Turner, Associate Editor of The Quietus, throughout the festival and their work will be published on the Branchage Festival blog and possibly elsewhere...

To apply send a 100 word review of the last film you saw – whether you loved or hated it! – email to by the 25th September 2009.