Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Branchage Festival announces 2009 Award Winners!

We are delighted to announce the very deserving and talented Branchage Festival 2009 award winners:

Tell, directed by Laura Brocken

Taken By The Air, directed by Mark Jones

Jury: Rebecca Mark-Lawson (Lizesize Pictures), John Davey (Spearpoint), James Mullighan (Shooting People), Michael Pearce (Director and winner of the Islanders Award 2008).

The Islanders Award Jury chose Laura Brocken (Tell) as the overall winner, taking home £2,000, whilst Mark Jones (Taken by the Air) as the runner up with £500 of London Film Academy Training. The jurors noticed with interest that both films were made with a good degree of collaboration, and that some of the others in the field suffered from a lack of that. To that end, John Davey and Thomas Dingle of the Jersey Arts Trust have additionally awarded both filmmakers bursaries to attend short film festivals on the mainland. Laura will be hosted at Encounters Short Film Festival in Bristol in Mid November, whilst Mark is invited to attend the London Short Film Festival in January.


Girl Like Me, directed by Roland Jobson

Jury: Edward Fletcher (Soda Pictures), Claire Cook (BBC Film Network), Kobi Prempeh (Future Films & Projector TV)

"For it's compelling and arresting story, subtly handled by both director and excellent cast the Branchage Cutting Hedge Award Jury awarded Best Short Film to GIRL LIKE ME. We chose to award a Special Mention - PLANE DAYS for its notable cinematography and unique subject matter." - Jury member Kobi Prempeh, Future Films & Projector TV

Echoes, directed by Rob Brown

Jury: Gillies McKinnon (Director), Christine Bardsley (British Council), David Moats (The Quietus).
"An elegant film which says a great deal in a short space of time. The female leads are made into sympathetic, fleshed out characters with an economy of dialogue and image." - Jury member David Moats, The Quietus (pictured)

MATTER DOCUMENTARY AWARD (£2000 + £1000 to a charity of filmmaker's choice):
Burma VJ, directed by Anders Ƙstergaard

Jury: Simon Chinn (Producer), Rajesh Thind (OpenCircuit), Robert West (Working Films)
"In a strong line up of campaigning docs, the overwhelming consensus for the prize was Burma VJ.  With its simple and unvarnished narrative, it offers - via the raw and powerful footage of this group of brave citizen journalists - a unique window on a closed and brutal regime and the heroic efforts to undermine it. Here's hoping that the cash prize will go some small way to boosting the urgent campaign to bring democracy to Burma's oppressed people." - Jury member Simon Chinn, Producer and Branchage Patron)

Filmmakers in attendance were handed their awards by Jury Members on the festival's Closing Night at the beautiful Jersey Opera House on 4th October.

Thanks to ALL the wonderful filmmakers who entered their films into the festival. The quality of films screening this year across all the events was very impressive and completely outstanding.

Choosing who the awards went to was a naturally a very tough one!...
Festival Director Xanthe Hamilton and James Mullighan (Creative Director of Shooting People) open the awards ceremony.

Director Laura Brocken receives the Islanders Award

Director Roland Jobson receives the Cutting Hedge Award

David Moats from The Quietus introduces the Budding Talent Award

Phil Burgin from Jersey Trust Company, one of the festival's key sponsors, introduces The Cutting Hedge Award.

Photos: Danny Evans

A peek into the Barclays Wealth Spiegeltent on Saturday Night

Saturday Night was La Bordee D'Branchage, our exclusive evening of delightful musical lunacy and retro charm and our last party in the Barclays Wealth Spiegeltent (sad faces all round).

Whilst enjoying the event ourselves, we captured our jubilant festival crowd on video, who were undoubtedly in the mood for shaking the floorboards one last time. We had an array of musical delights on offer, starting with Jersey's own Premiere Band taking a break from their usual repetoire to perform some mind-blowing Acid Jazz, followed by gorgeous and super talented sibling multi-instrumentalists Kitty Daisy & Lewis (featured in the video) who set the energetic pace for the evening.


The final act was brilliantly entertaining The Correspondents, fronted by an impressively limber front man who took us from a remix of The Jungle Book's "King of the Swingers" to some very dirty, danceable drum n' bass as a grand finale to the night.

Photos: Sebastian Meyer www.sebmeyer.com

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Grand Jersey Hotel saves the Wizard of Oz Drive-in!!

It was strangely appropriate, but very very inconvenient. Yesterday's high winds were proving too dangerous for the blow-up screen at people's park to show classic film WIZARD OF OZ outdoors - it was so blustery that we had scary visions of our film fans young and old being whisked of to Oz in a magical tornado...

Of course, we couldn't allow that, and so were completely devastated thinking we were going to have to cancel (especially after the success of the Some Like It Hot drive-in the night before). But luckily with only 20 minutes notice, the Grand Jersey Hotel came to the rescue and let us use their plush rooms as an alternative!

The venue proved a hit, and it wasn't long before the audience was settled in their seats and Dorothy was dancing her red sparkly shoes along the yellow brick road with her lovable gang.

And lets not forget the 48 Hour Film Challenge filmmakers, who were hoping to screen their films that night. They were given the luxury of their own private screening room to share the little gems they had made during the past couple of days. More on them later. Sebastien Meyer, one of our festival photographers, managed to papp them all together in their directors chairs... what a gorgeous lot, eh?

The evening was well and truly saved - thank you Grand Jersey Hotel!

Photos: Danny Evans

Borut Strel - son of BIG RIVER MAN - at Branchage Festival

Yesterday saw Borut Strel, join the Jersey Polar Bears for a quick swim in the channel before the screening of the film he produced, which features the mad and admirable antics of his water-keen father Martin Strel as he swims the entire length of the Amazon river in documentary BIG RIVER MAN 

The Jersey Polar Bears kindly sponsored the event, which allowed us to invite Borut over from Slovenia to Jersey for a Q&A after the screening, before they both fly out to the US to promote the film there.

The event sold out in no time at all, and for those of you who didn't get a chance to see the lovely Borut talk, here he is a few minutes with him, interviewed by Catriona Wright - one of our Branchage Team:

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Branchage meets David Wood from Lindsay Anderson's IF....

Friday was a hive of activity, and one of the many festival events happening that night was a screening of Lindsay Anderson's If.... at Victoria College. In attendance was actor David Wood, who starred alongside Malcolm McDowell in the film, as well as Paul Cotgrove from the Lindsay Anderson Memorial Foundation.

We also asked ex-teacher Fraser Martin to get back into teacher mode and prowl along the corridors barking at the "boys" in true If.... style, whilst the audience was on their way into the great hall where Callum Grey was performing beautiful piano music.

Watch the video to see Fraser Martin in role, and David Wood talking about the school tie and "dummy" script that he brought with him.

Friday's 100% Dynamite Reggae Party (does exactly what it says on the tin)

The Barclays Wealth Spiegeltent was posivitely full of explosive energy and excitement last night as the first Branchage Party went underway.

The Top Cats provided the irresistible tunes with their 10 piece reggae orchestra band to get the whole tent was dancing, including Winstan Whitter, director of doc LEGACY IN THE DUST: THE FOUR ACES STORY, who was spotted up on stage, busting some moves with old friend and front man Natty Bo.

We nipped in for a sec and caught some video footage as they finished one of their songs (camera is rather wobbly we're afraid, but you try walking through a crowd of merry party-goers when the good music's busting out...). Its a little dark to see, but the place was packed, and you could hear the audience cheers from the back of the Branchage Box Office!

More parties to come tonight - LA BORDEE D'BRANCHAGE at the Spiegeltent, with the awesome Kitty, Daisy and Lewis and The Correspondants, and also BRANCHAGE IN THE ASYLUM which sees the cream of Jersey's musicians playing alongside screenings of two of Warp's latest films ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES and SOULWAX: PART OF THE WEEKEND NEVER DIES. Tickets can be bought on the door, but get there early!!

Friday Night at Gorey Castle - The Battle of Branchage

Whilst lucky ticketholders for the sold-out SECRET OF KELLS were settled inside the stoney depths of Gorey Castle, the epic exterior of Mont Orgueil was brought to life last night through digital video wizardry. Awe-inspired audiences gathered outside the castle to watch THE BATTLE OF BRANCHAGE, by a new collaboration between two ground breaking collectives Flat-e and Seeper.

We'd try to describe how gorgeous and spectacular this was, but I don't think we could. So here is a video from one of our festival-goers Brobot II (from Brobots, who will be playing at BRANCHAGE IN THE ASYLUM tonight!):

As we wave a little sad goodbye to our 2nd day, Branchage looks back at our super Opening Night!

Well its actually the second day now (ahem, third day strictly speaking as we look at the clock go past midnight, where does the festival go so quickly?...). As we write this, we can hear the irresistible beats of The Top Cats wafting over the Weighbridge. The 100% Dynamite party is on fire!

So, catching up on last nights antics - The Opening Night Gala of ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD at the Jersey Opera House - what can we say? It was an absolutely stunning evening, the beautiful venue was packed out, editor JOE BINI was totally compelling, Georgina Sawyer's stories of volcanic ice saunas were highly entertaining, the Jersey Dairy ice-cream was delicious and the Spiegeltent was shimmering with special guests and Hierbas cocktails! Here are the photos as proof!

Xanthe introduces the Opening Night.

A Jersey Dairy ice-cream girl poses for the cameras.
Joe Bini talks about working with Werner Herzog on ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD
Branchage patron and producer of last year's Opening Night Gala MAN ON WIRE Simon Chinn talks with Opening Night guests including James Mullighan, Creative Director of one of our festival partners - Shooting People.

To read a more in depth review of the Opening Night on The Quietus blog.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Missed out on tickets for tonight's Opening Night Gala? Come see the 3-D films premiere!

Jersey Opera House opens its doors tonight to host the festival's Opening Night Gala: ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD. It's going to be a stunning event, and we are welcoming special guest Joe Bini all the way from LA for a Q&A after the screening. This event has sold out, and we know that many of you were keen to come and missed out on tickets.

However, there is a highly unique event happening tonight that doesn't require a ticket, just an a enthusiasm for intrigue and creativity...

Tonight is the world premiere of the specially commissioned 3-D film project: DIMENSIONS OF JERSEY, PRESENTED IN ASSOCIATION WITH SITE-EYE TIME-LAPSE FILMS.

In the first of our Branchage Video-Blogagery from Harriet Fleuriot, here is one of the artists involved - Darren Umney - to tell you a little more about why you should come down tonight to don some stylish 3-D specs and watch Jersey bounce beautifully out from the screen...

DIMENSIONS OF JERSEY will be screening at 15 The Weighbridge every evening of the festival from 7 - 9pm.

We'll be back on the blog later with news on the Opening Night Gala!

Branchage Festival Feedback Forms!

Branchage Festival is literally hotting up today, with our box office bustling with ticketbuyers, wonderful Branchage volunteers, and guests picking up their passes.

Lamination of various Branchage print items is also helping temperatures sizzle, as well as our freshly printed FEEDBACK FORMS! You will be seeing these beauties at almost every festival event and we're asking you all to fill them in before you leave the venue then hand back them back to a Branchage person (look out for smiley people in Branchage staff t-shirts, wearing staff lanyards).

These feedback forms help us figure out what you love the best, so that we can make sure that next year's festival is full of more fantastic events to suit your fancy!

So please please fill out the forms and also don't forgot to give back the pen you are provided with (which have been kindly donated by Sigma Group) for the people at the next event to use...

Bag yourself a souvenir!

Beautiful Branchage T-Shirts are now on sale in the Branchage Box Office at 15 Weighbridge Square.

Stop by to purchase a limited Branchage souvenir… and they’re made by American Apparel, so they’re rather trendy too! If you want to see how potentially gorgeous you could be in a Branchage T-Shirt then check out the photos below to see our wonderful Branchage models demonstrating in the selection of lovely colours available - white, pink, blue and grey!