BFI Film Fund films at Edinburgh 2013

From an atmospheric Singapore-set mystery to a hunt for Bigfoot in backwoods America, four new films backed by the BFI Film Fund featured at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival.

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Mister John

Who made it?

Dublin-born filmmakers Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor received much acclaim for their debut feature Helen, which premiered at Edinburgh in 2008. Mister John is their second feature film. 

What’s it about?

Leaving behind rocky relations with his wife, Gerry (Game of Thrones’s Aidan Gillen) travels from London to Singapore to process his dead brother John’s estate. Finding out more than he expected about the nature of his brother’s business, Gerry is drawn into a new and intriguing life with John’s Chinese widow.

What people are saying

“An exotic thriller ensnared within a Lynchian nightmare of confused identities, Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy’s follow-up to Helen, Mister John, is a physically and emotionally draining tale of grief, rejection and the yearning to reinvent oneself.” Patrick Gamble, cine-vue.com

“Like last year’s Berberian Sound Studio, this is a complex experiment on evolving identity and the need to escape a damaged life. While Peter Strickland’s film hid in the dark excitement of giallo, here Gerry runs from grief through a humid, post-colonial illusion.” Alan Bett, theskinny.co.uk

Shooting Bigfoot

Who made it?

British documentary maker Morgan Matthews won BAFTAs for best factual director and best single documentary for his 2008 film The Fallen, a three-hour commemoration of every British serviceman killed during the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Founder of Minnow Films in 2006, he recently collaborated with Kevin Macdonald and Ridley Scott on the crowdsourced documentary anthology Britain in a Day (2012).

What’s it about?

Matthews goes in search of the mythical Bigfoot that’s said to stalk backcountry America, checking in with a rogue’s gallery of pro trackers and obsessives and documenting their eccentric attempts to draw Bigfoot into the open.

What people are saying

“What happens in the final minutes may make you question everything you’ve seen, but the build-up is so compelling that whether Bigfoot exists or not seems entirely beside the point. By film’s end you won’t know what you’ve just witnessed, just that you can’t wait to watch it again.” Steven Neish, heyuguys.co.uk

For Those in Peril

Who made it?

Paul Wright won a BAFTA for best short in 2011 for his film Until the River Runs Red. For Those in Peril is his feature debut. The producers are Mary Burke and Polly Stoke for Warp Films.

What’s it about?

Young Aaron – the lone survivor of an accident at sea – becomes the object of superstition and mistrust in the remote fishing community where he lives. To clear his name, he sets out to sea in search of the missing men.

What people are saying

“Having won the 2011 Bafta for his short film Until The River Runs Red, he’s made an uncompromising and confident first feature, one that takes a difficult subject matter – post-traumatic stress and survivor’s guilt – and shapes it into an experimental, poetic and moving exploration of grief and the toll it can take.” Alastair Harkness, scotsman.com

“Aaron’s story is emotionally engaging and impressively introspective. The film’s powerful portrait of a community fuelled by resentment is equally remarkable. Both lyrical and chilling, often at the same time, this is an assured debut from Wright and a memorable experience that will linger in the mind long after the initial impact of the final scenes.” Ross Maclean, entertainment.stv.tv

A Story of Children and Film

Who made it?

Documentary filmmaker Mark Cousins is renowned for The Story of Film, his globetrotting history of cinema. His new film, A Story of Children and Film, is a smaller-scaled companion piece.

What’s it about?

Cousins’s film uses 53 films from 25 different countries – including classics like The Red Balloon (1956), Les Quatre Cents Coups (1959) and E.T. The Extra-terrestrial (1982) – to celebrate representations of childhood in the cinema.

What people are saying

“Cousins has once again lovingly created a personal pathway of discovery, providing even the most ardent and cultured cinephile at least one or two undiscovered films to track down and enjoy.” Patrick Gamble, cine-vue.com

“What’s most impressive is not Cousins’ extraordinary frame of reference, however, but his ability to effortlessly draw comparisons between not only the various films, but the behaviours of his niece and nephew too.” Steven Neish, heyuguys.co.uk

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