Into Film Club- The Blood of the Bear (and I) visit a Liverpool Primary School

BloodOfBear The other day I visited Liverpool for the first time, and although I only really saw the rainy view out the train station window, I had an amazing time.

Some lovely people at Into Film invited me to visit one of the school film clubs they have been supporting to show my film and answer a few questions from the students. They are doing some amazing work to promote interest in films and animations in schools, and as well as having a short film tour across the country, they also are helping schools to set up these film clubs. According to a teacher I spoke to they prove extremely popular.

I visited an extremely entertaining and excitable Year 4 class and my oh my, it was fun.

After screening my short animation The Blood of the Bear and a short Q&A with a grown-up, I was subjected to a barrage of questions from the 50 or so kids, all who had prepared at least 3 questions for me. They ranged from, 'Where do you get your inspiration from?' to 'Do you have a boyfriend?" and you could tell that some of the kids really engaged with the film. Many of them had pictures they had drawn of things that cheer them up when they are upset, and as I walking around talking to them about their drawings I got the feeling that one or two of them really got a lot out of the afternoon.

Just in case any Year 4 kids are reading this who missed the session, answers to some FAQs can be found below: 26 years old. No, I don't have any kids. Beyonce. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

A super fun day - and certainly surreal at times - and I'm extremely grateful to the lovely people at Into Film who run the programme. You're doing wonderful work!

Found a little review

I just came across a review of some of the films from the Mauvais Genre Film Festival at L’Autre Monde website. The Blood of the Bear got three sentences and they were in French so that's even better: Animation façon feuille de papier collées. La thématique de la mort du père y est traitée avec douceur et délicatesse. Une belle découverte, même si nous ne sommes pas amateurs de ce type d'animation.

Apparently that means: Glued paper animation. The theme of the father's death is treated with gentleness and delicacy. Nice find, although we are not fans of this type of animation.

Thanks guys! Even if you're not fans, it's nice to be mentioned.

Birds Eye View Film Festival to screen The Blood of the Bear!

I am extremely excited to be participating in this year's Birds Eye View Film Festival, an organisation dedicated to promoting female film-makers. The Blood of the Bear will be screened over the festival in April (8th - 13th) and I really wish I could be there but I'm going to be away. Is it too much to ask that they move it a month earlier so I can attend? Yes it is. Thanks so much to the Captains of Birds Eye for all their valuable work and for screening The Blood of the Bear at the 2014 festival!

More info:

Barbican's Framed Film Festival plays The Blood of the Bear

This great festival of film-related workshops and screenings for younger audiences is going to be playing my film as part of a short film showcase at the Barbican! What an honour to be screened in such an institution as this, I'm extremely grateful and I shall be attending in earnest. At 5pm on November 20th I will be at the Barbican watching a lovely family-friendly screening of short films, why not come too?

Many thanks, Framed Film Festival!

The Blood the Bear at LUC Film Festival

Another lovely review, this time from the Leamington Underground Cinema Festival! "Striking a more serious tone, The Blood of The Bear tells the story of a young boy letting go of his dying father. The film takes place in a world resembling a scrap-book of William Morris wallpaper, where even the birds and snow are endowed with ornate floral patterns. Ed Scolding provides an accomplished score, with a desolate sounding fiddle capturing the fragility of the little boy’s situation. Ultimately, we are not sure whether parts of the film are supernatural or figments of the child’s imagination – but this does not really matter, because for every ounce of ambiguity in this short, there is a ton of sincerity. Touching and compassionate, The Blood of The Bear is a heartfelt fantasy that comments upon a very real and worldly set of experiences, relevant to anyone who has or will experience the loss of a loved one – which is to say, that it is quietly universal in its appeal." (Benn Veasey)

Thanks so much, Benn Veasey! Very kind of you to write such things.

And thanks to LUC Festival for letting me participate in this great festival!

Read the full blog post, and coverage of the rest of the festival, here.

The Blood of the Bear at Sitges Film Festival this week

Another lovely synopsis from Sitges Film Festival for 'The Blood of the Bear.' I'm very excited about this one! "The forest is a location that houses excellent narrative material and important life lessons. In this case, it is the setting for the encounter of a boy with a big white bear, that will help him accept his father’s illness."

Thanks so much, Sitges! I wish I could be there!

People say things about The Blood of the Bear

I think this is the first official 'review' of The Blood of the Bear, from beloved Skwigly Online Animation Magazine's coverage of Encounters Film Festival! "The Blood of the Bear failed to fall into the trap so many films of its ilk do, by keeping the story short and sweet."

Well, I think that's a compliment? I like things that are short and sweet, such as Shirley Temple and this review. Thanks Skwigly! It's an honour to be mentioned.

Also, The Blood of the Bear will be screening this week at Ars Independent International Film Festival and just listen to this eloquent and quite beautiful description of the film written for the programme:

"The story of a boy’s farewell to his sick father, who manifests himself to his son as a polar bear. The boy’s symbolic coming of age happens through the falling snow, of lethal, but also cleansing properties. Leaving the world of imagination turns out to be a traumatic experience for the hero, who will have to face the death of his loved one in order to achieve solace." (Mateusz Góra)

How lovely, thank you all at Ars Independent International Film Festival and especially to Mateusz Góra, a certain poet.

Encounters was so lovely

I spent last week at Encounters Short Film Festival in Bristol, generally either in the cinema or drinking coffee outside the cinema and I just have to say how great it was. It was really great!

I still feel up in the air from all the excitement. Not only did I see some incredibly inspiring short films and animations, but it also reminded me of what a lovely place is Bristol, filled with such lovely people. Well done to all the award winners, there are some truly great films out there. And thanks Encounters so much for having me, I had the best time!

Cornwall Film Festival 2013 to screen The Blood of the Bear

websiteimage2 The Blood of the Bear has been selected for screening in the Eye Toons Animation competition of Cornwall Film Festival 2013! The festival takes place on the 8th-10th November in Newquay, a lovely town I remember well. Now this is the best excuse for a weekend away! See you in Newquay! The sea is still warm in November right?

Can't wait, thanks so much Cornwall Film Festival!

The Blood of the Bear at Sitges Film Festival

logositges The Blood of the Bear will be making its Catalan premiere at Sitges – International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia in October (11th-20th). Included in the ANIMA’T section, it's competing for the Best Anima´t Short Film Award but of course it's just so nice to be there!

Thanks so much Sitges! One day I may perhaps live in you or at least visit on holiday.

Find out more and visit:

The Blood of the Bear at Cally Festival tomorrow

319914_1_the-cally-festival_400 A friendly person from the local Caledonian Road Festival approached me about screening The Blood of the Bear at the festival on 8th September and I was more than happy to oblige!

This great local community festival on all accounts is going to be great to so I will certainly be visiting. My understanding is that the screening will take place aboard a filmbus - a happy first for the little film.

Well thanks Cally and see you tomorrow!

Come on down!: