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Some stills

Broadcast & Independent

In production

Finnish Free Folk

This is an image from Finnish Free Folk
 5 mins for Al Jazeera, ArtsWorld

A new generation of musicians have emerged in Finland. In this film, we will meet the sub-arctic sound explorers and refuseniks who make up this intriguing forest dwelling, free folk community. We will meet the main artists behind the new Finnish Free Folk scene ö the movers and shakers of the Īsound of the soilā. The music as both art form and a comment on the community will be explored. The haunting landscapes, the forest scenes, the lakesides, sunrises and sunsets, will all be utilised to create a film that truly reflects the beauty and origins of the music.

3MW: Too Bad to Teach?

This is an image from Too Bad to Teach?
 4 x 3 mins for Channel 4

Every year in the UK, around 10,000 secondary school children are excluded from school, and over a million play truant. The social effects of this are enormous with these children becoming increasingly disaffected and more likely to take drugs, to suffer from depression and to be involved in serious crime.

In response to this problem and in recognition of the fact that school isnāt for everyone, a number of pioneering initiatives have sprung up offering an alternative education and an opportunity to re-engage.

This series of four films will focus on four young people who have either been excluded from school or are on the verge of being excluded, and who are benefiting from a fresh approach to learning.

Robbie & Nigel (Working Title)

This is an image from Robbie & Nigel

This non-fiction feature-length film tells the story of the dark, abusive but genuinely loving relationship between two alcoholics, Robbie and Nigel, who live on the very fringes of Oxford society.

Robbie and Nigel are the sorts of people you’d normally cross the street to avoid. Robbie is 74, is extremely violent, and has spent over half his life inside prison. Nigel is 37 and has mental health problems. They live together in a flat paid for by social services – previously they were both homeless. Nigel has a conviction for sexually abusing his sister’s children. But it is impossible to see Nigel, who comes across as so vulnerable and childlike himself, as a threatening predator. His vulnerability is further emphasised by his suffering from severe epilepsy and a tendency to self-harm. He regularly threatens to commit suicide.

Robbie and Nigel were first introduced by their GP, who strangely thought that it might be a good idea if the two lived together. This way Nigel would have someone to care for him, keep him clean and buy him food. So despite his own problems and alcoholism, Robbie ended up becoming Nigel’s protector and carer. Social services have not visited Nigel in over two years, believing Robbie to be supplying adequate care. However, the situation is far from adequate. Violence permeates the relationship. The level of abuse inflicted upon Nigel by Robbie is substantial. It is a bizarre twist, then, that the two men have also become lovers.

New Beginning

This is an image from New Beginning

Imagine what it must feel like to be forced to leave everything you know and love in order to stay alive. This was the situation for Jean Baptiste Kayigamba, a journalist in Rwanda. New Beginning is a poignant and very personal portrayal of his experiences since arriving in England as a refugee, as he tries to make a home in a new and alien environment while awaiting the arrival of his family.

Jean Baptiste had managed to rebuild his life in Rwanda after his survival of the 1994 genocide, which claimed so many of his close family and friends. In the years immediately following the massacre he married and had three children while continuing to work as an international journalist. But almost a decade on, the ethnic violence still continued to be an everyday reality for Jean Baptiste. As a Tutsi, a genocide survivor and an ‘intellectual’, Jean Baptiste was in constant danger, and after numerous death threats and the execution of his close friend and colleague he was forced to flee the country, leaving his young family behind.

For Jean Baptiste, being cut off from everything familiar means that the writing and receiving of letters to his loved ones takes on a hugely important role in maintaining a sense of who he is and where he comes from. It is the content of these letters which determines the narrative of this short documentary film, providing the opportunity for a very personal and intimate portrayal of a subject so often dominated by politics and thoughtless prejudice.

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