White Lobster

 

On the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua, everybody's out on the beach searching for it. But is the 'White Lobster' a gift from God, or the work of the Devil?

 

A documentary exploring how the outlaw town of El Bluff is falling under the spell of windfall cocaine - a strange and unintended consequence of the global 'War on Drugs'.

 

 

[10 mins & 30 mins]

 

Berlin International Film Festival, Special Mention in Competition

Berlin Today Award.

The End for Beginners

 

In a retirement home in Paris the elderly residents wait out their last days. Nothing much happens other than the odd bout of Muzak and trouble with the lifts. But the arrival of some unusual visitors is about to disturb their peace - and set the scene for a strange confrontation between those at the beginning of life, and those at their very end.

 

 

Official selection: Edinburgh, Visions du Reel, Krakow, Brooklyn, Dinard, Flahertiana, Kosovo, Beirut, Message to Man, Big Sky, Banja Luka, Bilbao, Kustendorf.

 

"outstanding" Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

"worthy of Jacques Tati" Greencine

 

[24 mins]

Vote for Me, I'm Loony.

 

A documentary set in the absurdist world of the UK General Election, following three ordinary-ish men finding themselves through politics.

 

Alan 'Howling Laud' Hope took over as leader of the Monster Raving Loony Party when his best friend 'Screaming Lord' Sutch killed himself - on Alan's birthday. 

 

Reformed Marxist-Leninist John Cartwright has never quite fitted in. His autism expresses itself in an obsessive interest in elections.

 

Shy handyman Pete Berry felt he was a bit of a nobody. But as alter-ego Baron von Thunderclap he's found a new lease of life.

 

 

 

[60 mins]

On the Run with Abdul

 

We set out to make a film about children in Calais' illegal migrant camps - and ended up biting off more than we could chew.

 

Abdul is a 16-year old Afghan who spends his days dreaming of a new life in the UK, and his nights trying to jump the ferry to Dover. But when we fall foul of the town's people-trafficking mafia, Abdul is forced to flee and we set off with him on a tragi-comic journey with no destination. 

 

A cautionary tale of what happens when film makers get dangerously mixed up with their subjects.

 

 

 

 

 

[25 mins, co-directed by James Newton]

Winner of the International Press Prize, Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival.

Winner of the Main Prize, Paris Signes de Nuit Film Festival.

Official selection: Telluride, Sheffield, London, Aspen, Silverdocs, Flickerfest, Cinepossible.

Broadcast on Al Jazeera International's 'Witness' documentary strand.

"I really dig your movie" - Godfrey Reggio

Alfred's Free Press

 

Liberia is struggling to recover from 14 years of civil war. In the capital, Monrovia, many people can't afford the price of a daily newspaper. They rely on The Daily Talk - a chalkboard news bulletin - to keep them informed. 

 

This film tells the stories of ex-child soldier, Michael; Nathan, a trainee preacher; shoe-maker Larry, who has millionaire ambitions; and Kormassa, a single mother - all of whom depend upon one-man news agency Alfred J Sirleaf - Proprietor, Managing Director, Editor and Chief Correspondent of Africa's premier hand-written news daily.

 

 

Winner of the Sheffield DocFest WorldView prize

Broadcast on Al Jazeera International's 'Witness' documentary strand

 

[25 mins]

Angola: Birth of a Movement

 

Inspired by the 'Arab Spring', a group of friends and activists in Luanda use hip-hop to spread their message of resistance.

 

Under the 32-year rule of President dos Santos, Angola has become one of the most unequal societies in the world - the capital's skyscrapers and yacht-clubs are the playground of a super-rich elite, while millions live without power or water in sprawling slums

 

Over the course of a turbulent election season, this film follows rap star Luaty (a.k.a. Ikonoklasta) and fellow activists Carbono and Mbanza as they organise a popular protest - despite beatings, death-threats and intimidation by the secret police. 

 

 

 

 

[30 mins, co-directed by Ana de Sousa]

Broadcast on Al Jazeera's 'Activate' international documentary strand

Rebel Theatre Co.

 

As South Sudan seizes independence after years of conflict, a group of amateur dramatists set out to establish a national theatre company. But in the sweltering dustbowl of Juba - a new capital in the midst of economic crisis - nothing ever goes smoothly. 

 

For their first production, the group is staging a Shakespeare play - a quixotic task amid the city's water shortages, oil blockades and tribal tensions. And soon the threat of a new civil war looms over the reheasals...

 

WorldView New Genres Broadcast Fund

British Council

 

 

[30 mins, for Banyak Films]