Whilst I am hanging out with my in-laws in Tehran, our other Executive Producer and my business partner, Peter Rudge, is off to St. Lucia by the invitation of the Rise Film Festival, with a view to a possible 72 there! It’s super early days, and we have lots to sort out for Birmingham before we can really consider another Southern Hemisphere adventure, but knowing how long these things take to establish, it is good to get the conversations started.
It is all part of a changing agenda for the 72. Whereas before we were interested in Galway simply to get our film into the festival, and Melbourne it was about demystifying the process and trying to develop a new model, Birmingham is about trying to solidify a film culture that is under-represented. We realised after Galway that the disruptive process of making a film in 72 hours is actually an empowering experience that is useful for inspiring and promoting filmmaking culture. Whereas the temptation would be to go to major festivals forevermore making movies in 72 hours, the reality is that we can have more impact in the places were filmmaking isn’t part of the main cultural make-up. It makes for a more exciting and enriching experience for all parties involved. It takes the 72 from being a side show of a major festival to being a legitimate event in its own right.
Having the possibility of St. Lucia on the horizon simultaneously puts and removes pressure on the 72 in Birmingham. On one hand we have a possible direction to head in future, but it means we really can’t mess Brum up, because it will undoubtedly play a part in their reception of us.
Let’s be honest, we like the pressure, otherwise we wouldn’t make films in 72 hours.
James and the 72 team.