On Monday night I gave a lecture at the SAE Institute in Islington. Jabbering on about Soul Searcher has now become a well-rehearsed routine, though being ninety minutes this was by far my longest jabbering session yet. I broke it up with screenings of clips and extras from the in-progress DVD. The turn-out was good – standing room only, somewhere between 40 and 50 people – and the response was positive.
Over the last couple of days I’ve been considering attending the Escapism Film Festival, but the cost of the flight is going to be the problem. So I called the British Council and spoke to Geraldine Higgins, to whom I sent Soul Searcher shortly after it was completed. She said she hadn’t been able to watch the whole thing yet. I asked if they could provide financial assistance towards a filmmaker attending a festival his work was screening at. But no, she said they only support short films in this way and that I should call the UK Film Council or Film London instead.
So I called the UK Film Council and asked the same question: “Do you have any funding opportunities to help filmmakers attend festivals where their work is screening?” “No,” the guy replied, “we only support feature film production.” Ah. “You need to speak to the British Council about that,” he went on. “They just told me to call you,” I returned. “Sorry, we can’t help you mate,” was the final verdict.
Next I called Film London and asked the question for a third time. The receptionist thought the answer was yes, and put me through to another guy. As I was explaining the situation to him, he interrupted: “Can I just stop you there? We only deal with short films, not features.” Fortunately he did not suggest I call the Film Council or the British Council, or I might just have murdered him by telepathy.