RED CARPET-READY: Ellen Thomas
THE BRITISH Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) on London's Piccadilly was the early Saturday morning destination for delegates of the TriForce Short Film Festival, which has been supporting ethnically-diverse talent since 2012.
The early start was a small price to pay for any film buff - attendees were treated to a whole day of independent short film as well as seminars for film-makers seeking funding and contacts, before they walked the red carpet for the awards gala. To end the night, an after party with complimentary drinks was held at the nearby Century Club; where the DJ spun 90s R&B much to the crowd's delight.
Following a day of seminars, short films and socialising, The TriForce Short Film Festival culminated in a star-studded VIP gala, to award the best short films of the festival so far.
Film producers and large television networks alike are among the organisations that have contributed to the conversations at many a TriForce platform over the years. A depth of specialist knowledge on several aspects of film-making was offered in panel discussions and stalls, with representatives from the British Film Institute (BFI), the BBC, 4Talent, The National Lottery, Joanna Abeyie's (pictured below) Shine Media and Directors UK.
BBC Producer Jay Davidson, jointly-responsible along with Simon Frederick for the recent popular BBC series, Black is the New Black; was on-hand and generous with advice and time for individuals who wanted to speak about the commissioning process for their programme idea after the seminar.
The late Mark Duggan who was gunned down by police in north London in 2011 was the subject of a documentary, The Hard Stop, produced by Dionne Walker who offered this advice in the Public Funding Masterclass:
"Use your own money first. Funders want to see that you're committed."
Both the day and evening activities were hosted by the effervescent Jimmy Akingbola, who presented the black history game show, Sorry I Didn't Know this year on ITV2. Akingbola reminded audiences that TriForce Productions were behind the ground-breaking quiz as well as the popular MonologueSlamUK and WriterSlamUK events; supported by Equity and Channel 4.
Celebrity guests included David Gyasi, Jermain Jackman, Ellen Thomas, Judith Jacob and Dudley O’Shaughnessy, who all turned out to celebrate with TriForce. These guests were present as the four film award finalists were screened.
Winners of the Best of the Fest Award, the Audience Choice Award and the inaugural Best Non Scripted Award, were announced. All of the winners were rewarded with career development prizes provided by Stefan Allesch Taylor CBE, Shiver and Sharp House, as well as cash prizes.
Taking home the prestigious Best of The Fest Award was the short film Glow, the big winner of the night. The touching short film was celebrated for its compelling story about how light can be found in even the darkest of times, as the story focuses on Elijah, who is diagnosed with a brain tumour, and his best friends who are determined that he sees the Northern Lights.
Another big winner of the night was the harrowing The Dead Sea (featured Anikie Maguire, pictured above with husband Harris), an emotional short film that explores two refugees trying to reach Europe by boat. Emmanuel and Olu nearly reach the safety of shore before being returned to Libya and incarcerated in an infamous detention camp. The evocative film took home the coveted Audience Choice Award, and resonated deeply with the packed crowd in the BAFTA screening theatre.
Other winners included BAFTA nominate Victoria Thomas for I Believe in Pink, which one the Best Non Scripted Award. The short film followed a tattoo artist in Lagos who has found his niche by tattooing the lips of men pink. The film explored issues within society, and why these men he tattoos believe having pink lips makes them more acceptable and ‘good’.
Speaking on the successful event, Fraser Ayres, CEO of TriForce Creative Network, says:
“The TriForce Short Film Festival was set up to encourage film makers from any background and it’s great to see that, as in previous years, we’ve been able to showcase high-quality work from such a diverse range of UK filmmaking talent.
Selecting the winners is always difficult when you have incredible work to choose from, but this year’s stood out for telling important stories in such a compelling way.”
Continuing to promote diverse talent across film and TV, the TriForce Short Film Festival can add another successful event to their roster, bringing together film lovers across the UK and celebrating the best they have to offer.