Stay the Same

A review from Film4
4 December 2013, 12:30 pm
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I thought I would share another review of Stay the Same written for the film4 blog by Simran Hans which is a lovely description of the film.  She writes . .

“While it was composer Fraya Thomsen who was nominated by Underwire (and won) for the stirring music she wrote to accompany Sam Firth’s Stay The Same, this experimental poem is a collaborative effort. Freya’s swelling strings recall Behn Zeitlin and Dan Romer’s majestic score for Beasts Of The Southern Wild; her music is imbued with a real sense of magic. This score, when coupled with Sam’s remarkably expressive face, is something quite extraordinary. Sam recorded herself every day for one year at exactly the same place and time on the coast of Scotland – and the result is an emotive poem that explores hope, joy, pain and longing with heartfelt intensity. Look out for her forthcoming feature film project, The Story Of Me And You, which recently won a special commendation prize in the Wellcome Trust screenwriting competition and is now in development with the BFI, Creative Scotland and Stray Bear Productions.”

To read more click here.



A lovely evening at Swedenborg House
2 December 2013, 11:49 am
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On Friday night I was at the Swedenborg Short film festival which was a really nice evening. There were some really interesting films about our relationship with nature, existentialism and mysticism and the soul and I will definitely be going back to the festival. Stay the Same got a special commendation from the festival in the award ceremony which meant a £100 book token to spend on books published by the Swedenborg society as well as a limited edition signed copy of Iain Sinclair’s book Swimming to Heaven: The Lost Rivers of London. IMG_0291

Highlights from the festival were the main prize winner Nick Jordan’s film Nature House Inc., Small Wonders by Katie Goodwin and … all that passed by Stuart Pound. Katie and Stuart were also there for the evening and it was lovely to meet them. (Follow the links for their respective websites v. interesting stuff!).

I am now really looking forward to the next screening of the film on 28th December in my local village hall in Drimnin, which will be followed by a concert by Fraya and her musical partner Gillian of the Duplets! Hopefully we will get a good crowd.

The film is also showing at the ICA and the Stratford Picture House as part of the London Short Film Festival in early January.

Stay the Same gets its first Award!
24 November 2013, 12:20 pm
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Great news! Fraya Thomsen has won the Best Composer category at the Underwire Film Festival yesterday, which we were both a bit emotional about. Fraya worked incredibly hard on the score, which is integral to the film and created such a beautiful pieceof music the award was well deserved. Fraya wins some mentoring with a music publishers and hopefully this will help her launch her career as a film composer. Well done Fraya!

The award was followed by an event that had already been organised where after screening Stay the Same me and Fraya talked about how the music came about,  our collaborative relationship and the musicality of the film, which was edited rather like a piece of music. Fraya brought her harp and played one of her first ever compositions which was lovely to hear. We also showed some of The Worm Inside and Mallaig in It’s Own way which we also collaborated on. 

I have so enjoyed working with Fraya that I am delighted she is being recognised and hope eventually she finds a way of making the music available on i-tunes as there have been lots of requests!

It is also lovely that any element of the film should be recognized by this small but incredibly cool film festival – especially when it was criticized so widely in the press.

Thank you Underwire! We had a fab day.

Pics from the London Film Festival
19 October 2013, 12:45 pm
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Here are some pics  from the Stay the Same Screening at London film festival. The panel discussion was one of the best and most interesting I have done so far. There were four filmmakers  each with very unique and different films and the discussion covered everything from what was practical to what was artistic and ethical about experimental filmmaking! It was also quite funny.

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First review from Encounters!
22 September 2013, 5:27 pm
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The Encounters screening went really well. It is very strange seeing the film on the big screen in front of a public audience, most of whom don’t know me or any of the background to the project. I tried to put myself in their shoes, but if I am honest I had absolutely know idea what people would make of it. It felt slightly hostile at first, but then maybe three or four minutes in something changed.  Fraya and I got most of the questions in the Q & A afterwards and several people came up to me to say how moved they were by the film, which is all one can really hope for as a filmmaker. It seems each person who watches the film gets something slight different from it. The next day a young journalist from Estonia reviewed the screening in the publication Inside Encounters which is distributed around the festival. It isn’t online yet but I couldn’t help take a  photo to share here. It was really nice to read a nice piece of press about film by someone who has seen the final result.

Here is a photo of the article for you to read . .

Review from Inside Encounters #2

Review from Inside Encounters #2

Pictures from the premiere
13 September 2013, 10:45 am
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The Knoydart Premiere
9 September 2013, 6:54 pm
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Just to say the premiere in Knoydart went better than I could have expected. About sixty people came (a full house in Inverie village hall!). It was mainly locals but a few visitors too. There were wine and nibbles and I answered questions for about half an hour after the film. People were very honest in their reponse.
Many people told me privately that they hadn’t known what to expect before they saw it and some were concerned it would be self indulgent, which is always a fine line to tread with this kind of work. The response, however was overwhelming. With many people telling me they were quite moved by the peice. I am incredibly grateful for the support I have had from the Knoydart community in all my work and it was a pleasure to have shown the film there for the first time.
I am very much looking forward to Encounters Film Festival next week and the London Film Festival in October.

I will post more about the premiere in the next few days with photos taken by Rhona Miller from the Knoydart Tearoom.

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