The Lexi Cinema in London gives 100% of their profits to the village of Lynedoch in South Africa, one of the projects funded there is a film school. In March 2011 I went there to hold workshops with the students.
We worked with a Super 8 camera (thanks Akio!) and with two 50ft reels of negative we entered two films into the Straight 8 competition.
Straight 8 invites anyone anywhere in the world to make a short film on a single cartridge of super 8 - without editing or doing any post production.
Every single shot taken on the camera is in the film - and if you are lucky enough to have your film chosen - the first time the filmmaker sees their film is in front of a cinema audience.
Many films don't expose, or there are technical problems, and of course any mistakes made are permanent, we had some sound/image timing issues, but the film made it into the selection!
They decided to pick a rarely discussed and difficult subject and shot a very sensitive documentary. The Cape Coloured population of South Africa have a culture of deliberately removing their front teeth. In this film Wilbe reflects on this fashion and the culture.
The film made the final selection and premiered to a packed out cinema at Sheffield Doc/Fest in 2011. It was even mentioned all the way from New York by critic Jennifer Merin...
"One unique and delightful Sheffield Doc/Fest feature is Straight 8, an annual nonfiction filmmaking challenge in which anyone can participate. The challenge is to shoot a nonfiction short in real time, from beginning to end, on one Super 8 cartridge. Planned shots are allowed, but there's no editing of footage once shot. And, without having seen the footage, the filmmaker must devise an accompanying sound track. Images and audio are submitted to the festival, which picks ten or twelve shorts to be screened back-to-back in an hour-long -- and very interesting -- program.
Particular favorites this year were the short made by South African kids about the faddish pulling of their front teeth, so as to appear 'gangsta"
The fantastic music is by Animated Dog... find more here...
The full review by Jennifer Merin is here...
and you can find much more out about Lynedoch and the film school here...