More Awards for Sarah Clift

Congratulations Sarah.  ‘La Madre Buena’ has won yet another award, this time at the New Film Makers Awards LA for Best Screenplay.  The film has now garnered with ‘official selection’ by 71 film festivals around the world, and picked up 38 awards.

Click here to view the film. 

Director, Photographer and Artist Frederick Paxton Signs to Academy

Frederick Paxton is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, photographer and artist currently based in London. After graduating with honours from New York’s School of Visual Arts, he quickly established himself and captured a broad body of work.

The theme of humanity is a constant in Frederick’s work; he captures the intersections and boundaries that help reveal so much about true human nature, whether through observed visuals, intimate portraiture or on the front line in Aleppo

‘Behind The Zero Line’ is a documentary focusing on the plight of a small community caught between separatist and government forces in Ukraine. In 2017 the film was nominated for a Grierson Award - one of documentary filmmaking’s highest accolades.

His latest film Harmony is a moving meditation on identity and expectations in modern Russia. The film is currently showing at film festivals globally.

Frederick’s fine art background and journalistic approach give a unique perspective on craft and creativity. His photography is honest, beautiful and often heart-breaking. He joins Academy for stills representation as well as direction.

Click here for Frederick's showreel.

Mahaneela joins Academy

Mahaneela is a multi-faceted artist, who at a young age explored her love for photography and filmmaking.

Over the last few years, the director/photographer has created content for some of the most influential and exciting brands in the world, such as Converse, Adidas, Nike and Eurostar, as well as working with prominent record labels XL Recordings, Young Turks and Because Music. She has photographed artists such as Mercury Prize award winning Sampha, The xx, FKA Twigs, Steve Lacy, and many more.

Her work has featured in I-D Magazine, The Fader, Complex, Suitcase Magazine and many others, and she was named one of this year’s female creative leaders by The Dots.

In her personal work, Mahaneela focuses on intimate portraiture and films that explore the experiences of people of colour across the world, documenting cultures across music, youth, and the African and Asian diasporas.

She made her directorial debut with a music video for artist Denai Moore, which was premiered by The Fader and nominated for a Shiny Award. She then debuted her first short film 'Kindred' at the Tate Modern as part of their 'Soul of a Nation: Art in the age of Black Power' exhibition. Her most recent work features prolific UK rapper Nines, for his critically acclaimed album 'Crop Circle'.

Alongside her photography, Mahaneela manages artist Denai Moore, and is a writer, curator and founder of award-nominated music consultancy agency COZY. She also co-founded In Bloom, an all women collective and agency specialising in creating engaging, authentic content for brands and artists.


The British Arrows

Seb Edwards’s Lacoste film was one of the big winners at the British Arrows Awards last night, winning the coveted Frank Budgen Award for Direction, and further Golds for Editing (Russell Icke @ Whitehouse Post), Costume & Wardrobe (Madeleine Fontaine) and Colourist (Jean-Clement @ MPC), plus a Bronze in the Fashion Category. 

Novemba won two Silver Arrows in Charity & Public Service and Integrated categories for‘London Needs You Alive’.  The film was made for the Mayor’s Office through AMV BBDO.

Congratulations to all the nights award winners, in particular Seb for that Directing Gold.

Billy Boyd Cape Interviewed for The Fall

Aged only 25, Billy Boyd Cape is already signed to content-production agency Academy+ and dreaming of his first feature film. He’s directed videos for the likes of Kwaye – with whom he has an ongoing collaboration – Jakwob and FKA twigs, and also a short film, More Hate Than Fear, about a graffiti artist banged up in prison. He also takes great photographs. Cape can do it all. His forthcoming releases include another Kwaye music video, his first grime video and a dance film in collaboration with Sadler’s Wells for Channel 4’s Random Acts. Watch this space.

This is our Family issue. What do your parents do?
“I grew up around freelance creatives who really found their niche. Mum’s a casting director, Dad’s a panoramic photographer and my stepdad’s an actor.”

What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt from them?
“They taught me the importance of culture from a very young age. I was taken to art galleries, theatres and music festivals. We visited family members in America, Namibia and Hong Kong. My family kept me inspired and encouraged me to chase my aspirations – I didn’t realise it then, but they opened my eyes to what is out there.”

Your grandfather shot films and took photographs, right? Has he influenced what you do at all?
“Film and photography was a hobby for him – he was a businessman. It was only after my grandparents died that we discovered hours of Super 8 film that he shot from the ’50s to the ’80s. I found that some of it was startlingly similar to footage I had shot on a recent trip to the US, which inspired me to create a collage art film called We Visit Often about our two journeys over the decades.”

When did you first decide you wanted to be a director?
“I thought I’d be a good cinematographer – directing seemed like too much pressure – but it didn’t satisfy me as much as taking an idea from initial conception and turning it into a film. The process is addictive. I started with friends in my neighbourhood on oddball scripts we’d write, then ambition and crews quickly grew as I met more people at film school.”

Where do you go when you’re in search of inspiration?
“Music is always a starting point. Whether for a promo, art film or narrative, it’s music that lets me find that emotional feeling.”

Which directors have had the largest influence on you?
“David Fincher and Paul Thomas Anderson both make films that, stylistically, I’m able to lose myself in. Fincher is a perfectionist and a technical mastermind – studying his work has taught me more than film school. Whereas PTA is making cinema that feels timeless, effortless and reminds me why I fell in love with film in the first place.”

What’s your dream project?
“Feature films are every young boy’s dream. That dream hasn’t faded, so you’ll have to find me in 10 years to see if I’ve got there.”

You’ve made a couple shorts about travelling. What’s your favourite place you’ve ever filmed and why?
“Hong Kong took my breath away. I was a total tourist, but having a camera gave me the purpose to explore areas I wouldn’t otherwise go. I went as high as I could to get the wildest views across the city and then into the depths of its mayhem. It’s a sweaty, dense and intense place that moves faster than any rush hour I know, but with a sense of calm – like clockwork. The camera would force me to walk along the streets for hours, looking for places to shoot. Not only that, it also meant I ate the best street food of my life.”

You’re also a prolific photographer. Do you see that as separate from filmmaking? 
“For me it’s one and the same. Music videos might prep for a month and only shoot for one day, but photography keeps a camera with me all the time. When there’s no client or expectation, it takes the pressure off and lets me train my eye and create more freely. I shoot on film so I’m sparse in what I capture – and then sometimes I only remember what I took when I get the film back from the lab. It’s refreshing that something can be so instantaneous, rather than taking a year to create 15 minutes of film.”