The Voices Film Programme at BPS Highlights underrepresented voices in cinema and platforms some of the UK’s most talented emerging film-makers. Recent screenings have focused on Queer Identity, Race and Identity and Women Behind the Camera.
The Voices Film Programme is supported by Film Hub London, managed by Film London. Proud to be a partner of the BFI Film Audience Network, funded by the National Lottery. www.filmlondon.org.uk/filmhub
By Koutaiba Al – Janabi
Thursday 15 February
Screening presented by ArtForward.
“Nobody was born with the dream of becoming a refugee”
The Woodman is a feature film with a thriller theme with a life size wooden dummy as the protagonist. It is a fairy tale about the outsiders in the world represented by the Woodman. This story is the reverse of the usual representation – the Woodman is now on the search of his home, chased by evil powers invisible in the film, he wants to go back to his forest, he wants to go home.
The protagonist of the film is a life-size wooden dummy, that does not speak or move. His feelings, emotions are expressed through the composition and lighting, editing and sound. After the deluge of images of refugees in the media, Koutaiba was looking to condense the feelings of the displaced person and show their innermost feelings, rather than holding the camera yet again up to their face.
Koutaiba Al-Janabi was born in Baghdad, studied photography and cinematography in Budapest, Hungary. He wrote his PhD thesis on the aesthetics of Arabic cinema. He now lives in London and Baghdad. Koutaiba has worked as cinematographer on feature films and as producer/director for television companies. He directs and produces his own award winning short films, documentaries and feature films and he is also a well-regarded still photographer.
His first feature length film as a director, Leaving Baghdad, won first prize in 2011 in Dubai, a British Independent Film Award and was nominated for a Cinema for Peace Award in 2012 in Berlin, etc. The film was also screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
I’M MIGRANT by Yamam Nabeel
Screenings and Q&A
Friday 8 September 2023
Yamam Nabeel’s I’m Migrant Ep.4: Faisel Laibi Sahi.
This screening is part of I’m Migrant, Yamam Nabeel’s multimedia project in which he pieces together his heritage through interviews, portraits and conversations with exiled Iraqi artists, writers, and intellectuals. In this a deeply personal project, Yamam shares the Iraq he missed out on, as the young son of exiled Iraqi poet Nabeel Yasin, a parallel Iraq created by these artists he grew up with in Europe, through analogue film portraits and a film documentary series, as well as original artwork and installations.
Faisel Laibi Sahi is an Iraqi painter, born in Basra, in 1945. After graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts at the University of Baghdad in 1971 he worked as an illustrator in the Iraqi press. He moved to Paris in 1974 to attend the Ecole Des Beaux-Arts and Universite de la Sorbonne. He spent 10 years in France,before moving to Italy, and then Algeria with his wife Aisha. Faisel and Aisha settled to London in 1991, where they still live and work.
Screenings, Q&A and Poetry
Saturday 29 April 2023
I’m Migrant is a short-film series by Iraqi writer and photographer Yamam Nabeel, part of a larger project of photography and written word, focusing on the lives of immigrant and exiled artists, poets and writers from the Arab world, their experience practicing their art in their adopted country and their contribution to western culture.
Two episodes of the series were screened, followed by a Q&A with Yamam.
The first episode featured the Iraqi calligrapher Ghani Alani, who has settled in Paris. The second film was a totally new instalment which features the painter Afifa Aleibi who left Iraq when she was 19 and settled in Amsterdam.
Archiving Queer History: Our Survival
Tuesday 1 November 7 – 9 pm
As Part of this LGBTQIA+ History Month BPS presented Our Survival: Archiving Queer History. A screening of 6 short films by emerging artists and filmmakers including documentary, drama, comedy and dance films, followed by the premier of Surviving the Ashes and a talk on Queer archiving by Photographer and academic Laura Migliorino.
Women Behind The Camera | Georgie Cowan Turner
Tuesday 1 November 7 – 9 pm
A screening of four short films by award-winning director Georgie Cowan-Turner followed by a Q&A. Cowan-Turners films fuse popular culture and aesthetics from the past and present. Her work is at times darkly ironic, humorous and offers a unique way of contextualising modern life.
Women Behind The Camera | CollectedStories
Tuesday 6 December 7 – 9 pm
a collection of short films by emerging directors curated by Kaitlan Bachan and Ellie Holliday. These films sensitively explored issues such as climate change, gender-based violence and the position of women in the workplace.
Dipo Baruwa-Etti and Bradley Banton
Tuesday 1 November 7 – 9 pm
A selection of surreal and dystopian shorts from directors Dipo Baruwa- Etti and Bradley Banton followed by a Q+A session with Bradley.
Nina Mdwaba (aka Boldie)
Thursday 10 November 7 – 9 pm
Audiences were treated to a screening of three short films by poet and performance artist Nina Mdwaba followed by a live spoken word performance and Q&A session.
Tuesday 15 November 7 – 9 pm
A Screening of award- winning documentary Canada’s Keepers followed by a Q&A with the creative team.
Canada’s Keepers – winner of The Royal Television Society Student Award – is a story told by Canada’s first women, emanating the truth about the country’s dark colonial past. Truthful and raw, nine First Nations women tell their stories of racism, sexual abuse, intergenerational trauma, resilience, community and more in this emotional film
Floor Five Collective
Tuesday 22 November 7 – 9 pm
The Floor Five Collective currated a programme of short films that focused on making visible the identities and ways of being that have been absent or distorted within canonical representation
Floor Five Collective is a London-based multidisciplinary group led by women of colour. Floor Five is committed to generating individual practices as a result of these discussions, which reveal old truths from new perspectives. Their work is soaked in references and sounds that range from cultures such as South East Asia, the Middle East, The Caribbean, Ivory Coast and Réunion Island.Click Here For Tickets
I’m Migrant | Yamam Nabeel
Tuesday 29 November 7 – 9 pm
Audiences enjoyed a Screening of I’m Migrant a short-film series by Iraqi writer and photographer Yamam Nabeel followed by a Q&A with the artist.
The film focuses on the lives of immigrant and exiled artists, poets and writers from the Arab world and their contribution to western culture.
Friday 28 October 7 – 9 pm
Screening and Q&A event focusing on the work of Whiskey Chow
Audiences enjoyed an evening with Whiskey Chow who is a London-based performance artist and Chinese drag king. Whiskey’s art practice engages with broadly defined political issues, covering a range of related topics: from queer masculinity, problematizing the nation-state across geographic boundaries, to stereotypical projections of Chinese/Asian identity. Her work is interdisciplinary, combining embodied performance with moving image, experimental sound, installation, and printmaking.
down there the sea folk live
Tuesday 25 October | 7 – 9 pm
Guests were treated to a Screening of ‘down there the sea folk live’ by Stan Greengrass and Maddy James followed by a Q&A the director and live music and drag performances by Osian and I-Gemini
Selected as part of the BFI London Film Festival 2020 down there the sea folk live is a experimental documentary the experience of starting HRT for trans singers who rely on their voice for performance.
Queer Identity |Collected Stories
Tuesday 18 October | 7 – 9 pm
Audiences enjoyed a screening of works by award-winning documentary film maker Simisolaoluwan Akande followed by a Q&A
From Nigeria to England, Simisolaoluwa Akande’s fascination with the art of storytelling has crossed continents before expressing itself through film. Now a multi-award-winning documentary filmmaker, her films embrace a deeply collaborative approach to storytelling that provides black stories space to be told and retold.
Tuesday 11 October | 7 – 9 pm
The First event of the Queer Identity programme was a sold out success audiences enjoyed a collection of short films by emerging LGBTQIA+ Filmmakers with genres spanning comedy, documentary and fantasy
The screening was followed by a Q&A with the creative teams.
Hold The Sausage by Cal Freeman.
Silent Pride by Kristy Philipps
Dykotomy by Jo watters,
Datura Daydreams written and directed by Jonah Garrett-Bannister, Art Direction by Ripley Renner Fletcher.
World of my Own directed by Anna Rooney
Loops | Film Screening
Saturday 13 August 2022 | 4 – 6pm
Come along to Bermondsey Project Space for a screening of works by film-makers Ingrid Olivia Norrmén-Smith and Whitney Conti followed by a talk and Q&A session with the creative teams. These artists are united in their use of moving image and sound to call attention to the biological phenomenon of somatic amplification of sensation.
MEMORY AND ALTERNATE REALITIES
Saturday 16 July 2022 | 4 – 6pm
A showcase of short films and sound pieces exploring the theme ‘Memory and Alternate Realities’, presented by graduates of UCA Farnham
A screening of Masha Mombelli’s Series of Short Films ‘ Stories From The Coats’ Followed by a talk and Q&A
META ALARM 2.0| A Collection of Short Films Saturday 11 June 2022 | 4 – 6pm
A showcase of experimental films from graduates of the RCA Contemporary practice MA
50% of ticket sales were donated to IZOLYATSIA, an artist organisation in Ukraine: and 50% will support Bermondsey Project Space’s outreach fund working with local young people.
Featuring works by: Louise Ørsted Jensen, Laura Moreton-Griffiths, Adri São Bento, Patrick O’Neill, Anita Marante, xiaoyu1002, Kevin Siwoff, Bess Andersen, Melle Nieling.
Moving Through | A Collection of Short Films
Saturday 28 May 2022 | 4 – 6pm
A collection of short films connected by their use of dance and movement as a vehicle for emotional exploration. Featuring work by, Yolanda Y. Liou, Candice Lo and Issy Wharton.
Saturday 12 March 2022
For Women’s History Month Art Forward Presented Canadas Keepers, a film about Canada’s dark past told by the country’s First Women.
Directed by Mia Frank, Produced by Monica Jamal
Starring: Kyra Harris, Zephiria Joseph, Robyn Lawson, Cynthia Taha, Chrystal Sparrow, Folisha Stevens, Rose Timbrell, Colleen White, Laurie Wilson.
Unearth Me and See Me Wildly Dance
Saturday 19 February 2022
As part of LGBTQIA+ History Month BPS presented’Unearth Me and See Me Wildly Dance’ – a collaborative art film based in a fantasy queer mythology. A film by queer and non-binary artists Raechel (Rae) Teitelbaum and Brody Mace-Hopkins. The screening was followed by a Q&A with the creative teame
Saturday 12 February 2022
As part of LGBTQIA+ History Month BPS presented Queer Stories, a selection of five short films that told stories of queer identity and community. The screening was followed by a Q&A with the creative teames
A Love Letter to the Basement
Eucalyptus cell, gently modified
Saturday 5 February 2022
As part of LGBTQIA+ History Month BPS presented Queer Portraits a selection of four short films that painted nuanced portraits of queerness. The screening was followed by a Q&A with the creative teames
You are a Letter, written not with ink, but with spirit
you must everywhere wander 你必顧盼
With You I See Light
Filming Race and Reproduction in the Age of Black Lives Matter
22 January 2022
Emma Morgan-Bennett presented her recent documentary that explores themes of race and reproduction in the age of Black Lives Matter followed by a talk on Afrofuterism in film making.
Thursday 9 December
The Voices Film Series Presents:
‘Best Self’ was created to highlight the hollowness and two-faced nature of Instagram wellness culture in a satirical way. Cowan-Turner is known for creating films that embody the toxicity of social media. Best Self is intended to feel like walking into a wellness brand’s Instagram account. How would a group of young, different, flawed people be treated in the world of cliches, fake phrases and pastel perfection? This is at the core of Best Self where the film shows how a hollow brand named Inanis (which means empty) strips a group of young people of their individuality to show them their best selves.
Lured by images of ‘glass skin perfection’ a young woman enters the world of a morning makeup routine only to discover it is not as perfect as it first seems. An experimental and darkly ironic film which holds the mirror up to past and present toxic beauty standards and unattainable ideals of perfection.
Saturday 4 December
Voices Film Series presents:
Performance Artist Nina Mdwaba shared two of her Spoken Word Films “I’ll Believe It When I See It & #Elevatedvoices” and “Let’s Take It Home” followed by a talk and Q&A Session.
Nina Siphesihle Pinkie Mdwaba is a South African born (b.1995) writer, theatre-maker, spoken word, and performance artist. Nina explores subject matter relating to race, gender, and sexuality, and ritualistic healing. Nina has performed her works in over 20 art venues in Glasgow and London, including the GOMA, Modern institute, CCA, Transmission, Turner Prize contemporary, and a handful of festivals including Brainchild and Womenfest in London. She is now focussing on poetry for film.
The Voices film series presents:
Saturday 4 December
The Women Now Film Series
12 – 20 August 2020
The Women Now Film Series at Bermondsey Project Space centred emerging female filmmakers and celebrated London’s vibrant film scene, through a series of screenings, Q&A’s and panel discussions. The program explored themes of identity, body image, and comunnity.
Featuring Carmen & Luisa, Issy Wharton, Ula Taylor-Riley, Tracey Francis, Mouni Productions, Georgie Cowan-Turner, Luna Carmoon, Nina Mdwaba, Sophie Farrell and WomeninFilmSE15
WomeninFilmSE15 are a collective rooted in the local neighbourhood. The collective’s focus is on discussing, screening and making films centred around women’s interests. Their main aim is to promote the female voice within film, bringing different narratives and diverse local communities together. For this series, they showed a collection of community-made animations.
The Series also included an event titled ‘Getting Into The Film Industry’ where producer and writer Helen Simmons talked to filmmaker Luna Carmoon about how she got started in the film industry, and the experience of making two incredibly well-received short films. This was followed by a panel discussion from prominent screenwriters Louise Nesbitt, KT, and Milly Thomas.