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Film London News Bulletin - 7 December 2009

Date posted: 07.12.2009

The 2009 British Independent Film Awards (aka BIFAs) earmark the best of independently-funded British films - recognising emerging and established talent and serving as a key platform for films coming from outside the studio system. Five films, all with strong connections to the capital, received nominations and the winners were announced at a star-studded ceremony in the capital on Sunday night.

Anne Marie Duff was amongst the winners at this year's BIFAs - for her role as Best Supporting Actress in Nowhere Boy*. The directorial feature debut of artist film-maker Sam Taylor-Wood, about the teenage years of musical legend John Lennon, made use of many period locations in North West London which doubled for 1940's Merseyside. Pinner High Street was one of the areas used and features as our Location of the Month.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Film London recently launched the largest ever London Borough Film Fund Challenge (LBFFC). New this year is Film London in 90 Seconds - a competition offering £300 for the best 90 second film from each of the participating boroughs. The London Borough of Brent is inviting residents to submit a film. As part of the competition, Film Workshops will be held on Saturday 12 December in collaboration with Film London and The Film and Video Workshop, in order to inspire you and make your films happen.

Long-form documentary Football Fables is premiering next Monday 14 December in competition at the 31st Rassegna Cinematografica Internazionale in Palermo, Italy. The film, which has been nominated for Best Director, Best Foreign Film and Best Screenplay, is directed by Baff Akoto – a film-maker previously supported through Film London's London Borough Film Fund Challenge for his short, Star Cross (Without Limits, 2008). Watch the trailer for Football Fables.

Crystal Palace Pictures, a new film society supported through Film London's Outer Boroughs Pilot Fund, is looking for film-makers to present their short at their regular screening event. Features, preceded by a short film, are shown every other Thursday at the Gypsy Hill Tavern. Where possible film-makers attend to take part in pre or post screening discussions - which have been previously led by the likes of BAFTA winner Chris Shepherd, horror specialist Frazer Lee and Rob Hurtt. If you would like to show your film, email.

The latest round of Big Mediabox is now open for applications. Organisations can apply for up to £40,000 to run media projects with young people. The deadline for applications is 20 January 2010. 

The UK Film Council has announced an exclusive association with the film partnership specialists Film Tree, to develop advertiser-funded film production in the UK. The appointment, which will see Film Tree facilitating relationships between brand owners and film-makers, is part of the UK Film Council's ongoing commitment to stimulate new opportunities for the financing of feature film production and distribution in the digital world.

Director Steven Soderbergh, recognised as a  low-budget film-making enthusiast, presented the release of his latest feature in cinemas across London this weekend. Film London Microwave looks at independent film The Girlfriend Experience, as well as his other notable productions, in his lengthy and unconventional career.

The Vauxhall 48-Hour Road Movie challenge saw seven teams of film-makers take on the task of writing, shooting and editing a road movie in just two days during Jersey's Branchage Festival. The finished films are now live on, so get watching and voting for your favourite. You choose the winning film and its creators will receive a £1,000 prize for their efforts. All the short films will also be screened at a special event at London Short Film Festival (http://www.shortfilms.org.uk ) in January, when the winning film will be announced.

Imagine your funniest, trashiest office Christmas Party, add a raucous, hilarious film and a late bar, and you'll get the Midnight Movies Twisted Christmas Party with Bad Santa [15] on 11 December. Join Curzon with the Grotty Grotto, music from Straight to Video DJs, free punch and an exclusive after-party with karaoke for all ticket holders.

The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) launches their very first film quiz next week. Quizmas will be held in the ICA bar from 7pm on 14 December. Join in the festive fun and you could pick a prize, as well as brush up your general film knowledge.

And finally

A trailer for 44 Inch Chest*, the London-set drama from Malcolm Venville, is now online. The film, starring John Hurt, Ray Winstone and Ian McShane, is set to make Sexy Beast "look like Mary Poppins!" 

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