To mark the start of Film Praxis, a new screening and seminar series, we are delighted and honoured to welcome legendary documentary maker Nick Broomfield to the University to screen his latest and arguably his best documentary film yet, Tales of the Grim Sleeper. Tickets for the screening are free but have to be booked in advance by emailing Ian McDonald. There is limited availability so first come first serve and only one ticket per staff / student.
Master documentary provocateur Nick Broomfield (KURT & COURTNEY, HEIDI FLEISS: HOLLYWOOD MADAM, BIGGE AND TUPAC) shows himself in stunning form in TALES OF THE GRIM SLEEPER, the story of a serial killer who ran unchecked for 20 years in South Central Los Angeles. When Lonnie Franklin Jr. was arrested in 2010 as the suspected murderer of a string of young black women, police hailed it as the culmination of 20 years of investigations. Four years later, Broomfield visited the alleged killer's neighborhood to find out if the police had earned their self-given kudos. There, he finds a world of people who suspected for decades that there might be some connection between their odd neighbor and the dozens of women who had gone missing from the street - but who had good reason not to trust the LAPD to help their community. After the residents are initially as reluctant to talk to him, Broomfield enlists the help of Pam, a charismatic, funny and fearless former prostitute eager to help get to the bottom of these murders. With Pam leading the charge, Franklin's friends and neighbors open up to Broomfield on just how much of the spree was common knowledge to anybody who went looking, and how little interest the police seemed to take. In scenes building to an unbelievably powerful conclusion, Broomfield reveals the journey of a serial killer and gives voice to his victims, as he builds a powerful assemblage of testimony conveying a grave injustice that extends well beyond this case.
Elephant in the Room:Film and Visual Culture in Contemporary Northern Ireland
A half-day interdisciplinary symposium organized by the Research Centre for Film and Digital Media at Newcastle University. It took place in Culture Lab on 23 January 2015 and was rounded off by the launch of Paula Blair’s prize-winning monograph Old Borders, New Technologies: Reframing Film and Visual Culture in Contemporary Northern Ireland (Peter Lang, 2014).
The symposium brought together practitioners working across various modes of film and visual art, and focused specifically on their works which intersect with hidden and marginalized issues in post-conflict societies and landscapes. Cahal McLaughlin (Professor of Film Studies, Queen’s University Belfast) presented his important work on the Prisons Memory Archive, a longstanding project which aims to record and preserve the memories of those involved in a range of ways with imprisonment during the Northern Ireland conflict. Allan Hughes (Head of Sculpture, Northumbria University) gave an enlightening talk on his video installations which confront the effects that structures and processes of state surveillance have on peripheral landscapes. Sandra Johnston (Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Northumbria University) was interviewed by Paula Blair (Teaching Fellow in Film, Newcastle University) about her live performance work dealing with women’s traumatic experiences during the ‘Troubles’. The guest chairs for the post-presentation discussions included Guy Austin (Director of the RCFDM) and Rachel Woodward (Professor of Human Geography, Newcastle University), whose inputs strengthened the cross-disciplinary aims for the event.
The presentations reflected the themes and issues in Paula’s research on film and visual art in post-Agreement Northern Ireland, and concerned case studies featured in the book. The participants took great delight in discovering the linkages across their disparate approaches to practice, theory, and the themes they deal with. At Newcastle, the event has instigated the emergence of a post-conflict research cluster, and forged stronger connections between Newcastle, Queen’s and Northumbria.
For more information, please email Paula Blair
The China Independent Film Festival (CIFF) is the longest-running and most important independent film festival in China. The 10th Anniversary of the CIFF UK Celebration took place between 12 May 2014 and 15 May 2014 in Newcastle and went on tour to Nottingham (16th-18th) and London (16th-17th). It was organized by the CIFF and the University of Newcastle in partnership with the University of Nottingham and the China Visual Festival. Further information about the festival is available here.
The Research Centre for Film and Digital Media has collaborated with Veto Films with a film making workshop on the theme of HOME to help nurture local young talent. Three short films have been produced by the young people themselves on the theme of 'Home' (such as HOMELESS) and their work is being screened at various venues across the city, both indoor and outdoor.
'Mongrel' a short film about discovering who you really are, written shot and directed by young people from Newcastle in collaboration with the Research Centre in Film and Digital Media and Bridge + Tunnel Voices, funded by the ESRC festival of Social Science 2011.
Looking to the future, the Centre will be programming screenings, workshops, and talks, showcasing university staff and students' own work in film and digital media, but also collaborating with partners such as the Tyneside Cinema, Side, the Star and Shadow, local film production companies and the BBC, as well as with international partners from further afield. All to help develop Newcastle's status as a brilliant city for film, and to further research into the moving image.