Local film Director/Producer Jo Southwell will be hosting an online conversation with Oscar-winning film producer Gareth Ellis-Unwin for BCA students next Tuesday to share insights into the film industry.
Jo and Gareth will talk about their latest projects and share their stories of filming during COVID and how the industry has adapted.
Jo will share her lockdown story and how, during the pandemic, as a freelance creative she was faced with a challenge – wait or adapt. She chose to adapt. As a result, over the last year Aston Productions has moved into a new territory of production. Becoming established as a co-producing company has provided opportunities to work as a producing partner on high profile projects for Screen South and the BBC.
Jo and Gareth first met when Jo was a female director taking part in the Berlin Film Festival. She was runner up in a £1M film fund for feature film directors. Following this event, Jo was asked to direct the new VR Immersive film series for Screenskills/BFI. First Day on Set won the Production Guild Award for Innovation in 2020.
Gareth Ellis-Unwin will talk about his latest film project Cheetah The Movie. Inspired by true events, the dramatic thriller follows a poacher turned conservationist who fights to protect the rare Asiatic Cheetah, of which fewer than 50 remain in the deserts of northern Iran.
Gareth Ellis-Unwin best known for being the producer of The Kings Speech (2010), will produce for Bedlam Film Productions, which has partnered with Outstanding.Global (leadership and development programmes) on the feature Gareth said, “The film showcases the plight of these beautiful creatures that are nearly extinct, the struggle of those that are charged to protect them and gives opportunity to all of us to play an active part in their conservation.”
A Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for Cheetah launched in April and the production team have been running fortnightly insight sessions between the filmmakers and supporters, who can follow the progress of the project throughout the production process. More can be found at www.cheetahthemovie.com