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Welcome everyone to the latest issue of The Spread! We’ve just come out of a very busy month for Cinema Jam, which included our founder Jared winning the Judges Special Award at the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs. He won the award was part of the 2015 Celebrating Enterprise Awards for creating and developing Cinema Jam, so big congrats to him!

As usual, November centered around our Jam Session, which returned to the Corbet Place Bar and Lounge on the 14th for a member’s only screening sponsored by MOFILM and Casting Networks. Our guest speaker was former Jammer of the Month Col Spector, who spoke about “how to make a short film that people give a s*** about”. Col started at the BBC making arts documentaries before writing and directing an award-winning short with the young Keira Knightley. He then signed to RSA Films as a commercials director and went on to write & direct two features, Someone Else, and Honeymooner – both distributed by Soda Pictures and broadcast on BBC1 and 2. He also runs the documentary consultancy service for filmmakers of all levels, The Documentary Consultant.

iusedtobefamousAt the Jam Session, we screened five films, including Peter King’s Crack, Eddie Sternberg’s I Used to be Famous, and Clare Macdonald’s The Nocebo Effect, as well as secret films by Toby Fell-Holden and Grace Cooke. This month, we’ll be capping off the year with our Best of Cinema Jam event, open to the public. Tickets are available on Eventbrite – for members, it’s £3 online or £7 door, and for non-members, it’s £7 online or £10 on the door.

Our Best Of event will return to the Corbet Place Bar & Lounge on the 14th, once again sponsored by MOFILM and Casting Networks, for a film screening as well as fundraising for BFI’s Film is Fragile with a charity raffle. Rose Adkins, founder and CEO of ScreenHits, will be our guest speaker. She’ll be talking about how her company helps film and media businesses create content and stay relevant in an ever-changing global environment.

We’ll be screening these shorts at the Best Of event: Waiting for the Flood, directed by Boris Thompson-RoylanceSEAHORSE, directed by Daniel Montanarini, The Art of Foley: Earrings, directed by Rich Hardisty and Andy NeedleMANOMAN, directed by Simon CartwrightI Used to be Famousdirected by Eddie Sternberg, and Love is Blind, directed by Dan Hodgson.

Over at The Spread, we’re celebrating sci-fi this month in preparation for the most anticipated film of the year (and, for me, perhaps the most anticipated film of my life), Star Wars: The Force Awakens. To start things off, I’ve got a countdown of my Top 20 Sci-Fi Films of the 2010s (so far), because I can’t get enough of lists – especially when I can put Upstream Color and The World’s End in the same one. I’ve also reviewed three recent films with a sci-fi edge to them, including Alien Extinction, Circle, and Future Shock: The Story of 2000AD.

1401x788-ExMachina_Alicia-VikanderWe also speak to a bunch of notable Jammers who have worked in sci-fi, including cinematographer Simon Rowling, whose work on the short film Predator: Dark Ages has accumulated over a million views on YouTube, script editor Andrew Ellard, who has credits on Red Dwarf as well as being the writer of the new sci-fi drama AfterDeath, and our Jammer of the Month Sam Southward, whose apocalyptic animated short After the End has met acclaim as far as Canada and Taiwan.

Thomas Humphrey also chats with Guy Maddin, acclaimed and fascinating director of The Forbidden Room, delving into his influences and the film’s unique visual style. I also sat down with Adam Baroukh and Eddie Sternberg, founders of production company Superplex, to talk about funding strategies for short films. Those guys have tried everything – from Kickstarter campaigns to the London Calling scheme to pre-selling tickets to an extravagant premiere – and have some incredible insight to give.

Rounding things off, we’ve also shared some tips from our friends at Raindance, including a toolkit by Baptiste Charles for that most futuristic of film technologies – Virtual Reality – and a holiday gift guide for filmmakers. Stay tuned for more reviews and more as 2015 rounds out to a close, and keep on Jammin’ this holiday season!

Special thanks to Beth Gill for contributing to this editor’s note. 

Cameron Johnson

Cameron Johnson is a writer and filmmaker born in England, based in Michigan, USA, and currently living in Enniscrone, Ireland. He writes about all things entertainment with a speciality in film criticism. He has been working on films ever since middle school, when his shorts "Moving Stateside" and "The Random News" competed in the West Branch Children's Film Festival. Since then he's written and directed a number of his own films and worked in many different crew jobs. Follow him on Twitter @GambasUK and look at his daily film diary at letterboxd.com/gambasUK.

Posted on Dec 7, 2015

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