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May 23, 2008

New British Talent in Cannes - Rachel Robey

Better_thingsMost new filmmakers have to draw on their creative and practical energies to get their first short film made. But with the right attitude, it’s more than possible. However, many of them will tell you that making the transition from short to feature, or debut feature to second feature, is not so easy. So when they do achieve it, and those films stand out, they deserve a bit of credit. That’s exactly why The International Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival was conceived. Though not strictly part of the main festival, it’s the longest-running of all the associated events, having been founded in 1962 by the Union of French Film Critics. 

Every year a selection of shorts and features from first and second-time filmmakers are shortlisted to compete in this section. And over the years, talents like Ken Loach, Wong Kar Wai and Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu have been discovered. Of the seven films currently competing from around globe, there’s one that comes to our attention: the Brit filck Better Things – an insight into the lives of a group of youths – written and directed by Duane Hopkins, who won several festival awards for his short Love Me or Leave Me Alone.

Writing a script and taking on the crucial task of directing it, is hugely important in the creative process of making a film, and Hopkins is a talent we should look out for. But we mustn’t forget the role of the, often overlooked, producer. They are the nuts and bolts of the process; the people whose shoulders are wide enough to take overall control of the production – pulling together the financing and bringing together the creative teams – and therefore ultimate responsibility for it. And in Better Things, this is where Rachel Robey comes into play. After winning a bursary from Skillset in 2005 and honing her skills on their Film Futures Scheme, she went on to produce Paul Andrew Williams’ highly acclaimed London to Brighton. Since then, Robey has been gaining increased recognition and is clearly a rising star set to make wider strides in the future.

[Reviewed and posted by HC]

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Great report!

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