Tuesday 18 March 2008

Best European Dramatic Feature

It’s a mouthful – let’s call it BEDF for short – and it’s also the top award at the European Independent Film Festival, which was held in Paris over last weekend, and it’s just been won by SAXON: ‘an offbeat thriller/ urban western/ social surrealism drama that combines elements of Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven, David Lynch and Ken Loach to winning effect’ (bbc.co.uk).

It stars Sean Harris, who played Ian Curtis in 24-Hour Party People. Short synopsis from the film’s website (hell, I still can’t do the links – www.saxonthefilm.com – go there): ‘London, the present. Soon after leaving prison, Eddie has his eye cut out by a loan shark chasing an old debt. Eddie’s other eye will only be spared upon repayment. Desperate for cash, Eddie phones Linda, a childhood sweetheart. She lives in Saxon – a ghost town of grim flats run by a corrupt council. Linda is very wealthy. Her husband Kevin won a million pounds on a TV quiz show. But Kevin has gone missing, feared dead. Eddie offers his services as an amateur sleuth, and so embarks on a comically gruesome journey . . .’

Why am I telling you this? Because a couple of people who’ve never made a feature film before – Greg Loftin, Elise Valmorbida – somehow putting it all together (the money, the cast, the crew, the backers, the locations, the post-production, the other stuff – I’m going dizzy: publishing books is EASY) and getting it shown at the Edinburgh Festival, and another festival in Israel, and then winning BEDF in Paris, is a story worth the telling in itself.

And because the screenplay – along with the story of how this came about, against all the odds – will be published by CBe in the summer, to coincide with the film’s first London screening. Be there. Join in.

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