So here’s the thing…
I have had the enduring privilege of being invited to some of the most fascinating events… You’d think, therefore, that I would be used to the build-up…Used to the checklists, verifying the wardrobe, charging-up the tech (and the back-up memory)…But the night before my first ‘TriForce Short Film Festival’, I was a flurry of excitement…a whirligig of anticipation…a New Year bonfire, just waiting to rocket into the a new creative atmosphere!!!
I couldn’t sleep, for all of my pre-performance giddiness…and I loved it! Thus, on all of 5 hours stillness, because I couldn’t drown out my thumping heartbeat, I Fosbury-ed out of bed, with first-day-at-school vigour… utterly ready to get into my prêt-a-porter, Festival mode, chomping-at-the-bit to record this amazing moment!
My journey was seamless… The skies were crystal-clear blue, the air, icicle-fresh…the public transport, compliantly on-time! I reached Green Park a full hour before show-time…well, I did say, I was excited, didn’t I?!)…which gave me precious time to indulge in looking at Piccadilly, truly seeing the stunning architecture which our beautiful town has to offer, as well as hearing the vivid, criss-crossing sound-waves of a.m. life.
With such engagement, I might have walked a bit beyond the hallowed building… Okay, so I did(!)… but, on turning back, my curiosity to look above entrances for the cornucopia of Christmas adornments, flounced like scalloped-edged skirting, took my gaze to the BAFTA mask, in all of its glory…
I sent an internal text from heart-to-head, that the passenger-carrier of ‘me’ had successfully transported the passenger of ‘me'(again) to the desired point of disembarkation! (By this time, a little less than an hour early…though, no less full-of-beans!)…
Deep breath in… I entered…
To the left, a welcoming-hall of mirrors and a delightfully well-dressed tree….a stylish elevator and signs, which read like the New Year’s Honours List, to every dedicated floor…and, en face (literally), the face of the BAFTA insignia, announcing you ascend the stairwell-to-an-artistic-new-world… walls scattered with quotes from such luminaries as Mark Rylance (who has since been given the nod with a Knighthood!)…
By now, I would have been a wreck, were it not for the fact that absorbing the winding-wisdom, had much lulled my adrenalin levels, which was a blessing, since the next Crystal Maze-like task was to speak! Having successfully utilised my five seconds and nailed remembering who I was… I took my place within the space, The David Lean Room, to be exact… Loving every square metre of its thespian fabric! It would, categorically, be the perfect theatre of operations…and all ours for one glorious day…and eve!
As if applying the soft luminescent makeup for a perfect headshot, sunlight streamed in from Piccadilly and, as I heard the delectable Minnie Ayres breathe a hearty welcome, was introduced to the amazing TriForce Team and confirmed interview, I began to take baby steps around my new home! No sooner had my exploration commenced, than Jimmy Akingbola appeared, putting paid to my momentary oasis of calm, due to enthusiastic discourse about the event!
Forget the steps, I was like a Jackie-out-of-the-box, and as I rounded the corner, began acquainting myself with partnering organisations, who I quickly ascertained were absolute bedrocks of the Creative Industries. From ‘The Institute of Videography’ to ‘BECTU’ to ‘Creative Skillset’ and ‘Mama Youth Project’, each and every one had, at its foundation, the mission of resourcing creatives to live their dreams and continue to follow them, since there were avenues to facilitate them at every stage. Having gained an invaluable amount of knowledge and as seminar attendees arrived, I could only imagine the personal narratives that they would be taking away with them…
So thought, so announced… Seminar 1 was about to take place….and yes, I was that one who had all of her coloured biros at-the-ready, copiously taking Pantone-esque notes (from the frow, naturellement!)…and, thank goodness for the London Design Biennale Leuchtturm1917, which was still going strong from September, as, with each discussion, it soon became perfuse with a spectrum of words!
What a profound collection of contributions were made by Baff Akoto (Director) and Shola Amoo (Writer/ Director), regarding the ups and downs of surviving as a Freelance Director and the journey of funding a feature, from Camille Gatin (Producer), Dionne Walker (Writer/ Producer), Kristen Irving (BFI Development Executive)… Each session urging listeners to know their identity as film-makers and look to cast their creative nets as widely as possible, in order to catch the necessary finances!
Interspersed were all shortlisted films and finalists, themselves, pockets of dynamism and unswerving examples of artists (in front and behind the camera) who knew exactly who they were and what their objectives were meant and made to be. In the collective time of less than a full-length feature, attendees became audience members, taken on evermore perpendicular emotional and visual Big Dippers!
Amongst the awesome entries were ‘Take The Chocolate (Don’t Give Up)’, which was a charming window-into-the-world of sharing and caring, between children, whilst ‘Harriet and the Matches’ was a marvellous, if not subliminally disturbing, combination of animation and reality! ‘I Believe In Pink’ caused universal intakes of breath, on observing the painstaking tattooing of the lips of Lagos men in the most fuschia pink hue, so as to be socially accepted… ‘The Dead Sea’ evoked raw tears and anger in many (including myself), as we witnessed, in stark detail, the sheer, inhumane cruelty of migrant detention centres… The poignancy of ‘Glow’, told through the lateral-thinking of four best friends, who devise a way to take the cancer-stricken member of the group to see the Aurora Borealis, meant film and title were bound in cinematography and significance. The final three would go on to win ‘Non-Scripted’, ‘People’s Choice’ and ‘Best of the Fest’ Awards, respectfully…and deservedly so!
Whilst the last seminars covering walking-the-walk of diversity and working across both Film and TV genres ensued, I had left the fabulous screening room and was back at home-base, in order to interview Minnie and Fraser about the entire venture. Each wonderfully complemented the intel of the other – she, with the latest news and live stat updates, that they had exceeded the previous year’s attendance figures, he, regaling the deeply intense desire to be ‘an experience company’ and what that would entail as time went by…. They dovetailed seamlessly, not only as integral parts of the TriForce Team, but also, as an incredibly inspiring creative couple.
On that note, as members of the daytime schedule flooded back in, I absorbed the wave of anticipation for what was to come, before heading off to Mayfair, to collate, pontificate, ‘check the gate’ (which was good!) and make ready the next slates for scenes two and three, namely, the Awards Gala and Afterparty at Century, Soho!
Past midnight…(and then some!)… I emerged from the club, having danced one of the coolest ‘Electric Slide’ formations in a lo-o-o-o-ng time, completed the Mannequin Challenge, held lively chit-chat with an assemblage of artistic brilliance and laughed until I cried with them, too!
In any other situation which leaves me speechless, ‘no words’ would be my chosen phrase. However, I had been veritably embraced by them, and substantially more, during such felicitous hours… That being said, I’ll leave the summation, in part, to Actor/ Director, Xavier Dolan, who says, ‘Filmmaking is something you think alone, but do together’*…
…and complete it by declaring that ‘The TriForce Creative Network’ undoubtedly proves that theory and is ‘Helping People Happen’ by, relentlessly, doing just that!
©A_F_R_O_W2016 All Rights Reserved
Visit TriForce Creative Network for further information about:-
TriForce Short Film Festival ~ TriForce Monologue Slam ~ TriForce Writer Slam ~ TriForce Productions
Visit the following TFSFF/ Industry Expo Partners for more information about their respective organisations:-
THE INSTITUTE OF VIDEOGRAPHY
MAMA YOUTH PROJECT
NATIONAL FILM AND TELEVISION SCHOOL
*Quote source: CNN Masters At Work 02/12/2016
Fervent Afrow-Appreciation to all at TriForce and Premier PR for giving me the opportunity to partake in this truly life-changing experience!