Archive for July, 2010

Filmonik folks are at it again, will they never learn!

July 19, 2010
Filmonik Open Screening #49, featuring The “Gorilla” Micro Kabaret!

Micro Kabaret: Saturday 7th - Sunday 8th August.

Screening: Sunday August 8th, 7.30pm till Late, Deaf Institute,
Grosvenor Street, Manchester

Filmonik is the North West’s premier “open screening” night for
filmmakers, offering a warm welcome and a censure-free public platform
to all filmmakers, be they Industry Professionals, self-styled Media
Guerrillas, or relative novices still finding their creative voice.
Films are not pre-selected, but simply booked in, and screened, sight
unseen. Anyone is free to submit. Anyone is welcome to attend. This is
a place to try out new ideas, and unlikely creative collaborations, to
network and discover like-minded talent. This is your chance to have
fun with film and not get arrested for it.

For the next screening, we’re planning something special - the
“Gorilla Kabaret”!

The concept is simple. We will be arranging a “pitching session” at
10am on Saturday 7th of August at an informal meeting place (Location
TBC). Here introductions will be made, weapons revealed (skills,
cameras, computers, lighting, props, ideas etc), and collaborations
forged. Participants will then have from the end of the meeting until
show time to make a film for Sunday’s screening. That’s just 34

Every film must arrive at the screening by 8pm, and must contain the
credit "Gorilla Kabaret #1, Filmonik screening #49".

NOTE: We will of course still be accepting films in the usual fashion
from those who have not been part of the Gorilla Kabaret. If you’ve
something to show, all you need to is contact us and book a slot, or
just bring it along on the night. If you’re simply keen to see what’s
happening in the world of low budget independent short film, then come
on down. We want full houses and enthusiastic audiences!

For more information, visit or join the facebook
group for instant updates at!/event.php?eid=103135489739820&ref=mf

or email

How Facebook will take over the world

July 13, 2010


Facebook will announce its 500 millionth user any day now, and that’s around 22% of all internet users globally. That’s a pretty impressive milestone, but founder Mark Zuckerberg has already said he expects Facebook to reach one billion users before long.

But given that take-up among those key demographics in the developed world isn’t far from saturation, the next phase of growth will be in developing markets and will prove harder work for the firm in the face of domestic incumbents, technological differences and government censorship. So how is Facebook moving in on those markets?

• Venturebeat interviewed Facebook’s head of international growth, Javier Olivan – the guy who led Facebook’s crowdsourced translation project. He described the development of a free, low-bandwidth mobile version. Facebook is making deals with at least 50 operators across India, Russia and more that means the expense of using data services is carried by the operators rather than users.

global domination by orphum.

Photo by orphum on Flickr. Some rights reserved

• Across Asia, the growth pattern varies from one extreme to another. Indonesia is just 500,000 users behind the UK, Facebook’s biggest userbase, and is top, according to comScore, in the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia. But in Vietnam and China Facebook is blocked, and elsewhere, like Russia, it faces an uphill struggle to overtake domestic rivals.

• Facebook acquired a Malaysian contact importing service called Octazen Solutions, which means it can tap a wide range of email services in the region.

• In India, the site built a database of school details to pre-populate lists and make it easier for users to search for friends, one of a number of ‘under the hood’ strategies for growth.

• Facebook is closing in on Google’s Orkut in both India, which appears to be stalling, and Brazil, where it has a quarter of Orkut’s traffic.

• In Japan, where it has 5% of the traffic of market-leading Mixi, Facebook had to focus on making a decent mobile web version rather than replying on apps. In Japan and South Korea, more users access social networks via mobile than by desktop, so Facebook has some substantial catching up to do given that Olivan admits its mobile site was “unusable” eight months ago.

• Interestingly China appears a no-go area, with Google’s problems and eventual withdrawal, the current block on Facebook and the dominance of domestic sites like RenRen, 51 and Kaixin001 presenting too much of a challenge at this stage. Olivan puts this down to “an ROI calculation that goes into every country we consider entering”.

• The New York Times also points out that though Olivan only has a team of 12, he is backed by Facebook’s $1bn annual revenues, which means significant investment in new products and a steamrolling of its rivals. It also means Facebook can continue to hire much of the world’s best developer talent, which it regularly poaches from Google.

Will Facebook reach 1 billion? I don’t doubt it. We can expect them to focus on the highest growth countries with strong commercial potential and the least established incumbents. But this will still be like Bagneres-de-Luchon to Pau on stage 16 of the Tour de France. Tough, in other words.

Also in Facebookland

• The New York Times has helpfully compiled an introductory guide, for those who might have been living in a cave for the past four years. Or, my mother.

• A Futurescape report predicts Facebook will fight Twitter for the $180bn global TV ad market as these social networks and back channels are formally built into new TVs. While social media has some impact on TV ratings now, the report predicts recommendation, discovery and content sharing will be central to pay-TV services in the future.

see original article at

Babelgum & Channel 4 Team for Episodic Doc Prequel

July 13, 2010


Babelgum has entered into a co-production deal with Native Voice Films that sees the web platform working alongside traditional media partners to support the release of the documentary featureThe Bengali Detective.

The new project is a co-production between Babelgum, the Channel 4 British Documentary Foundation, DR2 Denmark, Commonwealth Broadcasting Trust and Salty Sea Music. Further production and broadcast deals are being confirmed.

Babelgum is to broadcast, starting today, specially commissioned prequel episodes for the film. The exclusive customized episodes will roll out on a weekly basis. These mini-documentary episodes will then be used to virally promote the feature film festival appearances and theatrical release of The Bengali Detective in 2011.

The feature-length documentary centers on the day-to-day investigations of Rajesh Ji. He is a dance-obsessed gumshoe with a motley band of helpers who look to expose the secrets, fears and covert lives of today’s middle-class Indian society. The accompanying doc series takes a look at modern India and highlights the real-world characters investigating cases in Calcutta.

“This deal is a crystallization of what we have been working towards at Babelgum’s film division,” said Karol Martesko-Fenster, the senior VP and general manager of the film division at Babelgum. “A true 360-degree production approach that doesn’t just pay lip service to the online dimension—but rather where online and mobile are the driving factors, working with, not against, traditional media, to virally create interest in the project before it is released on traditional platforms. Bearing in mind the ever-fragmenting nature of the media landscape and the need to target audiences across all platforms, it is the kind of approach that filmmakers will increasingly be adopting. We are excited to be working with Native Voice Films on this fantastic project.”

Phil Cox, director for Native Voice Films, added, “At Native Voice Films, we’ve always strived to make films built on strong storytelling that challenge our audience’s view of the world, while at the same time revealing the essential humanity of our subjects. We’re especially excited to be working with our co-producing partners at Babelgum on the premiere of The Bengali Detective. Together we’ve crafted a fresh, compelling approach to distributing the film, first as an episodic prequel and then as a full-fledged theatrical feature, harnessing their platforms to reach the widest global audience possible. It truly will be a landmark event and hopefully a guidepost for other independent filmmakers.”

see original article at

YouTube Sets Up Grants to Fund Video-Makers

July 13, 2010


YouTube is investing $5 million in grants for select new and emerging partners, to further the creation of high-quality videos.

The YouTube Partners Grants program will serve to help fund the production budgets of a small group of YouTube partners who are leading innovation in their video-making. The site is selecting partners based on factors such as video views, subscribers, growth rate, audience engagement and production expertise. Selected partners will be contacted by YouTube and invited to submit a grant proposal. Proposals will then be evaluated based on signals such as projected performance, distribution plan, marketing plan, cost requirements and appeal to advertisers. Once approved, the video-making partner will receive funding to get started on their project.

“Youtube Partner Grants represents another step forward in the evolution of both video and YouTube,” said George Strompolos, partner development manager at YouTube. “Our hope is that through these investments we’ll help nurture talent and bring more great videos to YouTube for all of you to enjoy.”

see original article

Fans of the big screen are being invited to take part in an action packed day to celebrate Manchester’s film industry.

July 4, 2010

Fans of the big screen are being invited to take part in an action packed day to celebrate Manchester’s film industry.

A series of events is being held at venues across the city to bring together actors, writers, directors and film fans, on Saturday, July 17.

We wanted to bring the people of Salford and Manchester together to celebrate our thriving creative media and film industry,” said Mark Ashmore, of Salford-based film and media production studio Future Artists, which is organising the event to mark its first birthday.

We have some amazingly talented people in the City, who adapt to change as if it where in their blood, media is changing, social media has changed everything, and the way we make film is changing, these are changing times don’t you know, so this event states this and our future artists intentions”

The Picnic in the Park event will start at noon with a conference at the Zion Arts Centre, in Hume, to give people the chance to discuss press issues in the local and global film industry.

This will be follow at 1pm by a giant picnic to be held at Hume Park with the whole of Manchester invited.

People can come to our conference and get the chance to talk about whatever they want,” said Jenny Inchbald, who is also from Future Artists.

It doesn’t matter if you’re just getting interested in film, or you’ve been in the industry for years. It’s a great chance to meet people in the industry and share your views.

Then we want to move the conference over to the park. We’ll have live music and entertainment.”

At 5pm Future Artists will be showing a double-bill of films back at the Zion Arts Centre, including the award winning comedy Beyond the Pole, produced by Helana Baxendale, of Friends and Cold Feet fame, with tickets just £6.

Finally, a party is being planned at the FAC251 club starting at 10pm to end the day.

Mark added: “We’re hoping for a great turnout throughout the day. We have some great films on show and hope people will be able to share our passion for this City’s thriving film industry, and meet others who are interested in cinema.”

For more information, or advanced tickets to the screening, go to

Tickets for the film will also be available on the door.

Mark and Jenny Future Artists Out Side of Zion (c) Alex Walker 2010

Mark and Jenny Future Artists at Zion (c) Alex Walker 2010


for more information or to arrange an interview please contact Jenny Inchbald on 07500 256 968 or email