Category: The Raven On The Jetty

The Raven On The Jetty Released

The Raven On The Jetty Poster

We are very excited to announce the release of Erik Knudsen’s feature film, The Raven On The Jetty. The film is now available:

One Day Films buy button  The Raven On The Jetty on Google Play The Raven On The Jetty Production Scrapbook

 

Other outlets, including Amazon Prime, are being added soon. The Raven On The Jetty will be available in all English speaking territories. There will also be a limited number of theatrical screenings which will be announced shortly. We have developed a unique hand signed and numbered Limited Edition Production Scrapbook and DVD available shortly. The book is the story of the film, scene by scene, told using bits of Erik Knudsen’s storyboard, notes, production stills and stills from the film. Also included is the complete final screenplay and the DVD of the film.

The Raven On The Jetty first started as a concept and idea back in the spring of 2012. Writer and Director, Erik Knudsen, was running a workshop at the Escuela Internacional de Cine y Television in Cuba when he first started to take notes of the ideas and imagery emerging. Soon after returning to the UK, he involved his Assistant Director, Mark Duggan, and co-producer and wife, Janet Knudsen, and soon the ball was rolling. The development of the screenplay, casting and location scouting proved the most important elements early on and the production was very fortunate to encounter a range of very helpful people in Cumbria and the Lake District of England. Casting, too, took place in the Lake District where the vast majority of the film was to be set. After a public call for interested people, the team were able to shortlist and audition 19 boys and parents for the key roles. Erik Knudsen was keen to work with non professionals from the very area the film was set and the range of talents available proved considerable. Connor O’Hara stood out and proved to be perfect for the main part. Following the decision to cast Connor, the team were able to cast Connor O’Hara’s father, Rob O’Hara, to play the lead character’s father. Helen Teasdale was cast as his mother, followed by the casting of Anne Fraser and Anne Lees.

Shooting took place during the Easter holidays in 2013. The whole cast and crew lived in a couple of cottages near the primary locations, allowing for a communal feel to the production process and enabling an efficient way of organising the shoot. It meant that the principal photography only took 2 weeks, in part because the production was blessed with uncharacteristically good weather. Most of the shooting took place near Penrith and around Ullswater in the English Lake District.

The postproduction process took place during the remainder of 2013 and during 2014 the film went to a series of international festivals. These included the Keswick Film Festival, where we were very pleased to be able to premiere the film in the very area where it was shot and in which many of the cast lived. The film went on to a range of other festivals including the Legon Film Event, Ghana, Lucern International Film Festival, Switzerland, Wales International Film Festival, Aberdeen International Film Festival and the Madrid International Film Festival, where the film won the Jury Award.

Uniquely, during the making of The Raven On The Jetty, 30 short documentaries were made about the production process, from early development through to the first cast and crew screening. These Video Blogs are all available to view.

The Raven On The Jetty defies categorisation and sits outside any particular national cinema, or any particular genre. The Raven On The Jetty sits on the crest of a wave Erik Knudsen calls ‘cinema of poverty’, a cinema of thought provoking, independent quality films that defy the normal routines of the established film industry in the UK and that aspire to a cinematic aesthetic that seeks independence and simplicity in an age of abundance and complexity. We hope you enjoy the film.



BBFC Grants The Raven On The Jetty a ’15’ Theatrical Certificate

As part of our preparations for the release of The Raven On The Jetty in April 2014, we have been granted a theatrical age certificate by the British Board of Film Classification.

BBFC Rating of The Raven On The Jetty

BBFC Rating of The Raven On The Jetty

We are surprised by the rating, but it does in a sense re-affirm that context is important. While films that seem more violent and sexually explicit than The Raven On The Jetty may get lower age ratings, the fact that the context of that violence and explicitness may seem less ‘real’ and more ‘graphical’ or ‘fantasy’ means that its influence on younger viewers may have less impact than if the context seems more ‘real’ and more directly relevant to the experience of the viewer. So I am taking this age rating as a kind of badge of honour and one more testament to the effectiveness of the film.



The Raven On The Jetty Scottish Premiere Date at Aberdeen International Film Festival Announced

The Aberdeen International Film Festival have announced the date for the screening of The Raven On The Jetty. This screening will be a Scottish premiere and we’re looking very much forward to hearing what the Scots make of the film.

Aberdeen International Film Festival home page announcing screening of The Raven On The Jetty

If you’re in the area, please try and catch the film and let us know what you think.



Aberdeen Film Festival Select The Raven On The Jetty For Inaugural Programme

Laurel for Aberdeen Film Festival for which The Raven On The Jetty has been selected

Aberdeen have a brand new film festival – the Aberdeen Film Festival – and we are excited that they have selected The Raven On The Jetty to be in their inaugural programme. The festival takes place in Aberdeen, Scotland, between the 4 October and 12 October 2014. More details to follow soon.



The Raven On The Jetty Wins Jury Award at Madrid International Film Festival

Madrid International Film Festival Jury Award for The Raven On The Jetty

We’re very pleased that The Raven On The Jetty won the Jury Award at the Madrid International Film Festival 2014. The announcement was made at the awards ceremony on the 19 July 2014 in Madrid. Though I was able to attend the screening of the film and take part in a Q & A earlier in the week, I was, unfortunately, not able to attend the awards ceremony itself.

The festival consisted of a week of screenings, including feature films, short films and documentaries, from around the world. The festival is primarily aimed at the independent film community, distributors and sales agents, internationally, and I met quite a few filmmakers and agents from around the world, including the US, UK, India, Jordan, Ukraine, South Korea, Denmark and Spain.

Reactions to The Raven On The Jetty were very positive and we had a lively Q & A session following the screening. There were some excellent films in competition and it was therefore especially pleasing to win the Jury Award. This is also a particularly good prize to win, as it reflects on the totality of the film and the wonderful contribution made by everyone involved in its making. Well done to everyone!

The show goes on. We’re very much looking forward to releasing the film later in 2014. In the meantime, we will keep everyone informed of future festivals.



Legon International Film Event 2014 Reflection

Between the 11 and 14 March 2014, I attended the first Legon International Film Event held at the stunning campus of the University of Ghana’s Legon campus.

 

Main Library at University of Ghana, Legon, Accra

Main Library at University of Ghana, Legon, Accra

The sprawling campus is situated on the east side of Accra and is home to over 50,000 students. I was the guest of Africanus Aveh, the head of Theatre Arts in the School of Performing Arts, and his team. He and his team are expanding film practice within the department with a view to complimenting the provision provided by the National Film And Television Institute (NAFTI), which is a school built around the traditional film school model, such at the National Film and Television School in the UK. Film studies at university level is in its infancy, though film training through NAFTI (and its predecessors) has been taking place in Ghana since 1932. It was therefore fantastic to see the efforts being made by Africanus and many others in Ghana to get film onto the educational map.

Erik with Africanus Aveh and Team

Francis Gbormittah, Samuel Bengr, Erik Knudsen, Africanus Aveh and Louise Akanlu

The aim of the conference/festival was to bring practitioners and academics together to discuss the challenges and opportunities for Ghanaian film. It was also a small film festival showcasing a number of films, including premiers. The Raven On The Jetty was the opening film of the festival and I did a Q&A following the screening. I was overwhelmed by the positive reaction to the film, particularly as I wasn’t quite sure how my subject matter, and the style of the film, would go down with an African audience. My film, Heart of Gold, also showed at the festival and I was really pleased to be there for a lively discussion about the issues the film raised. I was also there to give the keynote address to set the ball rolling for the conference and to raise a number of issues and themes as I saw them. My talk was entitled The Meaning Of Independence: Challenges And Opportunities For Ghanaian Film In An Age Of Abundance.

It was an honour to share the panel, after my talk, with some of the truly great and good of Ghanaian cinema: Kwaw Ansah in particular, who some may know as the director of the classic Ghanaian films such as Heritage Africa and Love Brewed In An African Pot and Chris Hesse, the former Director of the Ghana Film Industry Corporation. I first met Chris Hesse and Kwaw Ansah as a young man in 1989 when preparing for my first feature length film, One Day Tafo, though I don’t think they remembered.

 

Grandees of Ghanaian Cinema Ernest Abbeyguaye, Chris Hesse and Kwaw Ansah

Ernest Abbeyguaye, Chris Hesse and Kwaw Ansah

Quite apart from my contribution to the conference/festival, I was pleased to attend much of the conference and learned a great deal about what is happening in Ghanaian film. It is clear that the film scene in Ghana is incredibly vibrant and entrepreneurial: in peak months some 125 locally produced feature films are distributed. There are competing sectors – Kumawood are films from the second city, Kumasi, and Galliwood are the Accra equivalent. These are films that are made very quickly, are often unscripted and star local talent and always, importantly, in local languages. These films are much more popular than any western films, such as Hollywood films, and there is quite a substantial industry built around them. Most of the consumption of these films is from VCDs and DVDs, with some exhibition taking place in small local cinema venues and they are quite clearly aimed at home audiences. Unlike Francophone cinema, which grew out of a cultural colonisation, sub-Saharan African cinema is very raw and ‘untrained’. While the French colonised with their culture, the British were only interested in trade and business. As a consequence, Francophone African cinema has a very French feel about it, but the raw films of Galliwood or Kumawood are very African. Indeed, were it possible for these filmmakers to transcend the powerful legacy of the oral tradition to embrace and translate this tradition to play on the audio visual strengths of the cinematic medium, and to develop a higher technical expectation, a uniquely African way of expressing through cinema may well emerge.

Outside of this mass produced product, there are a number of popular quality films and interestingly at this moment in time, the two most popular film directors are women: Leila Djansi and Shirley Frimpong-Manso. There are clear tensions in the industry, mainly revolving around the debate around quality. The educated elite wish to see better quality films being produced within a more structured film policy environment, supported by training, whereas many of the commercial producers are highly sceptical and suspicious of this kind of intervention. The conference and festival were in part to try and stimulate a debate and to create a dialogue and I think it is a wonderful initiative that I look forward to following in years to come.

At the end of the conference, I was very moved when the conference decided to thank me by enstooling me: making me a chief with an official title. I have been given the title of  TOGBE KORKU AGBENYA I. The middle name is because I am born on a Wednesday and the last name means something like a storyteller who brings life.

Erik Knudsen being Enstooled

Erik Knudsen being Enstooled as Togbe Korku Agbenya I

It was a wonderful enlightening trip and I wish all the great people I met all the best fortune with developing a cinematic culture in Ghana and look forward to helping and contributing where I can.



Official Selection Lucerne International Film Festival for The Raven On The Jetty

We’re very pleased that The Raven On The Jetty has been selected for the prestigious Lucerne International Film Festival taking place in Switzerland in October 2014.

The Raven on the Jetty LIFF Laurel

We look very much forward to working with the festival to ensuring that audiences at the festival have a great experience with the film.



Keswick Film Festival Screening of The Raven On The Jetty

Yesterday the Keswick Film festival screened Erik Knudsen’s The Raven On The Jetty. The screening was attended by all the cast, Anne Lees, Anne Fraser, Helen Teasdale, Rob O’Hara and Connor O’Hara, as well the raven, Cadge, and his handler Richard Cooper.

Cast of The Raaven On The Jetty Attending Keswick Film Festival 2014

There  was a fantastic turnout for the screening – over 255 – the most popular film of the festival.

Audience attending screening of The Raven On The Jetty at Keswick Film Festival

And we had a wonderful reception. As we were approaching the end of the film you could hear a pin drop, which was very pleasing as I could feel that the audience were totally immersed in the film. And from the reactions to the film, and the the Q&A following the film, it felt like the film was very well received, which bodes well for its onward journey. Thank you to the Keswick Film Festival for allowing us to launch the film at the home of all the cast and the setting of the film.



Keswick Film Festival About To Start

The Keswick Film Festival is about to start and we look forward to screening The Raven On The Jetty on Sunday the 2 March 2014 at 1.30pm at the Theatre On The Lake. We understand that ticket sales for the screening are close to a sell out and I am looking forward to doing a Q&A following the screening with the cast members.

Keswick Film Festival 2014

Border TV (ITV) did a little news item about the up and coming festival and The Raven On The Jetty.



Madrid International Film Festival Official Selection for The Raven On The Jetty

We’re very pleased to announce that The Raven On The Jetty has been selected to compete in the official section of the Madrid International Film Festival 2014. The film is up for a Jury Award (Erik Knudsen and Janet Knudsen), Best Original Screenplay (Erik Knudsen) and Best Supporting Actress (Anne Fraser).

2014 Official Selection Madrid International Film Festival

 

The festival takes place between the 11th July and 19th July 2014 in Madrid.