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Links Round-Up: Scary Films and Ideas

grafiti word: scary under London rail bridge

Our round-up starts with the question: How scary are you?  Or rather, how scared can you make me be? The Mayhem Film Festival is now accepting entries for its Scary Shorts Programme which will be an important part of the festival 15-18 October this year.   Chris Cooke and Steven Sheil, Mayhem’s Co-Directors, explain:

Whether a dark and twisted horror film, or a thoughtful science fiction drama, we want to see it! Short films remain at the heart of what Mayhem is about – they’re the place to spot the future feature filmmakers, the people who will shape the horror and science fiction genres and alter cult cinema for years to come. It’s a place to network, too, with many filmmakers coming together from the city, the country and beyond.

You can submit your entry, for free, up to the deadline of 14 August.  Email Melissa Gueneau using mayhemfilmfest AT to submit your film.

One of the things you might be scared of, is someone stealing your ideas. Reassurance may come from a new book, The Nottingham Intellectual Property Guide for Creatives which has just been published by Hickling & Squires and is available from Nottingham Trent University. Email Estelle Paley at NTU for details of where you can pick one up. Nottinghamshire libraries and local trade associations, including the Creative Quarter, will also have copies of the book available from the end of June 2015.  More information on the NTU website.

Not scared of big things? Short films too easy?  How about a feature length fiction or documentary film?  Broadway has opened its film investment fund, the Foreshadow Film Fund, of over £100K.  They say they are looking to initially invest £40,000 of the fund in about six projects, with maximum investments of £10,000.  To give you an idea of the quality threshold, ahead of the official opening of the fund, they invested in Jeanie Finlay’s ORION: The Man Who Would Be King which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival, won the Gibson Music Films/Music City Competition Grand Jury Prize at the Nashville Film Festival and was nominated for the Grand Jury Award at Sheffield Doc/Fest where it also had its UK premiere.  If that doesn’t scare you off, the application to the fund is a two stage process, an online questionnaire and then Broadway will select producers to apply.  Full details are on the Broadway website.

Now that you are thinking big, why not think about “what is painting today“?  That is the question Surface Gallery want artists to explore this summer.  They say:

Painted Surface will examine the sheer diversity to be found in contemporary painting practice. All artwork that utilises paint will be considered, any theme and any genre, including portraiture, landscapes and abstraction is welcome. Alongside artworks on boards and canvas, painting that examines different methods of presentation is encouraged. We are looking for innovative and critically informed work, as well as technical skill. The show will be held in Surface Gallery’s main exhibition space.

There will be a prize (a solo show at Surface) and the deadline for submissions (for which there is a fee) is 5pm Friday 17 July 2015.  More details on their website.

Finally, there will be a debate at New Art Exchange on Saturday 27 June from 2pm to 4pm on art and censorship. They say

The censorship of art has long been influenced by political and religious concerns and has recently been heavily debated in the media. Using Faiza Butt’s exhibition as a backdrop, the discussion will draw from examples such as the recent Charlie Hebdo murders. The panel will discuss the role of society and the arts institution in censoring an artist’s work and the challenges inherent to defining the limits, if any, of productive free speech.

The debate will be chaired by Manick Govinda, with exhibiting artist Faiza Butt and Theresa Caruana, Research Fellow at University of Nottingham’s Mixed Reality Lab and practicing artist and others to be announced.  Read more on their website, get your free ticket, and think about:

  • Who is the voice of artistic censorship – society, or the arts institution?
  • Can satire in creative work ever go too far? When does critical humour turn offensive and unproductive?
  • Does censoring an artist contribute to the growing ‘safe space’ culture, where we are shielded from conflict or offence?
  • Do you think curbing our exposure to potential offensive opinions and work is a necessary act, or projects an unrealistic world view and discourages critical thought?


spray painting on stone: The problem with censorship is XXXXXX

Cory Doctorow on Flickr