#whatareunionupto? Helier Bissell-Thomas and Barnes Film Festival

This year from the 18th-25th June, Barnes Film Festival celebrates their 5th successful edition with a jam-packed, week-long programme of events that for the first time ever can be enjoyed online.  The team behind the Festival are forging ahead to deliver fantastic content at what is a tragic period for the film industry, and are calling for everyone to support this unique celebration promoting both emerging and established filmmakers from across the globe.  In addition to films, the Festival will feature seminars, panels (including an intimate event with the Guardian Documentary team), Q and As and networking events. BFF are also this year collaborating with the worlds largest disability film festival to screen films made by or featuring people with learning disabilities, autism or additional needs.

Their annual film competition sees over 100 films shortlisted. As well as the adult competition, which features fiction, documentary and animation categories, there will also be a youth showcase to help to discover the star filmmakers of the future. We are especially proud that our environmental programme will ensure sustainable film-making ethics are promoted.

The majority of content will be available for free, with festival passes offering exclusive content for specific events available – this will be of special interest to film fans and filmmakers wanting to get up close and personal with industry talent. This line-up includes the Legendary Director, John Boorman, the Head of Working Title, Eric Fellner, Film4’s Daniel Battsek, Head of International Distribution at Warner, Andrew Cripps, actors George Mackay and newcomer Laurie Kynaston, Screenwriters James Graham and VFX, film marketing and design and animation experts, to name a few.  They also have returning festival favourites Oscar Winner, Vanessa Redgrave and Director Helier Bissell-Thomas, whose films will be screened to showcase some of the last 5 year’s highlights. For the first time you can play a part and vote for the audience award for best film, all from the comfort of your own home.

Festival Director Sam Cullis “We are incredibly proud to have evolved from what started as a relatively small, local weekend event, into a week long, UK wide festival that champions emerging filmmakers from grass roots upwards.  We are thrilled we are now established on the festival calendar and in our 5th year our programme has really stepped up – we have more films and audience events than ever before, making it an immersive experience for a variety of age groups across London and beyond.”

Festival Patron Daniel Battsek (Director, Film4) “I believe the festival will enrich people with new ideas, creative collaborations and synergies that can progress them in their journey. The festival has turned Barnes into a place that now attracts filmmakers and people working in the film industry. I am proud to be supporting it”

Union Club member Helier Bissell-Thomas’ first feature film – Kaufman’s Game (made and sold to Hollywood when he was just a wee student) has been invited back as part of ‘Best of the Fest’ selection, and as a result the Festival are delighted to offer all Union Members a 50% discount on this year’s festival passes. No visits to the lovely Olympic Studios Picture House and Brasserie sadly, but as so many are stuck at home it should still be of interest.

Use this discount code BFFFriends on the sign up page.

 All profits will go to our fabulous NHS #bff2020athome