ECU Film Festival Day Two - Part Two

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It's nearly one am on the night of the second day of the ECU Film Festival, and while Belgian musician, Karim Baqqili, spins out some wild gypsy jazz on an oud, Patrick Chadwick is talking to me about Icelandic weather patterns. 

We're milling around at the after-party at Les Voutes Saint Paul after a long day of screenings. The wine is flowing, in another room somewhere in this strangely cavernous place people are dancing to MGMT with champagne flutes in their hands. 

Patrick tells me that despite the best assurances of the Icelandic film board that May was the best time of the year to shoot, the first week of his shoot for his documentary, Memories of Old Awake, saw almost uniformly poor weather. Finally the sun broke through, "and we shot almost non-stop for forty-eight hours - I don't think I've ever worked so hard." 

We started talking about the weather - as might be the wont of two Englishmen abroad - in response to a question asked back at the Sept Parnassiens nearly three hours earlier. Memories of Old Awake, a film about Cambridge professor, Emily Leftwidge's field research into the ancient sagas of Iceland, had just screened and a member of the audience asked why they chose to make such a serene and beautiful film about such blood-soaked stories. 

Professor Leftwidge admitted it made an interesting disjunction. But for Patrick, chatting a few hours later, slightly rueful that he hadn't said so earlier, is was the sheer overpowering force of the Icelandic landscape that compelled the strange, dreamlike quietude of his film. 

He admits he was nervous at first at seeing his film on such a small screen, having previously only watched it on his laptop. But despite just using a handheld DV cam (with a little help from Zeiss 50mm Planar lens), the images achieved a proper cinemascope lushness. Patrick was justifiably thrilled with the results as seen on the Sept Parnassiens great silver screen.


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The European Independent Film Festival discovers, promotes and projects only the BEST independent films from around the world every year in Paris, France.

The selected titles represent the pinnacle of contemporary filmmaking talent from around the world and compete for the title of "Europe's Best Independent Film".

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