Today was a beautiful, if a little chilly, day to have off from work and spend it in Hereford. I took the journey over to visit the Borderlines Film Festival, which is running its 11th year from 1st to 17th March. With nearly 90 films in over 100 venues throughout Herefordshire and Shropshire, Borderlines has to be one of the largest and interesting rural film festivals in the country.
I’ve been wanting to visit Borderlines and I’m so pleased I did. I went to the Hereford Courtyard and watching the screening of Side By Side, a documentary discussing the change in the film-making medium from film to digital. It’s presented By Keanu Reeves and he interviews the likes of Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, Lars Von Trier, Joel Schumacher, David Lynch and many more and many unheard voices of cinematographers (directors of photography) like John Mathieson. He also explains the processes of capturing an image on film and digital and how those images are collected, developed, edited, colour graded and ultimately presented on the cinema screen. It’s interesting because you hear Nolan say film cannot be replaced and you believe him because he’s Nolan and then you hear George Lucas say the opposite and you believe him because it’s Lucas. I’m not a big fan of Keanu as an actor but he has cleverly captured the history and heritage of film and carefully presented the struggle as digital begins to replace film. It’s a well balanced documentary and what is really evident is how much the film-makers care about their craft and showing it in the best possible light. They talk about specific cameras and talk about how colour grading has evolved, fascinating stuff.
Watching the film at the Courtyard as a part of Borderlines was good too. The venue is really the central hub of activity for the film festival, where many people come to meet and watch and participate, according to Jo Comino, who is the marketing / press officer and who kindly met up with me afterwards. She said that they present films in lots of village halls and enjoy good attendance, even with foreign language films. This year, they are trying out capturing comments from audiences written out and tweeting them, called Analogue Tweets, which is a terrific idea for those who aren’t bothered with social networking.
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