OXIFF Catches up with Jason Flemyng

Jason Flemyng is set to star in 3 projects at this year’s Oxford International Film Festival, the World Premiere of ALBERT, the European premiere of BRICKS and THE MILL AT CALDER’S END. We caught up with Jason for a quick chat about his thoughts on the 3 projects, the short film format and all things festival…

Having three films selected for OXIFF2106 is quite a feat, what are your thoughts on the selected pieces and how important are festivals for independent filmmakers?

JASON- It’s great to have these 3 short films included in the same festival and working as a filmmaker, raising your profile and increasing people’s awareness of you as a filmmaker, the festival circuit is really important. And the awards that are issued really matter, and they matter to me as a cinema goer, if I see a film I’ve never heard of and they have a laurel saying best film at Oxford film festival or Toronto film festival to me the people who judge these have decided it’s worth looking at and that’s important to me as a viewer, but it’s also important to financier when you go to try and make your second feature.

You mention they are 3 shorts, how essential is that these length of films are made?

JASON-Trying to show as a filmmaker that you can show the industry you have the necessary talents to tell a story and to emote and move an audience is essential. The three films really show that the filmmakers know how to do that and if I was an investor I would think these guys know what they’re doing.

What attracted you to the very different projects?

JASON-First and foremost I was inspired by the producers and really love working with all of them. For me there is a certain quality ALBERT it which I love, which is about someone is always looking out for you. I quite like the idea of guardian angels and it touches on that. With BRICKS, I know Nev (DIRECTOR) really well. It’s a long road making films and when you meet people on that road that you get on with you try and travel that road with them. Blake Ritson is an amazing actor, the film is nicely complicated and I think you watch it and think, wow this guy is going somewhere, I want to see what he can do in the future. Asa for MILL AT CALDER’S END, if I could take one film with me to my grave it’d be this one. It’s just so beautiful and the commitment of the guys who make it is incredible and I was thrilled to be a part of it.

Wow, quite a compliment considering you credits, particularly with some notable features to date. On that note what is in your opinion the nucleus in a short that differs from a feature?

JASON- Aside from the obvious time aspect, making a short is the same production and processes as making a feature, you need a head in every department so it’s hard to keep it simple and to make a simple and self-contained film that sits on its own and isn’t just a chapter of a feature that we’re yet to do, it’s really hard to have the discipline to do that and that skill should be championed and celebrated in its own right.

It appears you are a real filmmaker at heart, so finally what makes you want to get involved with independent projects?

JASON- Working behind or in front of the camera with people I really love is a great thing and that’s all I need to be inspired to get involved in any project and being recognised as good work at festivals is the icing on the cake for any filmmaker, I wish all three films all the success they richly deserve on the festival circuit and beyond.

Albert can be seen in Session 1a – Opening Night Shorts at 6pm on Friday the 27th May and Bricks and The Mill at Calders End can be seen in Session 12 at 8:15pm on Sunday 29th May. All three films are in the running for awards at the festival including film of the festival.

The Oxford International Film Festival takes place from the 27th to the 29th of May at the Phoenix Picturehouse in Oxford.

Get tickets now at www.oxiff.com/ticket