Fresh take on Shakespeare out in cinemas
by Naman Ramachandran
- Tempest a shining example of self-distribution
Rob Curry and Anthony Fletcher’s Tempest [+see also:
film profile], a contemporary re-imagining of the Shakespeare play, releases today in the UK. The film follows the progress of 17 multi-ethic disengaged urban teenagers as they grapple with Shakespeare. South London’s Oval cricket ground is transformed into Shakespeare’s magical and remote island where the outcast Prospero, the Duke of Milan, schemes in his quest to regain his daughter Miranda’s birthright. The documentary was five years in the making.
Tempest is Fifth Column Films’ follow up to Curry and Tim Plester’s 2011 Morris dancing documentary Way Of The Morris. Both films are working examples of self-distribution. Curry believes that going the traditional sales agent/distributor route on an independent film means that the producer makes no money in the process. He advocates getting into an A-list festival and exploiting the press and marketing opportunities associated with it, thus generating interest amongst cinemas. Curry’s other method of drumming up publicity for the film is to get the film registered with the Film Distributors’ Association and maximising the national press screening.
These techniques worked for Way Of The Morris, but Tempest missed the deadlines for Sundance, Berlin, Rotterdam and SXSW festivals and narrowly missed getting into Tribeca. However, the Curzon cinemas loved the film, and some heat was generated from being chosen as part of National Schools Week screenings and the inaugural Shakespeare Film Festival in Stratford -Upon-Avon. And despite having to move the release date by a week from October 26 to avoid a tiny film named Skyfall [+see also:
film profile], Tempest is finally out there.
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