BBC launches LongShots – its first online film festival

BBC has launched LongShots – its first online film festival. But before we continue, watch the excellent festival trailer first. Exquisitely cut.

Lovely, isn’t it? OK, so BBC Global News has announced LongShots, the BBC’s first global online film festival. Created with the mission of supporting filmmakers and creators around the world, the festival showcases hidden gems by international new directors and emerging talents, who are making their mark in the field of documentary cinema.

It’s launched on May 28 and will run through June 24.

The LongShots takes all the quintessential festival elements to the virtual space, featuring online Q&As and a virtual red carpet.

A prestigious cohort of 18 Academy Awards directors and international film festival curators nominated over 70 films, which have been narrowed by LongShots curators to an official selection of seven films.

Audiences around the world will be able to see the movies for free at BBC Reel  and will vote to choose the winner.

Nuances of the human experience

All shortlisted films share a focus on the nuances of the human experience, the little pleasures, pains, joys and contradictions that define us. They focus on what it means to be human, what makes us what we are, and what brings us together. Both in format and focus, LongShots is ideally suited to this uncertain, socially distanced moment.

Anna Bressanin, editor, BBC Reel, said,  “As a filmmaker myself, I see many talented directors not finding an outlet for their work. Today it’s easier to make films, but it’s still hard to find distribution or be screened at a big festival. At the BBC, we can do something about it. We can give directors a chance to showcase their work to our global audience of millions of people around the world. While this festival was created before Covid-19, during this crisis the festival seems even more timely.”

Judging panel

The festival’s initial judging panel, which nominated the movies, included film and documentary luminaries from around the globe. They are:

Nanfu Wang (filmmaker, director of 2020 Academy Awards shortlisted film One Child Nation)

Petra Costa (director of 2020 Academy Awards nominated Netflix Original Documentary, The Edge of Democracy)

Ana Catalá (program and content manager, Reykjavik International Film Festival and Tribeca Film Institute)

Inti Cordera (director, producer and juror of Visions du Réel and founder of the Festival Internacional de Cine Documental de la Ciudad de México)

Opal H. Bennett (producer for American Documentary’s POV, festival programmer and juror, Doc NYC, SXSW and more)

Lesley Birchard (executive producer, CBC Docs)

Corinne Bopp (artistic director, Les Rencontres du cinéma documentaire, Atelier Varan)

Ana David (shorts programmer and industry manager at IndieLisboa, advisory board member of Berlinale Panorama)

Sebastian Diaz (Union Docs board member, Emmy awarded editor)

Amelia Hapsari (program director, In-Docs)

Guille Isa (documentary filmmaker)

Judy Kibinge (filmmaker and founder of East African film fund Docubox)

Rebecca Lloyd (editor, part of the editing team for 2016 Cannes Jury Prize winner American Honey)

Lesedi Oluko Moche (curator, European Film Festival)

Antonio Pezzuto (Documentary Consultant, Venice International Film Festival)

José F. Rodriguez (director of documentary programs, Tribeca Film Institute)

Juliana Sakae (journalist and filmmaker, International Documentary Association)

Elizabeth Wood (founder, DocHouse)

The 7 winners in waiting 

image-Longshots - BBC's-First Online Film Festival-MediaBriefChampion of the World (Federico Borgia and Guillermo Madeiro)

“An existential dive into what it means to be human” — Petra Costa, Oscar Nominated Director and Actress

Ten years after becoming a bodybuilding world champion, Antonio Osta (43) is stuck in limbo, halfway between his glorious past and the impossibility of being who he once was. Watch trailer here

Their Voices (Eri Mizutani)

A beautiful example of what it means to feel and be alive” — Ana Catala, Tribeca Film Institute

In her movie, Eri Mizutani invites us to experience mysterious world, carefully hidden from us, behind the walls of a Polish boarding school. Watch trailer here

CHANSON TRISTE (Louise Narboni)

Director Louise Narboni succeeds in telling a fantasy-romance, far from the compassionate acknowledgement of the genuine difficulties that migrants must cope with.” — Corinne Bopp, Atelier Varan Paris

This is the story of a lyrical singer and an Afghan refugee. With songs and introspection, hope and disappointment.  Watch trailer here

The First Line of China (Hanwen Zhang)

“I was impressed by the originality and maturity this film has.” —  Nanfu Wang, Oscar Nominated Director

Haunted by his post-socialist nostalgia, Hanwen Zhang went on a home return journey towards a cement factory town in Northeast China. Watch trailer here

Childhood, Boyhood, Youth (Rúben Gonçalves)

The audience … [will] take delight in perceiving the vastness of youth blossoming in front of our eyes.” — Ana David, BFI London

A group of kids dream about becoming dancers and enter a school in which, as the years go by and they grow older, their passion and skill for dance will be put to test. Set in the National Conservatory Dance School, in Lisbon, Portugal. Watch trailer here

Uncle Yim (Luna Maran)

“Deeply intimate and raw” –Jose Rodriguez, Tribeca Film Institute

An immersion in the identity of a peculiar indigenous family shaped by social fights, music and communality. Watch trailer here

Taraash (Ishan Siddiqui)

“A humble and beautiful story of one man’s dreams coming true” — Rebecca Lloyd, Award Winning Editor

An Indian cattle farmer with a secret passion for scriptwriting is given the chance to direct one of his screenplays, seeing his creativity realised on screen for the first time in his life. Watch trailer here

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