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Phillip Bergson


Writing about Films and Festivals.

 

Film Critic, UK, member of Fipresci

 

Winner of the Student Journalist of the Year competition in the UK weekly New Statesman, as a Classics Scholar Phillip Bergson then founded the Oxford Film Festival and, on graduating, was selected by "The Sunday Times" as a 'New Critic' and in the same week began broadcasting on film for many BBC Radio programmes. A contributor to the "Times Literary Supplement", "TES", "Screen International", "Film Bulletin", "Film a Doba" inter alia, he also worked for the "European Script Fund", has scripted shorts and features (that have been produced and released) and, fluent in eight-and-a-half languages, currently programmes and advises several international film festivals. At the National Media Museum in his native Yorkshire, he created the "Eurovisions" project, to promote classic and contemporary European cinema.

As a Jury Member

 


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LFA 10th Birthday and Future Talents Showcase

There were plenty of tricks and treats at the 10th Anniversary  and Graduate Showcase of the London Film Academy, with a well-attended screening in the recently-refurbished NFT 1, the largest auditorium in what we are now encouraged to call the BFI Southbank, overlooking the Thames ,on Hallowe'en (31st October 2012).A dozen shorts of varied styles and contents demonstrated how well this commercial film-school in leafy Fulham has been developing under the dynamic duo who founded it and who gracefully hosted the proceedings,Joint Principals Daisy Gill and Anna MacDonald.In their Old Church a lively group of international film students are evidently benefitting from the tuition of permanent and visiting tutors and film professionals. Their diplomas were presented by one of our greatest cinematographers and directors Nicolas Roeg, who judiciously praised the last-screened work, Interference, deftly directed by John Danvoye with a flair for gadgetry reminiscent of Veit Helmer. The film duly won the Audience Award, presented in a lively reception in the so-called Blue Room(which only recently had served as the Delegates Centre for the London Film Festival, though now there were considerably more- sponsored- drinks on offer including a flavoursome rum, Admiral Vernon's Old J,and a Belgian beer appropriately named Vedett!, while graduates went fishing for compliments and complimentaries.

As Roeg remarked, it is invidious to single out shorts without name-checking everyone, and clearly students had worked in different capacities on colleagues' productions as well as their own diploma offerings, but I was much taken by Department of Fate,(director Mick Dow,writer Federica Arevalo) which brings a literal Cupid into the contemporary world, with considerable humour, and a witty resolution. Certainly, the students are well-drilled in the technical skills at the LFA, though the shorts with professional players came across more convincingly, and as the longest full-time courses seem to last only a year.it is fast becoming a powerhouse to be ranked favorably alongside our longer-established film schools.

Phillip Bergson                                 www.londonfilmacademy.com

 

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