Belfast Telegraph

Oscar-winner hails small festivals

An Oscar winner has praised the work of small movie festivals for giving opportunities to young film-makers.

Sound editor Glenn Freemantle, who won an Academy Award for his work on Gravity, said some of the biggest films he has been part of would have been unable to achieve their success without early progress at independent festivals.

The Englishman was speaking at Glasgow Film Festival, ahead of the premiere of Sea Without Shore, the latest film he has worked on.

He said: "Festivals like this are a great outlet for films and film-makers that, in today's market, might otherwise struggle to get a chance.

"There are so many blockbusters that fill cinemas up and chains that show them want a return on their space, so it can be a bit of a risk for cinemas to put on some of these smaller, maybe art house films, so a festival can create an awareness and a vibe which give them a chance to get noticed.

"I worked on Slumdog Millionaire with Danny Boyle a few years ago and that nearly didn't go to the cinema because there was a change in the studios.

"It went to a small festival in America and out of that it got an amazing response. It gave it a buzz and sent it to the Toronto festival where it got bigger, and history shows what that film went on to achieve.

"That's what can happen at these festivals, there may be a film here that could go on to a wider audience and it's great that they get the chance."

Freemantle has worked on other recent hits The Theory Of Everything and Paddington and believes sound editing plays a massive role in every movie.

"Sound within film is a huge part of the emotional storytelling, and it's a huge part of the excitement of any film because it's one of our major senses," he said.

"We react to certain sounds in different ways. I've worked with many directors and they are great storytellers and drive you along in the film but you don't get any weight behind that without sound.

"Pictures can look fantastic but it's a sum of all the parts together to give a movie that drive, that emotion that really makes you feel part of that film."

Despite working on upcoming films such as Tarzan and a Steve Jobs biopic, Freemantle was delighted to travel to Glasgow for the screening of Sea Without Shore, a psychological drama shot in Sweden.

Actress and co-director of the film Fernanda Lippi said: "It's set in the 19th century in Sweden and follows the story of two women who fall in love, but one of them mysteriously disappears and it's how the other character deals with that sense of loss and emptiness.

Andre Semenza, co-director and producer, said: "It's a psychological drama with loss and grief but it's told through poetry and dance, so it's cinema meeting these various art forms."

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