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Jake, not finished yet

Ian Thomas Ash with Jake Janos Caswell

Ian Thomas Ash with Jake Janos Caswell

Press release issued: 15 November 2010

A documentary film made by six alumni of Bristol’s MA in Film and Television Production will have its North American premiere at the Montreal International Documentary Film Festival on Wednesday 17 November.

Jake, not finished yet, which had its world premiere at this year’s Visions du Reel documentary festival in Nyon, Switzerland,  tells the story of a young boy, Jake, over the course of the four years following his mother’s death.

The film’s director, Ian Thomas Ash, graduated from Bristol in 2004.  The other Bristol graduates who worked on the film were Lizzie Minnion and Anthea Harvey (editors), Ed Ison (post-production/online editor), Claudio Ahlers, (dubbing mixer ) and Ken Kwek, (producer/camera for the ballad of vicki and jake footage).  The executive producer is Colin O’Neill, a tutor on the MA course at Bristol.

Jake, not finished yet is Colin O’Neill and Ian Thomas Ash’s second feature documentary collaboration.  Their first was the ballad of vicki and jake (2006), which won the 2006 Prix du Canton Vaud (best first film) at the Visions Du Reel International Documentary Film Festival in Switzerland.

Although Jake, not finished yet is not a ‘part 2’, the film’s story does pick up where the first documentary ended.  After making the first film about Jake and his mother, O'Neill and Ash decided to make a film with Jake so that he could help tell his own story.  To accomplish this, they gave Jake, then just 14-years-old, a camera so that he could start to film from his own point-of-view.  The unusual approach of working with Jake to help tell his own story leads to an unexpected result when Ash’s own story, as seen from Jake’s point-of-view, becomes part of the film.

In addition to the North American premiere in Montreal, the documentary has been chosen by the festival to be the one film presented at a local women’s prison because of the story of the mother-child relationship and the message of hope that it presents.  O’Neill and Ash will be travelling to Montreal for the special screening at the prison and to be present for discussions at the film’s two main screenings during the festival.  In addition, the filmmakers have also been asked to take part in a special panel discussion with Kaleo La Belle, director of award-winning documentary Beyond This Place, to talk about the ethics of filming a documentary that blurs the boundaries between filmmakers and their subjects.

Due to both of the films’ strong Bristol connection, O’Neill and Ash are currently in discussion with Watershed in Bristol to present one or both of their films.  Also currently being scheduled are double-features of both of the films followed by a discussion with the filmmakers at cinemas in Berlin and Munich in January 2011.

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