Film. Edit. Screen. Repeat.

Where are you?

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Almost every time I leave an event or a happening in this town, I get the same train of thought. Where was everyone else?

Every time I talk to people in their late teens or early 20’s about what’s going on locally, I hear the same complaints of a boring town with nothing going on. It’s toxic…

If we constantly feed ourselves that opinion we start to believe it as the truth. Most times it really frustrates me when I hear that complaint because what are we doing about it? Nothing. As young people, if we want to make this town better for us, we have to do it.

But we just spend our lives online with Twitter, Facebook, Porn Hub, whatever. Pick your poison. Our only alternative is the pub. But come on, the pub? I’d rather make myself sick and stay the day in bed. Oh wait.

I’m Alex Motlhabane, and I am a half of ‘The Rest’. Lewis and I have been making short films, music videos and all sorts for just over 2 years now. We entered Film Northants film competition 2 years ago with a short called ‘Bottles’, and followed up with Judges Choice winner ‘The Boy With The Thorn In His Side’ the following year.

I can only speak from my experience, but I’d argue that the filmmaking community within Northamptonshire is growing. It’s there. I know this from attending the Film Lab at the Picturedrome for years now that there are a lot of filmmakers doing things.

I know from attending a few of the Northants Film Network nights put together by Reelscape Films. I know from the local YouTube channels and accounts making videos and shorts that the community is there and growing.

I know because the other week I attended another Film Northants event at the Errol Flynn Filmhouse where they screened music videos made by Northampton filmmakers and hosted a Q&A (see photo above). This is lovely and all…

However, whilst they featured many videos by young filmmakers, the audience was predominantly older than I would like them to be. That also seems to be the case everywhere else we’ve been.

Which is cool because they have been welcoming and very appreciative of our work, and it’s great to see that our work translates across the different age groups and we learn to get better at what we do through that but with all due respect, we don’t create for them. Our unofficial motto is ‘For the youth!’ And it would be great to have more young voices and ideas around.

We don’t just need your viewer count online. Tweets, Facebook and YouTube comments are cool, but it would be nice to see your bums on seats too. You don’t have to be an expert on film or a filmmaker to be apart of this growing community in Northamptonshire. Just being there to enjoy it, to give an opinion and firsthand feedback is so important.

 I’ve sort of drummed it into myself that it’s my responsibility to show up to these things just so that the older crowd know that there is something different.

What really stinks is that I know there are young people around who appreciate film more than the average John Doe. I know you. There are almost 300 of you who like ‘The Rest’s’ page on Facebook. I’ve had conversation with some of you about film. I see your YouTube channels and things.

We want you around. Get involved. This year, Film Northants are taking steps to change their competition in
to a more traditional film festival format. How great would it be to have our own film festival every summer? Great, yeah. Come down and watch.

Alex (@Alexandtherest)