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Tutor’s latest feature to premiere at BFI London Film Festival
MetFilm School MA and short course tutor Thembisa Cochrane’s latest feature film receive its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival this weekend (12th & 13th October).
Us Among The Stones stars Laurence Fox and Anna Calder-Marshall and is directed by British director, Dictynna Hood. Cochrane, who co-produced the film said: “It’s pretty exciting to have a film selected to be showcased at the prestigious London Film Festival, it’s a terrific experience for filmmakers and a great place to be able to launch a film.”
The film tells the story of a family who gathers beside an ageing matriarch’s deathbed at her home in Dartmoor, but the conviviality soon gives way to the unearthing of long-buried secrets and resentments. Principal photography took place in Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Devon.
Thembisa, who teaches across postgraduate and professional short courses, said: “I remember laughing out loud when I read it [the script] for the first time. Even though I grew up in South Africa, this English family dynamic felt very familiar and I could feel both the love and pain between these characters. I was also fascinated by the undertones of Pagan Britain and this landscape and history that was unfamiliar to me, but which had been threaded through the script in beautiful, poetic words.”
Actor, Laurence Fox, perhaps best known for his role in Inspector Morse spinoff, Lewis, plays the character ‘Owen’, he said: “I remember the incredible mornings. I remember the extremely mysterious vibes that you get from that area of the UK. How deeply remote we were, the great ancientness of the house. It was just a very magical place, it felt like we lived there – and that’s not often that happens. You can spend time on big jobs with big expensive sets and not feel that. I think everybody had that.”
Cochrane has been a tutor at MetFilm School for the past three years, she said: “I love teaching, I love the students – they keep me on my toes and ensure that I am engaged right across the film industry – not just my particular genre. They are so enthusiastic, with so many questions: they force me to keep current – beyond my own narrow focus.”
“Film is an industry that is continuously changing; there are some constants at the technical levels, but the business of Film, the market and the human side of the industry… and attitudes are always moving, so I think it’s important for students to have tutors who are actively involved in the industry – it means that students leave with a much more realistic view of the opportunities open to them.”
But, the future is looking bright for Cochrane, she has recently co-founded a production company, Caspian Films and currently has nine feature films in development, she said: “It’s a very busy and exciting time for me, but I will continue to teach at MetFilm School, I love being connected to the School and its students.”
BFI London Film Festival is the UK’s premier film festival which reaches audiences around the UK of over 200k and attracts nearly 3k domestic and international press and industry to London every Autumn.
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