One of the things that holds most people back is finding an entry point. Scott J. Davis: Congratulations on the film. United Kingdom, Email: editors-at-trebuchet-magazine.com immersive storytelling National Film and Television School protest art Shola Amoo StoryFutures Academy virtual reality. From Nigeria to Lincolnshire then London and back again, writer/ director Shola Amoo’s semi-autobiographical The Last Tree tells the tale of a young boy … Trevor takes watch one night at the water's edge. Production booster funding supports advanced projects that are entering or already in production, which already have significant project funding or resource attached to them, and which offer important learning opportunities which can be fed back into the StoryFutures Academy programme. There was only so many things you could do to be perceived to be black, which I found so interesting. It’s quite interesting. It’s something that I grew up with myself. You kinda go through that in your teenage years – where who we actually are is different to who we show to our friends, and who we are at home. Through the user’s interaction, the audience are asked to examine perception and bias, interrogating the social death and dehumanisation of the marginalised and societal complicity. It’s madly surreal and the most beautiful kind of closure to many things. To mark its release, the director and star Sam Adewunmi discuss their own experiences navigating identity and location. But also to the point where I don’t know if the next film I’ll make will be in the UK. Shola: For me, definitely. London W1A 6US Sam: I guess in some sense, yeah. We’re at a crossroads, where what British identity means is being pretty thoroughly interrogated – by people who would decide who belongs here and who doesn’t. Femi is trying to chart his place in the world, and bring together these multitudes of identities to find a coalescence – in a way that we’re trying to find coalescence. Violence, an artistic collaboration between NFTS graduate and director Shola Amoo (The Last Tree), producer Nell Whitley (Marshmallow Laser Feast), director and choreographer Lanre Malalou, composer Finn McNicholas and interactive studio All Seeing Eye, will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, as part of the Cannes XR Virtual at the Marché du film de Cannes, held online and in virtual reality from 24 – 26 June. I think that’s just serendipity in that sense. But we add those other elements that include Lincolnshire and Nigeria. Anchored by a debut performance from Sam Adewunmi, The Last Tree explores ideas of belonging, masculinity as well as the idea of being uprooted (physically, and metaphorically). As the movie develops, that perspective broadens and changes because he’s taken from that open, free environment into a much more confined environment. It seems to be a very uniquely British thing that we don’t like to engage with our own responsibility in colonialism and our own very specific brand of racism, I think. And if you had the more anglicised name like a Dean or a Toby, you weren’t really stressed. Just get people to call me Samuel.’, That scene where Dean’s teasing Femi, it’s not like Dean’s white. So yeah, I’ve definitely found myself, like, listening to something that I’m too embarrassed to admit to other people. You can’t move forward without dealing with the past and all of these things that make up your identity, and I think that’s really the only way to get to any kind of consensus. Because it is evoking a particular era in time, and it’s coming from such a personal perspective. Was there a particular moment that stood out for you where Femi’s troubles embodied your own? But also to the point where I don’t know if the next film I’ll make will be in the UK. Trailer Ratings and Reviews. In his semi-autobiographical film, The Last Tree, writer and director Shola Amoo tells the story of a Nigerian British foster child and his quest to find his place in the world and make sense of his roots. In terms of location and character, it’s such a big deal in [debut feature]. Shola: Yeah, definitely. The award was presented by Rowan Joffe.. Our work will further interest in the project from future investors and be part of an important public debate on racial violence and the power of VR to affect people’s perceptions and emotions.”. I was relating back to my teen years a lot, so that’s what felt authentic to that time and space. So yeah, I’ve definitely found myself, like, listening to something that I’m too embarrassed to admit to other people. At that time, that’s what he associates with the area. See the complete profile on LinkedIn and discover Shola’s connections and jobs at similar companies. It was such a bookend for an era of South London and being here in the UK – growing up and all the experiences. For me, definitely. Trebuchet Magazine Given that the film is semi-autobiographical, did you have any similar experiences with moving from the countryside and adjusting to the city – and finding beauty in that? Shola is a graduate of the National Film and Television School, his graduate film Touch won Shooting People’s Film of The Month competition, chosen by Oscar nominated cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto.Touch also toured the UK as part of The BFI’s Sci-Fi season.. Shola’s debut Feature is a multimedia Film called A Moving Image. I feel like it’s a lot looser now. , we’re back in South London, and working that relationship. I just feel like I’ve said so much about it, between The Moving Image and The Last Tree. But with Femi, it’s, like, a situation. Sam: There was, actually. 1 Rating. The new virtual reality work re-contextualises the notion of violence, by examining it through the lens of state oppression against marginalised and subaltern groups. Countless [school] register situations where they were just butchering [my name]! We challenge you to enter and share a part of yourself with us.”. It almost felt deliberate after a while. In terms of location and character, it’s such a big deal in [debut feature] The Moving Image. It almost felt deliberate after a while. There was, actually. It’s madly surreal and the most beautiful kind of closure to many things. The Caribbean would always get on to you for you being African, when it’s like… we all came from the same place, why are we…? Sam: I was just, like, woah. We are going with the idea that location is character, and I get so much energy from that. I feel like a lot of people pass it off as “we’re not as bad as America,” but we’ve got our own thing. The push and pull between Femi’s interests and his image throughout the film was really interesting – particularly the part with him listening to The Cure and quickly lying to someone else that it was 2Pac. Shola’s debut feature was a multimedia Film called A Moving Image, which received The Special Recognition Award at The Blackstar Film Festival in Philadelphia. Shola: I found it so cathartic. There aren’t diverse people telling the stories. Sam: Literally the same name as my dad. Writer-director Shola Amoo, Producer Myf Hopkins, Editor Mdhamiri A Nkemi, Production Designer Antonia Lowe and Composer Segun Akinola – all NFTS graduates, were greeted with whoops as they arrived for a Q&A after a preview screening of The Last Tree at the NFTS.. This concept of wearing a mask comes off at certain points, but you’re constantly having to navigate who you are against who you’re perceived to be. Sam Adewunmi is outstanding in British director Shola Amoo's sensitive take on race and identity. Shola Amoo's first feature. Amoo Writer and director for film and television. Is that why you set the film at this time? Director: Shola Amoo Writer: Shola Amoo . I had a similar dissonance from moving from, let’s say, a racially monochromatic space, to a more diverse space, and [my] landscape shifting. There was only so many things you could do to be perceived to be black, which I found so interesting. digs into the specific identity crisis of being a young black man of dual heritage in England. I’ll be like, ‘Yeah, yeah yeah I heard that track.’. Writer, Shola Amoo, says: “I’m very excited to be a part of this ground-breaking project for the BBC. But it also then chimes quite interestingly with the identity crisis that we’re going in now in terms of Brexit, in terms of defining which way we’re gonna go, defining what is a native Brit as opposed to an immigrant. Shola Amoo Writer & Director. Following a string of acclaimed shorts and a feature film exploring characters caught between urban and rural spaces, writer-director Shola Amoo’s latest work, The Last Tree, digs into the specific identity crisis of being a young black man of dual heritage in England. This concept of wearing a mask comes off at certain points, but you’re constantly having to navigate who you are against who you’re perceived to be. The kind of cognitive dissonance that Femi himself was dealing with. And in The Last Tree, we’re back in South London, and working that relationship. Writer-director Shola Amoo has made a film that by all reports is close to his own experiences as a Nigerian immigrant in England during the early 2000s, raised by a … I think that even probably continued past adolescence. The premiere showing at Cannes debuts innovation from StoryFutures Academy’s audience insight team of researchers based at Royal Holloway, University of London, who have developed an audience feedback system that directly integrates with VR headsets to enable bespoke psychological insights to be developed. You can’t move forward without dealing with the past and all of these things that make up your identity, and I think that’s really the only way to get to any kind of consensus. THE LAST TREE follows the story of Femi, a British boy of Nigerian heritage who, after a happy childhood in rural Lincolnshire, moves to inner London to live with his mum. But when I was growing up, it felt way more entrenched – the parameters for this were so tight. Shola has 3 jobs listed on their profile. In a quiet mining village just outside Doncaster, a rumour stirs about the legend of a giant carp in the nearby decoy ponds. Shola’s debut feature was a multimedia Film called A Moving Image, which received The Special Recognition Award at The Blackstar Film Festival in Philadelphia.It had its European Premiere at The BFI London Film Festival 2016 and was released theatrically in the UK in 2017 through Verve Pictures. The Picturehouse Podcast is supported by Silk Factory , a creative content agency for all your marketing needs across cinema, TV, digital, podcast and all social platforms. Three years after he explored the impact of gentrification and cultural erosion on London's black communities in his multimedia debut A Moving Image, writer-director Shola Amoo returns to further explore themes of racial identity, and the power of external forces to change lives. Skype: Trebuchet Magazine. But with Femi, it’s, like, a situation. Pond Life (Drama) Summertime, 1994. And if you had the more anglicised name like a Dean or a Toby, you weren’t really stressed. There is a kind of wariness of the city throughout your work. get on to you for you being African, when it’s like… we all came from the same place, why are we…? The actor that played my dad, his name… that’s also the name of my dad. Rent £3.49 Buy £7.99 View in iTunes. Yeah, definitely. I feel like in the film, the only way he gets to any kind of consensus is by accepting all of the parts of him, particularly his heritage. I think that even probably continued past adolescence. ★★★★☆Echoes of Barry Jenkins’s Oscar-winning Moonlight abound in this dreamy and nuanced coming-of-age tale from the writer-director Shola Amoo (A Moving Image). But no one could ever really pronounce it, and they would butcher it and I would get teased. Anchored by a debut performance from Sam Adewunmi, Definitely. Shola Amoo’s new virtual reality work re-contextualises the notion of violence, by examining it through the lens of state oppression against marginalised and subaltern groups. Kickstart funding supports early stage project R&D from previous StoryFutures Academy training programmes, and the creation of immersive proof of concepts across AR, VR, and MR platforms. Starring BIFA Most Promising Newcomer winner, Sam Adewunmi as Femi, the cast also includes Tai Golding, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Nicholas Pinnock, Denise Black and BIFA Best Supporting Actress winner, Ruthxjiah Bellenea. Whereas, I’m sure there is an evolved version that would be interesting to see. I n his electrifying debut, A Moving Image, Shola Amoo examined the impact of gentrification on his native Brixton, exploring the potential of art to be a political force.Two years later, the writer/director is back with his first narrative feature, which charts a British-Nigerian boy’s difficult coming of age. Is it a particular interest of yours – how we as black people relate to both the countryside and the city? It’s a place that I’ve always wanted to shoot in and spend time in. When I was a teen I really felt like black people are only meant to listen to a certain type of music. I imagine you’ve both had issues with becoming… maybe not more naturalised–. Co-director of StoryFutures, James Bennett, says: “We’re thrilled that our audience insight team are launching this tool on such an important project as Shola’s Violence. I’m so interested in new locations and I think that’s why it’s so important that the film ends in Lagos. British writer-director Shola Amoo’s second feature, The Last Tree, is a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age film set in the early 2000s. The film follows Femi, a Nigerian immigrant who grows up separate to the more naturalised British-African children of London – due to his time being fostered in the English countryside. To mark the release of Shola Amoo’s second film, the director and star Sam Adewunmi discuss their own experiences navigating identity and location. Shola Amoo’s second film follows a Nigerian-British foster child as he moves from the countryside to the city. 5.0 out of 5. Enjoyed this article? Shola: Yeah definitely. So that’s a feeling you associate with the ’00s? Shooting so close to home on the Aylesbury Estate, East Street and Deptford High Street, all of these places I’ve known so well. But we add those other elements that include Lincolnshire and Nigeria. There are many people who will see the film and feel, ‘I recognise myself’ or, ‘I see myself’ – in that person, and those relationships. Posted Friday 20th September, 2019Text by Kambole Campbell, The film exploring masculinity and black British identity. Corrina takes a step back, while our guests fire questions at each other in a bid to try something different. For me, the Lincolnshire portrayal has more of a kind of lush and warmth to it simply, because it’s from a child’s perspective. Was that something you had to contend with yourselves? Set in the UK, Lincolnshire and London. S toryFutures Academy, the UK’s national centre for immersive storytelling, announces the recipients of development funding for UK immersive productions, in a total investment of over £140,000. PO. The kind of cognitive dissonance that Femi himself was dealing with. – Friedrich Nietzsche, All content Copyright © Trebuchet Magazine 2020, Hauser & Wirth Take on Estate of Gustav Metzger, Petr Davydtchenko Eats Live Bat in Big Pharma Protest, Study Suggests Brain Unable to Distinguish Digital Reproduction of an Artwork From the Real Thing, New Platform Allows Galleries to Create Virtual-Reality Exhibitions Using 3D-Scanning Technology, A less lonely experience of viewing art online, Richard Saltoun Gallery Launches Hannah Arendt Programme, The Fresh & Weird Creative Energy of New Contemporaries, Tate Modern screens Shirin Neshat’s 1999 film ‘Soliloquy’. Femi is trying to chart his place in the world, and bring together these multitudes of identities to find a coalescence – in a way that. The film follows Femi, a Nigerian immigrant who grows up separate to the more naturalised British-African children of London – due to his time being fostered in the English countryside. Shola: I think that’s just serendipity in that sense. Because it is evoking a particular era in time, and it’s coming from such a personal perspective. To celebrate the release of the critically-acclaimed new British film The Last Tree, we sat down with its from writer/director Shola Amoo and leading man Sam Adewunmi, to discuss the film, its cultural impact and its unique visuals that demand it be seen on the biggest screen possible. My name on the register when I was growing up was my Nigerian name. Shola Amoo has been awarded Best Screenplay at the Writers Guild Awards for his critically acclaimed feature The Last Tree. But it also then chimes quite interestingly with the identity crisis that we’re going in now in terms of Brexit, in terms of defining which way we’re gonna go, defining what is a native Brit as opposed to an immigrant. Featuring outstanding performances from a standout cast, this stunning new film from writer / director Shola Amoo is simply unmissable. But yeah, that was a moment that I felt like, ‘Wow…’ I think that’s also a testament to the script and how truthful and honest and authentic it is. 15+ COMMON SENSE. He's better known for THE LAST TREE, which came out last year, and which I'm looking forward to catching up on. Writer / director, Shola Amoo alongside the cast of “The Last Tree” at Sundance London (Big Picture Film Club) In aiming to tell such a complex culturally-specific story, director & screenwriter, Shola Amoo has used his own lived experience to draw upon, this brings with it a level of authenticity and nuance which turns what would be a ‘good’ film into a brilliant film. Was making The Last Tree your way of finding that? I think the progression is because they are confronted by their history every day in a way that we’re kind of insulated from sometimes. Corrina talks to writer-director Shola Amoo and lead actor Sam Adewunmi of The Last Tree. Shola: I think the progression is because they are confronted by their history every day in a way that we’re kind of insulated from sometimes. I think, ultimately, the way South London is depicted in the film in contrast can seem negative. It’s fantastic to do this with Shola who has come through our training programmes at StoryFutures Academy. You kinda go through that in your teenage years – where who we actually are is different to who we show to our friends, and who we are at home. Sign up to get updates on articles, interviews and events. So I just said to my mum, ‘You need to change this. I’m working on my relationship with my father so that moment in Lagos in that house it just felt quite…. "The Last Tree" is writer/director Shola Amoo's stunning, compassionate, and semi-autobiographical coming-of-age drama which starts streaming June 25 … I was relating back to my teen years a lot, so that’s what felt authentic to that time and space. Whereas, I’m sure there is an evolved version that would be interesting to see. Shola Amoo’s low-budget multimedia debut, A Moving Image, saw the British writer-director push back against the gentrification of inner city areas like Brixton, a rare point of discussion on screens of any size in the UK.Amoo has now followed this up with a coming-of-age story told from a perspective also rarely given the time of day. Writer / director, Shola Amoo alongside the cast of “The Last Tree” at Sundance London (Big Picture Film Club) In aiming to tell such a complex culturally-specific story, director & screenwriter, Shola Amoo has used his own lived experience to draw upon, this brings with it a level of authenticity and nuance which turns what would be a ‘good’ film into a brilliant film. Shola Amoo – Writer / Director (Graduate of the NFTS Screenwriting MA) Reflecting on why more diverse films were not being made, Duncan has commented: “It seems obvious. Following a string of acclaimed shorts and a feature film exploring characters caught between urban and rural spaces, writer-director Shola Amoo’s latest work. For me, the Lincolnshire portrayal has more of a kind of lush and warmth to it simply, because it’s from a child’s perspective. The Last Tree Written & directed by Shola Amoo. I guess in some sense, yeah. I was wondering if the film is, in part, a response to this atmosphere? I just feel like I’ve said so much about it, between. Ahead of the film’s imminent UK release, Huck spoke to Amoo and Adewunmi about their own experiences navigating Black British identity – and how location affects it. 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Shola Amoo’s new virtual reality work re-contextualises the notion of violence, by examining it through the lens of state oppression against marginalised and subaltern groups. Shola: I had a similar dissonance from moving from, let’s say, a racially monochromatic space, to a more diverse space, and [my] landscape shifting. So I just said to my mum, ‘You need to change this. I’ll be like, ‘Yeah, yeah yeah I heard that track.’. He’s another black boy himself, probably of Caribbean descent or something, but that was a massive. Countless [school] register situations where they were just butchering [my name]! When I was a teen I really felt like black people are only meant to listen to a certain type of music. But when I was growing up, it felt way more entrenched – the parameters for this were so tight. What I found really interesting is that tension introduced when Femi got moved into a more diverse space, between his African identity and his British identity. View Shola Amoo’s profile on LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional community. Visually, the film brings along all the locations and different places of his identity. The actor that played my dad, his name… that’s also the name of my dad. It’s exceptionally well-crafted by south Londoner Shola Amoo and loosely based on the writer-director’s own younger years. Naila Scargill is the publisher and editor of horror journal Exquisite Terror. I found it so cathartic. Yeah definitely. Following a string of acclaimed shorts and a feature film exploring characters caught between urban and rural spaces, writer-director Shola Amoo’s latest work, The Last Tree, digs into the specific identity crisis of being a young black man of dual heritage in England. This is an interesting mixture of styles. The tool will inform our understanding of virtual reality as a medium, and provide invaluable insights into how audiences experience VR. Shola Amoo’s debut feature was a multimedia film called A Moving Image, which received the Special Recognition Award at the Blackstar Film Festival in Philadelphia, had its European Premiere at the BFI London Film Festival 2016 and was released theatrically in the U.K. in 2017 through Verve Pictures.Shola’s second feature was the drama The Last Tree, which premiered at Sundance 2019 in … In this context, the audience explore the cathartic nature of rebellion by oppressed groups against draconian political and social systems. It was such a bookend for an era of South London and being here in the UK – growing up and all the experiences. At that time, that’s what he associates with the area. 1 Rating. He’s another black boy himself, probably of Caribbean descent or something, but that was a massive thing as well. Did either of you find yourself trying to live up to a certain image? Trailers See All. Writer-director Shola Amoo and actor Sam Adewunmi are the rising talents behind brilliant London drama ‘The Last Tree’ By Phil de Semlyen Posted: Tuesday September 24 2019 Share Tweet From left to right: The Last Tree's actress Gbemisola Ikumelo; writer/director Shola Amoo; actor Sam Adewunmi, and composer Segun Akinola, at Sundance 2019. alan mark/sundance film institute The Last Tree , presented in the World Drama section at this year’s Sundance festival, is written and directed by Shola Amoo and is a semi-autobiographical film. Summarising the project, Shola Amoo said: “This piece deals with subversion and perception. Even though that is an experience of someone else, it can relate to so many of us, and I don’t feel like I’m alone in that. Box 6945 It’s quite interesting. Similarly, the UK needs to delve into its history, the good and the bad, and find out what has lead to this moment in time that we’re at. I feel like it’s a lot looser now. Holiday Song: Jim Sclavunos Supports Endangered Venues With Masterpiece. I was always questioning these parameters, and when are you allowed to break them or not – that sort of stuff. Since the open call in late 2019, 11 projects in total have been awarded funds. Holding a broad editorial background, she has worked with an eclectic variety of content, ranging from film and the counterculture, to political news and finance. But, could ever really pronounce it, and they would butcher it and I would get teased. Tel: +44 (O) 2O 3287 I53I, For art to exist, for any sort of aesthetic activity or perception to exist, a certain physiological precondition is indispensable: intoxication. Yeah, more anglicised. But ultimately we find beauty in those areas itself. Just get people to call me Samuel.’ That scene where Dean’s teasing Femi, it’s not like Dean’s white. Like Huck on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. 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