ALAN WHICKER COLLECTION
DONATED TO BFI NATIONAL ARCHIVE
London – Thursday, 5th May 2016. The BFI National Archive is pleased to announce that it has received the archives of pioneering investigative TV journalist, Alan Whicker, donated by Valerie Kleeman, Whicker’s World Foundation. The collection contains meticulous records of one of the most enduring and influential careers in British television history, spanning the late 1950s into the 21st century.
This is an extensive and significant donation covering the entire career of a world-renowned broadcaster, and represents a unique insight into the production methods of a master documentarian. Alan Whicker’s name is a by-word for brilliantly crafted and revealing studies of people and places, whether exploring behind the scenes of the Miss World competition, interviewing Papa Doc in Haiti, or exposing the lifestyles of the hippies of San Francisco, with an enquiring mind and a sceptical tone. This unlikely figure, clad in Gucci tie and blazer, found his way into the nation’s hearts as he went where his audience was unlikely to follow.
The meticulously kept Alan Whicker archive spans the years 1938-2014. It includes a school report from 1938, documents relating to his war career and letters, photographs, extensive production files, audience reports, interview notes and questions (including Whicker’s hand-annotated question cards) and transcripts of every TV programme he made, along with some, as yet, unidentified films. The archive gives an insider’s view of some of the key events, social trends and personalities of the 20th century, while fully documenting the changing world of television reportage across more than five decades.
The material will be stored at the BFI National Archive’s paper store at Berkhamsted where it joins over 600 named collections from individuals such as producers Michael Balcon, David Puttnam and Betty Box, directors including David Lean, Joseph Losey, Michael Powell, Carol Reed, Mike Hodges, Muriel Box and Derek Jarman, writers such as Emeric Pressburger, Janet Green and Trevor Griffiths, and documentary filmmakers such as Humphrey Jennings, Derek Armstrong and Michael Orrom. Among the most recent additions to the collection are the archives of Ken Loach, Alan Parker, Jenny Beavan, Richard Lester, Karel Reisz, Jack Clayton and Halas & Batchelor. The Whicker papers will be able to be consulted by researchers and students of television history once cataloguing is fully completed.
Robin Baker, Head Curator, BFI National Archive said, “This is a major collection that gives us a unique insight into one of the great figures of 20th century television. Alan Whicker was a household name, famed for his daring and insightful investigations of people from all walks of life, from close to home and around the globe. His standards were meticulously high and his programmes set a benchmark for longform television documentary. The Alan Whicker collection is a very generous and important donation from Valerie Kleeman of the Whicker’s World Foundation, for which we are extremely grateful. We’re delighted that Whicker’s papers are now part of the national collection of film and television. “
Valerie Kleeman, Whicker’s partner in life and work for over 40 years and founder of the Whicker’s World Foundation said, “The Whicker’s World archive is now where it belongs – in the safekeeping of the BFI – where, I hope, its content will be of help and guidance to generations to come.
The 90 boxes, carefully curated by archivist Catherine Kirby, contain an intimate and personal take on the last half of the 20th century. Beginning with a letter informing him he has passed his School Certificate and continuing throughout his life in the Army Film and Photographic Unit, journalism and television, Alan Whicker observed both the light and the shadows of life.
Often he witnessed history in the making: war trials in Strasbourg, race riots in Alabama. He had access to the unaccessible: dictators, witch doctors, cults – and even the occasional royal. ‘Whicker’s World’ covered everything from bullfighting and the first gay weddings to the horrors of Papa Doc’s Haiti, always with intelligence, often with humour.
Whicker wrote and filmed what he saw, he had no preconceived ideas, no axe to grind. His motivation was to stimulate, to interest, to entertain…..and to allow viewers to come to their own conclusions.
The archive contains 60 years of carefully documented work: transcripts, notes, diaries and photographs, a lifetime of watching the world through thoughtful, quizzical eyes.”
Alan Whicker CBE (1921-2013) was a renowned journalist, broadcaster and television presenter. During the Second World War he joined the Army Film and Photo Unit, and by the 1950s he was working as a foreign correspondent for a Fleet Street agency, and then as a broadcaster for BBC Radio. In 1957 he was spotted by producer Alasdair Milne (later Director-General of the BBC) who gave him a regular ‘Whicker’s World’ slot on the ground breaking Tonight programme. This paved the way for the longer format Whicker’s World which began in 1965 and ran for 40 years on the BBC and ITV.
His reportage spanned the globe and covered a huge range of subjects which reflect all aspects of 20th century culture, politics and history. These include race relations, gay marriage, gun culture, bullfighting, haute couture and interviews with significant (and often controversial) figures of the 20th century, for example, Francois Duvalier (‘Papa Doc’), the notorious Haitian dictator, and oil billionaire John Paul Getty. At the height of his popularity Whicker’s programmes commanded audiences of 15 million people. Whicker’s work was also significant in terms of style and format, for example, he was an early pioneer of the ‘blue light’ programme, a format that is now well-established and perennially popular (shadowing police in their daily and nightly duties). Alan Whicker is a significant cultural figure and a household name for a whole generation. He won many awards during his career including the BAFTA Richard Dimbleby Award and the Screenwriters’ Guild Best Documentary Script (in 1963). His legacy lives on through the Whicker’s World Foundation which supports new documentary talent.
About the BFI
The BFI is the lead organisation for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:
- Connecting audiences to the widest choice of British and World cinema
- Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations
- Championing emerging and world class film makers in the UK – investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work
- Promoting British film and talent to the world
- Growing the next generation of film makers and audiences
The BFI is a Government arm’s-length body and distributor of Lottery funds for film. The BFI serves a public role which covers the cultural, creative and economic aspects of film in the UK. It delivers this role:
- As the UK-wide organisation for film, a charity core funded by Government
- By providing Lottery and Government funds for film across the UK
- By working with partners to advance the position of film in the UK.
Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter.
The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Josh Berger.
About the BFI National Archive
The BFI National Archive was founded in 1935 and has grown to become the one of the largest and most important collections of film and television in the world with over 180,000 films and 750,000 television programmes. For over 80 years the BFI has been an international leader in film preservation and guardian of Britain’s unparalleled film and TV heritage. The BFI is an innovator in presenting films to audiences in new and dynamic ways, from cinemas to film festivals, outdoor events to online video-on-demand. At the heart of all its activities is the BFI’s central aim to ensure that everyone in the UK has access to the widest possible range of film and their own film heritage.
That heritage includes all time great British directors Alfred Hitchcock, David Lean and Powell and Pressburger; and the rich vein of documentary filmmaking, in which Britain led the world, including the lyrical work of Humphrey Jennings. The archive also boasts a significant collection of filmmakers’ papers as well as extensive stills, posters and production and costume designs along with original scripts, press books and related ephemera.
Expert teams undertake the time-consuming and complex task of restoring films at the BFI John Paul Getty Jr Conservation Centre in Hertfordshire. The BFI’s most precious film materials are kept in optimum conditions in the world-leading Master Film Store in Warwickshire.
A selection of stills for press use in connection with this story can be found at:
www.image.net/BFI/BFI National Archive/Whicker
Brian Robinson, Communications Manager, Archive & Heritage, BFI
Tel +44 (0) 207 957 8940
Mobile: 07740 171968
Judy Wells, Head of Press and PR , BFI
Tel +44 (0) 207 957 8919
Mobile: 07984 180501
For press enquiries about Whicker’s World Foundation please contact:
Siobhan Connor CONNOR PR +44 (0)7966 177025 email@example.com
PUSSIES GALORE: THE WOMAN WITH A THOUSAND CATS
Friday 18th September, 8:00pm – 9.00pm
There are over 9 millions cats in our UK homes, with most owners living with a single feline friend, however for someone just isn’t enough. In this extraordinary one hour programme we meet some of the most fanatical kitty lovers who have taken their love one step further. We meet a woman who can’t stop taking local strays in, a man with a cat tattoo obsession, we get an insight into the world of cat competitions and we visit a unique establishment that allows you to enjoy your food whilst stroking a pussy.
Lynea Lattanzio is the embodiment of a crazy cat lady, she has over 1000 cats on her premises and is still unable to say no to more. What started off as company for the divorced retiree, has now spiralled into taking over her whole existence.
Lynea was refused a cat as a child and has been working hard since, making up for lost time. We visit her Californian home and see her surrounded by her furry family, witnessing just how she manages to keep things ticking. With a thousand cats on the property is it all getting too much for Lynea or will she always be thinking of the many more roaming the streets?
From Crazy Cat Lady to Crazy Cat Man, we meet pussy magnet Andy Richards who has spent the last 20 years of his life dedicating his time to helping cats. Andy, the manager of the East Lancashire Cats charity store and owner of 18 of his own, has now racked up 40 cat related tattoos! We join Andy as he embarks upon his latest design, as he goes under the needle for two more tatts. Will Andy’s cat inking obsession come to an end or will he run out of space first?
Later in the episode we meet up with some UK based cat crazies as we discover the world of the Cat Competition. We follow Sue Miller from Devon, a self admitted cat obsessive, who is taking seven of her eighteen cats to the West of England and South Wales Cat Society Show in hope of adding to her vast collection of ribbons and rosettes. We see the preparation, the judging and the results and find out just how much her little superstars winning means to her. Will the pressures of the competition get too much for Sue or will see come away with more accolades?
In the final instalment of the hour we enter a unique establishment that allows people to eat their lunch and drink a coffee surrounded by their favourite feline. We meet Katie Jane Glazier who has opened up Newcastle’s first of its kind, the Cat Café called Mog on the Tyne! In a café influenced by its phenomenon success in Japan, you can now eat your lunch at the same time as stroking a pussy. Will Katie’s unique business venture be a roaring success or will it be doomed to failure?
Connor PR specialist in TV programme promotion, Connor PR working with Channel 5, Connor PR expert in entertainment PR
Whicker’s World Foundation launches new documentary
awards at Sheffield Doc Fest
Three awards worth a total of £100,000
Supporting authored storytelling in the UK
First winners to be announced at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2016
Sunday 7th June at Sheffield Doc/Fest: the new Whicker’s World Foundation, whose principle aim is to give a much needed fillip to authored documentary storytelling in the UK, today launches three new documentary filmmaker awards worth a total of £100,000 for the promotion of curiosity in programme making, generously funded by a legacy left by the celebrated broadcast journalist Alan Whicker, who died in 2013. Details of the Whicker’s World Foundation and the awards will be announced by filmmaker Kim Longinotto at a special event at Doc/Fest, following the screening of Whicker’s World: Conflict in Kentucky.
Says Mark Atkin, Acting Festival Director, Sheffield Doc/Fest: “I am very enthused that this foundation aims to encourage authored documentary at a time when TV is becoming increasingly formatted and when most foundations have requirements to promote social issues. This is exactly what the industry needs right now”.
The three awards – the Funding Award (worth £80,000 / £10,000 runner up) to a debut filmmaker under 30 years of age; the Recognition Award (worth £4,000 / £1,000 runner up) to the finest industry newcomer aged 50 years of age or over; and the Best Audio Documentary (worth £4,000 / £1,000) to be awarded at the In The Dark audio festival, also part of Doc/Fest – will be looking for a spirit of inquisitiveness that will leave the viewer wanting more, and tell something new and unexpected about the world.
The panel of judges, chaired by Valerie Kleeman, photographer, programme consultant and Whicker’s partner for more than 40 years, will also be looking for projects that are playful with how the story is told, either breaking new ground, or taking a familiar path to come up with a new style.
The Alan Whicker Foundation consultant, top ranking international TV executive Jane Mote, says: “Whicker’s World opened my eyes to the most amazing stories, people and places. Alan’s unique style and sharp wit was inspirational and I am so excited to be part of creating a Foundation to nurture the future trailblazers for international documentary film-making”.
Jane Ray, the Consultant Artistic Director for the Foundation is a multi-award winning documentary maker and executive producer in radio and television with a journalistic background and nearly 28 years’ service at the BBC. Her awards range from the Sony Award for best news programme (2002) and the TRIC award for best children’s programme (1993) to China’s Golden Kapok award for best director (2014). She worked with Alan throughout the 90s on various projects for radio. She also wrote and directed Radio 4’s archive programme about Alan: Around the World in 80 Years, presented by Michael Palin.
The first award winners will be announced by the Whicker’s World Foundation at the Sheffield Doc/Fest Award Ceremony, which will take place on the final day of the 2016 festival.
For further information for Whicker’s World Foundation contact:
Siobhan Connor firstname.lastname@example.org
+ 44 (0) 7966 177025
For further information for Sheffield Doc/Fest contact:
Sarah Harvey Publicity
+44 (0) 207 232 2812
+44 (0) 7958 597426
Sarah Harvey email@example.com
Nikki Cummins firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Bond email@example.com
Join the conversation:
Sheffield Doc/Fest is the UK’s premier documentary and digital media festival. It is the place to see world and UK premieres of the best creative documentaries from the cinema, television and online arenas, and to hear from and meet filmmakers at Q&A sessions. Highlights of the film programme are honoured with an award programme including the Sheffield Grand Jury, Innovation, Environmental, Interactive, Youth Jury, Inspiration, Student Doc, Short Form and Audience Awards. In 2014, 3,263 full festival pass holders attended the Festival and it attracted over 26,700 members of the film-loving public.
Sheffield Doc/Fest 2015 takes place from 5-10 June
Connor PR launching the Whicker’s World Foundation, Connor PR expert in travel PR, Connor PR expert in presenter PR, Connor PR specialist in TV publicity
CMYUK puts Shrewsbury on the wide-format map with
strategic move to tailor-made premises
Strategic and diligent planning, plus the logistics behind the most suitable location from which to service its growing customer base, has led to the creation by CMYUK of its state-of-the-art showroom, training and demonstration facility in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. The Mayor of Shrewsbury, Councillor Mrs Beverley Baker, was in attendance at the official opening ceremony held on 25 February 2015, where she joined by EFI’s Ken Hanulec, VP Inkjet Solutions, and Paul Cripps, Managing Director of EMEA, who flew in from overseas. They joined local companies and display production specialists who all played a major role in the development and creation of the new premises for the UK’s leading wide-format distributor.
The new showroom and demonstration facility has been tailor-made to accommodate a broad range of EFI, VUTEk and Mimaki wide-format printers, and Zünd cutting systems in a lay-out that enables visitors to ascertain exactly which technology is right for their application and business needs. Each machine is positioned to simplify access to, and viewing of, every part of a job’s work-flow so that customers can establish exactly how the equipment will function in their own premises.
CMYUK’s decision to base its showroom and demonstration centre, complemented by full training facilities, in Shrewsbury was the culmination of the need to match a variety of criteria all of which were crucial to the company’s ability to serve its growing customer base from the best location. Communication links to and from the north, south and west of the country have become increasingly important as businesses outside the east, south east and London regions, already served by CMYUK’s southern office, need a reliable and knowledgeable sales, service and technical channel.
Easy access to key parts of the UK make Shropshire’s second largest town an excellent choice logistically, with its good rail and road links boosted by the fact that CMYUK’s new premises is only an hour away from Birmingham and Manchester. With direct and remote communications increasingly playing a vital role in today’s businesses, particularly when investing in new technology, the wide-format specialist supplier believes strongly that its new Shrewbury base offers an efficient, well-connected hub that serves the entire country, to the benefit of all new and existing customers.
Robin East, Director of CMYUK, states: “Shrewsbury is growing exponentially as a centre for technologically based enterprises and to be part of this thriving business community now means that we can expand and increase our sales and support network throughout the UK.”
As the UK’s principal distributor of EFI wide-format and VUTEk printers plus Fiery end-to-end productivity software, CMYUK has been instrumental in driving the growth in digital printing technology throughout the display production, sign-making and commercial print markets. The company is also a prolific supplier of products from the Mimaki portfolio as well as Zünd cutting tables, and now covers all budgetary and production needs. For more than a decade the company has been involved in sales and support for a vast range of businesses, ranging from small enterprises through to major production houses that want to benefit from the adoption of ink-jet’s versatility for interior and exterior applications.
CMYUK Demo & Training Centre: Unit 3B, Vanguard Way, Battlefield Enterprise Park, Shrewsbury, SY1 3TG
My Soul Space – Shrewsbury’s only dedicated Hot Yoga Studio launches teacher training courses in the new year
My Soul Space – Shrewsbury’s only dedicated
Hot Yoga Studio launches teacher training courses in the new year
My Soul Space – Shrewsbury’s only dedicated yoga studio will be rolling out a series of teacher training courses in the new year.
The yoga studio headed up by experienced local teacher Emma Burton will be proving opportunities for people to become yoga instructors.
My Soul Space offers classes six days a week for men, women, young and old in Hot Yoga, Facial Yoga, Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Olit Yoga, Yoga for Teenagers, Pregnancy Yoga and Yoga for Men. Hot Yoga provides a host of physical and mental benefits such as weight loss, back, neck and shoulder pain relief, healing and the prevention of sports injuries, easing depression, anxiety and stress and increasing fitness and stamina.
With their team of six inspirational and uplifting yoga instructors, the studio will be offering opportunities to practising yogi. The courses starting in February 2015 are provided over five days. My Soul Space is offering a Teen Yoga course which will train to teach yoga and mindfulness to 11-18 yr olds. It is now taught in several continents across the world and will run from 16th February to 20th February 2015, 9:30am to 5pm.
The course has been constructed with the help of specialist adolescent Neuroscientists, Anatomists, Psychologists and Yoga Teachers. Teen Yoga Training is registered RYSC with Yoga Alliance UK, demonstrating that the studio has met the stringent requirements set by Yoga Alliance UK as a sign of highest standard.
Charlotta Martinus launched this course for the first time in 2004 in response to the growing need to care for our young people and give them respite from stress and anxiety. This course is unique, as the only fully fledged, Yoga Alliance accredited and insured teen yoga course in the UK working together with Leeds University Psychology Dept, to measure outcomes of the mindfulness and yoga on young people added to the actual experiential research to help support and structure the training course.
The course comes with a detailed and comprehensive manual, with plenty of practical lesson plans and ideas for you to use. In this manual you will find a detailed list of the benefits of yoga and a list of suitable postures for this particular age group, targeting specific issues. There is a special section on behaviour management.
This course qualifies you as a Level 3 Coach, within the Sports Partnership as well as qualifies you to access funding through Sportivate for your classes.
This Hot Yoga conversion qualification is for existing yoga teachers with a 200 hour or equivalent qualification wishing to qualify to teach this very popular Hot Yoga form. The course takes place over a five days from 9th March to 13th March 2015, 10:15am to 5:15pm and will be taught by Jozef Wiewel.
The course is made up of the following three modules:
- Teaching in the Hot environment: Health and Safety considerations, physiological response to the heat, modifications and adaptations for different bodies, access and inclusion.
- The Hot Posture Series: Posture Sequencing, how to teach, what to teach and why are we teaching it?
- How to set up hot yoga classes, and the requirements of setting up a hot yoga studio.
Each module is made up of a mixture of written and practical work. The course is based around the classic 26 posture Hot Series, plus how to develop the sequence practically and professionally.
My Soul Space is a way of life. It is yoga from the inside out. It brings benefits both to the body and mind. Everyone is welcome: from beginners to experienced yogi. The instructors reach out to everyone in the class to support new-comers whilst continuing to challenge more experienced yogi.
Emma Burton fell in love with yoga in her first class. Whilst learning her new practice that day she was inspired by a lady in her 80’s balancing on one leg looking serene. Totally in awe of how she felt after the class and what she had observed, she became fascinated by this practise, travelling the world to discover all she could. Following her own journey she naturally fell into teaching, training in Australia & Switzerland.
With nearly 20 years of practising Yoga and over 14 years of teaching yoga. Yoga has helped her through the arrival of her two gorgeous boys, motherhood and much more. Emma has created My Soul Space for others to start their journey and reep the benefits of Hot Yoga and alike.
Notes to editors:
Visit them at www.mysoulspace.co.uk
Join the conversation https://www.facebook.com/mysoulspaceshrewsbury
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Emma Burton on Tel: 01743 387087 for further information or to book.
My Soul Space
2 Sweetlake Business Park
(Opposite the Nuffield hospital)
Emma Burton is available for interview.
For further information, please contact Siobhan@connorpr.com
Tel 07966 177025
Gypsies, Come Dancing!
Forget Got to Dance and Strictly Come Dancing, telly bosses are currently battling it out for the rights to bring an even more sequined dance event to our screens, the World Gypsy Dance Championships! The first and only worldwide contest for dancers from the Gypsy, Roma, Traveller community is to be hosted in London later this year. Organisers have already begun the worldwide search for the next Gypsy dance star, and are expecting stiff competition for the coveted gold medal.
Running the contest is Irish Romany Gypsy, Róisín Mullins, a former Irish Dance World Medallist and dancer with Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance. Róisín has judged thousands of Gypsy acts, including performing horses, in TV talent shows such as Travellers Got Talent and Gypsy and Traveller Face of the Year, alongside singers David Essex and Jentina. But now Róisín will be encouraging Travellers to swap their twenty stone wedding dresses for flamenco skirts, hitch up their wagons, and hit auditions at Traveller fairs, sites and events throughout the UK.
Róisín Mullins said: “The World Gypsy Dance Championships is a fantastic opportunity for dancers to take centre stage. We have already seen singers from the community make it on TV talent shows, but for me, the dancers represent our culture best”.
Joining Róisín to organise the contest will be her Gypsy partner, Irish dance show producer, Jack Jacobs. The pair are keen to show off a more positive side to the community, at what they hope will be the biggest gathering of gypsy dancers in history. Event organiser Jack is particularly excited about revealing the community’s hidden talent.
Jack Jacobs said: “The contest is a real first for the Gypsy and Traveller community. There are some incredibly talented dancers out there, and traditional dance styles that we, in the UK, have never seen before. So the chance to pull Gypsy dancers together from all over the world to compete against one another will be an amazing site”.
Celebrities rumoured to be taking a seat on the judging panel alongside Róisín include world famous Gypsy dancers, and stars from the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.
As well as heavily diamented costumes and fake tan, the contest promises to deliver an all out battle of traditional versus modern, with Flamenco and Irish dancing facing off against hip hop and street dance.
Entrants can compete in any dance style, but must be from a Gypsy, Roma or Traveller background.
To enter visit www.worldgypsydancechampionships.com
For all media enquiries please contact: email@example.com Tel: 07966 177025 or Jack Jacobs at firstname.lastname@example.org
Connor PR entertainment PR Specialist, Connor PR working with Gypsies, Come Dancing
Connor PR working wtih Studio 9 Films for the UK Premiere of Seeds of Hope to be screened at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict
UK PREMIERE of Seeds of Hope
to be screened at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict
- Award-winning filmmaker Fiona Lloyd-Davies takes us to ‘the most dangerous place in the world for women’ – the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo – in her film Seeds of Hope at the Summit Fringe on 10 June 2014.
- Seeds of Hope tells the extraordinary story of Masika and her journey to help women and children who have experienced sexual violence in conflict in eastern Congo.
- The Foreign Secretary Rt Hon William Hague and Angelina Jolie, UNHCR Special Envoy, will co-chair the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict on 10–13 June 2014 at ExCel London.
- The summit calls for an end to sexual violence in conflict – an act that destroys lives and damages communities.
- It will be the largest gathering ever brought together on this subject.
Starting 9.00am on 10 June 2014, there will be three days of global action aimed at creating awareness of sexual violence in conflict. One voice that will be added to the call for an end to sexual violence in conflict is Masika Katsuva’s.
The 84 hours of action is the largest meeting ever held on ending sexual violence in conflict. The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict (ESVC), co-chaired by Foreign Secretary William Hague and Angelina Jolie , Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, will bring together government delegations, NGOs, experts and sexual and gender-based violence survivors from over 145 countries.
Studio 9 Films will show Seeds of Hope at the Summit Fringe on 10 June 2014. Seeds of Hope tells the extraordinary story of Masika and her journey to help women and children who have experienced sexual violence in conflict in eastern Congo. Masika, herself a multiple rape survivor, has helped thousands of women and children in eastern Congo who have suffered physical and sexual violence.
Every hour, 48 women are raped in Congo (DR). Eastern Congo was described as the ‘rape capital of the world’ by Margot Wolstrom, the United Nations Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict in 2011. A new generation of children, born from rape in the DRC are growing up in a country where violence is a regular occurrence. It’s become a place where there is widespread acceptance of rape and brutality towards women. “Whenever there is fighting, militia use rape as a weapon of war”, Masika says.
Filmmaker Fiona Lloyd-Davies also interviews perpetrators of rape, among them soldiers from the Congolese army. Groundbreaking interviews are captured with the soldiers whose duty it is to protect the women they are brutally violating. These men give extraordinarily open testimony as to why they rape and their attitudes towards their horrific acts. As one soldier candidly reveals, “Raping gives us a lot of pleasure. When we rape we feel free.” This calls into question the crucial issue of justice and as one of the women, Nzgira, poignantly says, “If justice is done maybe this will stop the soldiers. It’s just they aren’t afraid of anything.”
The aim of the summit is to facilitate dialogue between governments, NGOs, experts and survivors that outline solutions to sexual violence in conflict and develop international co-ordination. For Masika, to stop sexual violence means the conflict must be brought to an end. “If the fighting were to end in the hills, it would mean an end to rape which we want to stop forever.”
Filmed over three years and capturing the ebb and flow of the seasons, we see how the process of farming this small patch of land empowers and transforms these women.The field is their hope, their therapy and their source of food and income. The rape victims and hundreds of children born from rape sow lines of seed every quarter (three months). Together they nurture them, pray for good weather and eventually harvest them to eat, sell and plant again to generate more crops.
The field becomes a central feature, almost a character, both in its symbolic value and as a signifier of time passing. The process of renewal and rebirth that nature provides offers up hope anda restored focus to the women. As one of the women, Mongera, remarks, “When we meet as a group, for a moment, it helps us forget what we’ve been through.”The women build new friendships, helping them come to terms with their pasts and look to make plans for the future.
The extraordinary natural beauty of Congo is juxtaposed against the horrific experiences that these women have endured and the threat of sexual violence that remains, lurking in such landscapes.
Since the filming of Seeds of Hope, 39 soldiers have stood trial for the crimes that took place in Minova in November 2012. Only two were convicted of rape as a war crime. Fiona Lloyd-Davies has produced a documentary on both the aftermath of the rapes in 2012 and the trial that will be broadcast on BBC Newsnight on Monday 9 June 2014.
While the seeds show that there is a way forward and a glimmer of hope, its clear that there’s little justice for these women at present. Masika believes that until there is peace in DRC there will be rape: “Whenever there is fighting there is rape.” Despite the recent Minova trial, prosecutions are rare and impunity still prevails. The battle against an endemic rape culture is far from over.
Senator Mobina Jaffer said: “Seeds of Hope conveys unimaginable pain, but also the hope and strength of the women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It further portrays a British filmmaker, Fiona, reaching out to portray the pain of her Congolese sister, Masika.”
This film takes us deep into the lives of women and children who are rarely given a voice and rarely seen on screen. Seeds of Hope shows how one woman’s enterprise helps thousands of Congo’s rape survivors find healing and independence through farming. As one of the women explains, “we are always very happy when we have our seeds, because seeds are our hope”.
Notes to Editors:
To attend the screening of Seeds of Hope and reception please contact Siobhan at Connor PR. There will be a Q&A after the screening, moderated by Anneke Van Woudenberg, Human Rights Watch, Senior Researcher Africa Division.
Fiona Lloyd-Davies is available for interview.
Please contact Siobhan at Connor PR email@example.com Tel: 07966 177025
What: Screening of Seeds of Hope at the Summit Fringe followed by a Q&A.
When: 10 June 2014 at 6.30pm.
Where: ExCel Centre, Docklands, London.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/seedsofhopestudio9films?fref=ts
Twitter handle:@Studio9films #seedsofhope
Images are available on request.
To watch the film please click on the following link
A short preview can be viewed on: http://www.studio9films.co.uk/films_new.html
Seeds of Hope documents the extraordinary story of Masika Katsuva, who, with just a small patch of land, commitment and passion, has helped thousands of women and children who have suffered physical and sexual violence come to terms with the nightmares they have lived through.
Every hour, 48 women are raped in Congo. Eastern Congo has been called the ‘rape capital of the world’ by the UN Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict. This is the most dangerous place in the world for women.
The women and children farm the land together, providing them with an income, a sense of stability and a form of therapy. Through donations, Masika and her team have expanded the centre, but the battle against an endemic rape culture is far from over. Since launching the project, Masika has been raped three more times.
The film also reveals the motivations of some of the perpetrators. They are not just foreign militia groups, but are members of the Congolese National Army. These are the soldiers whose duty it is to protect the women they are now brutally violating.
Filmed over three years, Seeds of Hope takes us deep into the lives of women and children rarely seen, offering up a vision of transformation through one woman’s mission to bring healing to women traumatised by rape and in turn, stability to their children born as a result.
Links relating to Seeds of Hope
St Louis International Film Festival November 2014
Africa World Documentary Film Festival
Selected for International Festival “A Film for Peace”
Studio 9 Films
Studio 9 Films Ltd is a company led by award-winning producer/director/self shooter and photojournalist Fiona Lloyd-Davies. They have produced films for BBC, Al Jazeera, Human Rights Watch and REDRESS. Studio 9 Films’ production, “Justice in Action”, chronicling six young woman’s journey to Bosnia 20 years after the war won the Best Documentary International at the People’s Film Festival in 2013. The film “Seeds of Hope”, which tells the extraordinary story of Masika Katsuva, a multiple rape survivor who has helped thousands of women and children in war-torn eastern Congo premiered at the Pulitzer Center Film Festival “Global Crises, Human Stories” and was officially selected for the St Louis International Film Festival 2013.
Biography of Fiona Lloyd-Davies
Award winning filmmaker and photojournalist, Fiona Lloyd-Davies is one of the UK’s most experienced foreign documentary and current affairs journalists. She’s been making films and taking pictures about human rights issues in areas of conflict since 1992, working in Bosnia, Iraq, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and many other locations. Her film about Honour Killing in Pakistan, License to Kill for BBC2, brought a change in the law in Pakistan and was awarded a Royal Television Society award for Best International Journalism. She has also won a Royal Television Society award for Innovation for her work with Salam Pax on the Baghdad Blogger.
Justice in Action, Fiona’s film chronicling the journey of six young women exploring the path to peace and reconciliation in Bosnia won the Best Documentary International at the People’s Film Festival. Her work combines journalism with a strong visual style that she learnt as a graduate of the Royal College of Art. She is also a widely published and exhibited photojournalist in UK broadsheets and magazines such as the Guardian, The Observer magazine and the Herald. She films and edits much of her work herself, using the latest technology.
Fiona’s most recent work centres on sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She has gained unprecedented access to the soldiers implicated in the rapes in Minova on November 20, 2012. Ordered to Rape investigates the mass rapes and subsequent trial and will be shown on BBC Newsnight on June 9, 2014. Her film Seeds of Hope tells the extraordinary story of Masika Katsuva, a multiple rape survivor, who has helped over thousands of women and children will be shown at the Summit Fringe of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict on June 10, 2014.
Fiona’s other Congo work
“Congo and the General” TX February 2014 Al Jazeera English
The first ever aggressive, intervention brigade of 3,000 men has been deployed to one of the world’s most complicated and volatile regions, Eastern Congo. It’s being led by a new force Commander, the Brazilian General, Carlos Alberto Dos Santos Cruz. He has one of the most difficult and dangerous jobs in the world. To prove that the UN can finally fulfill it’s mandate to protect civilians and win against rebel forces and militia men who, until now, have out manoeuvred the largest and most expensive peacekeeping operation in the world.
“Congo’s Tin Idea” TX May 2013 Al Jazeera English
Control of Eastern Congo’s minerals has been a key driver in the savage fighting that’s killed over five million people. A new project may have the answer – to produce conflict free tin from a mine.
Connor PR working with Studio 9 Films, Connor PR working with Film Maker Fiona Lloyd-Davies, Connor PR and the premiere of Seeds of Hope, Connor PR working on the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict with Angelina Jolie and William Hague
THE YOUTH REBELLION –AN ANTI-PINK AND BLUE PROTEST ROCKS HOUSE OF FRASER, OXFORD STREET
“Stand out from the crowd? Yes please!
Why is the crowd all dressed the same anyway?”
- We’ve learnt to walk – let us stand on our own two feet!
- We’ve learnt to talk – let us have a voice!
Gone are the days when children were seen but not heard – an electric group of future trend-setters were seen protesting on Oxford Street, London, over the weekend. Why? Because they are fed up with being told to wear boring stereotypical clothes! Lucky for them, a new label has come to town.
Anti-stereotype brand, Rockabye-Baby, has a fresh approach to dressing kids and a motto to match – don’t give into mainstream cute. Owner and founder, Emma Parkes-McQueen, believes kids should be able to dress as individually as they think and is spearheading the campaign ‘down with cute; up with cool’. This bright and funky range of luxury cotton clothes for children up to the age of eight looks fantastic and is not designed with ‘three-year-old-Daisy-who-only-wears-pink’ or ‘six-year-old-Max-who-loves-dragons’ in mind. With a musical theme to boot, they are cool clothes that crush clichés.
Just as toy shops have started to listen to the public about the need to scrap the signage of gender-specific toys, Emma believes the same should be said for clothes. Why do we feel the need to even define the sex of our children? Is it because we’re offended if someone thinks our boy is a girl? Is it because we’re worried they will stand out from the crowd?
The history of clothing is an endless read – from a 1918 trade publication stating that pink (the stronger colour) was right for boys and blue (the delicate and dainty option) was the one to dress girls in; to shops publishing charts about which colours were appropriate for which sex; jumping to 1940 when the colours were switched; and then the 1960s seeing a unisex comeback…
This great new brand simply focuses on cool – that’s unisex cool; across the board cool; appealing to all cool. It’s more than a brand. It’s a statement and one that is fun to get behind (and into). With an ethos that makes refreshing sense and a quality that is unrivalled, what’s not to love about this fresh new label!?
Following a competition organised by The Great Retail Revival Foundation, Rockabye-Baby was chosen as one the UK’s hottest new retailers to showcase its clothes at House of Fraser’s POP at HOF – a pop-up at the flagship Oxford Street store. The winner secures a year’s concession online. Champagne Taittinger is partnering the event and customers who buy any POP at HOF brands get a free glass to celebrate.
Notes to editors:
Owner and founder of Rockabye-Baby, Emma Parkes-McQueen is available for interview.
For all media enquiries please contact:
firstname.lastname@example.org / Tel: 07966 177025
Following a competition organised by The Great Retail Revival Foundation, Rockabye-Baby was chosen as one the UK’s hottest new retailers to showcase its collection at House of Fraser’s POP at HOF – a pop-up at the flagship Oxford Street store. The winner secures a year’s concession online. Champagne Taittinger is partnering the event; customers who buy any POP at HOF product get a free glass of champagne.
About House of Fraser:
House of Fraser is a department store group with 59 enviable locations across the UK and Ireland plus one dot.com concept store. As one of the best known names on the high street, House of Fraser has presented customers with an unrivalled nationwide department store for 165 years. The company announced the sale to Nanjing Cenbest on 12 April 2014 marking the exciting beginning for the company under Chinese ownership. The Group has annual sales of £1.2bn and employs 6,800 House of Fraser staff and 13,000 concession staff through 4.5 million sqft of selling space. Customers can shop at House of Fraser from http://www.houseoffraser.co.uk. During 2013, the Group opened its first international franchise store in Abu Dhabi.
@gr8retail #popathof @houseoffraser
Connor PR working with RockabyeBaby, Connor PR specialist in fashionPR
SPORTS PERSONALITIES BAKE UP SOME FUN FOR SPORT RELIEF
Ten of Britain’s favourite sport stars have joined teams and swapped their boxing gloves for oven gloves in a fun-packed photo shoot for Sport Relief 2014.
For those wanting to ‘sport’ a new look in the kitchen, British pottery maker, Emma Bridgewater, has created two limited edition aprons for Sport Relief. One of the designs will be presented each night to the winner of ‘The Great Sport Relief Bake Off’ and both designs are available to buy exclusively from Sport Relief official partners – brands-for-less homeware retailer, HomeSense, and TK Maxx stores, TKmaxx.com and sportrelief.com for £12.99 with at least £6.50 going to Sport Relief.
Those championing the campaign are (pictured left to right): Olympic gymnast, Louis Smith MBE; World Champion boxer, Amir Khan; Team GB Olympic Judo athlete, Ashley McKenzie; Paralympic table tennis player, Will Bayley; Sky Sports News presenter, Kirsty Gallacher; Dan Whiston from TV’s Dancing on Ice; Olympic short track speed skater, Elise Christie; Boxer, Natasha Jonas; Wasps and England rugby player, James Haskell and Channel 4 racing presenter, Emma Spencer.
Since 2002, Sport Relief has raised over £195million. As one of the UK’s biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active, raise cash and change lives. The money raised from apron sales will be used to help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people – both on your doorstep in the UK and around the world. So join in the fun and games and be sure to grab a limited edition Emma Bridgewater apron before they’re all scone!
Sky Sports News Presenter, Kirsty Gallacher said: “By purchasing these great Sport Relief aprons you’ll be doing your bit to help raise millions of pounds to help people who need it most – both on your doorstep in the UK and around the world. I urge everyone to join in the fun and games this Sport Relief. Let’s raise as much money as we possibly can for this great cause.”
Amir Khan added: “Please shop till you drop and purchase these fabulous Sport Relief Aprons from HomeSense & TK Maxx stores. I hope the Emma Bridgewater aprons will carry the Sport Relief message into thousands of homes and help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people. Together let’s make this the best Sport Relief year ever.”
Louis Smith said: “I’m urging everyone to get down to HomeSense and TK Maxx stores to purchase one of Emma Bridgewater’s Sport Relief aprons. The campaign has received overwhelming support from well-known sports personalities across the country and is perfectly placed to get the nation joining in the fun and games. I am extremely proud to be involved and hope with your help Sport Relief 2014 receives the support it deserves”.
Details and Prices:
£12.99 with at least £6.50 going to Sport Relief
Apron featured on ‘The Great Sport Relief Bake Off’
Entertainment specialist Connor PR working with Sport Relief, Connor PR working with Emma Bridgewater, Connor PR working with HomeSense, Connor PR working with TK Maxx