Author Archives: Dave

KKP report from Dunkirk

May 8, 2016

Screening

KKP Report May 1st Owen, Esther & Tom

Sunday PM.  Travel Day.  Drive to Folkestone (3.5 hours). Kipped at friends house.

Monday AM.  Ten minutes to tunnel and into France in good time (add hour time change). We found air B&B close to camp and tunnel.  A small boat. On the intimate side space-wise. Bought supermarket food for day then drove into camp to a recently built school house (two rooms, no heating). Camp comprised of rows of huts (shed-like), showers, loos, tea room, food area and containers, spaced between train lines and mortorway.

We met longer term volunteers gathering children to go on a circus trip organised by mayor. We used the time to set up. Black felt for black-out. Wall as screen. Books as stand for projector. Found translator for posters and put about the camp. We screen Hedgehog in the Fog to a delighted toddler and volunteer.

When the group of children arrived and the room was covered in red balloons they went mental.  Joyful, grabby!  We screen shorts followed by The Red Balloon. One boy, with red balloon, walked into the screen and for a moment his proportions were exactly those of the film and we gasped. After the film, children took their balloons and cycled them around the bleached out and colourless camp – lighting it up. Especially the girls, who are nearly exclusive in red and pink. We finished in the camp by 7.

Tuesday AM.  Arrived at 10.

Screened The Gruffalo and The Snowman.  And then, for a few minutes, it snowed outside. Children ran out. Caught the flakes in their mouths.  An almost hysterical joy. In the chaos the projector fell. Owen fixed quickly and we resumed.

After films the children made masks. Glitter went down very well and they loved replicating images of masks on the packages – especially pirates. Kids face painted the volunteers. Almost violently. There was a nutty sense of the kids taking control over the offerings. A real wildness.

Lunch at 2.30. Back after we showed Sean The Sheep. The children knew the words. Sang along to it and loved the visual storytelling. On request we started Frozen. A volunteer asked for something more ‘male’ and we switched to How to Train your Dragon.  But both were a little too wordy in English and didn’t go down so well (next time can we get a Kurdish dubbed one?).

Wednesday.  Arrive 10.30. A sunnier day and we’re unsure if we’ll get an audience.

Started the morning talking with volunteers who said KKP works for them and children. We spoke about leaving projector now or returning with duplicate (but cheaper) kit and showing them how to use it later. They felt that coming back with a projector, speakers and hard drive of films would be best. Request is we return within a month.

Kids arrive at 11 and watch with glee Chaplin’s The Circus. Its set in a camp. People make fires to cook. Its full of comedy, spectacle and romance. Meanwhile next door we run a workshop making instruments which are brought into screening . We make noises and music. A mum and her babies join us.

After the film kids are taken to a huge bunch of balloons which are let off into the sky. They are not happy.  It happens too fast and so KKP blew up any remaining balloons and the kids played with them until lunch time came.

We ate with volunteers and camp residents. After which Esther went with three girls to fix a bike, Owen spoke with the bike shack their who are short of personal and puncture repair kits (bikes are great in the camp) as Tom looked after kit and made contact with educational team. We spied a football pitch not much used but elsewhere small groups of young men practising football skills. It was a sunny lunch and some people were cooking outside their huts.

As we went back through the camp we now knew many by sight and told them ‘Mr Bean’. Excited kids spread the word. By 3.30 we were back in the school room and had our biggest audience yet. The kids took cushions and chairs and perfectly made their own auditorium. Lots of laughter, clapping and cheering.

* * *

We are told there are 110 children in the camp. We screened to between 20 and 60 at a time. They were not always the same children. Oftentimes it was confusing being in the Dunkirk camp. However, KKP works  – facilitating communal screenings and workshops, giving children, families and volunteers some chance of respite,and sharing in laughter and cinematic dreams.

* * *

Child with balloon The camp Glitter Balloons

Nepal in numbers

March 20, 2016

It looks increasingly unlikely that we will return to Nepal in 2016. Partly this is because we don’t currently have volunteers that are in a position to travel for the length of time that a trip would require. Since the refugee crisis in Europe escalated so terribly last summer we have wanted to bring KKP to camps closer to home, and we are now planning trips to Europe beginning shortly.

Before we turn away from Nepal, at least for now, I wanted to provide some numbers for the month long trip. It’s hard to know exactly what to touch upon so if there’s more detail you’d like to know then please get in touch.

KKP in Nepal – November/December 2015

Days in Nepal 30
Screenings 17
Total audience (estimated) c1000
Films made by children 90
Volunteers in Nepal 3 (+1 for the first week)
Volunteers supporting from home c10
Travel
Flight miles 4666
Driving miles in Nepal (rough estimate) 230
Expenditure
Flights £1100
Living expenses for volunteer team £1650
Driver + vehicle (inc fuel) for screenings £750
Kit (screen + poles, generator, assorted other bits e.g. extensions cords, lanterns etc) £1000
 Total £4500 

Cube Cinema | Jan 21st | “Baal Chalchitra: the Kids Kino Project visits Nepal”

December 21, 2015

In November, after months of planning and fundraising the NKKP team sent four volunteers to Nepal to screen films to children affected by the 2015 earthquakes. We spent a month screening films in camps and villages that were close to the epicentre, and helped children to make films about their lives.

This evening will be a chance to share in that experience with films and footage from the trip, along with news about the future of the Kids Kino Project.

This is a free event but donations will be very welcome!

Get Bhak

December 4, 2015

In Kathmandu we managed to make contact with Clean Up Nepal who have been carrying out surveys of the camps in Bhaktapur, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site around a half hour away from Kathmandu. Bhaktapur was badly damaged by the earthquakes and, despite many people relocating to their home villages, there are still approximately 30-40 camps in the town. With winter approaching fast, the people who are still living in these camps are the ones with nowhere else to go.

Screening at Itachhen

Screening at Itachhen

We make a research trip out to Bhaktapur and are taken around six of the camps by Clean Up Nepal’s camp monitors (Rejina & Soonam). We have time to carry out three more screenings so we select the three camps that have the largest number of children living in them, and are located near to some of the others.

Some of the camps are actually located within the boundary of the UNESCO World Heritage site itself. Toll booths will continue to collect tourist money just outside, whilst these people expect to be living here for the next 2-3 years.

Sano Byasi camp inside the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bhaktapur

Sano Byasi camp inside the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bhaktapur

All three screenings are a success, and we hear from the children that our screenings have been creating quite a buzz amongst the kids in the local school. We screen in Sano Byasi, Libali and Itachhen camps.

An armed guard enjoying the show at Itachhen

An armed guard enjoying the show at Itachhen

Few screenings go without some sort of hiccup and at the 2nd camp we visit we come close to brushing with the wrong side of the law. Things are getting tense throughout Nepal with the protests now stretching further into the country from the border, meaning police everywhere are on high alert. Itachhen is located right next to a police station, and although we clear it with the perimeter guard posted just inside the camp, a more senior officer soon appears during the set up and takes quite a lot of convincing that what we are doing is innocent and just for children. With some lengthy explanation and pleading from our wonderful driver and awesome Clean Up Nepal volunteers we are given the green light to continue. We are then graced with the presence of an armed guard hovering nearby for the rest of the evening, but at least he seems to enjoy the films as much as everyone else.

Salyantar camp screenings

November 27, 2015

Arriving at Salyantar camp

Arriving at Salyantar camp

While in Dhading we travelled to a camp located just outside the village of Salyantar on top of a very steep hill, overlooked by the majestic peaks of the Himalayas, where we held two screenings four days apart.

Mountain view - we think maybe Himalchuli in the Manaslu range

Mountain view – we think Himalchuli in the Manaslu range

The people camped here came from a village that was wiped out by the earthquake. It is a day and a half walk from their old village and they don’t know how long they will be here.

Salyantar kids

Salyantar kids

We are told that most of them have never had TV’s and many had never seen a film. We played The Red Balloon and How To Train Your Dragon (Hindi language version) as a double bill for the first time, with children and adults alike absolutely loving it. Toothless the dragon reminds me of my cat, who I miss greatly, so I spent much of the screening hiding in my hoodie so no-one could see me cry.

First Salyantar screening

First Salyantar screening

For the first time on this trip, we saw children literally fighting off their parents in order to stay until the very end. It was magical.

Click the thumbnails for more…

Nepal travel plans

October 27, 2015

Things are moving fast here at NKKP HQ, and our travel plans are coming together. Our travelling party consists of three volunteers (Alex, Dave & Scruff) heading to Nepal on November 5th.Nepal map

Plans may change as there is a fuel crisis in Nepal at present, but we are advised that travel is still possible so confidence in our itinerary remains high.

We plan to spend the first 4-5 nights in Kathmandu acclimatising and holding practice screenings, before heading to the mountainous Dhading area where we will spend around two weeks hosting film-making workshops and screenings in a series of village locations.

Meanwhile in the UK fundraising events continue apace with DJ Cheeba’s live re-score of Plan 9 From Outer Space on Wednesday 28th October and the Cabaret of Curiosities at The Cube on November 7th approaching. Check out the ‘Fundraising Events’ tab on this website for further opportunities to support the project.

An interview with Bristol Bad Film Club

September 28, 2015

On October 8th at The Station, Bristol Bad Film Club are holding a screening of “Never Too Young To Die” – a James Bond parody starring Gene Simmons (yes that one!) as an androgynous, leather-bound cross-dressing criminal genius sets out to finish off all of L.A. by contaminating the city’s water supply. All proceeds will be donated to NKKP. To book tickets for the event click here.

Gene Simmons as Velvet Von Ragner

Gene Simmons as Velvet Von Ragner

We caught up with Bristol Bad Film Club (or “the other BBFC” if you will) founder Timon Singh ahead of the screening.

Oh hai Ti! Tell us about Never Too Young To Die.

It is essentially a teenage James Bond film with John Stamos as the son of legendary secret agent Stargrove (played by George Lazenby – a former Bond himself). He discovers a plot to poison LA’s water supply headed by the evil Ragnar who is, as described in the official synopsis, a ‘maniacal hermaphrodite’. He’s played by KISS’s Gene Simmons and isn’t exactly the red letter day for the LGTB community that you might think. The film tries to incorporate every other popular film trope from the 80s as well, so you have Mad Max-type street gangs, an Asian geeky sidekick and Vanity – Prince’s protegee who isn’t afraid to disrobe in the name of art.

Tell us what the difference is between a bad movie and a Bad Movie, and what was the Bad Movie that inspired you to start the BBFC?

Whether it’s enjoyable or not! No-one really enjoyed the last few Transformers films, but they were, for better or worse, well-made films. However good the FX may be or the explosions were lovingly shot, they were just… dull. On the other hand, an unknown actor fighting badly-trained stuntmen in a poorly-choreographed fight sequence can be hilarious and thoroughly more enjoyable.

Sincerity also plays a key part. Directors like Tommy Wiseau (director of The Room) and James Nguyen (director of Birdemic: Shock and Terror) honestly believe that their films have something important to say – they just completely lack the technical skills to translate their vision into something coherent.

For me, it was a double bill of The Room and cult actioner Samurai Cop that convinced me that Bristol needed to have regular screenings of these little-known, but highly entertaining cult films.

We both share a belief in the power of cinema to bring people together in a social setting. What’s the difference between watching a bad movie at home, and coming to the Bristol Bad Film Club?

The group experience – I have to watch A LOT of bad films by myself… and it’s hard. My fiancee’s not going to watch Nazi Zombie Horror SHOCK WAVES with me at 11pm and to be honest, neither are most of my friends. However, on the rare occasion I can get a bunch of them to watch a bad film with me, so I can decide whether it might work for a screening – it’s hilarious. We’re all drinking, noticing things that others haven’t and having a great time.

Alcohol definitely helps, which is why we also try and find venues with bars.

Like us, you’ve done some outdoor screenings too. What makes an outdoor screening special? Is there a difference between an outdoor screening and an indoor screening?

A lot of work goes into outdoor screenings – not to mention stress. As well as site permissions, logistics, screening rights, you’ve then got to bank on the weather being on your side. However, for all of ours, we’ve have been incredibly lucky. I think it’s all about finding the right film – something that will play to a large crowd of all ages, isn’t TOO culty (because you want to draw a crowd) and something that’s fun and light-hearted which is why we went for the family-friendly Masters of the Universe and cowboy-vs-dinosaurs monster flick The Valley of Gwangi.

Plus the council wouldn’t approve of the likes of Robot Holocaust in a public park…

Any favourite stories from past events you’d care to share? Anything get a different reaction to what you were expecting?

Our third screening was at the Bristol Planetarium and it was of an Italian Star Wars rip-off called StarCrash. For the screening, we got Dr Mark Bould of UWE and Bristol’s resident sci-fi expert to introduce the film. It was a sell-out crowd, but all the way through his presentation, Mark was getting heckled by an 11 year old boy who seemed to know everything there was to know on science-fiction. That was pretty hilarious.

What’s been your favourite Bristol Bad Film Club event so far? Why?

Screening Miami Connection (a tai-kwon-do rock band vs drug smuggling ninjas) was pretty awesome. We were one of the first places in the UK to screen the film and it was a massive hit. I even got Dragon Sound (the name of the band in the film) t-shirts made – they all sold out.

Are there any dream Bad Film Club projects you haven’t yet managed to realise? 

I really want to show Neil Breen’s Fateful Findings – he keeps saying no.

Who is the greatest Bad Movie director of all time? 

I have a really soft spot for Andy Sidaris whose entire back catalogue features Playboy centerfolds as secret agents. I purchased his entire collection for $1.99! Still, he is the genius behind Hard Ticket To Hawaii that features a toxic killer snake and a man getting killed by a frisbee.

…and finally, who’d win in a fight: The Hulk or Bruce Lee?

Hulk’s got the strength, but Bruce Lee’s got the speed…. so the Hulk.

Bristol Bad Film Club present Never Too Young To Die at The Station on October 8th. Tickets are available for £5 by clicking here. All proceeds will go to supporting the Nepal Kids Kino Project. We’ll also be bringing our t-shirts and tote bags down for you to buy, and will be having a cake sale too! Yum.

Check out the BBFC on social media at Facebook or Twitter.

The NKKP online shop is now O P E N

September 26, 2015

You can now buy our lovely t-shirts and tote bags online safe in the knowledge that all profits go to Nepal Kids Kino Project.

T-shirts are manufactured carbon neutral using ethically traded organic cotton so you can wear your support for the Kids Kino with pride.

Click here to visit our shop.

Our first major fundraiser

September 14, 2015

On September 3rd we held our first major fundraising event – a night of laughter at the Colston Hall’s Lantern.

nkkpjl

We were thrilled to have a bill that included Josie Long, Mark Olver, Gavin Osborn and Jon Hare, Mat Ewins, Nikesh Shukla and Luke Sargeant. In the days running up to the show Mark Olver managed to call in a favour from his good chum and ex-housemate Russell Howard who joined us as special guest.

We’ve now received the final fundraising total from the evening and I am delighted to say that together we raised just over £3.5k. This is a huge chunk of the money we need to send the first team out to Nepal in November. A massive thank you goes out to all of the acts that gave their time so generously, the staff of the Colston Hall and all of you that attended and gave so freely of your time and money. Thank you!