Venice Film Festival success for Lewes firm

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A Lewes production company has had its latest film accepted into the prestigious Venice Biennale and the Toronto International Film Festival later in the year.

“New Eyes” is a short film co-produced by GBGG Productions LLC of Lewes, and the French company Les Filmes de l’Après-Mid.

It tells the story of a young woman’s coming-of-age in an African society that sometimes uses brutal methods to repress teenage girls.

The film came about after Sussex producer Lisa Scott Gordon met five young Ethiopian film-makers - four women, one man - during her work at the Cannes Film Festival.

All their films were excellent, she said, but one new script particularly stood out.

“New Eyes” is written by Hiwot Admasu Getaneh, and is about a teenage girl discovering what her family doesn’t want her to know about becoming a woman.

Hiwot said: “People celebrate the first words and the first steps of a baby but, when a girl turns 13, people try to suppress her.

“They go as far as to physically change her body, trying to destroy her feeling.

“This short film has special meaning for me, and is very personal.

“People forced me to ignore my change.”

Lisa added: “Now we’ve reached Venice and Toronto, two of the most important film festivals in the world, our bigger picture is to build a film education mentorship programme that will cross many borders.

“I truly believe that, when we share our stories, we share ourselves.

“We forget about being different, and it dawns on us that we’re the same.

“So I want to bring experienced film-makers from around the world together with emerging film talent”.

The Venice Biennale is an international competition dedicated to films that represent the latest aesthetic and expressive trends in international cinema.

“New Eyes” has been accepted into the ‘Horizons’ short film award category, and will be shown in the Venice Film Festival as an official selection in September 2015. For this reason, the people working at GBGG Productions LLC will attend the festival as producers of the film.

For more information about the company, visit http://gbggproductions.com.

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