Kino London and the short but sweet art of filmmaking

“Do well with nothing, do better with little, and do it now.” That’s the motto of this band of amateur filmmakers in London.

Photo: Brandon Butterworth

Kino is a group of enthusiasts who have banded together to make short films with virtually no budget. Their motto: “Do well with nothing, do better with little, and do it now!”

It was born in Montreal in 1999, the brainchild of Christian Laurence and friends. Ten years later, a London group formed. Another nine years on and it has mushroomed to include regular screening events, scriptwriting workshops and Kino London Films, a production company.

Kino cells can now be found worldwide with more than 100 groups springing up across North America, Europe, Africa and Australia.

Boostyourfilm spoke to Jonny Evers, the organiser of Kino London.

Jonny Evers at Kino London. Photo: Brandon Butterworth

Boostyourfilm: Kino hosts London’s longest-running short film nights. How did it get started?

Jonny Evers: Kino London began life in 2009 as a partner to the Kino International movement, which has been active since 1999. Initially, Kino London ran ‘Kabaret’ sessions, which were three to four-day-long intensive filmmaking workshops. Later, we moved to regular screenings and special events with corporate sponsors such as Sony and Tate Modern. In 2017, we incorporated scriptwriting workshops and production days into our offer. Currently, we are the only organisation in London to offer filmmakers this type of ‘end-to-end’ opportunity to write, shoot and screen their films.

BYF: Why was the impetus for getting Kino London started?

Jonny Evers: Sadly, the truth of filmmaking in the UK, as in many countries around the world, is that there are few opportunities for filmmakers to develop their skills and knowledge while making the films they dream of making.

Film schools and courses in London are generally too expensive for the average person and scholarships are hard to come by. People looking for a career in filmmaking, therefore, need a platform to collaborate and network with others. Films are a collaborative art, yet, even now, there aren’t enough ways for filmmakers to meet, discuss their ideas, recruit people to their projects and have a place to share what they have made. The aspiration of Kino London is to be exactly that type of focal point.

You can check out a couple of their films below. For more see their Youtube channel here

Photo: Brandon Butterworth

“Platforms like Vimeo and YouTube are fantastic for getting your film seen globally. But there is no comparison to screening your film with a live audience.” – Jonny Evers, organiser of Kino London

BYF: Who are the people who go there?

Jonny Evers: What is really great about the people who come to Kino London is their diversity. We get everyone from first-time filmmakers to professional film and TV crew. For example, in the last six months, we have screened films made by a 14-year old screenwriter, a well-known radio personality, a mother of three and an actor who previously worked with Stanley Kubrick. It’s always been a strength of Kino that we are ‘open-mic’, and anyone is welcome to attend our events.

BYF: With the rise of Youtube and Vimeoo, it’s really easy to make and upload your film. Is Kino still relevant?

Jonny Evers: I’m very happy to say that it is. Digital distribution and live screenings are very different things. Platforms like Vimeo and YouTube are fantastic for getting your film seen globally. But there is no comparison to screening your film with a live audience. Seeing, hearing and feeling an audience react to a piece of cinema you have made is truly one of the most inspirational experiences for a filmmaker. Additionally, all our events are a great opportunity to network and collaborate with other filmmakers.

Brandon Butterworth

BYF: As there is a greater focus on independent films these days, do you think Kino can be a stepping stone?

Jonny Evers: I think the film industry is continually evolving, and trying to find new ways to entertain whilst making a profit. The platforms and delivery systems for a film have changed radically in just 20 years or so, allowing anyone with almost no equipment or experience to put their ideas in the same realm as films made by people with a $200 million budget and decades of experience. The real difference then is the quality of the film a person makes: this is the standard by which a film and its maker are judged. What is great about Kino London is that it provides filmmakers with a way of measuring the quality of their creations in front of a live audience, and against their peers. These are great motivating forces which, we hope, will push people to make better and better cinema.



Independent films are an essential art form – Eduardo Carneros

As long as there is storytelling there will be Independent film, says Eduardo Carneros.

The producer and production manager, known for Timecrimes (2007), Las Acacias (2011) and 7:35 in the Morning (2003) was responding to comments by British documentary maker Nick Broomfield who said the independent feature film is really almost extinct.

“I totally disagree,” says Carneros.

“Independent producers are essential,” he said. “They are the main engines when it comes to nursing a project and taking it to the audience. They are the ones who bring good stories, talent and directors to the market.”

A good example is Laszlo Nemes’ bid to bring Son of Saul to the audience. The Hungarian-born director wanted to tell a story about a prisoner during the Holocaust who was forced to burn the corpses of his own people and who tries to salvage from the flames the body of a boy he takes for his son.

When Nemes eventually secured funding he made the film in 28 days. It cost $1.6m but took $9.6m at the box office, six times its production costs.

Son of Saul won a host of awards including Oscar for Best Foreign Language film and was Grand Prix winner at Cannes.

Everton Gayle

Variety: Nick Broomfield Says ‘Independent Feature Film Is Almost Extinct’ and Docs Are Filling That Space Full article

Slow Hot Wind – Script / Screenplay


“Slow hot Wind” is a poignant feature about a man who gets an explosive look behind the curtain of dubious financing methods concerning Alberta’s oil sand exploitation. He has to choose between reality and illusion …

A bank writes off some 800 Million. VICTOR works for an international accounting firm in Germany. He suspects the losses to be a stock market fraud. This pulls him from his everyday routine into a thrilling clue hunt through Germany, France and then Canada. There he quickly takes up with his Canadian assistant LOUISE. He doesn’t notice that she is playing a double game: she also monitors him. To get his trust, she draws Victor into a close relationship. They both analyze their lives and dreams. As a consequence Victor begins to confuse his interest in the mission with his feelings for Louise. But after the murder of an involved trader, Louise decides to protect Victor. She travels with him to Fort McMurray. There she helps him to illuminate the relationship between an industry-conspired oil spill and the fraudulent stock market investments. However, there she disappears…

Big money, investigation, friendship, betrayal: an odyssey that leads from Europe to Canada and the US, and finally, to the key: Henry Mancini’s Music Score “Slow Hot Wind”.

“Slow Hot Wind”, a screenplay of 100 pages, talkative but gripping, atypically constructed: an ordinary man slips into a mission that he believes to control. But it’s nothing else than manipulation, sending him around from place to place, offering a thrilling inside view on how big money, politics and environmental issues may be linked. But this impacting and cutting-edge topic just serves to lead us to the deeper level of the story: Victor has to redefine the sense of his life.

Read more

What does a producer do?


There has always been a grey area when it comes to the role of a producer. Read on if you want to know more.


The role of the producer always causes a bit of confusion. When the Oscar for best picture is awarded, it is the producer who collects. At the end of every film when the credits roll up there is a list of producers, executive producers and line producers. Who are these producers and what do they do?

Producers are the movers and shakers. They play a major role in a film. A producer takes an idea from scratch and oversees the project from start to finish. And this is why they are hugely influential.

It all starts with a script, with which a producer develops with a writer and secures rights.

Once rights are secured, a producer has to pitch his product to a studio. This will guarantee the financing that the film needs. If this is secured it will be the producer’s job to ensure the project is delivered on time and on budget.

From there he hires a director, cast and crew. Some producers are hands-on with cast, while others will leave this to the director.

It’s the producer’s job to sell the film. He or she is in charge of arranging distribution rights.

He or she also coordinates post-production including editing, changing music, selecting edits, They have the last word. They can order scenes to be deleted and change music.
Such is the producer’s job that he delegates. Here is the chain of command.

  • Executive Producer
  • Co-executive Producer
  • Line Producer
  • Supervising Producer
  • Producer
  • Co-producer
  • Coordinating Producer
  • Consulting Producer
  • Associate Producer
  • Segment Producer
  • Field Producer
  • Edit Producer
  • Post Producer
Everton Gayle

The President’s Dick – Script / Screenplay

After assassinating a foreign leader, a Secret Service Agent must protect the American President from the wrath of a vengeful nine-year-old.

Secret Service Agent Dick Cummings III has just saved a church full of people attending the wedding of the President’s daughter. The President enlists Dick on a top secret mission to assassinate Peter Enculent, the leader of Canada. After a successful attempt, Dick escapes back to Washington – but he made a mistake in leaving Enculent’s son alive.

Creative notes: The first draft of this was written in about seven hours. This is my first feature.

Read the screenplay, it’s pure fun!

The President’s Dick ©

An Original Screenplay by Corey Dowd


Quentin and Stephen’s screenwriting tips


Five nuggets on writing for the big screen from five famous screenwriters.


Quentin Tarantino: I steal

Some people call it homage, some call it standing on the shoulders of giants. Quentin Tarantino calls it stealing. “I steal from every single movie ever made,” Tarantino told Empire magazine. “If my work has anything, it’s that I’m taking this from this and that from that and mixing them together.”


Brian Helgeland: Be compelling and commercial

Pick something worth writing about and which seems fairly obvious. The man credited for the LA Confidential screenplay says you should make it “compelling and commercial”. He told the Guardian: “The thing about a commercial movie is all it has to do is make more money than it cost. So if your movie cost $10 to make and it makes $20, it’s commercial.”

Julian Fellowes: Scripts are auditions

The script that you write is not necessarily the one that gets made, says the Downton Abbey creator. When you presenting a script, the most important thing is that it acts as an auction that opens the door for you.


Stephen King: A kickass opening

The Shawshank Redemption writer says an opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.


Bruce Feirstein: Action and reaction

The Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies writer says there are two fatal flaws a screenwriter can make: 1) Not making the hero proactive: Your hero can’t go through the script just reacting to things. He has to move the action. 2) Forgetting that your scenes have to be about conflict. In any script, on any page, in any scene, you should be able to ask, “Who is the hero? What does he want? What’s preventing him from getting it?” This is a key concern to keep in mind.

The ten commandments of writing a screenplay

These 10 commandments can guide you and help to write the best screenplay possible

  1. If your readers have lost the plot, then you have lost the plot

  2. Accept the fact that writing means rewriting

  3. Stretching reality is OK. Stretching credibility is not

  4. If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is the first act

  5. Real drama is life with the boring parts removed. Cut the fat and keep the beef

  6. Conflict, obstacles, jealousy and jeopardy are essential ingredients of any script

  7. Structure, structure, structure. Screenplays can be unruly beasts

  8. Get it right. Grammar is key

  9. Feedback, feedback, feedback. It’s essential

  1.  If at first you don’t succeed, try, try try again

Boostyourfilm proposes its vision of independent cinema

Independent cinema is everything that is not Hollywood, right?  Not really. Daniel Anton, founding president of Boostyourfilm offers another vision of independent cinema.

“The definition is clear. A film is considered ‘independent’ when it is validated by the public and contains added value,” says Daniel Anton, co-founder of Boostyourfilm.

It must be said that many are having a hard time with this definition. The notion of independent cinema differs from one country to another, from one festival to another, from one media to another, or even from one person to another. In the early days, it was defined as primarily against and in opposition to the frenzy of Hollywood money that has governed cinema since 1910. Independent cinema (as defined in the 80s) aimed to emancipate the majors, the current Indie (1990s) is the most profitable fringe of independent cinema and Indiewood (second half of the 90s) is positioned at the crossroads between the independent system and Hollywood.

Janet Staiger, Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin, believes that independence is based on practice and not on economic and institutional criteria. She considers that this type of cinema “above all requires an emotional and intellectual investment of spectators with […] a moral conscience”.

Anton goes further: “The independence of the film stops from the moment when the interest of the creators is focused on money. If your story is written to interest the audience it’s independent of pure financial logic.

“I do not necessarily put majors in opposition to independent cinema. I just think that a director’s interest takes precedence. Why not go further by saying that a major can put money into a so-called independent film. From the moment the added value is the story, it tells the public, we can consider it independent. But there is no risk-taking. What kills independence is above all the excessive exploitation of franchises, the moment when work is corrupted by money.”


A locked system in France

The public structure of financing audiovisual creations in Europe leaves the expression “independent film” with little or no meaning. All projects are likely to be eligible for grants … in theory. In fact, that’s not true. What is currently a problem is the locking of the system. In France, for example, to make a film you have to be part of the network. A producer must have the approval of the CNC, France’s national centre of cinematography and moving image, and a broadcaster (TV channel) as a partner to qualify for the subsidies. Private supplementary financing comes into play once the subsidies are secured. This system no longer allows the emergence of new talent. It is necessary to know a personality established in the system (“the big family of the cinema”), to be co-opted, otherwise one stays in front of the door. This is the lead screed above the cinema.

In the United States, the majors limit the emergence of new talents by their lack of risk-taking, in Europe, it is the system of public subsidies.

If the audience had direct access to film projects or emerging talents, wouldn’t the creative pool be different?

Translation of original article by Quentin Duforeau


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