In 1863 the Salon des Refusés or ‘Exhibition of Rejects’ put on a show of original, daring works by artists who had been overlooked by the jury of the prestigious but old-fashioned Paris Salon. The rejected artists featured in the exhibition included Cézanne, Manet and Courbet, who went on to redefine the meaning of art at the turn of the century.
What would a new Salon – for documentary filmmaking – look like today? How much raw talent and how many original perspectives are there yet to discover? As filmmakers and editors ourselves, we know there is an abundance of talent out there. That’s why we decided to create a brand-new, digital documentary film festival, fully committed to unearthing hidden gems and emerging directors who are brave enough to experiment, tell powerful stories and ‘go for the long shot’.
The result is LongShots: the BBC’s first online film festival, which has a mission to support new voices and talent in documentary cinema.
Although LongShots was created before the current crisis, there couldn’t be a more appropriate time for it to launch. Both in format and focus, it is ideally suited to this uncertain, socially distanced moment.
LongShots brings all the quintessential film festival elements online, with a digital viewing experience, online Q&As and a virtual red carpet. All the shortlisted films focus on the nuances of the human experience, the little pleasures, pains, joys and contradictions that define us. They explore what it means to be human today, what makes us who we are, and what brings us together.
More than 70 films were nominated for the festival by its official jury – a group of 18 industry experts, including Academy Award nominees and Emmy winners. Our LongShots team shortlisted the best seven films, which from 28 May will be available to watch for free on the BBC Reel website. Online Q&As and other exclusive content can be found on BBC Reel’s social media accounts.
The festival winner will be decided through a public vote and announced on Wednesday 24 June. We truly hope you will enjoy these films as much as we do.
LongShots was created by Anna Bressanin, BBC Reel editor in the US; BBC Reel producers Anna Pazos, Alba Jaramillo and Eleonore Voisard; social media editor Florence Craig and photo editor Javier Hirschfeld.
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