Last weekend was the Loco Comedy Festival at the BFI, London. Amazingly it was the first ever London film festival dedicated to comedy!
As part of the calendar they organised a two day event on the Thursday and Friday called “Kickstart Your Comedy Career”. It was for anyone who’d made a comedy short film or a TV pilot so the room was full of talented and inspiring people… and me. We were lucky enough to hear from some fantastic talkers, including the Head of Comedy at Channel 4, Sky and BBC, comedy actor and funny bastard Marc Wotton (Shirley Ghostman, La La Land), the British director Ben Wheatley (Kill List), Alice Lowe (Garth Merenghi’s Dark Place) and a whole load more.
But the best part of the two days was hanging with the eclectic audience, united in their love of laughter. I was left in no doubt that the future of UK comedy was in that room.
I’d like to share some of my new found friends and their work with you.
1. Mustapha Kseibati
I already knew Mustapha through facebook. I had cyber stalked him, when I found out he was making a film with my friend Benny Wong. He is a very talented writer and director, and also an amazingly positive guy. He also has one of the best afros I’ve ever seen on someone of Arabic descent. You can see the trailer for his new short “Painkiller” below. Expect big tingz from this man in the next year…
2. Kim Albright
Like Mustapha, I was a fan of Kim’s hair even before I had spoken to her. We met at the hot water dispenser in a break. She’s one of those people who you know is talented the moment you meet them. When I got back from the course I looked at her work and I wasn’t disappointed. She is an accomplished director who has done some great commercial and film work. You can watch the trailer and read about her new film Albatross here.
3. Jai Rajani
Jai has acted in some of Mustpaha’s short films. We instantly clicked, mainly because he also is a fan of Nandos. He’s a funny man. If we ever start up a British Frat Pack like Will Ferrel and co. he’ll definitely be part of it. As well as acting, he has some serious passion for making comedy evidenced by his establishment of the online comedy show The Sketch Bank. Check it out below…
4. Abi Blackmore
Abi’s already an established actress having appeared in BBC sitcom “Pulling”. She was actually on a panel talking about her short film “Blind Date”. Having also made a film called “Blind Date”, I was interested in how hers compared to mine. The main difference is that hers is brilliant and has won a load of international awards. Mine hasn’t. She’s a very funny writer and actress who I would love to work with. Here’s a stalker comedy from her youtube channel…
5. Nick Scott
Nick and I were the last men standing on the Thursday night, after everyone else had gone home to their lives. He’s a good egg and a very good filmmaker. His ingenious short film “School Portrait” got into Berlin this year, which is very impressive considering a work in progress of “Fired!” didn’t make the cut. “School Portrait” has been viewed by over a million people. Now it’s your turn. Smile!
There were, of course, lots of other great people present. This is just a smattering. But after many years of believing I was fighting a one-man battle to revolutionise UK comedy, I now realise I’m far from alone. The future is bright!