Filmmaker Interview with Kieran Stringfellow

Filmmaker Interview by Chris Olson


Your film Bulldog has been selected for the BFI Future Film Festival. Why did you want to be a part of this festival?


The BFI Future Film Festival was one of the first festivals on our list when we developed our festival strategy. Outwards looking in it has always come across as a fantastic event for young filmmakers with brilliant opportunities to connect with like-minded creatives and learn more about the industry through the variety of talks and masterclasses. We’re really excited that our film will be a part of the festival, and I personally can’t wait to watch the fantastic selection of films.


For those who don’t know, how would you describe your film?


Bulldog explores the stereotypes inflicted on rough sleepers through a visceral and gritty journey set across one night in Manchester.


Why did you want to tell this story?


The film was born from my own ill-judged assumptions. When I first moved to the centre of Manchester, I found myself continuously jumping to a conclusion when coming across rough sleepers in and around the city. So the film in many ways was a reaction to my own disappointment in myself as well as an opportunity to tackle those shortsighted assumptions that I think most of us can be guilty of from time to time.


What are you particularly proud of with this film?


With Bulldog, we set out to make a really taught and visceral short where the story was communicated purely through image and sound as opposed to dialogue. So far the feedback suggests we definitely achieved that goal. Also from a personal perspective, I had only made dialogue-based comedy shorts prior to Bulldog, and so I wanted to prove to myself that I could make something more cinematic and visually lead.


What were the challenges getting it made and/or getting it out there?


There were many challenges from a resource perspective.


We were working with a very small budget, and I was keen to make sure that lack of resource didn’t compromise the cinematic quality I wanted to achieve, which I feel can often be left by the wayside with low budget filmmaking.

But then again those limitations meant we really had to squeeze every last drop of what we had around us.


In regards to getting the film out there, the main challenge was putting in the hours researching the many fantastic festivals both in the UK and abroad to find ones that we felt fit our film.


When and where can people see your film?


So the film will be available to watch for free on BFI Player from the 18th to 21st of February as part of the BFI Future Film Festival. After that, the film will be screening at the 2021 Manchester Film Festival in March.


What’s next for you after the festival?


I’m currently in pre-production on my next short ‘Tow-Truck’ which I’ve been itching to make for a few years now. The story follows a young single mum who kidnaps her neighbour's dog to win some prize money at a local dog show. Outside of that, me and my producing partner have also just been commissioned by New Creatives North to make a body horror, black comedy short called ‘Tummyache’. So I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into some more projects.



Bulldog screens as part of the BFI Future Film Festival from 18-21 February, free on BFI Player:

https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-bulldog-2020-online


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