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Islington and Hackney talents pipped at the post at BAFTAs

Anna Duffield's BAFTA nominated short flim Sea View Anna Duffield's BAFTA nominated short flim Sea View

Thursday, February 20, 2014
9:20 AM

Up-and-coming film-makers mingle with A-list celebrities

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BAFTA nominated director from Islington Michael PearceBAFTA nominated director from Islington Michael Pearce

Hackney and Islington squared off at the BAFTAs on Sunday – but nominees from both boroughs missed out on the Best Short Film gong.

Director Michael Pearce, from Barnsbury, and Stoke Newington producer Anna Duffield rubbed shoulders with the stars at the biggest night in the British film calender.

Mr Pearce’s film Keeping Up with the Joneses was his second nomination in the category in three years and Ms Duffield, who co-produced BAFTA-winning short film Dog Altogether, was also at the awards for a second time on the back of her 24-minute flick Sea View.

Despite being beaten to the prize by James Griffiths’s piece, Room 8, the pair were delighted just to be at the awards.

Mr Pearce, 33, of Caledonian Road, said: “It’s a big 
accolade just to be nominated, you’re trying not to think about it on the night and just trying to enjoy yourself.

“It’s a great experience to be part of such a big night – all the stars were there.

“Tom Hanks mistook my friend for a waiter and asked him for a Diet Coke and Christoph Waltz was grinning at my girlfriend.”

Ms Duffield’s film premiered at London Film Festival 2013, won Best British Short at the 2013 Leeds International Film Festival and screened at London Short Film Festival 2014.

The film tells the story of a teenage girl who begins a brief encounter with an older man at a run-down seaside resort, experiencing adult disappointment and betrayal.

The producer, a mother-of- two, said: “I’m very proud of this film. It tells a wonderful story. I’m delighted for everyone who was involved in making it, including the wonderful cast and crew who worked so incredibly hard.

“The great thing is that British Short Films and British Short Animations are celebrated alongside bigger, full length feature films.

Celebrate

“It’s a great way to celebrate emerging talent. Full length features aren’t given precedence. Other formats are just as respected.”

Mr Pearce said that he hoped his BAFTA nominations would help him get a foot in the door as he moves in to feature films.

“Being a film director is like being in a band in the 
’90s, it’s incredibly competitive,” he said. “Having a BAFTA nomination behind you could help get you funding for a project.”

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