BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Northern Film & Media (NFM) and Channel 4 are pleased to announce the 10 artists and filmmakers selected for 10 new commissioned Random Acts.

The format of the Random Acts are 3 minutes in length and the 10 films explore; drama, dance, live action comedy, animation, archive, opera and music. The selected 10 represent the talent within the north east and how this talent is being developed through partnerships between the arts and creative industries working together within the region outside of London. The artists and film makers are all well established within the region, being selected for Random Acts now gives their films a national profile and audience.

Summary of Films:

Reuben Jacob Abraham (Durham), The Somnambulists, presents various characters at night in Mumbai, India, each unconsciously playing their bit roles in this huge and lonely Gotham-like metropolis. This dusk-to-dawn video inspired by Reuben's memories of growing up in the city looks dark and brooding, but has a frenetic pace cut to progressive house music.

Maxy Neil Bianco (Hartlepool), Pig the Dog, follows a typical day in the lives of the two main characters - Dell, a raggy lad from the wrong side of the tracks, and his dog, Pig, a Staffordshire bull terrier with a special talent.

Ed Carter (Gateshead), The False Lights of Durham is inspired by the intriguing social and architectural history of the county's treacherous coastline, and the tale of unexplained lights that caused so many ships to wreck in the 1860s. The 'false lights' (which officials had controversially blamed on local fishing communities) ended with the construction of the region's electric lighthouses, and this piece draws its syncopated rhythms from the characters of those lighthouses when they were first illuminated.

Andrew Coats (Newcastle), Stupid Cult takes a peek behind the curtain of a very secret society. It’s night-time and an initiation for a mysterious cult is taking place with Ra-The Divine Blacksmith as the master of ceremonies.

Ian Cottage (Newcastle), Spin, a man overwhelmed by work, accidentally makes the world spin out of control.

Michelle Fox (Newcastle), Baby Zominic is a playful dark comedy about the perils of unconditional love. Proud new parents Rachel and Toby share the joys of having a bouncing zombie boy.

Lyn Hagan (Newcastle), Tony and Angela is an animation produced from drawings by a Mexican Mafia hit man called Tony who is currently on Death Row in San Quentin State Prison and is accompanied by a soundtrack composed of sentences taken from letters between Tony and a female Sheriff's Deputy, Angela, who brought him his meals. 

Ben Jeans Houghton (Newcastle), Still Life; A young man makes a person from mud only to find himself unsure of his actions faced with the responsibility of its life.

Heather Phillipson (London), Splashy Phasings; is a plunge into a wet universe, a slippery drama suggesting activities underwater. Intermixing the politics and erotics of water, its consumption, flow and sensations, Splashy Phasings digresses through tsunamis, swimming accoutrements and the body's internal chambers.

Lesley Ann Rose (Newcastle), Spatula head is a short, surreal, stop motion animation film about the misfortunes of a boy who irons his head flat.

The 10 projects were selected by Roxy Bramley, Creative Industries Manager NFM, Tabitha Jackson, Commissioning Editor, Arts, Channel 4, Laurence Sillars Chief Curator BALTIC and Agnes Wilkie Deputy Director BALTIC. The 10 films will now go into production to be completed by September 2013 and broadcast in 2014.

Agnes Wilkie, Deputy Director BALTIC, said: “BALTIC’s involvement in Channel 4 Random Acts marks an exciting new phase in our digital ambitions and creates a fantastic platform for artistic talent to work alongside the very best creative industry practice.  It was a daunting task to choose just ten projects from over 160 applications submitted but we are confident that all of the selected artists and film makers demonstrated the originality, creativity, ambition and passion demanded by such a high profile, national broadcaster.”

John Tulip, Managing Director, Northern Film & Media, said: I am delighted that our long-standing partnership with Channel 4 has been bolstered by a new collaboration with BALTIC on these sought-after commissions. It’s enabled all of us to engage new seams of creative talent and help create a fantastic opportunity for the region's brightest filmmakers and artists. I’m confident these will be fresh, strong films which will represent the best of North East talent on a national platform.”

Tabitha Jackson, Commissioning Editor, Arts, Channel 4, said: “I'm thrilled to be bringing new voices from the North East to the screen to offer a fresh perspective. We've been consistently impressed with the creative talent that NFM and BALTIC have helped introduce us to. Our partners will use their on-the-ground knowledge to help us deliver on our commitment to out of London commissioning."

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