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Home-grown talent to be celebrated during IoM Film Festival 2014

IoM Film Festival 2014 launch, from left, Christy DeHaven, Dave Armstrong and Emily Cook

IoM Film Festival 2014 launch, from left, Christy DeHaven, Dave Armstrong and Emily Cook

The Isle of Man Film Festival takes place over five days from Wednesday until Sunday.

Among the treats on offer will be a first look at home-grown blues artist Davy Knowles’ documentary titled Island Bound on the Wednesday.

The documentary charts Davy’s quest to investigate his musical roots, tracing the history and following the journey of Manx ‘traditional’ music to and from the island.

He speaks to local musicians as well as interviewing some of his peers such as Peter Frampton, Martin Simpson and Richard Thompson.

Davy talked to us from California about the making of the documentary.

‘It was a fascinating experience. I’ve always been interested in the human element of music, the stories behind songs, the stories behind the people that made them.

‘This was especially interesting, as I was exploring music from the island – something I’d never really touched on before. Working on the film with Dave and Christy at DAM Productions on the island is always a joy. I owe an awful lot of my career to them.’

‘The whole idea for this film was to fill in a large gap in my musical education, and to better understand the musical heritage our island has,’ said Davy. ‘There is always more to learn, and that’s an exciting prospect to me. There are some terrific musicians on the island that really helped me through this process. It’s daunting to explore a different genre, outside of your normal comfort zone, but they were very patient with me, and very encouraging. I feel very lucky I had the opportunity to do something like this.’

Davy, who now lives in Chicago, is presently getting ready to release his third studio album.

As well as Davy’s documentary the IoM Film Festival has plenty more for film fans to enjoy.

Thursday is Future Shorts film night, showing eight classic, cult and award-winning short films at boutique cinemas around the island, such as at the Patchwork Cafe in Port St Mary and the Bath and Bottle in Douglas.

There will be the screening of the film Belle, which was made in part in the island, along with a question and answer session with its award-winning director Amma Asante on Friday at Broadway Cinema, in Douglas.

On Saturday there is a filmmakers workshop, while in the evening at the Gaiety Theatre in Douglas, film critic Mark Kermode will be interviewing a ‘special guest’ before his music group The Dodge Brothers will perform their celebrated Silent Cinema soundtrack to the film Beggars of Life.

On Sunday from 11am there will be the free screening and audience vote for films entered into the International Short Film Competition. At 2pm the winning films will be screened and the awards will be presented and homegrown talent will also be celebrated by the premiering of the MannIn Shorts productions filmed this year.

For tickets call 600555, from the Welcome Centre in Douglas or online at www.villagaiety.com. The Future Shorts tickets can be bought direct from venues. For more information visit, www.isleofmanfilmfestival.com

Below is the full interview with Davy Knowles.

Davy talked to us from California about the making of the documentary Island Bound.

‘It was a fascinating experience. I’ve always been interested in the human element of music, the stories behind songs, the stories behind the people that made them.

‘This was especially interesting, as I was exploring music from the island – something I’d never really touched on before.

‘Working on the film with Dave and Christy at DAM Productions on the island is always a joy. I owe an awful lot of my career to them.’

So would he like to get involved in more film projects?

‘That I’m not sure of. While making this project was fantastic, I don’t see myself going into film. If it were something that I felt compelled to do, like I did this time, perhaps. I’d have to totally believe in it to do it.’

‘Interviewing Peter Frampton was great,’ said Davy. ‘He’s such a nice guy, and we’ve been friends for years now, so it was nice to just sit and talk music with him. Same goes for talking with Martin Simpson. Totally informal and relaxed. I was very nervous to interview Richard Thompson, I’d never met him before, and I have been a massive fan of his for years now. He was a perfect gentleman, and just so knowledgable.

‘The whole idea for this film was to fill in a large gap in my musical education, and to better understand the musical heritage our island has. There is always more to learn, and that’s an exciting prospect to me. There are some terrific musicians on the island that really helped me through this process. It’s daunting to explore a different genre, outside of your normal comfort zone, but they were very patient with me, and very encouraging. I feel very lucky I had the opportunity to do something like this.’

And what are your future plans?

‘I am getting ready to release my third studio album, and so I am running around like a headless chicken with that. I am writing this from out in California, where I am also working on more recorded material, before heading back to Chicago for a day, where I live now, before flying to the Isle of Man again.

‘I have October to work from Chicago in, before splitting November between time on the island and in Japan. It’s been pretty much non-stop recently, and for that I am very, very grateful.’

 
 
 

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