30 seconds with...Hugh Odling-Smee
Film Hub NI Project Manager
Three words to describe your feelings about film
Other people’s stories.
What inspires you daily
Colleagues, ideas and audiences. And a lot of poetry and nicotine.
What’s the most challenging thing about being in the film right now
The wide backdrop to our work which we have taken for granted for the last 30 years - Europe, internationalism - is changing, the idea that others stories are as important as our own is narrowing to a more limited view of what it means to be a citizen, a whole person.
And, the biggest opportunity?
Luckily, there is a push against this by many in our industry, and the opportunity lies in continuing to see cultural spaces as places where ideas, open-mindedness and dialogue can prevail and be celebrated.
What was the last film you saw
Bad Day for the Cut (2017), Chris Baugh. ‘Farmer-noir’ from County Tyrone.
Video on Demand: forces filmmakers to think differently or ruining the cinematic experience?
I suppose that is up to how cinemas respond. Video was meant to kill cinema in the 80s, but all it did was change it. People value the collective as much as they value their sofas.
Positive discrimination: essential for the film sector or the wrong approach to gender equality?
Essential. Everyone knows the barriers, age, race, economics, so we should take action to bring them down.
Choose your own adventure films: an exciting development or will destroy the shared cinematic experience?
An exciting development. It’ll always be just a part of the overall offer, so I don’t think people should be threatened.
VR in film: enhances the experience for the viewer or negatively impacts traditional storytelling?
It is probably witchcraft.
Director / Talent Q&As: insufferably boring or a great way to engage and develop audiences?
Audiences seem to like them according to the figures, so I think talent is a good way to engage people. People like asking why.
What are you looking forward to most about TWU 2017?
Hearing about new and interesting ways to develop film exhibition in Northern Ireland, spending time in Hull and catching up with friends.
What part of the TWU 2017 debate are you most interested in and why?
‘Places and spaces’ in light of the changing world we’re living in.
Bonus Question: A UK Film Festival dedicated entirely to cat videos, yes or no?
Yes, but only if we get cats to programme it.