For one night only on Sunday 14 October, audiences online and at cinemas across UK, Germany and Switzerland will take part in Europe’s first ever interactive feature film shot and broadcast live. Watch the trailer here.
Bloodyminded is created by four-times BAFTA nominated art company Blast Theory, which for more than 25 years been using interactive media to extend the experience of live performance across the internet and broadcasting.
Bloodyminded will be co-presented online by Boiler Room’s 4.3, the digital platform for underground film, which has changed the landscape of live music with the expansion of the club space into online.
Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s art programme for the First World War Centenary and Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Bloodyminded continues Blast Theory’s exploration of cinema as live experience with a moving exploration of violence that asks us to make our own decisions about the morality of war.
Bloodyminded follows SJ, played by Isis Davis [Electric Dreams, Lie Low] as she breaks into an army base on a personal mission: to bury the ashes of her great-grandfather Harold Steele, one of the 16,000 conscientious objectors imprisoned under life-threatening conditions during WW1.
Once inside the army base, surrounded by soldiers including her half brother Varney, played by Theo Barklam-Biggs [Kingsman: the Secret Service, The In-Betweeners Movie] and the ghosts of past wars, SJ’s confidence falters.
Guided by the film’s narrator, we are asked to consider questions about our own experiences of violence. Cinema audiences respond in real time via an app created by Blast Theory; while online audiences can respond via bloodyminded.org.
Bloodyminded is filmed on location from an army base in Hampshire as a single shot on a steadicam with no edits. The production team includes Cinematographer Ruben Woodin Dechamps, who has shot music videos for Radiohead and Bonobo; and Executive Producer Anna Higgs who has worked on Nick Cave biopic 20,000 Days on Earth and British Director Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise and A Field in England.
Matt Adams, co-Founder of Blast Theory says: “Live is exciting and unpredictable. It is dangerous. From the beginning of Blast Theory we’ve mixed the energy of clubs and gigs with challenging ideas. We create situations where there are no guarantees about what might happen next and you have a direct role in shaping the future. Today, young people are grasping the moment to create change; whether after the school shootings in Florida or by stopping a plane deporting a refugee in Sweden. Inspired by the conscientious objectors of World War One, in Bloodyminded we want to take that energy into a story about fighting and bravery.”
Amar Ediriwira, Boiler Room’s 4.3’s Film Curator, says: “This innovative storytelling format will cut through digital noise with liveness and interactivity to engage young audiences in calls of consciousness. It’s important for us to find new ways to ensure that conversations around conscription, violence and peace work do not slip from the public front-of-mind.”
Bloodyminded has been inspired by research into WW1 conscientious objectors carried out at the Imperial War Museum, and interviews with British Army veterans who generously shared their experiences of training, frontline combat, banter, bullying, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Blast Theory is no stranger to the challenges of live filmmaking. In 2015 the company created My One Demand, the world’s first interactive film shot and streamed live in a single two-hour take. In the process, simultaneously pushing the boundaries of what cinema could be and how audiences could influence it; as well as achieving a world first in cinema history.
Bloodyminded has been created with support from the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union; Polden-Puckham; and Media Partner, Pathfinder International. 14-18 NOW is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
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