Hi Guys!, as they say in Vietnam. I’m Bennett McClellan. I live in Ho Chi Minh City and teach film and television production at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. The filmmaking scene in South East Asia is booming. It’s driven by young, digitally savvy people keen to tell stories in their own languages. I hope to help that movement expand. Last month my filmmaking colleague My Do, and I launched the first Flash Film Weekend at the Hive Saigon. We plan to roll that program out for additional dates in Vietnam, and additional Asia locations where the Hive have facilities.

I started visiting London last year, working to connect with people who run the UK’s successful filmmaking programs. I continue to explore best practices in teaching the creative arts. When I met Elliot Grove at the Raindance Festival, I immediately grasped the power in their motto: “We don’t teach filmmaking. We make filmmakers.” I decided I had to get to London to see this festival, now in its 26th year. I’ll be venue-hopping here for the first 10 days of the festival. I’ll write about as much of what’s on the program as I can manage.

Here are the films or events I am especially keen to see in the opening days:

1.The Whistleblower of My Lai (USA) directed by Connie Field

The Whistleblower of My Lai (Official Trailer) from Clarity Films on Vimeo.

Tickets and Screenings:
Thu 27th Sep 13:15
Thu 4th Oct 20:15

2. Room Laundering (Japan) directed by Kenji Katagiri

Tickets and screenings:
Thu 27th Sep 17:45
Fri 28th Sep 12:45

3.The Settlement (USA) directed by Drew Rosas & Kevin Toomey

Ticket and Screenings:
Thu 27th Sep 20:15
Fri 28th Sep 15:15
First World Problems (USA) directed by X. Dean Lim

First World Problems from XDL on Vimeo.

Tickets and Screenings:
Fri 28th Sep 20:15
Sat 29th Sep 15:15

4. Ana by Day (Spain) directed by Andrea Jaurrieta

Tickets and Screenings
Sat 29th Sep 18:30
Mon 1st Oct 13:00

5.Selfie Stick (Japan) directed by Rory O’Donnell

Rory used to be the courses director here in London. Now he is in Japan! Here is his short film

Tickets and screenings:
Sat 29th Sep 21:00
Tue 2nd Oct 13:15

And these events and forums look really interesting as well:

  1. China Day – how to get your film financed and distributed in China
    Thursday September 27 10-5pm
  2. In Conversation with Jim Rutenberg of the NY Times
    The award-winning journalist who broke the Weinstein and Stormy daniels story in America
  3. Can online series or short films change the world?
    A great panel about web series

That’s a good start for first three days. Then I’ll figure out a rhythm I can sustain for the remainder. Or a need I might be able to fill. And for ease of navigation I’m going to download the Raindance Festival App!

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About 

Dr. Bennett McClellan has spent his professional career emerged in various aspects of media and entertainment. He spent the first half-dozen years after leaving university writing, directing and producing theatre. After earning his MBA from Harvard Business School, he went into management consulting, focusing on the entertainment industry. He sidelined that professional to earn his MFA in theater, film and television from UCLA. After graduating, he took on executive roles with Hanna-Barbera Productions, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Nickelodeon’s west coast animation studio. He then returned to consulting as a Managing Director for PricewaterhouseCooper’s entertainment practice in Los Angeles. After finishing his PhD in 2010, he shifted to India to help start up a half dozen university programs, including a filmmaking academy, and then migrated to Vietnam.