AN INTERVIEW WITH ECFF 2016 WINNER – TRACE TAYLOR

trace working

Earl’s Court Film Festival winner, Trace Taylor edits TV programmes for all of the major broadcast channels, including BBC1 and 2, Channel 4, FIVE, Discovery. She has also edited award-winning short films that have been screened, and won industry accolades, at many of the most respected film festivals worldwide.

From Sundance to BAFTA, Trace has experienced and participated at film festivals for over a decade. The Court speaks to Trace about her global successes and the importance of the Earl’s Court Film Festival, and we hear why she believes that ECFF is the world’s most supportive and friendly film festival that she has encountered.

How did you hear about, and begin working with, the Earl’s Court Film Festival?

My first experience of the Earl’s Court Film Festival was in 2015. That year I edited Fellow Travellers – one of two winning short films. Around that time, myself, the Producer of Fellow Travellers and a Director we had collaborated with before had a great script which we recently adapted from DJ Connells short story ‘Kid Gloves’, so we decided to try to make the short film the following year.

We applied for funding from ECFF and together we made last year’s winning short filmKid Gloves has had an amazing response both in the UK and overseas. Without the Earl’s Court Film Festival our cinematic dream would have never become a reality and this special short film would have not reached out and entertained the global audiences that is has over the past 12 months.

In 2015, Trace Taylor was nominated for Best Editing for ‘Emma, Change The Locks’ starring Olivia Williams at the Milan International Film Festival, and again in 2017 for editing ‘Kid Gloves’.

Did you enjoy filming in Earl’s Court?  Any experiences you would like to share?

The Earl’s Court Film Festival is totally unique.

It feels personal and supportive, and the festival team really care about the work that we produce together. Most film festivals I attend are rather cold, systematic and commercial in nature. ECFF is different – it has heart and soul.

Making a film for the Earl’s Court Film Festival feels like coming home. When you work crazy hours, produce take after take, the crew and actors tend to get grumpy, tired and disheartened. The creative moment can so easily be lost. However, what typically happens in Earl’s Court is that the enthusiasm of the festival directors and the neighbours helps to keep our energy and creativity elevated.

I will never forget having a really tough day during the last filming session. We had camped out in Caroline’s house for two days, and still, without fail, we were welcomed every day with open arms. She fed and watered us – always with a smile. Where else would this happen? In an increasingly cynical and intolerant world, this kind of wholehearted hospitality and warmth is a complete rarity. Sean is also a really inspirational character. His upbeat insights and positive nature is like a breath of fresh air.  It was a joy to welcome them on set.

The ECFF team is always there to help and offer an encouraging word. Time spent making films for the ECFF feels like being with family – we love it and highly recommend everyone to experience this at some point n their film making career.

Your film, Kid Gloves, won best Earl’s Court Short in 2016. After the film’s inaugural screening, where has it appeared and which international awards has the film won?

Kid Gloves has gone on quite a journey since the Gala and Award Night in 2016 at St. Cuthbert’s, Philbeach Gardens. That night we won the Earl’s Court Shorts Award for Best Short Film, which was just amazing considering the calibre of the other films screened that night.

Our actresses were subsequently nominated for Best Actresses at the Lausanne Film Festival in Switzerland; Kid Gloves was nominated for Best Short Film at the London Film Awards, Tania Freimuth was nominated for Best Cinematography and I won Best Editing at the same awards; we were screened at the Berlin Film Festival; had our American premier at the Santa Monica Film Festival; picked up the Van Gough Award in Amsterdam for Best Short Film; and was recently nominated for Best Short Drama at the London International Film Festival.

Kid Gloves’ journey is still not complete it seems. Trace has told us that she has more exciting festival news coming soon, Kid Gloves will be screened as part of the Portobello Film Festival in September and there are a few other things afoot which we are on an embargo for but it does involve a BAFTA recognised film festival. All will be revealed.

Will you be entering in ECFF 2017?

Yes, this year I have edited a film called Pitfall. The film is set in Belorussia in 1943, this short film tells the story of German troops in retreat after the Kursk offensive and how partisan groups aimed to demoralise the retreating enemy and how amidst the horror and chaos of war, two enemies are forced into an unholy alliance in the battle for survival. (Click here for more information)

Directed by Ben Desmond with cinematography by Kid Gloves Director of Photography, Tania Freimuth. Pitfall as already received critical acclaim from famed film critic, Mark Kermode, which is really encouraging. As well as being screened at ECFF 2017, the short film will also be screened at the Isle of Man Film Festival in September.