YFN Stories: Georgia Hunter
From YFP to Film Programme Assistant at Fabrica Art Gallery
Georgia Hunter is a 2022-2023 BFI Young Programmer and Film Assistant at Fabrica Art Gallery in Brighton.
When I graduated from my Classical Civilisation degree in 2019, I was keen to find avenues into the arts sector, particularly in curation and programming. After moving from London back to my hometown in Brighton, I found about Fabrica’s Fresh Perspectives – a young film programmer’s group for a contemporary art gallery’s pop-up cinema. Being a YFP was a great opportunity to try and test lots of different things that interested me the most about film programming. From public speaking, copywriting, and graphic design to social media, running workshops, and handling archives – each project allowed for professional exploration that helped me figure out what I most enjoyed working on.
Becoming a YFP
During my two years with Fresh Perspective YFP I helped contribute to a range of film screenings and projects that went alongside their exhibition programme – from short film festivals to online screenings to archival footage. We also curated a short film festival for the Women Over Fifty Film Festival. Selecting from a range of shorts that highlighted that year’s festival, we acted as a part of their Best of the Fest tour around UK film venues. In this experience, we learnt from the festival’s founder, Nuala O’Sullivan, how to use FilmFreeway, how to create a criterion for judging film submissions, and thematic considerations for a film festival. We also conducted a Q&A with Nuala, which was another new and enriching experience for me.
Fresh Perspective YFP
One of the most important aspects of being a YFP at Fabrica is creativity. Given the nature of venue, which is constantly changing to accommodate new exhibitions, YFPs are required to think outside-of-the-box ways to embrace the venue within our event. For our Summer 2021 screening, we screened The Holy Mountain for our brief on religion. To help tie the event with our exhibition space, we used this large architectural sculpture as a tarot booth for audience members to receive free readings in – which I acted as tarot reader for! (This was a reference to the film, which explores tarot in its cinematography). As Fabrica hosts large installation artworks, its space is dynamic and ever changing, making each film brief fun and challenging. As each film brief would be thematic of its current exhibition’s themes, we learnt to be flexible in embracing the exhibition space for a unique setting for screenings.
As part the YFP Network we also got to visit Screen Archive South East and collaborate with them on a film project to reedit archive footage about climate change which was then screened alongside world-renowned artist, Olaf Ellison’s The Forked Forest Path with over 1000 visitors seeing our work. We have also attended multiple ICO Screening Days (both virtually and in-person), which gave great insight into the career prospects of distribution, as well as a great opportunity to meet other people within film and see amazing films before their initial UK release. Not only that, but in 2019, I was invited to help score Cinecity’s shot film festival submissions part of which involved reviewing over 70 hours of footage, scoring and commenting on them as I went along. And also, after hearing about the Women’s Over Fifty Film Festival, I volunteered with them as a Fundraising and FOH volunteer in 2019, gaining experience as a mic runner for a live Q&A between a TV presenter and international filmmakers.
Getting a job in the industry
After two years of being a YFP with Fabrica, a funded position as Film Programme Assistant opened up for current YFPs to apply to. I was thankfully chosen for the position, which enabled me to further develop the skills I had gained during my time as a YFP. Additionally, I was offered new skills in facilitating the YFP I was once a part of, as well as event managing the pop-up cinema events at Fabrica. In this role I have been given the opportunity to work with Cinecity, Screen and Film School, Oska Bright, Film Feels, BFI, Sight & Sound representatives, The Old Market, Videoclub, among many other wonderful film organisations.
My role today
In July 2022 I applied was chosen from over 200 applicants to become a BFI Film Academy Young Film Programmer. Working within a team of 10 YFPs from across the country, I help to review short film submissions from young filmmakers for the BFI Future Film Festival. I also contribute to the BFI’s Film Academy’s Instagram, writing Friday Recommends posts, as well as conducting live IG interviewing young filmmakers. I am incredibly proud of kicking-off the first SCENE interview of this year’s BFI Film Academy YFP cohort, despite being poorly on that day. I had the pleasure of interviewing Sayna Fardarahgi, an exceptional young filmmaker that has captured the attention of heavy-weights like Barry Jenkins. I had a really sore throat that day but managed to keep the interview high-energy to over 300 live viewers! So, one final piece of advice I’d offer to YFPs in their career journeys is to not be afraid of failure. Putting yourself out there can be daunting at times, but you never know if you don’t try!