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19 September 2014
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On song - from rom com to arthouse

Josh Appignanesi

Josh Appignanesi's films have won acclaim the world over. In 2002 he won the BBC Three New Film Makers Award with his short, 'Nine and a Half Minutes', featuring a youthful David Tennant.

Last year he directed his debut feature film 'Song of Songs', a story of incest set in the tightly knit north London Orthodox Jewish community.

Watch the opening scene from Song of Songs

Q1. Tell us about your prize winning short 'Nine and a Half Minutes'.

It's a compressed romantic comedy that goes wrong. For me it was my first proper shoot - I never went to film school so it was the first time I had proper kit.


Q2. What was it like working with David Tennant on 'Nine and a Half Minutes'?

We auditioned a lot of people and he was the best... He is a lot of fun to work with.


Q3. After the romantic comedy 'Nine and a Half Minutes' your debut feature was an arthouse film, 'Song of Songs'. Weren't the two projects very different?

There are similarities. There's a boy, there's a girl, they meet... stuff happens. Both films are about a battle for power. There are ways in which you make the same movie over and over again.


Q4. Describe 'Song of Songs'.

In some ways it's a dry, cold, intellectual film... I thought I'd go for the jugular.


Q5. 'Song of Songs' is an austere looking picture. Was this what you wanted?

There is an austerity of gaze that functions in some films better than others. In a hyper capitalist world it is a kind of active resistance to slow things down.


Q6. Tell us about your next project.

'Within' is a psychological chiller in the vein of 'The Shining' set in an old people's home.


Josh Appignanesi

Josh - the CV

2002 - wins BBC New Filmmakers Award for the short 'Nine and a Half Minutes'.

2006 - Directs his first feature film 'Song of Songs' on a shoestring. It wins a Special Commendation at the Edinburgh Film Festival.

Josh offers advice to would be filmmakers.

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