Interviews & Profiles

Telling Tales Film and Audio Festival: Awards and Interview with Dr Lisa Gold

The 2018 Telling Tales International Film & Audio Documentary Festival came to a conclusion with an intimate awards ceremony within Screen 1 of Manchester’s old Cornerhouse. Those who finished 3rd, 2nd and 1st were in receipt of a certificate and bouquet of flowers. Below are the awards results:

Film: UK Professional

  1. Finding Wee Paddy
  2. Jim and the Palace
  3. Fallen Angels

Film: International Professional

  1. The Illuminators
  2. Stand Up, Stand Out
  3. That’s How It Is and What!

Film: UK Student

  1. Limits of Freedom
  2. Market Missing
  3. Damien

Film: International Student

  1. Non Stop
  2. Lily
  3. Protest Protocol 

Film: Grand Jury Prize


Audio: UK Professional

  1. Bluebelle
  2. Watcha Doin’ Marshall McLuhan?

Audio: International Professional

  1. The Killing of James Means
  2. Battle for the Truth

Audio: UK Student

  1. Iron Fist, Velvet Glove
  2. Hearing Distance

Audio: International Student

  1. The American Shepard 

Grand Jury Prize

The Man Who Buries Planes

After the awards ceremony, Dr Lisa Gold – the organiser of Telling Tales – was kind enough to spare 12 minutes for an interview discussing the present, the future and the goals of subsequent annuals of Telling Tales.

What are the intentions of the festival? Raise awareness of documentary and audio?

Absolutely. I’m a lecturer at Manchester Met, and my role is lecturer in documentary. I teach people how to make films, audio and we also do photography, and I wanted a platform where we could really celebrate what was not only being produced by our students, but other students in the UK and internationally, but also professionally, and giving a home so that people in this fantastic city would be able to be a part of that.

Experiencing audio outside of an installation, but in a cinematic setting is different, but amazing.

You know, it’s really interesting because Hindenberg – one of the sponsors of the festival – were saying it’s so popular in Scandinavia now, people actually queue up to go listen to an audio piece in the cinemas like they would for a blockbuster movie – it thrills me and gives me so much hope.

So what is your background in audio? Have you practiced with it? 

I used to be a filmmaker, but the minute I started working on audio… I took an audio class and I’ve never looked back. So, I mean my background is fine art, and I actually was an installation performance artist. The thing I love about audio is so much is that you work with people’s imaginations much more than you do with film.

Why did you choose these specific film and audio pieces for the festival? 

They were chosen because Telling Tales is all about telling good stories, and that is the crux of what this festival holds dear and it was my aim when I started it to really celebrate, because we all tell stories. I really want to celebrate what a story can do for people, and how that moves people into actually doing something about what’s going on outside of our little bubble that we live in day to day.

Some of the works displayed were from your students, right?

I loved Iron Fist, Velvet Glove – she’s one of my students. So I’m, like, extremely, extremely proud of the job that she did. [laughs] So all the hard work was worth it. Teaching audio is sometimes not very pleasurable, but I’m really pleased with the outcomes.

How do you think Telling Tales has impacted the filmmakers whose work has featured?

Well, from the comments that they have said to me. They have been thrilled with the festival and they are so proud that they were able to show their work here in Manchester. So yeah, I think it’s had a big impact and it’s given them confidence, and especially the students, to be able to carry on and get into a festival.

Speaking of Manchester, it’s great to see the Cornerhouse up and running again.

Yeah, it’s a nice venue. I love the fact that it was the old Cornerhouse, because it has that old kind of feel to it, and the location couldn’t be better – heart of the city!

How do you feel about the winners of the festival? I have my picks… 

Yeah, I mean, I think they were really good choices. Some really standout, like Illuminators was just…wow. It’s just so beautifully shot and just, wow, you know? You feel the whole thing, you feel like you’re there – it was great.

And Sisterly, man, it was powerful. I think my judges were amazing, that’s why I asked them to be judges in the first place [laughs]. I think they really understood the essence of what this festival is about, which is just really good storytelling.

How is this year’s Telling Tales different than last year’s? What’s changed? 

It’s grown in terms of the number of submitters, and especially audio. Last year my audio submissions were few and far between, and I really networked over the year with people. In fact, I ended up having to turn away things, so we had so many – it’s wonderful. I don’t want to sideline film because I love film and film is great, but it is the beautiful sister and audio is slowly coming into itself but there are probably a handful of audio festivals in the world, and I’m so proud to have Telling Tales be one of those.

So what are you planning for Telling Tales next year? What’s going to be different?

Well, my biggest regret about this year is that we just didn’t have enough people coming to actually see things and hear things. My goal is to get the profile of the festival out there and I think it was a very unfortunate coincidence that so many things collided on this weekend [laughs].

In the longer term, how big do you want Telling Tales to be in 5 years time?

Massive. It’s about finding the right time, which we haven’t quite hit that yet. I think it’s also because at MMU we’re organising a new international Masters in documentary making. Yeah, so as part of the school, we’re building this new building – the MA will be part of that, and this festival will be part of that.

And finally, have you enjoyed the weekend overall?

Yeah, of course I have. I mean, for me there’s nothing better than watching or listening to a documentary – that’s my idea of Heaven, you know. I’m a documentary maker, so it’s where my passions lie. The more people I can teach how to do it, the more people I can get interested in watching it or listening to it. The better it is for me. Otherwise I wouldn’t be here. It’s a lot of work, a lot of work [laughs].

A massive thank you to Dr Lisa Gold, Telling Tales and MMU for letting Set The Tape experience a very enjoyable festival and a wonderful interview to conclude with. 






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