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M C S P O T L I G H T
P R E S S . R E L E A S E . 23/07/03
McLibel film director US college tour, Fall 2003
The UK Director of 'Drowned Out' and 'McLibel' will be touring the USA & Canada for three weeks: October 20th -> November 8th 2003. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to bring Franny Armstrong to your college/film society/cinema.
London-born Franny Armstrong, 31, spent her formative years playing the drums in various semi-successful pop groups. Then she read about a trial in which the fast food company McDonald's were suing a gardener and postman for libel. Three years later, August 1997, Franny's first documentary, McLibel - the inside story of England longest-ever court case - was released to great critical acclaim.
'McLibel's infamy quickly grew after the film was pulled by lawyers at both the BBC and Channel 4. Although never broadcast in the UK, it has now been watched by an estimated 11 million viewers - on eight mainstream TV channels worldwide, on countless cable & satellite channels, Spanner's website (1500 people per month), at film festivals, at schools and colleges, and at community screenings in Canada, Peru, England, Israel, USA, Brazil, Netherlands, Australia, India, France, China, Ireland, Slovenia, Finland, Scotland, Hungary, Turkey, Northern Ireland, Wales, Denmark, Belgium, Greece, Croatia, New Zealand and Portugal.
Franny's second major documentary, 'Drowned Out', (2002) follows the fight against the Narmada Dam in India. She filmed it over three years, battling against illness, rain, solar battery chargers, six language barriers and police arrests. The 75 minute film was recently runner-up for Best Documentary at both the OneWorld Media awards ("a masterfully crafted study of a stand-off between the powerless and the powerful ") and the San Francisco International Film Festival (" a film of enormous heart, grit and insight that is both taut political essay and enormously moving plea."). Hopefully Drowned Out will follow McLibel's lead and be seen by millions of TV viewers worldwide.
Franny's films are produced through Spanner Films, the independent TV production company, based in London, England, which she founded in 1999.
Both films can be viewed online at: www.spannerfilms.net/watch.htm Franny has spoken at more than 80 film festivals, seminars and colleges around the world. She has been interviewed for TV news and chatshows (inc BBC and ABC Australia) and written articles for books, newspapers and magazines (inc The Guardian). Last month, she was a guest speaker at the prestigious Flaherty Film Seminar in New York.
Drowned Out & McLibel are relevant to many fields of study, including anthropology, Asian studies, human rights, ecology, geography, marketing, business studies, film & media studies. Franny is happy to host screenings of either or both McLibel and Drowned Out and to lead discussions about any of the issues they raise, or about the Narmada Dam or McDonald's libel case generally. She can also take smaller groups or classroom workshops about independent filmmaking and distribution.
The honorarium and expenses are negotiable depending on the events you'd like Franny to lead, the size and location of your college and, of course, your budget.
Please contact Stephanie Smith on email@example.com .
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