Meet Our Summer #SetReady 2019 Filmmaking Mentor – Kyla Bruce

Tell us about yourself

“I’m a writer and director, based in London. I predominantly make dramas, focusing on  strong characters who are often misrepresented in mainstream filmmaking. I also make music videos and documentaries and my side hustle is working as a script supervisor. Check out my website here.
We just finished making MERCURY, a short comedy drama about a pregnant young woman being driven to the hospital by her best friend. It’s a proof of concept for our feature THE COCKATOO INN and will Premier at Encounters Film Festival next month.”

What is your biggest achievement?

“My biggest achievement is our feature drama UNDOCUMENT which I co-wrote and directed with Iranian director Amin Bakhshian. It focuses on the complex theme of illegal immigration and is set in Iran and England. It had toured the world at international film festivals and picked up some awards along the way, but most importantly after we screen it, the audience engage in a really important debate about the concepts brought up by the film.”

What is your opinion on the British film industry

“The British film industry is really tough to get into and make a living from. There are plenty of film schools which are great, but more needs to be done to bridge the gap between education and employment. After I graduated from film school I felt completely lost and it took me a good 2 years to find my place. I wish I could have found a course like Set Ready to get me ready for the real world!”

What are you favourite British films?

“My favourite British films are those that think outside of the box and don’t fit into a specific genre. I love daring, brave filmmaking. Films such as Hunger (dir. Steve McQueen), The Lobster (dir. Yorgos Lanthimos), Kill List (dir. Ben Wheatly) and You Were Never Really Here (dir. Lynne Ramsay). Films that don’t easily fit into the box of a specific genre, but still find an audience because they are just amazing!”

Who are your favourite actors?

“I am forever in awe of actors and what they are capable of. There is so much incredible talent in the UK right now, it’s mind blowing. My favourite actors are Isabella Laughland and Harriet Cains, who star in our film MERCURY. They are going to be super stars.”

What inspired you to pursue film?

“I started out making conceptual video art, but I found the work I was making was aimed at a very limited and specific (often elitist) audience. I wanted to communicate stories, concepts and spark debate with a wider audience from all backgrounds. I went on a short summer filmmaking course where we got to shoot on super16mm cameras. I caught the filmmaking bug and never looked back.”

Are you looking forward to joining us on the #SetReady course?

“I’m really looking forward to being part of the NYFA Set Ready course and hearing and sharing new creative ideas. I hope it will be a very inspiring and enlightening day!”

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