INTERVIEW WITH… LIAM ACHAIBOU FROM BRAIN WASH
Over the years we’ve had many clients’ work to get out to festivals and screenings, and one of our regular stops was Brain Wash. They’ve now grown and have their feelers everywhere and we caught up with one of the guys behind it all, Liam Achaibou. So…
Tell us a bit about your job, and what you do…
Brain Wash is kind of a one-stop shop, we do a bit of everything really and so our work is always quite different depending what project we’re working on. Generally speaking though, we scout and curate content for our own events, venues, festivals and brands. This means we spend a lot of time watching a lot of films, drinking a lot of tea, eating a lot of biscuits and sending a lot of emails.
As well as looking for talent, we also try to nurture the talent we find. Off the back of the events and curating work we do we end up liaising with a lot of cool people making great content so the rest of the time we generally do our best to help them make connections we feel would be useful to them. In the past we have helped filmmakers find collaborators, commissioned original work on behalf of various companies and even produced our own content in-house.
Can you sum up Brain Wash in a sentence?
“Foul mouthed charmers of the festival circuit” – Thanks to Thom Trigger from Rushes for that one.
You’ve got a crazy busy Summer coming up. Tell us where we can see some of your events, and what to expect…
It’s festival season so we’ll be doing the rounds. We’ve just finished making a beautifully illustrated and collaged display unit and sending Brain Wash TV (BWTV) on tour with The Soup Library so we’ll be hitting up Womad, Camp Bestival, Wilderness and Bestival armed with a collection of personalised DVDs for people to enjoy at our screening station while they slurp down some soup. There’ll be a few classic selections from our past events plus a heap of brand new brain melting shorts for anyone brave enough to watch. A smaller incarnation of the library of films will also be available to watch at The Adam & Eve in Homerton, we’ll be launching that imminently so keep an eye out!
For the third year we’ve also picked a selection of shorts and features for the Wrong Directions CineTent at Nozstock run by the peeps at Mash Cinema. We went a little mad and programmed 7 hours of all new really trippy stuff to zone out to on the big screen including ‘Our Robocop Remake’, a gory and hilarious scene by scene remake of the 1987 original, which we premiered in the UK earlier this year.
Finally we’ve teamed up with Lost Picture Show to curate a shorts programme on their big screen at Boom Town and Shambala. So basically if you’re at a festival this summer we’ll either be there or lurking somewhere close behind.
Brain Wash has hosted events not only in London, but New York, Berlin and more. Where would Brain Wash love to hold an event, and is there anything exciting in the pipeline?
Anywhere we’ve not been yet really as we love to travel and spread the Brain Wash love. Maybe programming some scifi shorts to screen in deep space would be pretty cool.
We’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve for after summer. We recently partnered with mobile app Fliqio as a Content Curator. [NB: Festival Formula have an interview with them coming up soon!] The app is launching later this year so all the wonderful content we put out through our channel on Vimeo and the films we programme for festivals will soon be available to watch through Fliqio on your mobile device. We also have some exciting new feature articles coming out soon but you’ll have to keep your ears close to the ground to find out about those and the rest.
Can people send work to you, and how best to do that?
Of course they can, our submissions are open 24 hours a day, all year round. Generally, we look for short films under 20 minutes but we also programme features and long-form shorts from time to time so if there is anything you want to show us just drop us a line. We prefer online screeners so you are best of sending us a link to firstname.lastname@example.org . We also welcome bribes, non-perishable novelty foodstuffs and personal memorabilia.
Tell us the best and worst part of your job.
The best part is mostly all of it, we wouldn’t really do it if it wasn’t so much fun! The worst part is running out of biscuits, both literally and metaphorically. Most of the work we do is for free, we don’t ticket our events or charge for submissions and any money we do bring in gets spent on goodies to make sure our audiences are having fun or our filmmakers are looked after.
Share with us one of your favourite films and tell us why you like it… (slightly NSFW!)
We first discovered Steve’s work at NFFTY where he presented weird colourful one minute animations with the best monsters lip syncing to Biggie we’ve ever seen! He’s an elusive character but always delivers the goods. We’ve seen his work develop over the last four years and is now making the most striking work fusing live action with animation; I mean who doesn’t want to see a film where a decapitated rapper is skull fucked by its own corpse to then fall into a DMT infused dream of mashy monsters. Brilliant stuff, rewind and repeat!
Check out the rest of his awesome deranged illustrations on his blog here: http://stevieeatsworms.tumblr.com/
Thanks so much to Liam to taking time to speak to us at Festival Formula HQ. Sounds like a busy Summer! Get yourself along to any of their events, and feel free to send over some work too.
Bio: Liam Achaibou is the Co-founder of film and arts collective Brain Wash, for which he has curated and organised over 20 international film programmes and screening events across Europe and the USA. Currently part of the programming team at The Lost Picture Show and digital editor of the BFI funded DVD Bang, he also works as a freelance graphic designer lending his skills to various film and advertising companies. Outside of the film circuit Liam creates and mixes live visuals for JustJam, Snaketown Records, DRM RLL PLS and Yellow Lounge.