Angus Gannagé: Seeking financial and emotional backers

Greenland is a country of just over 55,000 people. A population that couldn’t fill Wembley Stadium, living on the largest island in the world. Despite having less than half the year to play outdoors, a national team that FIFA refuses to recognise, and a national championship that lasts just one week every summer, football is at the heart of every town across this ice strewn country. But while Greenlandic people are fighting to play the sport they love, the world around them is changing. With traditional livelihoods and Inuit culture under threat, people must battle ever changing elements through long, dark, arctic winters, and adapt to the impact climate change has had on their way of life. Playing On The Edge follows a small community in Northern Greenland who look to the sun and football for hope. Living with people who were born and raised in the town, we see how people’s lives are beginning to change irreversibly. As the ice melts around them, this is a story about a country’s unlikely national sport and the people it brings together.

What are the most formidable challenges inherent to the profession of filmmaking?

Finding people who will fund your project both financially and emotionally.

Could you elaborate on the wellspring of your creative inspiration for this particular short film?

We heard about football being Greenland’s national sport despite the ecological factors at hand and thought its determination was more than worth investigating.
Playing On The Edge | Poster
Angus Gannagé

Could you elucidate on the central thematic underpinning of your film?

We had no thematic underpinning of the film going in, we just wanted to make something strong. After the technical process of editing and formulating the film it’s very difficult to see its core.

How do you navigate the task of strategizing cost-effective promotional efforts when operating within a constrained budget?

Asking favours. We made little to no money making this film despite its backing by the BBC and a large commercial entity, Copa90. The crew reduced their rates because they could see that we were doing it for the love of the thing, and not financial gain.

In today's dynamic marketplace, how pivotal do you consider the role of film distribution?

Film distribution’s role changes as quickly the iPhone is updated. Its ability to capture and upload is the leading force in contemporary content production, other than feature film cinema, which still (thank God) has its hook in the old world, the rest of us are just scrabbling to keep up.

For individuals contemplating the path of self-distribution, what counsel or insights can you offer?

Make something that you know to be good and pin it to the top of every social media platform of which you have commission.

In your estimation, what level of significance do short films hold for aspiring filmmakers seeking to embark on a career in directing?

Short films are a very good way of finding out whether or not you can tell a story but a very bad way of finding out if you can tell a good one.

Reflecting on your professional journey thus far, could you share an instance of the most formidable challenge you encountered and how you surmounted it?

Dealing with financiers who had no interest in the integrity of the thing we were making. We had to circumnavigate their notes ( which were funded by fear and ignorance) with slick language and compromise.

What, in your view, are the critical factors that contribute to the creation of a cinematic masterpiece?

A person or group of people being afforded the time, materials, money, and resources to make something that they believe to be good.

If you could revisit the inception of your career, are there any aspects or decisions you would choose to alter in hindsight?

None whatsoever.
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