2013 – FWB supported a student from the Lebanon to participate in a full summer internship at SBS networks in Australia.
2014 – A Palestinian participant was provided with paid work experience at the
Jerusalem Film Festival. Upon completion she was offered work on a paid freelance basis at the Jerusalem Cinemathèque
2015 – FWB is delighted to announce that Lionsgate UK has supported three fully paid internships:
An Israeli girl shadowed one of the UK’s top casting director, and now works as a paid freelancer for the casting agency.
Two FWB participants, one a super talented boy who is an orphan from the Rwandan genocide, the other a boy from one of South Africa’s most notorious townships, both excelled during their individual workshops in their native countries. FWB and Lionsgate UK flew them to the UK to intern on a Lionsgate action movie.
Once the internships we have arranged have been completed, FWB are to support the South African boy for a ten month internship at S-ABC, taking him out of his township and environment and then moving him to another city in South Africa to embark on his new life. We are in talks to get the Intern from Rwanda a film school scholarship.
FIRST DAY OF INTERNSHIP: 13/10/14 The first day in the office was very exciting for me; I’ve met Elaine Emma Kate Natasha and Lucinda and got to learn about the way the office works, how to take phone calls, file actors cv’s and headshots to different folders and mostly to observe and learn the job, I felt a bit insecure at the beginning but throughout the day I felt more comfortable and confident with the work. I also learned how to prepare the room for tomorrow’s casting -how to organize the room and put the scripts ready for the session.
13/10/14 to 15/10/14 In the last three days we had very busy casting sessions for London Has Fallen for many roles, from morning until the after noon, I got to answer the door and welcome the actors and watched Emma editing and uploading the sessions.
16/10/14 The experience in Pinewood studios today was amazing! We went to a visit on the ‘Mortdecai’ set, and it was so exiting and powerful to see how a film in such a big scale comes to life, how everything is made and planed up to the smallest details how important every single thing is, and how many people are involved in this creation. The most amazing thing was to see Johnny Depp filming a scene, we got to sit next to the monitors with the Lionsgate USA team and then we got to walk around the set and visit the office and walk around the studios which for me it was more like going in a big city.
21/10/14 Today I have leaned about casting sessions bookings, and the main things I have learned is how fast things change in casting, how much knowledge you need to have in order to become a casting director and how efficient you need to be; even if it is just checking actors availabilities on the phone, how important are the small details and how assertive you need to be; knowing exactly how to get the right and full information you need and how necessary it is for the long term.
27/10/14 Today we booked the director’s sessions for tomorrow and as part of this at the end of the day we organized the room for casting. For the director’s session we had to call the agents and ask for the actors cv’s and headshots for the director to see, I am looking forward for tomorrow because a director session doesn’t happen every day and I am excited and happy to have the chance to be around those people and learn from them.
28/10/14 Director session- today we had a director session Elaine and the director of London Has Fallen, actors that have already auditioned came to meet the director, we had a very long and busy day, the atmosphere was very professional and positive as everybody worked hard and made such a joint productive effort in order to come out with the best decisions and get the most of the day. I feel so lucky I got to do this internship and by being in the office today I got to learn live from professionals with a lot of experience- today was magical!
29/10/14 Editing is a vital part of the casting process so today Emma taught me how to edit videos on i-movie, and how to upload and assign them online. It turned out to be easier then I thought and by the end of the day I’ve edited all of today’s session and uploaded it, I was really happy to acquire this skills, as it will be useful for me in the future and very handy in the office.
30/10/14 We were invited today after work to watch the new musical ‘Urine Town’ on the west end, in order to see some new talents. As a casting director I believe it is essential part of the work and I am happy that I got to be a part of it, I have also learn and met many people from the industry such as agents actors and did some networking after the show.
3/11/14 -13/11/14 The last ten days were full of sessions everyday for a verity of roles in London Has Fallen, its amazing to see how hard it is to make the right choice, how many actors it takes to see in order to find the suitable actor for the role, especially that this film require actors from all over the world. Most of my work was editing and uploading auditions and helping Emma with booking the next day sessions. I learned how use spotlight and keeping track with availabilities and adding notes for us to see.
LAST DAY OF THE INTERNSHIP- 14/11/14 – today was the last day of my internship, we’ve booked another session for Monday next week, made sure that all the videos on castit are assigned and named correctly and did a few more avail checks that Elaine asked us to do for future projects.
MEETING AT LIONSGATE- 25/11/14 We had a meeting this evening at Lionsgate office with Guy Avshalom the COO of Lionsgate UK, Jill Samuels from Films Without Borders and Elaine Grainger from Syson Grainger Casting. I got the opportunity to thanks them for this amazing project, I am thankful for the internship and for the opportunity I got thanks to Films Without Borders and Lionsgate, Guy was very nice and wanted to hear all about what I’ve learned from the internship and how the whole experience was, we were at the office for around four hours talking and it felt really great to know that Guy and Jill care about giving back to the community, and were interested to hear my thoughts about this amazing experience.
I am grateful for the opportunity I have been given.
The Internship turned out to be more then I expected in so many aspects.
I have been given a chance to be guided and to get a closer look to the industry and the casting world, and I have gained valuable knowledge skills and experience such as editing, day to day work at the office, the visit on the set and the most important thing for me was the fact that I could see other people work and learn from them, the atmosphere in the office was very supportive.
I now know the amount of dedication and hard work it takes to become a good casting director; how crucial is the knowledge you gain within time and the skills that are vital for this kind of work.
I would never have applied for an internship because even though I’ve been interested in casting and in learning more about it and in gaining experience in this field, I have never worked in casting before and I have no past experience as a casting assistant so I felt very lucky to get this chance and also because internships are usually not paid and I could not afford to work without without being paid so this internship was like dream come true. It is all thanks to Films Without Borders who set the whole internship with Guy Avshalom from Lionsgate UK and Elanie from Syson Grainger Casting- that made this happened and enabled me to learn about casting and opened a door for me that would not have been accessible to me before. Working with Elaine and the office has been amazing and I cannot thank them enough for what they have done for me. Thank you Lionsgate UK, Guy, Elaine and all at Films Without Borders who turned a dream into reality.
My name is Mbuelo Mvimbi, and I am 20 years old.
I come from a township called Khayelitsha in Cape Town, South Africa. Money for my family is tight. One day I was walking home with my friend from the township when a gang set upon us. They knifed my friend to death in front of my very eyes. This is what life is like in a township. I was sent to a place for youth at risk, where I joined The President’s Award Foundation. They asked me if I would like to become a Films Without Borders (FWB) participant, and this is how my story began.
I started an FWB filmmaking workshop alongside other participants, and from the minute I walked through that door I loved it and knew this was what I wanted to do. When Jill Samuels contacted me to say I had been chosen to come to London to work on a Lionsgate UK film as an intern I was over the moon. But as my mother pointed out, we could not even afford to get me a passport. FWB then informed me that Lionsgate UK was going to support the internship, and would cover everything.
I told people in the township and they got jealous and attacked me to prevent me from going.
When I flew overseas it was for the first time. I had a passport for the first time and everything I did was for the first time. The day I arrived in London my life changed forever. I worked really hard and proved to myself that I could do well. When the internship came to an end FWB had already thought of the next step – they spoke to my mother and it was decided I should move out of the township. FWB got me an internship with a production company in South Africa which is the lead supplier
to S-ABC, on condition I went back to school and finished my education.
Today I share a flat outside the township and near to where I work. I have enrolled in school to complete my education. Films Without Borders is covering the cost for all of this. Finding FWB was the day that changed my life, and gave me a new start.
In July 2014 I got a call from Jill Samuels from Films Without Borders, telling me that I may come to London for a film internship. I did not believe this because I thought it would never happen. I told Jill that I was going to travel to Burundi, but now I had the chance to go to London.
My passport had expired and I had to find a new one. I went back to Rwanda, and applied for a passport, which arrived two weeks later. You usually get it within two days, but for me it took longer because I did not know the full details about my parents. It was the summer holidays and in September I went back to college. Jill was sending me many different documents on a daily basis, and it was hard for me to get access to the internet, but I succeeded and printed out every piece of paper, used Skype and sent e-mails. My college is in the south of Rwanda, a two and a half hour bus ride from the capital city. I finally received all the paperwork and moved to Kigali to start the visa application. I thought that it couldn’t possibly be refused because it had been paid for, but I was wrong. I still had to get a release form from my college, but I handed my passport and photos to the visa office and went back to college. I was told that they would call me within 15 days. I felt like I was going crazy as I ran through the swelteringly hot Kigali streets, motorbikes screeching to a halt.
After 13 days they called me to go and collect my passport, and come to Kigali. All the way I was thinking that I would stand a big chance of losing out on a visa and Jill said to take the visa envelope to Pierre Kayitana, a Films Without Border representative, and to not open it. It was Wednesday, and Pierre told me he was going to call me after two hours. I waited and afterwards he said he was going to phone the Ambassador and see if I could meet him on Friday. Pierre told me to call him on Saturday afternoon, so I went back to college and came back again on Saturday. I then couldn’t believe that I had been granted a visa to fly to the UK. Pierre opened the envelope and found my passport along with the visa. He has played a big role for me in getting a visa. Pierre also handed me my plane ticket, and instructed me about the terminal and changing flights. Pierre and his wife Eliane took me to buy a suitcase, backpack and a jumper. I was really happy because I was holding my passport, visa and plane ticket in my hands.
My flight was on 17t February at 2:40 am, but my check in time was at 11:45 pm on 16th February. At 11 pm I was at Kigali international Airport. The time came to check in and my ticket was from Kigali to Johannesburg, from Johannesburg to Zurich, and from Zurich to Heathrow. They took my passport and asked me if I had a transit visa for Johannesburg and Zurich, which I of course did not have. I could not believe I would have to miss my flight, but then suddenly something or someone (God or the holy spirit) reminded me to call Jill. It was the middle of the night but luckily Jill picked up my call and called me back and used Skype. I told her I had been refused entry, but Jill spoke to the airport staff and arranged another flight which would land at Heathrow on the same day. I had to spend a night at the airport, but I was just so happy that it all came through at the last minute. When I got to Heathrow airport I met up with Jill and Mbulelo, the other boy taking part in the internship. Jill took us shopping for warm clothes, as the weather was freezing. Al in all, the trip had been a great experience.
February 19th 2015
The first day at Pinewood Studios. We were all introduced to each other and I had lunch with Mbulelo, Jasmine, Jill and Tina at Pinewood restaurant. We left the Studios later to go to the apartment and Jill showed me some shops, and places where we could get dinner. Mbulelo and I had fish and chips for dinner.
February 20th 2015
This was my first working day at Pinewood Studios. Jasmine Williams introduced me to the camera department members. I met Gordon, Mish and Ryan Adams. I packed the camera equipment in the truck with Ryan until lunchtime, and in the afternoon I met Tom and helped him distribute the radios around the different departments.
February 21st 2015
Today I took a train for the first time! We took it from Ravenscourt Park to Victoria, and from Victoria to Brixton.
February 22nd 2015
I went to church at 9:00 am and then discovered it opens at 11:00 am! In the afternoon we went to Leicester Square and saw the movie “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”. We had dinner at Wagamama’s restaurant.
February 23rd 2015
We met the art department members, and Bill and Agis showed how they visualise real things first. Bill showed us the real pictures of inside and outside the White House, and explained how they recreate something similar. They design according to what they have seen. Agis showed us how they use Photoshop Illustrator to design a place, and make a mirror which is shot by a bullet.
February 24th 2015
It was the first day of shooting and we have been waiting for Morgan Freeman’s stunt double and Gerard Butler to arrive, so that we can start. The scene took place in the corridor (behind a canteen and a restaurant). I met up with Stuart to find out more about operating the camera, and I got the opportunity to test the Red Dragon camera lens myself. All of today’s scenes were shot at Pinewood. In the evening, we went to the Emirates stadium to see Arsenal vs Monaco, and Arsenal lost 3-1. It was incredible and unbelievable to sit in the box at Emirates. All that was thanks to Alex, who bought us tickets. It was an amazing experience and we even had dinner there.
February 25th 2015
Today everything was shot in Cricklewood, but in the film we were transported to Washington D.C.
February 26th 2015
Today we shot more scenes in Cricklewood.
February 27th 2015
We changed the location to Charing Cross underground station and filmed on an empty underground tube. It took a whole morning to shoot the same scene. In the afternoon, we continued shooting the scene downstairs on the escalators.
February 28th 2015
We filmed at the same location (Charing Cross station) all day, and in the evening Alex invited us to his birthday party in Shoreditch High Street in the Ace Hotel. It took us two hours to find it as we got lost on the way. The party was a lot of fun and I met his girlfriend Erin, and even danced with her! Just after midnight Alex paid for a taxi cab to take us back to the apartment.
March 1st 2015
Today we changed location to London Bridge station. We shot some amazing action scenes, from inside a car, and also using a rolling camera on top of cars, and with controllers inside.
March 2nd 2015
Today we had a day off but we had an appointment with a brilliant lady called Gillian at 5 pm. It was a long and wonderful day with such an amazing girl. We went to Waterloo, and she bought us tickets to go on the London Eye, and she also paid for the photos. We were in an HD Room, so you first see how the view looks inside the London Eye. It was an incredible HD screen. This was scary as everything you see seems to be in front of your face. Gillian was scared too, as she is afraid of heights. When we landed, we got our pictures taken. On our way back, we also went to London Bridge and had a coffee in a coffee shop somewhere. It was so cold that we needed hot drinks! This was the best day ever!
March 3rd 2015
Today we had an appointment to meet a journalist at the Charlotte Street Hotel near Goodge Street station. We also met a new fellow filmmaker from Israel called Batel. We were interviewed about what we had gained from the internship, and how it is going to help us in the future.
March 4th 2015
Today we were on location in Langley Road, not far from Pinewood Studios. It was a busy day, and I spent it working with my great friend Aaron Hopkins. We delivered things to the set, where a helicopter crash was being filmed. It took a long time and many motorbikes were used in the scene.
March 5th 2013
We changed location to Battersea Park. Today I met Gerard Butler and Prince Edward, and had pictures taken with them both, along with Batel and Mbulelo. We also met up with Babak, the director, and Matt, the producer. I had a picture taken with Batel and Mbulelo, and we also met a Lionsgate producer who made Expendables 1, 2, 3.
March 6th 2015
Today’s location was Dunsfold Aerodrome, to shoot Banning and Asher landing and stepping out of the plane. There were planes and helicopters at the aerodrome. It is also a place for car racing, and the place where they shot “Top Gear”.
March 7th 2015
Today we went back to Charing Cross station to film.
March 8th 2015
The location today was Somerset House and the base was nearby Waterloo underground station. We shot Asher and Banning landing and getting out of a helicopter. There were police cars and motorbikes. It was the last day of shooting.
It was a great experience to work with great people, and I have learned such a lot. I met Ryan, Mish and Gordon (from the camera department), and learned how to set up Red Dragon cameras which cost millions.
I observed the director Babak Najafi, and his 1st assistant director Ben. I now know how to work on set. They guided me through everything which took place on the set, and we learned how to use radios. This made me reflect and look ahead to what I would like to do in the film industry. I realised how much my country Rwanda needs the things I have seen here in London, but this is still a long way off. It is my mission to make sure I give something back to my country.
When I met Jill at Heathrow it was the day I had been waiting for all my life. I had applied to study in different countries but I got stuck because of financial issues. After twenty years, the doors to my carrier have opened due to this life changing opportunity I have been given.
Everything has been a lesson to me, including my friendship with Mbulelo. He taught me his language, and his friendliness and openness with everyone is inspiring. I hope that one day I will be able to go and visit him in Cape Town. Doing a workshop with Films Without Borders made it possible for me to turn my dream into a reality, and gave me an opportunity I would otherwise never have had. I wish to continue making films if I manage to do my Masters. Rwanda is such a beautiful country, and a local film industry would be beneficial to it.
I do not know how I can express my feelings, but I really thank Films Without Borders, which helps youth to express themselves through film, and Lionsgate UK, which spent time and money on me and Mbulelo. Only Almighty God will bless all of you, and reward you.