In a year in which the BBC is focusing on the pleasures of reading, this film follows a group of primary schoolchildren as they take their first steps into the world of the written word. Some make a flying start, others struggle. Some may have parents who themselves have trouble reading, and others may have a parent who doesn’t speak English. Channel Editor BBC Four Cassian Harrison talks to director Sam Benstead and Executive Producer Liesel Evans about the challenges of making an observational film with young children.
Not for broadcast. The documentary, made by Century Films, broadcasts on BBC Four this summer and will be part of Get Reading – a campaign to urge the nation to read and discuss books.
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years
Three young friends meet over apricot cocktails at the Bec-de-Gaz bar on the rue Montparnasse. They are Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Raymond Aron. Aron opens their eyes to a radical new way of thinking. Pointing to his drink, he says, “You can make philosophy out of this cocktail”. The author of How To Live: A Life of Montaigne tells the story of modern existentialism as one of passionate encounters between people, minds and ideas. Weaving biography and thought, Bakewell takes us to the heart of a philosophy about life that also changed lives, and tackled the biggest questions of all: what we are and how we are to live.
On Mother’s Day 2004 the artist Henny Beaumont gave birth to her third child. For the first few hours, her baby seemed no different from her two other little girls. With stunning art and refreshing honesty, Henny describes how family life changed the moment the registrar told her and her husband that their daughter might have Down’s syndrome. Henny’s wit and irony transform a deeply traumatic personal experience into a story that will resonate with every parent. She shares her family’s journey - in beautiful black and white drawings – from hospital to home, and from early years to school, in this moving, wise and unsparing graphic memoir.
In this workshop we'll take a witty look at how apathy works and how to combat it.
Expect big political ideas, funny youtubers and creative activism. Bring a fully charged mind and mobile phone because together we are going to take on the mighty forces of apathy!
The historians explore the lives and crimes of the two C20th communist dictators. Sebag Montefiore is the author of Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar. Chang is the author of Wild Swans and, with Jon Halliday, Mao: The Unknown Story.
The astronomer will share his excitement about recent cosmic ideas and discoveries. Since last festival there have been new searches for life (even intelligent life) in space. One of Einstein’s greatest predictions has been confirmed with the detection of gravitational waves from colliding back holes. Images of Pluto have surprised us, and astronomers have discovered thousands of planets orbiting other stars, some resembling Earth. And there is speculation that physical reality encompasses more than the aftermath of our big bang: we may inhabit a multiverse.
The Crab of Hate is the personification of the Scottish comedian’s depression and her version of the notorious Black Dog. A constant companion in her life, the Crab has provided her with the best and very worst of times. She talks about how, after many years and with a lot of help and talking, she has embraced her dark side and realised that she can be the most joyous sad person you’ll ever meet.
Rob Penn cut down an ash tree to see how many things could be made from it. Journeying from Wales and Ireland across Europe to the US, he finds that the ancient skills and knowledge of the properties of ash, developed over millennia making wheels and arrows, furniture and baseball bats, are far from dead. He chronicles how the urge to appreciate trees still runs through us like grain through wood.
Jon Savage’s book 1966: The Year the Decade Exploded marks the year pop music ripped up the rule book. In popular culture and the mass media, 1966 was a year of restless experiment and the search for new forms of expression. Author Jon Savage, editor of Arena Anthony Wall, and director Paul Tickell talk to broadcaster Francine Stock about this upcoming BBC Four programme, with exclusive clips.
Not for broadcast. The film broadcasts on BBC Four in the summer.
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years
How has the human body been understood in Europe, from the Palaeolithic to the present day? Archaeologists Robb and Harris reveal how the body has been treated in life, art and death for the past 40,000 years. What emerges is not merely a history of different understandings of the body, but a history of the different human bodies that have existed. They show how bodies are key elements in shaping the changes that have swept across Europe since the arrival of modern humans.
Three debut authors talk to New Welsh Review editor Gwen Davies about childhood and the nostalgia of popular culture in memoir and fiction, and about getting that first book written and published. Abbie Ross’ memoir Hippy Dinners is set in north Wales; Julia Forster’s debut novel What a Way to Go is set in the Midlands; and Crystal Jeans’ novel Vegetarian Tigers of Paradise is set in Cardiff.
In this workshop we’ll take a current press story e.g. the EU Referendum or the American Presidential Campaign, pare it back to the bare facts and then look at different techniques journalists use to spin the story. Then groups will be given their own 'bare facts' and using phones and laptops for research, design and writing - will be asked to spin positively or negatively.
This is a statement from the superstar author of How To Be A Woman about the world and the causes she cares about. It’s a compelling and hilarious rallying call for our times, tackling topics as pressing and diverse as reclaiming the word feminism, gaying up the Olympics, affordable housing, 1980s swearing, boarding schools and the reasons the internet is like a drunken toddler. Chaired by Stephanie Merritt.
The two Johnnies do the Bard. An irreverent, delightful and wickedly clever insight into the plays and games of the great playwright. Sutherland is Emeritus Professor of English at UCL; Crace is the Digested Read satirist and writes the parliamentary sketch for The Guardian.
The execution of James Foley, Islamic State, and the real story of the kidnapping campaign that started a war. The investigative frontline journalist provides an utterly absorbing account of the world’s newest and most powerful terror franchise and what it means for modern war.
The multi-award-winning doyenne of geo-political documentary talks about her eight-year project to chronicle and analyse the Obama presidency. She shows clips from the BBC2 series and talks to the BBC News anchor about her access, her methods and her interviews.
Slow traveller Ed Gillespie takes us on an inspirational global circumnavigation without going anywhere near an airport. From cargo ships to camels, hitchhiking to hovercrafts, Ed proves that getting there really is half the fun. Crossing Shamanic lakes, Mongolian deserts and climbing jungle volcanoes, he meets grizzled sea dogs, drunken smugglers, peckish pythons and billions of butterflies. This highly visual talk focuses on the exhilaration of taking it slowly and rediscovering hope both for humanity and for the planet we all share.
Sixteen years of touring across continents have sealed the indie band’s reputation as a fearsome live act, able to hold any size crowd with the sheer chutzpah of their no-hidden-tricks, raw and direct onstage presence. Their seventh studio album Lost Property stormed into the UK charts on release in January, their acoustic sound enriched with a gloriously heavy bass. They’ll play material from the new album alongside classic hits like Painkiller and Fishing for a Dream. Turin Brakes are childhood friends Olly Knights and Gale Paridjanian and their long-term collaborators Rob Allum and Eddie Myer.
The star of Dead Ringers, Newzoids, and Little Voice in her sensational comedy musical show: amazing mimicry, stunning singing and cheeky wit. Jess spins show stopping musical mash-ups, incredible vocal gymnastics and irreverent celebrity impressions in a perfect, party-going, feel-fabulous performance. With Kirsty Newton at the piano.