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Leicester filmmaker shows at documentary film festival
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Nick Hamer captured Leicester Market awakening on a snowy winter morning

A Leicester filmmaker is preparing to screen a selection of his work at the city's first documentary film festival.

Nick Hamer said he was looking forward to the event on 22 January 2011, which will showcase a number of international and local films at Phoenix Square.

For the last eight years Nick has largely worked on commissions for charities and government agencies.

In this time he has focused on topics including international development, faith, social cohesion and disability.

"I love the creative and artistic aspects of filmmaking but I do hope my work can make a difference as well," said Nick.

Nick considers filmmaking a vocation and this passion led him to set up Leicester Documentary Club for screenings and open discussions.

Nick Hamer

And he still finds time to shoot self-initiated films based on subjects he is personally interested in.

Recent work has included a observational documentary largely following police activity during the England Defence League protest in Leicester, and a short capturing the bustle of one of the city's most loved destinations.

Nick said: "I'm a bit fan of Leicester Market and I've wanted to make a film about that place for ages.

"I thought 'this could be really nice to go down while it's snowing, go first thing in the morning, capture the idea of the traders setting up at 6am'."

Although the market film took just two days to shoot and edit, Nick said an important part of documentary filmmaking is spending time building access and gaining trust from the subject.

"Even for that really short film, I did spend a long time developing access, getting to know people, discussions with the management at the market, that sort of thing," he said.

Much of the short was also shot using a long lens so traders were largely unaware that they were being filmed, and therefore appeared as natural as possible.

Nick said he was hoping to develop the market film further in the future.

Festival preparation

Meanwhile, he and a colleague are busy working on completing a new short documentary on fatherhood in time for the film festival.

He joked that with time constraints its screening at Phoenix may be the first time even he will see the completed piece.

Nick said: "I remember once upon a time one of my film tutors said something that stuck in my mind, which was, 'It's always better to be 100% finished and 80% good than the other way round'.

"So I've always tried to work towards that, but I am a perfectionist despite that. Fortunately the documentary aesthetic allows for a certain amount of rough around the edges."




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