My Little Sister (who happens to have Down’s syndrome) Episode 8

I’m proud and excited to tell you that this year’s My Little Sister (who happens to have Down’s syndrome) film is now ready for you to rent or buy ((DRUMROLL)) and you can even leave a lovely review for the film afterwards (that would be nice)  all up on very professional and oh so sleek Vimeo on Demand, with it’s super quality, no ads and cleverness to view on any device! And all for the price of a cup of coffee. This year’s film is longer, about 45 minutes, edited on better editing programmes yay!

Just as My little Sister and I have grown a lot this last year, so has My Little Sister (who happens to have Down’s syndrome) Episode 8. It’s  longer with more depth. It’s almost the length of all the previous seven episodes put together. It’s hard to believe that I started making the My Little Sister…series when I was 8, and have been following our lives through film for four years now. Winning the National Youth Film Festival Award last year with all the media attention was great at bringing the series to wider audiences and now the films are available on a professional platform and easy to download, I hope to reach wider and wider audiences, so if you love them please write a review, share them and spread the word.

Here it is

CLICK HERE to watch My Little Sister (who happens to have Down’s syndrome)Episode 8

AVAILABLE NOW https://vimeo.com/ondemand/mylittlesister8

 

I’ve put the first seven episodes from 2010-2013 altogether as a set to rent or buy on Vimeo On Demand too. So, you will never have to miss an episode or see any in the wrong order again, or get your head around the way I’ve used different number systems each time! And there’s a trailer for that too! Aren’t I getting tidy!

Here’s the first seven episodes!

CLICK HERE to watch My Little Sister (who happens to have Down’s syndrome) The first 7 episodes

AVAILABLE NOW! https://vimeo.com/ondemand/mylittlesister1to7

AND lots of teachers, group leaders, organisations, charities ask me about using the films to explain visually what can’t be said in words, promote discussion and blow away any stereotypes about Down’s syndrome. SO the films are copyrighted for home use only BUT you can contact me through this website to purchase a public screening license for groups, educational purposes,  schools, trainings, or for any other gathering where you would like to show the films. AND, even more fun is that you can book us to come and talk about the films in relation to Down’s syndrome, or home education, or both when you screen them too! How groovy is that, for us and for you!

Love the music?

We do!

So let me introduce you to the funky musicians and bands who’ve added their artistry to the film. And we all know that nothing comes close to hearing live music SO as well as buying their CD’s go to their gigs.

Huge THANK YOUS to the musicians that have made this latest film brilliant. Firstly the rip roaring tracks you hear scattered throughout are by Inkpot a daredevil smashing dazzling band that I met at Foolhardy circus camp where they were playing live for the show. Check them out, pure whisk you along genius entertainment.

And Kate Rusby, the beautiful singer from Barnsley and her band. We love her music and if you get the chance to hear her live, just go. Magdalena and I have been singing and dancing to her songs since we were little, especially Awkward Annie…and we’ve even bought her songbooks so we can (try) and learn the chords and sing along. So let me explain the story. Now I know more about copyright, I try hard to not have commercial music playing in the background when I’m filming as it is impossible to separate it from speech and often have to delete scenes I want to use because of copyright issues and the cost of obtaining the rights. When you are shooting fly-on-the-wall documentaries that’s pretty hard to make sure there’s no copyrighted music on. Anyway, this was the case with the scene with Magdalena watering her seeds and watching them grow, which is a series of clips shot at different times, one of these clips has Kate Rusby singing in the background. I wrote to her record company explaining everything and the very next day Joy from Pure records wrote back saying that Kate was happy for me to use her music and said what fabulous filming it was and wished me great success. Now isn’t that kind, and supportive and just lovely, really really lovely.

The talented Abi Foster is a fabulous singer who comes from near here too, she is only five years older than me and I love her voice, she writes all her own songs and she asked me to make music videos for her. Well, her song ‘Happy Ever After’ is just perfect for the end credits. Go check her out and buy her CD ‘Scarlet Rain’

ALSO

I also want to acknowledge the late Judith Scott , whose meditative art we love, for inspiring us in our making of our wrap around the tree stumps woodland art in the film. Also thank you to my lovely patient piano teacher, Judith Brennan where my little sister has always sat listening to me since she was a baby. Thank you to my big sister Isabella for doing the incidental music and being a great big sister to me and Magdalena-yes I am the middle sister! Thanks to my Dad for helping with every technical problem imaginable and to Mum for managing everything and making me complete projects and for asking me questions to get me to think closely and choose just how it will be. And most of all, thank you to all of you for supporting me through contacting me, writing comments, spreading the word and donating to agnieszkaproductions filmfund,  Thank you!

ooooh I nearly forgot-I was interviewed with my mum for a feature in a magazine a few weeks ago and by complete coincidence the issue is published today, on the 21st October!  It’s in Reveal magazine. You can see the article online here. They sent a great photographer round to get the photos they wanted, check out her website. Nicolette Wells

In case you’re new to watching the series, here is a little introduction for you, an article that I wrote last year when I was asked how it all began.

The Start of the My Little Sister…films

So, I know that’s a really long post, and if you’ve read this far thank you! I do love to get your comments so please leave a message below or contact me through the contact page…oh and I’m still looking for a super duper web designer to get this website sorted, ’cause yes I know its really really slow…any offers?

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Summer

We’ve been outside all summer. With camping, friends, circus, tumbling, playing with our pet lamb, walking, trips, outside fires, parties, swimming, reading, meeting up with you tubers and of course, filming!
Magdalena and I love being outside, and at the beginning of summer we went camping on a week long circus camp! It was run by Foolhardy Circus, and Panic circus. I learnt lots of new tumbling skills, and Magdalena perfected her Magic Bird trick.
We made lots of new friends, and had tons of fun going to the discos,  talent shows & parties each night!
We both had learned lots of new skills by the end, and incorporated them into the big finale show at the end of the camp.

I was very proud of Magdalena because she was very brave, and did her own solo act at the end show! She did devil sticks, & the magic bird, and I have to say that she was wicked on the devil sticks ;)

I’m sure you’ll see lots of what we did and about the camping experience in next year’s ‘My Little Sister…’ film as I’ve been filming it all!

You’ll have to wait for the videos of me and Magdalena from Circus Camp, but for now, here’s a video of me tumbling all over the place this summer!

Talking of My Little Sister, I am pleased to announce I have just started editing this year’s episode of ‘My Little Sister (who happens to have Down’s syndrome)’ after sorting all the footage from 2013. It’s going to be released on the 21st October! Keep up to date with it on my Facebook event page.

So to leave you on a happy summertime note, here is one of my recent music videos!

Keep up with agnieszkaproductions on my social media!
Twitter- @agikproductions
Facebook- Agi K
Instagram- @agikproductions

 

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Film The House nomination!

I’ve just heard that ‘My Little Sister (who happens to have Down’s syndrome)’ has been selected by my local MP as his choice for Film The House film competition 2014! This means that it will now be judged by industry experts along with the other selected films in their different categories from all over the UK. My category is the under 19s. Also, there is a people’s choice winner.

So, if you love the ‘My Little Sister…’ films and want to see them screened in the House of Commons and a cinema screening in July, then please vote for me here!

how to vote

Click on this link and click on the heart that’s inside a box in the corner saying ‘Agi K has entered Film The House 2014…’ etc.                                 <- that’s what the box should look like. Thank you!

 

This month I was interviewed for Top Of The Pops magazine, about me and Magdalena, the My Little Sister films, my YouTube channel and lots more! The feature will be coming out in the June issue, which will be out very soon!

Do you think technology is destroying childhood? Well I was asked to speak at a live video conference via Skype at Brighton University about this last week! They were having a debate about social media, it’s bad and good effects upon people’s lives. And how a lot of kids spend a lot of time on social media but don’t get outside enough, where as for me, it was an interesting debate because I use social media a lot but also spend most of my time outside! I spend a lot of time outside because I love walking, and make most of my (in fact nearly all) of my films outside. What are your thoughts on social media?

Sun’s out and looks like summer is finally on it’s way,
here is one of my latest music videos!

Me and Magdalena have been looking at last year’s footage and I’m getting ready to make this year’s ‘My Little Sister…’ film, looking back I can’t believe how much we’ve grown and changed! Ooh and we have a new arrival to the family – Harry Houdini the lamb! Here’s me and Magdalena with him, he’s very tame and follows us everywhere. You’ll be sure to see him starring in 90% of the shots in next year’s ‘My Little Sister…’ film ;)

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2 NEW OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEOS!

I was recently asked to make two official music videos for the soulful singer and songwriter 16 year old Abi Foster! She contacted me after reading my blog post where I mentioned that if anyone wanted me to make music videos to their songs, then to get in contact with me. Not only is she a great singer, but I found out she only lived 20 minutes away from me!

She has recently released her first album Scarlet Rain, which has 12 original songs on it.  Abi and I are both starting out and thought it would be great to help each other by me making a couple of music videos for her and in return she gave me the rights to use her music in my films. Getting copyright permissions for background music and audio for films can be the most difficult part of making a film. I am lucky that my eldest sister is a musician and I play cello, but to have haunting songs like Agi writes and sings will be a great addition to my filmmakers toolkit. So listen out in the next ‘My Little Sister…’ which I’ve just started editing, as you might just hear Abi singing in it.

So we had a lot of fun, Abi gave me free range on the  interpretation and concept design of the songs and their covers. And she was very patient as I directed her in all the different locations and reshot scenes over and over! We also had some fun breaks from filming singing songs we knew together (in the bathroom mainly-best acoustics!)

The tracks I made music videos for are Edge Of The Earth and Sit On Your Own. Both the songs are very different to each other, and you will see how I’ve brought this out.

I filmed Edge Of The Earth in the fields around my house and filmed it over the course of a few days with an extra shoot a few weeks later. It took  a lot of editing, especially as the lighting was dull. I edited lots of effects and flashes into it to give it impact. It was so fun editing on the night sky just after the chorus, as I had to find some night sky star footage, then green screen it into the sky (which was hard considering the sky was blue not green) then had to apply lots of contrast and effects to make it look more realistic.

I filmed Sit On Your Own in town back in February. It was freezing cold and we only had a few hours to film it! It was fun exploring and finding cool doorways and alleys to film it. I was trying to make the camera angles as interesting as possible, and as the song was about the homeless, I showed the passing of time by starting filming in the early afternoon and then filming as it got dark and turned into night, to show that Abi wasn’t just someone who had come out of her house and was busking but perhaps someone who lived on the street, I did this to bring out the meaning of the song more.

SO, click below to see the official music videos to the awesome Abi Foster singing

Edge of The Earth and  Sit On Your Own

abi-foster-official-music-videos-film-by-agi-k

 

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Inside The Reveal-a film by Agi K agnieszkaproductions

So, I’m really excited to tell you that I’ve just finished editing my first major film of the year ‘Inside The Reveal’ A film about Heart & Sold’s latest exhibition, ‘The Reveal’ held during World Down’s syndrome week. The experience was very exciting, thrilling and tiring all at the same time! Also, I  have a NEW Agi K productions facebook page so please hop over and like and share. (This will replace my old one)

So, here is the film

Inside The Reveal

….now to tell you all about the filming!

What’s the film about? It’s about Art! Specifically it is about an amazing exhibition on London’s Southbank that took place a couple of weeks ago. So, something I love and with my mum being an artist and art teacher I’ve had a lot of in my life and Magdalena and I and our big sister spend a lot of our time hanging out at galleries. But it gets better, Heart & Sold is a great organisation which promotes artists with Down’s syndrome from all over the world. It was founded in 2012 by Suzie Moffat who is mum to 3 children, one of which has Down’s syndrome. It’s a great organisation as it’s all about the art…not the Down’s syndrome.

The making of ‘Inside The Reveal’

So, this was my first big film project this year. I LOVED making this documentary it was SO brilliant an event with wonderful people and felt fresh and new. I was so happy to have been asked to make this film. And, it was a new kind of documentary filming for me as I was commissioned  to make two films documenting a live event. No chance to go back and re-shoot! One an under 5 min. promotional short that needed to be filmed on the Monday and edited on the road with minimal equipment ready to be broadcast live as part of the 321econference the following Sunday. The other a longer short that I had freedom to make how I wanted with certain elements specified. It taught me a lot about working for someone else, about collaborating and communicating, suggesting and checking out ideas as I am used to working mostly on my own a lot. How to grow a film with ideas changing as I went along from what happened and also making sure I included everything Heart & Sold might want. Like bringing the brand into the film and all the thank yous and sponsors credited. I also realised the limitations of my basic cameras and no audio equipment (which I’ve tried to fix with days and days of audio adjustment and effects and editing and funky subtitles in places back home) I’ve also increased my technical skills, using photoshop to bring Heart & Sold’s brand designs and Paul Moffat’s photographs of the artists into the film.

It took a LOT of planning beforehand. Sorting out permission to film notices,  thinking about what Heart & Sold might want and asking questions. I got out my pen and storyboarded all the shots I needed to get, I had to think about memory capacity on my cameras and took notes researching all the artists that I wanted to interview beforehand. And I had to adapt and change ideas and plans as I went along.Next time I film something like this I would book time slots so I could get really good interviews, (as well as proper audio and lighting equipment)I would have liked to have interviewed the artists and families in their own homes too, so we could take more time to talk.

Behind The Scenes We arrived at 11am on the Monday, and as soon as I stepped in the car it was all cameras out filming everything and anything, that could be used in the film(s) I was making of The Reveal. I was carrying cameras and tripods on record in both hands as we walked down the street. We had to arrive early so we could film everyone setting up and hanging the paintings, it was flat out filming without breaks capturing everything and making constant decisions of where to stand to get the best angle and shot. Audio was also a great difficulty as I didn’t have a mic, so afterwards editing was a real pain of sound equalisation, enhancing and adjusting…Especially as we were filming on three different cameras which all have completely different sound and picture qualities.

I had invited artist and art commentator Gemma Ireland to share her thoughts with us on camera about the exhibition early afternoon. I love Gemma’s art and am always inspired by her knowledge and enthusiasm when she talks about art. I love her sense of humour and I just have a great time in art galleries with her, she took me to see Rothko’s work last time I was in London and her apartment is full of colour changing lights that Magdalena and I love to play with as she explains about light colour mixing to us. I knew she would be the perfect person to talk about the art for the kind of film I wanted to make.

I filmed solid till 3pm where we quickly escaped to grab some lunch/dinner then were back at 4pm to start filming as people arrived. I was also excited because a few artists were coming before hand so I could interview them for the short film. I had lots of fun meeting the artists, and it was really interesting interviewing them! They all had fantastically unique artwork and every artist was different from the next.

One of the first artists to arrive was Josephine Goddard. Josie told me she was a ‘story painter’ and had an amazing painting of all the Harry Potter films combined, she had separated the different films by background colour, and had collaged, stuck on and painted the characters on. It had to be one of my favourite paintings in the exhibition, especially as I am a huge fan of Harry Potter myself! (; What struck me most about Josie’s work was how different they looked from on the computer screen. This is because the colours are unbelievably vibrant and there is SO much sparkle in them. Seeing art for real is SO different from on a screen or in a book, the textures, the brightness, the size.

Lester Magoogan was also one of the first artists to arrive, I loved his drawings, and had seen a lot of his work before on the computer as he has a great website. He has a great unique and humorous style of line drawings. He was as great as his art to interview! I had so much fun as he talked with so much expression and loved describing his art and how he gets his ideas and wants to draw the emotions, feelings and characters. There was a special surprise as it was actually Lester’s BIRTHDAY at the private view, you can see the wonderful cake and Lester getting a slice in the film! It really helped me having him come early so I could chat for longer and before the private view began. I’m really glad I asked Suzie to ask if any of the artists could do this. And as you can see Lester and Josie feature a lot in the film as I managed to get great interviews with them because of this.

Because the exhibition was still frantically being set up in a hurry ready for the Private View which was now only an hour away, you can probably hear an awful lot of banging and loud noises and nervous chatting in the background…hence why I had to get close up shots of the artists – just for the sake of the audio! Sometimes things like this can bring out results that are more fun and it made me get playing around with the editing more and how I could make the subtitles like the art of the artists. I love editing and effects.

The artists had come from all to be at the exhibition. Rachel Handlin came all the way from Hawaii! Rachel takes beautiful photographs, one of my favourite photos of her’s exhibited at The Reveal was ‘Paintstorm’ which was a colourful photo of lots of muted multi coloured paint splattered everywhere. It has a feel of Rothko about it.

David Kenward also exhibted  beautiful photography. Specialising in close up photos, and one of my favourites was a macro shot of a flower.

I loved meeting Christopher Lodge, and talking about how he had created his Owl painting, which I loved, especially the blown up version of it. Unfortunately I couldn’t use the audio in the film as the live band was playing.

I wasn’t able to interview Katie Rickersey with her vibrant paintings, John P Kelting with his artistic portraits, as he was in America.. or Teniola Olojo in Nigeria with his dancing lines…but hope to in the future as they all have very interesting work. Savraj who represented Teniola (and Akinola, his brother) allowed me to interview her though which was great.

I kept going back at Richard Cloake’s ‘Swords’ painting, at first I loved the simple yet so expressive lines. And then I saw the sad expressions on the characters, and got a completely different message to what I first had seen, I’ve never seen sword fighters with such sad faces before, and this gave out a whole new meaning which I loved.

I loved Fiona Stevenson’s colours and energetic brush strokes, her work had so much depth, you could look into it and into it and see it differently each time. They looked great in prints too. I would have liked to have had longer to speak to Fiona, and also Tazia Fawley you can read Tazia’s blog here but time was limited and the music was very loud! Tazia’s paintings were full of colour and abstracted landscapes, which I found joyful to look at.

The best part of making this film was BEING there! It was so exciting and interesting to meet everyone at such a happy event. It was full of celebration and smiles. I made lots of new friends and so did Magdalena. Here’s a lovely photo of her with Rachel Handlin, the artist from Hawaii.  Magdalena really loved looking at all the art and I had to put her talking about the shapes and textures and colours in Josie’s paintings.  So after an exciting week in London, filming and editing and seeing friends (I met up with my friend Sam and made a music video with him during the week as well You can see it here!) and playing in the parks (the blossom had just come out!) with Magdalena and finishing the 5 min.promo ready for Heart & Sold’s 321econference  presentation on the Sunday, I came home to edit the main film. Which I finished TODAY! This has turned out to be 17 minutes long. I wanted to include a lot to make it come alive so people seeing the film could feel, think and see what I was feeling, thinking and seeing from being there for real.

Some of these things that struck me that I aimed to bring out in the film were:

The happy celebration, the friendliness, the happiness, the strength and determination and voices of the artists, the love and support of their families, the excitement, the characters of the paintings, the colours and shapes and lines, the incredible quality of presentation and hard work from Heart & Sold and all the little details that made it really special, like the artist’s postcards, badges with the picturehook, brochures, from the hanging of the exhibition, to the powerful photographic portraits of the artists by Paul Moffat to the live music and organisation of Brad Snelling and the clever brand design byHeart & Sold badges Matt Maurer I wanted to show what it meant for the artists to have their work exhibited in London and to have it sold. I really hope my film captures what a brilliant organisation this is and helps Heart & Sold  to get sponsorship to continue with the next tour and grow and grow. Maybe one day when my little sister, Magdalena has grown up she will be exhibiting her artwork with Heart & Sold,  if she carries on drawing and painting everyday like she does now.

Don’t forget to go to Heart & Sold’s website as you can buy the artists original work and also prints! Buy Art

And if you missed the link to watch my film, just click here: ‘Inside The Reveal’

On my next blog you’ll hear how I’ve been working with a singer to create her official music videos for two of her songs…

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Happy World Down’s Syndrome Day!

Happy World Down’s Syndrome Day everyone!  To celebrate, me and My Little Sister Magdalena made a music video to ‘Friends’ by Jasmine Thompson She is an amazing singer and she has a beautiful voice, and she is only 13! I am completely in love with her songs. See our take on ‘Friends’ here:

If you have Down’s syndrome, then you have 3 copies of your 21st chromosome. So Magdalena has 3 copies of her 21st chromosome and I have 2 copies of my 21st chromosome. World Down’s Syndrome Day is on the 21st of the 3rd month to mark the extra chromosome and Down’s syndrome is also called Trisomy 21. Look at this  colourful photo from Noah’s Dad showing the chromosomes. Isn’t it beautiful, it looks a bit like ‘lots of socks’.

But that’s just a little bit of science and people wonder what is that like in life, what does it mean? Like everything in life it is different for everyone. In the films that I make about me and Magdalena’s life, you can see what it means to us. You can watch them all in order here: My Little Sister (who happens to have Down’s syndrome)

And you can also read more about Down’s syndrome in the article I wrote for            Jump! Magazine in 2013
Lots of Socks for World Down’s syndrome day

Our Mum was interviewed about the films I make about My Little Sister, Magdalena in Womans Own for World Down's syndrome Day.

We were also featured in ‘Womans Own’ with Hollie and Rosie and their families for a really happy article about Down’s syndrome. It’s in the 17th March magazine issue.

This year’s ‘My Little Sister (who happens to have Down’s syndrome)’ film will be out later this year-as will our first ‘My Little Sister’ book from the films.

 

Happy Mother's Day to my lovely mum who is a big support to me! She has always encouraged me with my filmmaking and everything I love to do :)

It’s mother’s day next Sunday!

So here’s a photo of me and Magdalena with our lovely Mum who home educates us. Thank you for my lovely mummy because without her I probably wouldn’t be here making videos today. She has always encouraged me with filmmaking and everything I love and she’s been a big influence and support. I love you mum. Wishing everybody who is a mum or like a mum to somebody, a Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Next blog I will tell you all about my filming at ‘The Reveal’ and our trip to London.

 

 

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Agi K films The Reveal – Heart & Sold exhibition 2014

“Some very exciting news! Young but very talented film maker, Agnieszka Kolaczynska will be filming at the private viewing and celebration party for The Reveal…Agi will be interviewing artists and their families and capturing moments throughout the evening to produce a film that will match her previous wonderful, innovative and inspirational works.” Suzie Moffat
I’ve been commissioned to make a film for Heart And Sold. So I’ll be filming at the private view and celebration party of The Reveal in  London, near the Tate Modern and I’ve been working really intensely on storyboarding and learning all about copyright issues, filming permissions and all the paperwork and equipment needed to film a live event and produce what I want from it.

The last time I was at The Southbank was last November when I won the NYFF award and we went to the Tate to celebrate and I started a music video (which I’ll be able to finish whilst we’re down there again!) So it feels a  bit like carrying on the next chapter in a book. I love how life happens like that. So what’s ‘The Reveal’ ? It’s a visual art exhibition with works created by artists (who happen to also have D.S.) and I’ve been asked to make a film about it  ‘Agi K style’  which gives me the freedom to have fun.

The exhibition is premiering during the week long celebrations of World Down’s syndrome day from the 17th to the 21st March 2014. I’m excited  about  interviewing the brilliant artists and hearing what they have to say! They all have incredibly inspiring, and unique artwork that I absolutely love. As an artist, it is always great to see and talk to other artists so I’m feeling excited that I will be interviewing them! I am thinking of interesting questions to ask right now, What would you like to know? Or what would you like to be asked, if I was interviewing you? Write your questions for me to ask below !

There are 11 artists exhibiting, some from exotic places such as Hawaii and Nigeria, and most of them will be at the private view or celebration party. I love meeting people from different countries and places. Here are three of those artists to give you a taste of the show:
Lester Magoogan (isn’t that an awesome name?) I just like saying it. He is one of the artists coming. I really love his drawings! You have to check them out. I love how he starts by just drawing simple lines, and then the lines turn into a really awesome character! See one of  live drawings here. He also brings his drawings to life with his funky animations. Lester is also going to drawing LIVE and the works will be up for auction. I’d love him to draw me and my little sister, Magdalena I wonder if he will?
Tazia Fowley well, she has a special way with colour and shape. I love her paintings, they are really beautiful, I love the colours and materials that she uses. And I love how she paints from something and gives it her own completely unique style! I love the colour and the softness they have. Check out her great paintings here. I can’t wait to see them big!
John Kelting a portrait painter with a swirling gusto. I love his paintings as they are bursting with colour, and are painted in a Picasso sort of way, they are really enjoyable to look at and very exuberant!

I will be shooting footage for TWO films over the week.

1. A  short promotional film capturing the essence of ‘The Reveal’ and this will be broadcast live for the  econference for World Down’s Syndrome Day 321econference where the director of Heart & Sold,  Suzy Moffat will be giving a presentation.

2. A longer film with a fantasy twist. I will be composing my own soundtrack to accompany this film too and it is going to be my major film project for this year (as well as the continuing “My Little Sister…” series. I have been very adventurous in the development of the idea and it will involve all my editing skills and be a crossover between the style of my music videos and “My Little Sister” docs. I’m really excited about this and think the artists involved will love it too!

S.O.S. I’m actually hunting for someone to loan me a directional mic and a GoPro camera (for some specific action shots I want to get) for the week if possible (I’m unpaid so rely on kind loans) so please if you know anyone in London who could lend me these (even just for the Monday shoot)

We love going to art galleries because it’s amazing to see the full sized image, and see the textures and marks. Paintings have a real energy about them and I love to experience that in real life.  Do you have any original artwork in your home? Tazia, John and Lester’s artwork is a really good price for what they’re worth, you can buy Tazia’s work here, John’s here and Lester’s here . I am very excited to be filming the event, this will be my first time filming and interviewing artists, so I am very excited!

On March 2nd I ran a big synchro dance music video workshop with my Agi K film club! A while back, when I was watching Slumdog Millionaire (it’s a really good film, you should definitely check it out!)  I heard M.I.A’s Paper Planes song, I had recently downloaded the whole of my older sister’s iTunes library on my iPad, to give me more songs to make music videos to. Included in the wide song selection was Paper Planes, I’d only listened to it once when I was sifting through the music, and I thought the song was brilliant! It had a great beat and catchy lyrics, when I heard it accompanying the scene in Slumdog Millionaire it sounded even better.
My next film club session was coming up, and we had a lot of people booked in, so I wanted to do something big, new and a bit more special! I had a think about it, and then I thought of how I love dancing, and thought how it would be great to choreograph a dance, then perform it with my film club making it into a music video! With plenty of synchro moves and dance ideas in mind, I scrolled through my music library and once again stumbled across Paper Planes. As soon as I saw the title of the song, I knew that the song would just be perfect! So, here is the video!
)

Well, it’s going to be a busy few weeks as I’m editing a special music video of me and Magdalena for Down’s syndrome day 21st March: ‘Friends with My Little Sister…’ I just shot it today on the hill in the sunshine- so watch out for that, Magdalena is great in it. Also I’m going to be meeting one of my YouTube friends called Sam, and we will be filming a special collab which will be uploaded the week after…also working on filming Abi Foster’s official music videos…and the ©My Little Sister (who happens to have Down’s syndrome) book series’, which includes our sugarfree recipe book called ‘©Cooking with My Little Sister’ full of our ‘delicious sweet nourishing treats’

I also want to say a HUGE thank you for 14k on my instagram! That’s amazing :D like wooow, that’s fourteen thousand people who clicked the follow button, and who like and comment on my photos! And the biggest thank you ever because I also just reached 8k on my YouTube channel!

Here in Wales the lambs are being born and catkins are out. Me and my little sister have been enjoying the sun at last and are being outside as much as we can. Here’s a film from the ‘Mini My Little Sister (who happen’s to have Down’s syndrome)’ series from last Spring:
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What’s happening?

This week Magdalena is going to be 8!  I started this blog and released the first ‘My Little Sister…’ film when I was 8, three years ago. It feels like completion of one cycle.

Annually I release the next instalment of our lives in January. But this year it’s different as it’s time for the next stage in the My Little Sister (who happens to have Down’s syndrome) film and books project.

So far
Since starting three years ago, this film project now has a life of it’s own, the first episode has 24,000 views. There are 10 episodes in total, including the mini My Little Sisters and My Little Sister Around the World. Over 7k subscribers to my youtube channel. I have received £983 in donations towards my filmmaking fund over three years and regular emails of support from around the world and last November won the NYFF “One to watch” Award. During this time I have become mad about film making and it’s time to take it to the next level.

The next stage is both arduous and EXCITING and needs TIME and hard work.

This is to improve the quality of my films, enter them into film festivals, get them onto the big screen and reach greater audiences.

To do this requires a HUGE leap forward and as well as it taking a lot of time, I need technical support in several specific areas ( if you know anyone who could help me technically then please point them in my direction)

So I’m making a PLAN:

Agi K filming 5 years old

1.The My Little Sister… films are a life-long documentary project of mine, and will continue with their off-shoot projects, including the ‘My Little Sister’ books alongside my other filmwork.

2.These next films require learning of new editing softwares, professional support with technical aspects and funding for equipment, and all the expenditure needed to enter film festivals and attend film festivals and trainings.

3.I’m going to get a kickstarter campaign going to fund this.

4. I want to get this blog working properly, so I need to pay someone to do that, so far I’ve been doing it myself and I’m stuck!

5. I am going to put my films onto Vimeo, where they can be viewed at much better resolution and will be available to download to rent or buy for personal or professional use.

The next ‘My Little Sister…’ film  will be released sometime later this year via my Agi K vimeo channel. Like my FaceBook page and follow my twitter to keep updated!  We are in the process of transferring over memory files and hard drives full of 8 years of footage over to the hackintosh and trying not to lose anything in the process, our old computer is completely chocker block. This is a long and complicated process and right now we are stuck needing some technical assistance with this.

As ever, I will be blogging here the same as usual!

What else has been happening ?

Photography

I’ve been having a tidy up & 50 odd pages from when I first started this blog are now gone! I have been doing a lot of artistic photography known as ‘Edits’

Here’s one I made of Magdalena, she loves watching me edit and chose the effects she wanted me to use for this photo.

I now have an online photo gallery of prints available to buy: http://www.photoboxgallery.com/agik

More of my photography to view here: instagram.

Music videos

I have continued to progress with my music videos, improving effects, narrative and image resolution. If you are a singer/band who would like me to make a music video to your songs, contact me.

Being educated outside of school, Magdalena and I find ourselves in many different places, every place we go I view as a potential location. “Blue Jeans” was made at an art gallery whilst Magdalena was doing some monoprinting with Mum. I did some too, but was pulled away by the enticing gallery space and went off to film in it. Magdalena did some great artwork that she was proud of, as you can see here. She drew shapes, then mum cut them out for her, she arranged them on a pre-inked up glass then with mum’s help she rolled over them with ink and pressed the paper down, then peeled it off. She LOVED doing this.

The exhibition that I was filming in was by the Manchester Jewellery Network-a collection of body adornments based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

You can view it here:

Here’s a music video to “You make me” by Avicii made with Final Cut Pro X

Thanks for your support and Happy New 2014!

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Blindsight hidden treasures

The best prize out of the whole NYFF Award ceremony was being given the name of a brilliant documentary filmmaker…Lucy Walker. Her film Blindsight is a mindblowing film about 6 blind, tibetan teenagers who set out to climb up a 23,000 ft mountain on the north side of Mount Everest, led by their blind teacher and adventurer Sabriye Tenberken and the first blind person to climb Mount Everest, Erik Weihenmayer. This outline does not even scrape the surface of what this film is really about.

You have to watch this film. It is a film of great depth and emotion. The gems in the film are not about reaching the top of the mountain, but the journey getting there, the constant decisions that had to be made such as when they progressed into higher altitudes such as, should the kids suffering from not enough oxygen go back and the others continue, or should everyone stop and go down as a team? The film is rich in unexpected subtexts, such as how blind people are treated in Tibet, the background stories of the climbers, different personal and cultural views, how we make decisions and the impact they have…I could not turn away from this film, it was fast moving and took me through so many thoughts and emotions. The camerawork was stunning, atmosphere and emotions were dynamically captured and filmed. One of the most interesting aspects of this film was the contrast between the western competitiveness and the eastern approach to the prize being the journey, not the destination. All of the individuals in the film have gone on to do amazing things with their lives, this film really is the most uplifting and inspiring film ever. A film that truly has made a big difference in the world for the better.

Lucy Walker’s latest film The Crash Reel is a documentary about snowboarding champion Kevin Pearce and his snowboarding career, before and after his tragic accident…And guess what, his brother also has Down’s syndrome and features in the film. The film will be released on DVD in the UK on December 17th. I read a fantastic article by the Independent about the film which really made me see what an excellent documentary I think it’s going to be.

It’s amazing to find another documentary maker with the same thoughts and ideas as me, and this quote from Lucy is just a perfect description of documentary filmmaking today and how I love making films, this is the way I piece together the “My Little Sister (who happens to have Down’s syndrome) series.

“We live in a world where so much video is being created and I think this is the first of a new kind of documentary, where you can seamlessly piece together footage to tell incredibly powerful stories.” – Lucy Walker

For some of you readers who might not know how my ‘My Little Sister (who happens to have Down’s syndrome) film project started, you can read all about it as I was invited to write a guest blog post on Netbuddy – which is the great disability tip sharing website where it all started when I was 8 years old… Read my blogpost on Netbuddy here and check out their great resource of information and advice.

Netbuddy also sent me a congratulations star biscuit, which was really sweet of them!

And I was also a little surprised to receive a letter from the house of commons, which turned out to be a congrats card from our local MP, I was pleased to see that on the back of the card it said it wasn’t paid for using tax payer’s money!

If you also happen to be in Toronto, Canada this Saturday I highly recommend going along to the premier of I Am Not Invisible by Erin Corrado, starring her friend who has Down’s syndrome. You can view the trailer here.

Gold Arts Award

This week I was interviewed by Arts Award Voice and featured in their online magazine for achieving my Gold Arts Award in Film, this is a qualification awarded by Trinity College London and involves an extensive mix of practical skill development in Arts practice and Arts leadership as well as research, work placements, attending arts events and writing opinion pieces-just everything I love doing and do anyway! The Arts Award gives a helpful structure and motivating deadlines! It is a great Arts qualification for someone who is home educated like me. Read why and what I did in my interview here

My upcoming projects

Watching ‘Blindsight’ and researching Lucy Walker and Molly Dineen (another great documentary filmmaker whose name I was given at the NYFF awards) was incredibly inspiring. I have bought the BFI set of Molly Dineen’s documentaries – I just watched “Heart of the Angel” which she started filming down in the tube station, then a different film emerged from what she initially thought it would be about. It really captured a whole world that exists down there away from daylight. I love making films that over time just go deeper into what isn’t noticed on the surface too. It’s inspiring to watch her films and hear her speak about her filmmaking process as I can relate to it. I have had a brilliant idea for a documentary (which will remain secret for now) and I am really excited about it! I am also working on the next My Little Sister (who happens to have Down’s syndrome) in January. I have also learnt to play a piece on the piano, which when I perfect I will make a short film/music video to! I am very excited about that. But for now, here is my latest music video!

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Agi K wins the Ones To Watch Award at the National Youth Film Festival Award Ceremony 2013

Write-up in the NYFF Gala Award Ceremony Programme about me

We’ve just come back from London, with an amazing experience never to forget! As you might have known previously, I was nominated for the National Youth Film Festival’s ‘Ones To Watch’ Award. So last Friday Magdalena, me and my Mum and Dad went down to the Glitzy Gala Award ceremony at the Vue Cinema in Leicester Square with all the other industry selected nominees.

Magdalena loved clapping the clapper board trophy!

Magdalena and me were very excited throughout the whole ceremony, but I was also very nervous! It was incredible viewing my film on the big cinema screen. When my name was called out as the WINNER! of my category I was so overwhelmed with excitement! I was given the Award for the 11-15 category. I felt it was pretty neat to have won this, being self-taught and working on my own on every aspect of my films with no funding or support from any film school or film teachers or organisations. I couldn’t stop smiling as I had won an award for doing the thing I love the most and do every single day for as much of the day as I can!

 

 

 

I couldn’t actually believe I was being awarded the award! I met some amazing people, producers and directors and it was just like the Oscars! With all the tension, suspense, dramatic music and lights. Definitely an experience that will be staying with me forever (: Scroll down to the bottom of this link to see me and Magdalena with the other award winners, the films I make aren’t featured on this page as the award was for all of me as a filmmaker and all of my films were judged together, you can also see on this website all the other winners with links to their films and see all the exciting stuff that First Light do.

Here is Jim Carter from Downton Abbey presenting me with my award. He was really nice, realizing I was nervous and making me feel comfortable on the stage! After presenting me with my award, Jim took me, Holly and Connor to the press room, where he was asking me all about my films and being home educated. Then there were lots of lights, photographers, cameras and interviewers.

When I met all the producers or directors, I didn’t know too much about them, which I guess was kind of good! Because I met the person not the actor/director/producer for them doing what they were doing, because if I had known all of the films they’d directed and acted in, then I’d just be full of compliments and we probably wouldn’t be able to of had the interested conversations that we did!

Everything happens for a reason (;

 

I also got to meet Eric Fellner, the co-chairman of Film Nation UK, and producer of an incredible 109 films, (see here) including Les Miserables, Love Actually, which is my big sister Isabella’s favourite film! And also produced Nanny Mc Phee, Wild Child, Anna Kareniner, Shaun Of The Dead, Pride and PrejudiceBridget Jones’s Diary, and many other well known films. the award ceremony also had two awesome hosts, they were Ben Willbond & Laurence Rickard from Horrible Histories and they were very funny! Eric is producing their new series Yonderland which started last Sunday.

One of the great things about the award ceremony was that I got to meet lots of other people passionate about filmmaking like me! It was a great experience and it was fulfilling to get recognition for what I love to do, and spend all day doing!

We also had a great surprise, because on our seats were NYFF goody bags! Including a First Light newspaper, popcorn, Movie Icons Orson Wells book, a NYFF pen, a shortlisted congratulations certificate & a Filmclub wristband.

My wristband was perfect (; as it said:

“Where we’re going we don’t need roads”

 

It was great to meet the other ‘One to Watch’  winners in the younger and older age categories, they were; Connor Fife winner of the 16-19 category and Holly Jacobson, we’d spoken on twitter beforehand once we’d known we were both shortlisted, and found out we had quite a bit in common! We’re both a similar age and she is also obsessed with filmmaking like I am, and is also home educated! We may work on a film together in the future (: Here we are together.

 

 

Magdalena saying "you're the winner Agnieszka! I love your films"

Afterwards when we got out of the cinema, it was pouring with rain and wanted to celebrate so had pizza in a tiny cafe with huge glass windows, Leisceter Square looked beautiful in the rainy dark with all the lights, we then went to the Tate Modern and stayed there till late at night making films, and drawing on their interactive screens. Isn’t it great that art galleries are free! I love them.

 

 

Magdalena really enjoyed getting drenched in the rain afterwards. She was squealing and laughing, it was great to hear her celebrating in her own way.

So in the Tate Modern, there was this whole room with neon lights, and as soon Magdalena had entered the room we were stuck there for the next forty five minutes!

Magdalena absolutely loved the colours! Click on the image to see it big. She was very loudly singing to the lights and lying on the floor wriggling around. At first, one of the security guards came over and asked us to please make her quiet. But after we explained about her sight impairment and how she was mesmerised by the coloured lights and this was her way of expressing joy, she was so magnetised to them…the stern security guard started to smile and laugh with joy at Magdalena’s happiness, I bet no one had ever appreciated those lights or looked at them as long as Magdalena did! The security guard was then so touched that she even said she was going to suggest that the management make a sensory room! I hope they do, might follow them up on that one! The other artist that Magdalena loved and I do too, is Mark Rothko, the room where his paintings are hung had a strong energy about them and the colours were awesome, subtle, deep and blended really cooly together. The paintings had a big effect on Magdalena, who chose one she liked the best and lay down next to it, not caring at all about everyone having to walk around her. I love the way Magdalena interacts so directly with art and everything she experiences!

But of course, my day wouldn’t be complete without making a video! I was editing on the way to the ceremony, and filming my next music video in The Tate whilst mum, dad and Magdalena looked round the exhibitions. I’m sure you’ll see it on YouTube soon! It was a great place for filming because there were lots of interesting sculptures and paintings to film against, including this awesome balcony overlooking the Thames, it was an fantastic place for filming, as you could see all the buildings lit up against the dark sky.

The Press!
So excited that the BBC has put a live link to the My Little Sister (who happens to have Down’s syndrome) series on their press coverage of me winning the award, the reporter watched the films and loved them, so great how this is bringing more awareness about Down’s syndrome, and seeing the person not the disability, click on link below:
“Sister’s Youth Film Festival Award”


Click to enlarge article in the County Times

Click to Read Cambrian News article.

So no blog would be complete without a new film for you to see,
SO here is my latest music video!

I discovered a new technique of editing, which is much more tedious, but also very effective!
I edit each 0.1 second frame bit by bit, exporting it into different software to add on effects and then exporting it back etc.
This took me weeks to film and edit, I hope you enjoy it!

And if you want you can, go and comment on it on YouTube
by clicking right here.

When I arrived back home, I had a lovely surprise; Videostar, the music video making app that I’m a beta tester for – they had made me a congratulations video! It was a brilliant last thing to end the fantastic trip to London. Thank you!!

Overall it was a fab experience, and very inspiring and thanks especially to everyone at Film Nation, NYFF, Firstlight who made the day so brilliant!
Thanks also to all of you reading my blogs and watching my films for your comments, encouragement, emails and donations.
Thanks especially to my fabulous Mum, Dad, Isabella and Magdalena who make everything possible for me.
Look out for some more films coming your way soon!

Where you can find me, and my films:

YouTube: Agi K

Vimeo: Agi K

Twitter: @agikproductions

Facebook Page: Agnieszka Kolaczynska

Instagram: @agikproductions

Personal instagram: @justagi

Contact me: contact me

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