who we are
straight 8 was established in 1999 when director ed sayers asked a group of friends, mostly working in the advertising industry, to try making a film unlike any they had made before: on super-8mm film, with a 1:1 shooting ratio, no editing or post production and a separate soundtrack, synchronised by ear on a tape player at the film's london premiere.
since 1999, and through support and interaction with every corner of the film industry, straight 8 blossomed. in 2003, Kodak invited straight 8 to host a screening event at the Cannes film festival in the Kodak Pavilion. the event was a huge success, and boosted by press coverage (bbc, observer, guardian), straight 8 expanded to screen in London, Germany and North America. entrant numbers and spread increased year by year, as our close relationship with kodak at the cannes film festival was joined by other festivals across the globe and to large televised audiences. with support across our lifetime from the BFI, the American Pavilion, Lumina, Raindance, Channel 4, The UK Film Centre, British Council, Rushes Soho and many other incredible partners - straight 8 2012, the tenth anniversary of our cannes event, became our biggest yet with over 175 films from every corner of the globe.
in 2012, after 10 consecutive years at cannes, straight 8 went on hiatus until kodak's 2015 announcement that they were producing a new super 8 camera led to our revival. partnering with kodak motion picture film, cinelab london, altitude film distribution, elevenfiftyfive and channel 4, we were back in a big way. buoyed by great press reception (promo news, shots, btl, creative content wire, the apa, and many others) over 175 people from 6 continents entered straight 8 2016, leading to 126 films being judged by the team and the final cannes selection being selected by a judging panel of academy award winner asif kapadia, nominee ed lachman, altitude films head of distribution hamish moseley, channel 4's random acts commissioning editor pegah farahmand and chaired by film critic jason solomons. in 2004 and 2008 channel 4 commissioned and curated programming from straight 8 and the relationship is renewed again for 2016. this year's cannes premieres are in cannes' arcades cinema, screen 1, at 17h30 on may 18th. the london selection are premiere in piccadilly in june.
ed sayers - founder
ed is a multi award-winning london-based director, working predominantly with advertisement, music videos and short film. previously he's worked as producer, director, or both, in production companies including Independent, Blink, Thomas Thomas Films, Godman, and in ad agencies: Mother London and Saatchi & Saatchi. he has helped to create a range of live and filmed events, including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival show Pot Noodle The Musical and the well known T-Mobile live event ads: ‘Dance’ at Liverpool Street Station and ‘Singalong’ in Trafalgar Square. a handful of notable producing jobs are here: producer playlist (directors were: Michael Gracey, Kim Gehrig, Adam Johnson).
ed started 'straight 8' in 1999, and although the last 17 years have led to him work around the globe on projects of every scale, he still finds the time to inject 3"20 of 8mm cine magic into a camera at least once a year.
will worked as a director of music videos and promos as one half of will and george (willandgeorge.co.uk) before his lifelong enthusiasm for super 8 lead him on a different pathway. he has been running straight 8 with ed for close to a decade. alongside this, he produces and directs 16mm and super-8 wedding videos for high profile clients (with a collection of over 50 cine cameras to boot) as cine reportage. will brings his detailed knowledge of film, particularly super-8mm, to straight 8 and is able to offer both technical assistance and creative suggestions from his vast experience with the medium.
the newest member of the team, alex joined straight 8 in 2016. coming from a background in design and photography, alex's lifelong interest in film steered him to coordinate young filmmakers at the university of exeter before finding the kindred spirit of straight 8. although a newer entrant to the film industry, and currently working primarily with corporate clients, alex's technical and online abilities have been instrumental in helping make straight 8's 2016 relaunch as successful as it has been.
take a look at some of our notable moments from the last 17 years