fbpx
13/10/2019 Communication Science news and articles

Humans of Film Amsterdam: much more than cinema

Feargal Agard has set up Humans of Film Amsterdam, a blog where people can tell how films affect their lives.


Although of Surinamese descent, Feargal Agard was born and raised in Amsterdam. Architecture graduate, he successively moved the focus of his education towards his greatest passions: film, photography, and writing. In 2011 he moved to New York to attend The New School University, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies. In 2015, he returned to the Netherlands and started a Master’s in Film Studies at the UvA.  Since then, Feargal has collaborated with many art institutions such as Rijksmuseum, Cobra Museum of Modern Art, and Amsterdam Museum. Today, he is the owner of Humans of Film Amsterdam, a blog that emphasizes the impact movies have on people’s life by providing a space where their stories can be told.

A combination of plots and (extra)ordinary stories
The idea is simple yet gives voice to people, allowing them to progressively open up through the unifying experience of film. Directly approaching passers-by on the street, Feargal asks them to talk about a film product (e.g. movie, documentary, TV-series) that changed their previous perspectives or acquired a particular meaning for them. Bucking with technology-driven interaction, the interviewees are lead to rediscover face to face communication, seeing mutual trust, respect and curiosity as the cores of its success.

Behind Humans of Film Amsterdam
Recently Humans of Film Amsterdam celebrated their first anniversary. When asked about how everything started, Feargal says: “I found New York to be very edgy: the city was very liberating, an entirely different world. I gained a brand-new perspective of film, Hollywood and independent film-making. I was in the United States for four years; after graduating I tried to stay there, but it was really hard. I had almost found something, but it would take me forever, so I thought: ‘Whatever, I’ll just go back to Amsterdam and see what happens’, and now I partly regret that decision.”

“I didn’t like the too commercial stuff, so I avoided that. While doing internships at museums, I was busy with themes such as transgenders and LGBTI. I got in touch with many people, and I thought it was fun to listen to them, make a story of it, and put it out on the social media for the museums. Nevertheless, it was very difficult to find a job, and I couldn’t stand the whole “Alright, I have to search for something else again”. So I thought: what about starting my own thing? I have always wanted to do a blog.”

A growing community: from the birth of the blog to its future perspectives
Choosing a topic from which to develop the project can be hard, although Feargal had some inspiration: “I had thought about ecology, but I didn’t really have a voice in it. I started thinking about film, but then again, it seemed like everybody was already talking about it. Then, all of the sudden, it came to me, because I was following Humans of New York and Humans of Amsterdam: why not combining them? Humans of Film… Humans of Film Amsterdam! That’s how Humans of Film Amsterdam was born.”

The future perspective is of course important for a lot of projects, but Feargal has no clue as to where Humans of Film Amsterdam will go. He does however have plans for the future: “I really don’t know what it’s going to be. It would be cool if it was a website blog followed by a lot of people who like the stories. I seriously have to plan this day by day: you never know what will happen on social media, they could randomly discover you.  I once wrote a post about a film by a filmmaker I met at the CinemAsia Film Festival; some people found it and started retweeting it, and then he found it, and he also retweeted it! That was incredible, I couldn’t believe my film review had been shared by someone with 1.5 million followers. At a practical level, I would like to go on a street and try to film at least three people to make a film of it. It is not supposed to be so much about film, yet the essence of it is that it is being filmed. Contrary to the stories of Humans of Film Amsterdam, this time the aim will be to touch and discuss broader subjects.”

It is very hard to gain somebody’s trust, it is very hard to even tell something so personal to somebody you have just met on a street.

The importance of being heard
Exciting projects come with exciting stories, and Humans of Film Amsterdam is no exception:“It’s hard to pick just one. There was this girl that spoke about how moving from Poland to Amsterdam had made her feel super alive: back in her home country, she grew up with her mother that was mentally ill, and she had to deal with sexual abuse. The thing that I found so beautiful about it was that she trusted me with that story. It is very hard to gain somebody’s trust, it is very hard to even tell something so personal to somebody you have just met on a street.”

“Another girl talked about an episode from a TV-series, Black Mirror; some people who lived underground were participating in a competition and had to bike in order to create energy for those living above. There was a song from the sixties, and what amazed me the most was that, when she heard it, she immediately started thinking about all the nostalgic things around that song: it reminded her of when she was little. Her parents died at a young age, and to listen to that song was like a teddy bear, one of those you have kept there, up in the closet, since when you were a baby. That’s what the song meant to her, and I thought it was very touching.”

Cover: Gilda Bruno / Final Editor: Kyle Hassing

Reacties

reacties

Related Posts

Medium Podcast #7 – Let’s talk about nudes

24/09/2019

24/09/2019

Two aspiring communication scientists, a few cans of beer and some Bacardi breezers. It was King’s Night when Kajsa and...

Film Pride: How Northern Ireland and Singapore Handles Fame

02/09/2019

02/09/2019

Angela went along on the study trip to Dublin and Belfast. How do the cities cope with their fame achieved from series and movies?

Ierland is een feniks die zal herrijzen uit de as

30/08/2019

30/08/2019

De een kan niet een heel land bereiken en de ander heeft een te oubollig marketing beleid. Twee bedrijven die voor hun eigen uitdagingen staan.

World capital of street art & graffiti? – It’s probably Belfast

22/08/2019

22/08/2019

Written by: AJ Kutlu here are two things that you are exposed to the most when you visit Belfast: People...

Hoe propaganda twee partijen steeds verder uit elkaar drijft

18/08/2019

18/08/2019

Fabian dook in de politieke spanningen tussen Ierland en Noord Ierland. Propaganda is daarbij niet te vermijden.

PR-Disaster or opportunity? The influence of #Brexit in Ireland

18/08/2019

18/08/2019

The Brexit will have a big influence on companies in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Kelly explains why a good PR will be more important than ever before.

Protesten aan de Ierse grens: wat betekent de Brexit voor Ierland?

16/08/2019

16/08/2019

Het bekende Goede Vrijdag-akkoord diende een vredige oplossing te bieden voor de strijd tussen Ierland en Noord-Ierland. De huidige ontwikkelingen rondom de Brexit brengen dit echter in gevaar. Quinta beschrijft de situatie, hoe deze is ontstaan en welke rol de Brexit hierin speelt.

Why won’t Ed Sheeran sell me a chair?

12/08/2019

12/08/2019

Marketing agencies are using celebrities very often, but during the company visit at Morrow Communications, Joanna learnt there is a shift going on from celebrities to social media influencers.

Entertainment uit de Oudheid viert hoogtijdagen in het digitale tijdperk

10/08/2019

10/08/2019

Een Ierse tour-guide die met zijn manier van vertellen laat zien dat de klassieke retoriek nog niet verloren is in het digitale tijdperk zoals wij dat kennen. Kevin vertelt over Patrick en zijn tour in Dublin.

Why Northern Ireland plays a key role in Brexit

10/08/2019

10/08/2019

Sjors travelled to Northern Ireland and saw the remains of The Troubles. What role does Northern Ireland play in a possible Brexit?

Ada Varriale – a first-year communication science student

24/06/2019

24/06/2019

Join us as we get to know a little more about first year Communication Science student, Ada.

The downfall of Vero

22/06/2019

22/06/2019

Our brand new writer Jade on the downfall of Vero. Why was it the most promising social media platform? And why was it not able to beat Facebook?

The Day I Broke My Smartphone

21/06/2019

21/06/2019

Could you go a day without your smartphone?

Review: The Handmaid’s Tale

20/06/2019

20/06/2019

For this week's review, Karina tells you what she thinks about the popular book (and series) the Handmaid's Tale.

Congrats on being phubbed!

18/06/2019

18/06/2019

Phubbing is something we experience a lot in current society. Medium elaborates the negative consequences and gives you also advices how to stop phubbing.

EnjoyInstagram