festivals and awards
Shadow Festival 2005, Amsterdam – non-competitive
Visions du Réel 2006, Nyon
Winner of the Regards Neufs Prix du Canton Vaud
Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival 2006, Denmark
Montreal International Film Festival 2006, Canada
ZagrebDox 2007, Croatia
Britspotting 2007, Germany
DokuFest 2007, Kosovo
Director Ian Thomas Ash’s first feature documentary is the story of Vicki, a single mother struggling with addiction, and her young son, Jake. The film opens as Vicki and Jake are beginning a new chapter in their lives, moving from a homeless shelter into their own council house. But however hard Vicki tries create a home for herself and her son, she is unable to ignore old problems and avoid new ones that arise.
Shot with hard-headed honesty, Vicki and Jake combines uncompromising interviews, scenes of drug abuse and touching intimacy between mother and son. It is a film of extremes, and as Vicki finds herself losing control the story shifts to the relationship between Vicki and the film-maker, neither of whom will give up their quest for a happy ending without a fight.
Ian Thomas Ash
Born in America, Ian Thomas Ash earned an MA in Film and Television Production at the University of Bristol, UK, in 2005. His first feature documentary, ‘the ballad of vicki and jake’ (2006), received the Prix du Canton Vaud prize at the 2006 Visions du Reél International Documentary Film Festival in Nyon, Switzerland.
Ian’s two feature documentaries about children living in areas of Fukushima contaminated by the 2011 nuclear meltdown, ‘In the Grey Zone‘ (2012) and ‘A2-B-C‘ (2013), have been screened at festivals around the world where they have received multiple awards.
The World Premier of ‘-1287‘ (2014), Ian’s latest documentary, took place in the 2014 Raindance Film Festival (UK). It received the Audience Award for Best Feature at the 2015 Nippon Connection Film Festival in Germany, the First Prize in the Asian Competition at the 2015 DMZ Docs Film Festival in Korea and the People’s Choice (audience) Award at the 2015 Lake Champlain International Film Festival in New York. Ian has lived in Japan for a total of 13 years and currently lives in Tokyo. He is in production for two documentaries, one about terminal care in Japan and the other the third installment in his series about Fukushima.
at the 2016 SoCal Film Festival (USA) for ‘-1287’ (2014)
People’s Choice (audience) Award
at the 2015 Lake Champlain International Film Festival (USA) for ‘-1287’ (2014)
First Prize in the Asian Competition
at the 2015 DMZ Docs Film Festival (Korea) for ‘-1287’ (2014)
Audience Award for Best Feature Film
at the 2015 Nippon Connection Film Festival (Germany) for ‘-1287’ (2014)
at the 2015 Snowtown Film Festival (USA) for short documentary “Even the Birds Need to be Loved”
Golden Honey Comb for Outstanding Work in Film
at the 2014 Lake Champlain International Film Festival (USA) for ‘In the Grey Zone’ (2012) and ‘A2-B-C’ (2013)
at the 2014 Uranium Film Festival (Brazil) for ‘A2-B-C’ (2013)
Award for Best Documentary
at the 2013 STEPS Rights Film Festival (Ukraine) for ‘A2-B-C’ (2013)
Best of Festival Award
at the 2013 Guam International Film Festival for ‘A2-B-C’ (2013)
Nippon Visions Award (best film by new-coming Japan-based director)
at the 2013 Nippon Connection Japanese Film Festival (Germany) for ‘A2-B-C’ (2013)
Audience Choice Award First Prize for Best Documentary
at the 2012 Rhode Island International Film Festival (US) for “In the Grey Zone” (2012)
Filmmaker of the Future Award
at the 2012 Rhode Island International Film Festival (US)
Prix de Canton Vaud (best first film)
at the 2006 Visions du Reél International Documentary Film Festival (Nyon, Switzerland) for “the ballad of vicki and jake” (2006)
“Dying at Home”, 28 min/ Japan (NHK World)/ 2016
Dr. Konta is on a quest to help people who wish to die at home rather than in hospital.
“-1287”, 70 min/ US & Japan/ 2014
As she nears the end of life, Kazuko’s observations on love, money, marriage and her own death change, as does her relationship with the filmmaker.
“A2-B-C”, 71 min/ Japan/ 2013
Eighteen months after the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, children who were not evacuated are found to have thyroid cysts and nodules.
“In the Grey Zone”, 89 min/ Japan/ 2012
The children of Minamisoma City, Fukushima, living inside the radiation zone head back to school after the nuclear meltdown.
“Jake, not finished yet”, 81 min/ Japan & UK/ 2010
The story of two mothers and two sons whose chance meeting seven years earlier changes their lives forever.
“the ballad of vicki and jake”, 84 min/ UK/ 2006
A family struggles with drug abuse, homelessness and their relationship with the filmmaker.
Michael began his career as a radio studio manager but went on to work with the BBC for more than thirty years as a producer and director. In the earlier years of his career he collaborated with British filmmaker John Boorman before going on to make many of his own documentaries, starting with The Bashers (1962) and progressing to major documentary series and directing drama.
After shooting The Ballad of Vicki & Jake, Ken Kwek worked as a journalist for The Straits Times in his native Singapore before returning to filmmaking in 2008. His screenwriting credits include The Blue Mansion (2009), Kidnapper (2010), It’s A Great Great World (2011) and Trafficker (2013). He has directed several films including the the comedy thriller UNLUCKY PLAZA, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival 2014 and picked up awards for Best Director (Tehran Jasmine Film Festival) and Best Actor (International Film Festival Manhattan) in 2015. He is currently the creative director of Mindfuel, a Manila-based production company.
Lizzie trained in drama and worked as a theatre director before becoming a filmmaker. Since completing an MA in Film and Television Production (1999) Lizzie has been working as a afrelance editor and director. Her editing experience ranges from travel documentaries to independent film. Lizzie also works as a visiting film tutor at the University of Bristol.
Anthea’s previous work includes business development, press management and marketing for creative organisations including the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Following her MA in Film and Television Production at the University of Bristol she is pursuing a career in documentary. She has since edited programmees for BBC, Sky and independent filmmakers.
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