FEST’s second day of masterclasses put actors at the center of the conversation.
Across four sessions throughout the day, speakers Joshua Okpala (Bridgerton, A Very English Scandal), Nancy Bishop (Borat), Caprice Crawford, and Chris Simon (The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Still Life) touched on various pivotal and topical issues that have dominated debates in the film industry during recent years.
Throughout the whole day, at Centro Multimeios de Espinho’s Auditorium, these industry professionals shared personal experiences, anecdotes, and expertise. One of the main topics of discussion, in the wake of the #MeToo movement was the issue of intimacy on a film set. Intimacy coordinator Joshua Okpala emphasized the importance of establishing boundaries as a performer regarding the filming of intimate or vulnerable scenes. The session was composed of five sections - the history of the role of intimacy coordinator, what the role entails, the different power dynamics on a film set, the pillars of this practice, and the training process behind it.
The conversation was extended to a group panel on Simulated Sex Scenes and Nudity, envolving all four speakers where Okpala’s perspective was complemented by Bishop’s work as a casting director, Crawford’s outlook as a talent agent, and Simon’s insight as an actor and producer. Throughout this session, which adopted more of a conversational atmosphere, each speaker shared first-hand accounts of moments that highlighted the importance of setting intimacy guidelines from start to end of production.
Caprice Crawford led her own panel on representing talent at an international level, covering topics such as the benefits of investing and the importance of having a community. Once more, the focus was on understanding the different relationships in the film industry and actor-specific issues, particularly how to handle rejection and the pandemic’s impact on aspiring actors.
The day wrapped with Chris Simon’s masterclass that offered the unique angle of an actor turned producer and how the two roles intertwine. As a seasoned actor and successful producer, Simon discussed the option of the production route as a valuable asset to an actor who wishes to gain more control over their own career.
By shining a light on actors’ rights and how they can protect and uplift themselves as professionals, FEST promotes important changes in the film industry, particularly Portugal’s.
Article written by Francisca Tinoco.