Telling the story of the Revival of the Cornish Language
A call for expressions of interest from film makers
As part of the Dasserghi Kernewek project, led by Cornwall Council’s Cornish Language team and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, we are commissioning a short film to tell the story of the modern revival of the Cornish language.
The focus will be on the colourful figure, Henry Jenner, one of the most prominent figures of the Celtic Revival in the early 20th century.
We are looking for a film maker who can interpret and creatively communicate the story of how Jenner led a movement to re animate the Cornish language and instil in the Cornish people a sense of nationhood and identity that he felt had been lost.
The film can be either documentary or fictionalised drama, and approximately 10 minutes in length.
The film will itself be in the Cornish language.
The resources of the Cornish language team will be available to the commissioned film maker to support this process.
We are offering a fee of £6,000, for this commission.
The Dasserghi Kernewek project is cataloguing the archives relating to the revival of the Cornish language, particularly the letters of Henry Jenner who published the Handbook of the Cornish Language in 1904. Passionate about Cornwall, he was the principal authority on Cornish language and history, the president of societies like the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society, the Royal Institution of Cornwall and the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies. He resurrected the Cornish Gorsedh in 1928, was its first Grand Bard, and established ‘Song of the Men of The West’ – ‘Trelawny’ – as Cornwall’s anthem.
The film will bring to life the story of his contribution to Cornwall, the revival of the Cornish language and its impact at the time and now.
The principal purposes are to:
Make the story of the Cornish language revival more vivid and accessible to a greater number of people
Raise awareness of the Cornish language.
Create high quality, innovative Cornish language resources
We also expect the film may explore some wider themes:
A different perspective on what people were thinking and discussing in the early 20th century.
Henry Jenner himself was a colourful man involved in the wider political and cultural issues of the day.
The revival is seen as inward-looking, but from the start it was about communication with other countries, using technology and effective use of PR – something that Cornish people are still good at today.
The Cornish revival is seen as a relative success story outside of the UK, but not seen for the community achievement that it is within the UK.
Endangered languages – what does it take to keep an endangered language, what is it like for speakers, what are the shared experiences with other minority languages?
Longer term we are aiming to:
Develop links between the Cornish language and the film making community in Cornwall to develop more resources in the Cornish language
Establish links with media organisations and festivals to create more opportunities to broadcast films made in Cornwall.
We expect the film to appeal to:
People interested in minority languages.
Those interested in Cornish culture, history and language.
A wider public who are made aware of issues relating to minority cultures and small, regional languages.
The content of the film must be based on characters and stories in the revival. The Cornish Language Office will work closely with the film maker to support the selection of material and advise on the archives.
The film should be of a quality suitable for either broadcast television and/or film festivals. The aim is to enter the film into, at least, the two following festivals:
Celtic Media Festival – 2017 as a working project, 2018 as a finished film.
Babel Film Festival (for minority language films), Sardinia – Dec 2017
The Cornish Language Lead can provide advice on the Cornish language and resources, including contacts for translators and speakers.
There will be support with translation from the Cornish Language office, but non Cornish speakers should allow a small amount in their budgets for a portion of the translation costs.
The film must be delivered to the commissioners ready for screening by November 30th.
Expression of interest – deadline July 12th 2017
We are looking for expressions of interest from experienced documentary film makers – individuals or companies – who can demonstrate that they have the experience to fulfil the brief. Being a Cornish language speaker will be an advantage but not essential. We are looking for a film maker who is inventive and exciting and can bring the subject alive. Support in the language will be available.
There is a set fee for delivery of the product outlined in this brief of £6,000, inclusive of VAT if applicable.
The fee must cover all expenses plus any fees paid to other sub contracted practitioners or performers.
Email submissions only: send to firstname.lastname@example.org
a statement outlining why you should be considered for this opportunity. The successful applicant will have a good track record of documentary / drama documentary film making, and a substantial knowledge of Cornwall and the context for this film.
an idea of the stylistic and creative approach you might take to the brief
CVs of individual members of the team
links to any films or websites you’d like us to look at –a maximum of 3 please.
We will send an email confirmation of receipt of your EOI.
We will meet shortlisted candidates during the week beginning July 17th to clarify any outstanding questions, and confirm the selected film maker / team by the end of that week.
For any issues of clarification please contact the FEAST office in writing by email: email@example.com , or phone 01209312502.