Ceri Levy is a documentary filmmaker, writer and producer best known for his film Bananaz (2009), which followed the rise of cryptic cartoon band Gorillaz. He’ll be curating a special programme in the Caught By The River area, inspired by his incredible new project The Bird Effect, which will see him bringing together an impressive collection of the biggest names in the world of birding to discuss the special affinity humans have with birds.
Bananaz saw Ceri following Gorillaz creators Damon Albarn and James Hewlett for six years, compiling and editing footage. The film premiered at Berlin Film Festival and opened Notting Hill Film Festival in 2009, with IGN movies stating it to be “as daring and avante garde as the band itself” and “uncompromising filmmaking of the very highest order”.
The Bird Effect sees Ceri jumping headfirst into an altogether different and unknown project, thanks to a holiday to the Isles of Scilly that happened to fall during peak birding season. Having suddenly been awakened to the fascinating (and often obsessive) world of observing birds, Ceri decided to start research on the film, which he says took him away from “years of filming in darkened studios, on the road and nightly activities” to “a land of brightness, colour and nature” in his quest to learn all things bird-related.
The Bird Effect programme at Port Eliot (15.00 to 18.00 on the Saturday afternoon) is “a journey through the bird world meeting some of the people who have influenced, affected and inspired me to explore the cultural and personal impact of birds upon people,” he explains. “From conservationists and scientists through to artists, writers and musicians… These are the people who have been helping me as I have made my film The Bird Effect.”