The experience designer’s latest documentary premieres at the BFI London Film Festival
Designer Nelly Ben-Hayoun has announced her plan to disrupt the distribution models of film and music, by releasing a record, produced to accompany her film showing at the London Film Festival in October. The documentary, I Am (Not) A Monster, will premiere on 10 October during the capital’s film festival and the record, produced in collaboration with the Vinyl Factory, will be available to buy at screenings and online.
Ben Hayoun Stépanian’s feature length documentary features Pussy Riot activist Nadya Tolokonnikova and linguist Noam Chomsky and explores ‘the pursuit of the origins of knowledge’. The documentary is her third film and has already been nominated for a Grierson Award for best documentary. Her previous films explored the breadth of her work as an experience designer, with The International Space Orchestra following her work creating an orchestra at space agency NASA, a topic she also discussed in Icon 189, an issue all about the power of mess and creativity.
The accompanying record will feature bonus content from the documentary as well as additional interviews and has been pressed as a limited edition by the Vinyl Factory with a sleeve designed by Ben Hayoun Stépanian. Her ambition with the film is to bring together people from different walks of life, from academics to music lovers, encouraging people to share experiences and perspectives to open up ‘pluralistic platforms’. The release of a record alongside the film is also part of her intention to bring together creative forms and disrupt the traditional means of distribution.
‘Designers, directors and independent filmmakers have the power to modify the way that industries interact with each other,’ Ben Hayoun Stépanian said. ‘For me, the success of my experiences but also films come from how many people from various walks of life I can bring into a single place… But for film and design distributors it is another story, it is about identifying one type of audience and focusing on attracting that specific audience into a single place. Signing as a designer a record deal with the Vinyl Factory and releasing my movie means that I can propose a new model of distribution for independent designers but also filmmakers.’
The film premieres on 10 October at Empire Haymarket, with Ben Hayoun Stépanian appearing alongside Magid Magid, a Member of the European Parliament and former lord mayor of Sheffield, and the film’s producer, Chloe McClellan. More information and tickets are available on the BFI’s website.