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Figgis and Fellner make move to support two new film-making young talents for Corinthia Hotel London’s 2014 Artist in Residence programme

24th January 2014,  London:  Aspiring filmmakers Zawe Ashton (best known for acting as Vod in Channel 4’s Fresh Meat), and David Petch, have been selected to each make a short film at Corinthia Hotel London on The Power of Sleep.

Separate short film proposals by Ashton and Petch were both included in a list of 12 finalists for Corinthia Hotel London’s 2014 Artist in Residence programme from an original 68 entries.

The finalists were chosen by a panel of judges that included film industry gurus Eric Fellner Co-Chairman of of Working Title Films, Sopranos Director Mike Figgis, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey and Downton Abbey Actor Dan Stevens, among others.

This is the first time the hotel has given the Artist in Residence prize to two entrants rather than the usual one. This is because debate among the judges about Ashton and Petch’s proposals led to suggestions that the Artist in Residence award be offered to two entrants. Empassioned by the proposals and keen to see both made, Eric Fellner offered financial support and access to post-production equipment, and Mike Figgis offered to mentor the winners

Zawe Ashton’s film will be about two strangers who check into Corinthia Hotel London and have parallel lives during their waking hours, signing in, switching on the wi-fi, waiting for the lift, speaking to their bosses on the phone. However, in their sleep they find each other and a love story unfolds. The next day they have no memory of the night before.

David Petch’s film will mimic the experience of dreaming by shooting the film using seamlessly hidden edit points to resemble one long ‘take’. The film will play with the hotel’s geography – for example, walking into a lift and emerging from a fridge in the kitchen, a reference to how space and time work differently in dreams. One female character will feature. The story will evolve from the residency itself. 

Mike Figgis said: “This is a residency – not just a place to kip during post production. It’s a place to get ideas. That’s why we liked Michael Petch’s pitch.”  

Eric Fellner said of Zawe Ashton’s proposal: “I loved the idea of sleeping and walking and you have the romantic, the visual and movement and it allows characters to go and do anything in the hotel.”

Corinthia Hotel London General Manager Matthew Dixon said: “Recognising talent and creativity is what I do a lot of as a hotel manager. Our Artist in Residence programme is another way to nurture talent in British arts.”

Zawe Ashton who has recently started making the jump from acting to writing and directing said: “I’m thrilled and equally terrified. Short films that are interesting are your calling card.”

David Petch said: “To make a film you need some kind of budget and commercial freedom so this opportunity is amazing.”

The Artist in Residence winners will each spend a month in residence at the hotel making their films which will be aired at a premiere at the hotel in May.

The short films will premiere in May 2014 at Corinthia Hotel London. This will then kick start a whole month dedicated to ‘The Power of Sleep’ at the hotel.  Sleep experts, menus, and spa treatments will be available to guests.