Since Kirsty Bell founded Goldfinch Entertainment in 2016, the company has funded over 200 film and TV projects over the past five years, including the acclaimed “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” Amazon’s “Le Mans: Racing Is Everything” and “Killers Anonymous” with Gary Oldman and Jessica Alba. She has also launched an online art gallery as well as a physical one in her hometown of Newcastle, England.
It was during the first week of the pandemic lockdown that Bell conceived her debut feature, “A Bird Flew In.” MSR Media Intl. is handling worldwide rights to the film at EFM.
You have proven to be a talented and multifaceted producer, artist and now a filmmaker with your directorial debut, “A Bird Flew In.” Tell us what inspired you to dive into filmmaking.
It wasn’t on my radar. When the first lockdown hit, the world changed for us all, and like a lot of people I felt very alone. Everyone has had their own challenges to overcome; my husband was stuck in Australia. It gave me a lot to think about and evaluate. I imagined everyone’s own situation and designed different scenarios, thinking about people I saw on TV or Zoom and wondered at their own situation. I started to create a story of vignettes in my head, which eventually made its way onto paper. And with all the external distractions of the usual work and life routine gone, I felt I needed an outlet. When the characters started to crystallize in my head, I felt really compelled to channel my energy and frustrations into telling their stories.
What’s “A Bird Flew In” about? What aspect of directing a film surprised you?
The film is about people having to look at themselves, inside and out, with all the noise and distraction removed that they would have experienced pre-COVID in their normal lives. We have been left simply and quite starkly to reflect on ourselves this last year. It’s been like holding a giant mirror up to our lives. Relationships and their lifespans have become condensed and reduced to a fraction of months — magnified and amplified. It’s like when a wild bird flies into a home and becomes trapped and despite all its efforts, with only a view of the outside world to pin its hope of escape on.
Directing was a new journey. I remember walking around the set on my first day feeling a mix of emotions — I was desperate to tell this story and at the same time I was so nervous. I remember walking the set with my producer Ben and he said, ‘You’ll be just fine, most of the work has already been done in your mind, you just need to calmly transfer that to the cast and crew.’ This bit of advice stayed with me and really allowed the process to be far more cathartic than I’d ever imagined. I felt it was a real privilege to be able to tell this story.
What kind of films has Goldfinch chosen to invest in and why?
We pride ourselves on being a multifaceted business and production house. Our film finance arm is well-versed – however we have seen an exciting evolution in recent times within the business which is allowing us to create films like ‘A Bird Flew In,’ and other stories which we feel needed to be told.
Are you developing another film to direct? If so, what’s it about?
I have been carrying an idea with me my whole adult life – based on a true story my father once told me. When he saw ‘A Bird Flew In,’ he asked if I would direct his story. I haven’t said yes yet, but it ticks a number of boxes – it is something that is very real and based on truth and history – and as a producer, I have always encouraged directors to work with material they personally feel attached to and therefore relate to. So, time will tell.