Interview

In conversation with ALFRED GEORGE BAILEY Director of “I Still Breathe”

London based film director Alfred started his creative journey as a photographer specialising in reportage, music, portraiture, dance and street photography. Alfred is also a jazz drummer and former professional musician, working with musicians for over 25 years. Gregory Porter: Don’t Forget Your Music was his debut feature film as director and cinematographer. His award-winning second feature film is Show Me The Picture: The Story of Jim Marshall about the infamous rock n’ rock photographer. As a filmmaker or photographer, Alfred is fascinated with the human condition, exploring and capturing the many facets to tell the story. Alfred’s cinematic style is deeply rooted in and is influenced by a classic cinema aesthetic, but he has embraced the arrival of digital technology in filmmaking and photography..

“I STILL BREATHE” is a statement of hope for the world because, Sometimes the most profound messages come from the voices that are unheard, it is a documentary about a group of socially aware young adults who give extraordinary and deeply emotional testimonies of being black, mixed race and white in London, England. They passionately react to the impact of George Floyd’s brutal and unnecessary killing which has sent shock waves globally. The response to this inhumane act has been an awakening in the collective social consciousness, and “Black Lives Matter” has echoed around the world. But what will happen now? Will power and privilege continue to turn a blind eye? Or will the new generation see what the current custodians have achieved for good and ill, and come together to right the wrongs of the past to bring in a new era of hope for the future?

  1. Did you train as a filmmaker?

 Ans: I had no formal training but learned my skills on set working with cinematographers and production designers. My filmmaking journey started out as a still photographer (music, documentary, reportage, dance & fashion) then production design assistant then moving on to become a camera assistant. Now I direct for the most part, but my first two feature documentary films were shot, directed and sound recorded by myself. 

  • Why did you choose this subject matter of “I still Breathe?

Ans: The subject matter chose me – with the brutal killing of George Floyd (and others) which has deeply affected me. I want to do something that would be lasting and have the voices of the young and often misunderstood heard. 

  • How has lock down taught you?

Ans: The lockdown has given me time to write, and also precious time with my children. It’s taught me that this time we have all been given should be used in a positive way. Difficult though as the pandemic has been, I see it as a positive time to reflect, reset and work towards the future. 

  • How did the death of George Floyd affect you?

Ans: As a Black man in 2020, the death of George Floyd has been a chilling reminder that things in America for Black people have not changed. It seems to be going back to a very dark time in the history of the United States. Around the world many people – whatever their religion, creed or colour – have been protesting emotionally about his death. I was moved on such a profound level that I had to (as I’ve stated before) do something to make my voice or other people’s voices heard. 

  • With everyone talking about race do you think it will ignite change?

Ans: I’m not sure it will ignite change and as I have seen with my time on planet earth that the more things change, the more they stay the same… we can only have hope. 

  • What do you like most about the film?

Ans: What I like the most about the film is that we gave these young people a safe space & platform to speak openly & freely. 

  • Tell us a bit about the camera used and technique you used to push your message?

Ans: The film was shot by Matteo Bangrazi, the director of photography for “I STILL BREATHE” and it was filmed in 4K on the Arri ALEXA mini LF and the Kinefinity MAVO LF cine cameras 

  • How does it feel to have your work at Amplify?

Ans: We are honoured to have our film screened at Amplify! We just want the message within it to have a resonance with everyone who sees it. 

  • Which filmmakers inspire you?

Ans: Gordon Parks, Orson Welles, Francis Ford Coppola, Sergio Leone, Takeshi Kitano, Ingmar Bergman, Michael Powell, Pawel Pawlikowski, Stanley Kubrick, Sidney Lumet

  1. Where do you call home?

Ans: Home is Wandsworth, London England

I Still Breathe will screen at the Amplify festival on Friday, November 6, 20201:00 AM and
Thursday, November 12, 202011:55 PM. Get free tickets here:

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