Former pop drummer and self-taught filmmaker Franny Armstrong has directed three feature documentaries – The Age of Stupid (2008), McLibel (2005) and Drowned Out (2003) – which have together been seen by 60 million people on TV, cinema, internet and DVD worldwide. In the early days of the internet in 1996 she founded the McSpotlight website, which Wired magazine described as “the blueprint for all activist websites”. Through her company, Spanner Films, Franny pioneered the “crowd-funding” finance model, which allows filmmakers to raise reasonable-size budgets whilst retaining ownership of their films – Age of Stupid is the most successful known example, raising £900,000+ from 300+ investors – as well as the “Indie Screenings” distribution system, which lets anyone make a profit by holding screenings of independent films – Stupid was screened locally 1,100+ times in the first six months. In March 2009, the solar-powered Age of Stupid “People’s Premiere” set a new Guinness World Record by being simultaneously screened in 63 cinemas across Britain, whilst only producing 1% of the emissions of a standard premiere. It also hit No 1, by screen average, at the UK Box Office. Then in September 2009, a million people watched Stupid’s Global Premiere event – featuring Kofi Annan, Gillian Anderson & Radiohead’s Thom Yorke – in 700 cinemas in 63 countries, linked by satellite. In September 2009 Franny founded the 10:10 climate campaign which aims to cut the UK’s carbon emissions by 10% during 2010 and which has amassed huge cross-societal support including Adidas, Microsoft, Spurs FC, 85,000 people, 1,500 schools, a third of local councils, the entire UK Government and the Prime Minister. 10:10 launched internationally in March 2010 and now has autonomous campaigns in 46 countries. Franny is a Londoner born and bred.
|2010 Jury Member|