Email* Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition! SIGN UP In the $73,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI5*, the final class of the day in the International Arena for the ninth week of the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), Kent Farrington (USA) and Creedance, owned by Farrington and Haity McNerney, were uncatchable for victory on Sunday, March 14.WEF 10, which runs on March 17-21, is sponsored by Horseware Ireland and features the $37,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Jumpers CSI3* on Thursday, the finals for the Spy Coast Farm Developing Jumper series for Five-, Six-, and Seven-Year-Olds and the $37,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup CSI3* on Friday, the $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI3* on Saturday, and $50,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix Series Final and $137,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI3* on Sunday.A total of 59 horse-and-rider combinations took their shot against Alan Wade’s (IRL) track. Featuring a line-up of 11 entries, the jump-off promised to be a hard-won effort, but the Farrington was a force to be reckoned with and ultimately secured the win.Wade’s top courses have been well-planned and challenging all week, and his last course of the week held true. A lengthy number of competitors missed the chance to return for the jump-off by a single unfortunate rail while several others suffered time infractions.Combinations that returned for the jump-off included top athletes such as Farrington, Daniel Deusser (GER), and McLain Ward (USA). Sweden’s Henrik Von Eckermann was the first to complete the second track fault-free after crossing the timers in 35.10 seconds with the Portfolio Horses, LLC’s Glamour Girl. His effort with the 10-year-old KWPN mare (VDL Zirocco Blue x Moonlight II) was enough to secure the third place ribbon at the end of the class. Eduardo Menezes (BRA) flew into second place with his own H5 Quintol. He and the 16-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Quintender x Cento managed an efficient time of 34.83 seconds but was still well-behind the class leader.Farrington returned late into the jump-off order with his winning 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Creedance (Lord Z x Notaris). The pair made it obvious they were a duo that would not be bested as they effortlessly cleared every obstacle and blazed through the timers in 34.12 seconds.“[Creedance] is a horse that is hyper competitive in these style classes,” explained Farrington. “I put him specifically in today’s class instead of the grand prix because it is still early in the year and, as he is getting a bit older, I am choosing classes that he is more comfortable in to save him up for the rest of the year.”Farrington and Creedance have won at events around the world in the years they have been partnered.“What is wonderful about him is that he can jump at any venue, whether it is Aachen or Wellington, and he always gives a great effort,” he detailed. “He is naturally just so fast across the ground that I typically have to make sure that I actually slow him down towards the end of the track or he can get too aggressive. He has been a great horse for my career.”“Alan Wade is a very good course designer but his courses are usually strong, much like today’s was,” Farrington continued. “His track today was challenging, and there was a very strong field of riders and top horses, so I thought the competition was excellent.”Earlier in the day, David Oberkircher aboard Corry Be Good captured the $15,000 SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, presented by Lugano Diamonds and also won the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award presented by Laura Fetterman.Final Results: $73,000 FEI CSI5* CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic1. CREEDANCE: 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Lord Z x NotarisKENT FARRINGTON (USA), Kent Farrington & Haity McNerney: 0/0/34.122. H5 QUINTOL: 2005 Oldenburg gelding by Quintender x CentoEDUARDO MENEZES (BRA), Eduardo Menezes: 0/0/34.833. GLAMOUR GIRL: 2011 KWPN mare by VDL Zirocco Blue x Moonlight IIHENRIK VON ECKERMANN (SWE), Portfolio Horses, LLC: 0/0/35.104. SQUIRT GUN: 2011 Oldenburg gelding by Diarado x Quick StarPAUL O’SHEA (IRL), Eye Candy Jumpers :0/4/35.515. SCUDERIA 1918 TOBAGO Z: 2008 Zangersheide stallion by Tangelo Vd Zuuthoeve x Mr BlueDANIEL DEUSSER (GER), Stephex and Scuderia 1918: 0/0/35.876. BRIGHTON: 2006 KWPN gelding by Contendro II x Quick StarTIFFANY FOSTER (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC: 0/4/34.417. BULL RUN’S PRINCE OF PEACE: 2009 Holsteiner gelding by Cardenio x ContenderKRISTEN VANDERVEEN (USA), Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC: 0/4/35.338. CONTAGIOUS: 2009 German Sport Horse gelding by Contagio x For KeepsMCLAIN WARD (USA), Beechwood Stables LLC: 0/4/35.779. RMF TINKERBELL: 2008 Oldenburg mare by Incolor x ArgentinusJESSICA SPRINGSTEEN (USA), Rushy Marsh Farm LLC: 0/4/37.0810. SLIGO BALOU BOY: 2009 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Balou Du Rouet x CatianaDARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Michael Kearins: 0/4/43.75 Tags: Kent Farrington, Tiffany Foster, WEF, show jumping, Brighton, Creedance, We’ll send you our regular newsletter and include you in our monthly giveaways. PLUS, you’ll receive our exclusive Rider Fitness digital edition with 15 exercises for more effective riding. Horse Sport Enews More from News:MARS Bromont CCI Announces Requirements For US-Based RidersThe first set of requirements to allow American athletes and support teams to enter Canada for the June 2-6 competition have been released.Canadian Eventer Jessica Phoenix Reaches the 100 CCI4*-S MarkPhoenix achieved the milestone while riding Pavarotti at the inaugural 2021 CCI4*-S at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.Tribunal Satisfied That Kocher Made Prolonged Use of Electric SpursAs well as horse abuse, the US rider is found to have brought the sport into disrepute and committed criminal acts under Swiss law.Washington International Horse Show Returns to TryonTIEC will again provide the venue for the WIHS Oct. 26-31 with a full schedule of hunter, jumper and equitation classes.
Press Association “He can always give you a different option in the game and that is of course vital.” Wenger hopes Walcott can offer support to lone frontman Olivier Giroud and record signing Mesut Ozil, who was rested for Germany’s internationals with Italy and then at Wembley following a sickness bug. “You always want to have a perfect balance (in attack), and if you look at our results our balance was not too bad,” he said. “But Theo has different qualities to other players and I am very pleased that he’s back.” Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky could also feature against the high-flying Saints following his illness, while German forward Lukas Podolski is closing in on a return from a hamstring injury which has sidelined him since the end of August. “He is doing fitness training on the pitch and starts to do some ball work too,” said Wenger. “He still needs two or three weeks before we see him on the pitch for Arsenal.” England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, meanwhile, is “at least one month” away from a return after knee ligament damage, while France Under-21 forward Yaya Sanogo could be fit from his back problem in January. Wenger feels Les Bleus’ remarkable comeback in their World Cup play-off against Ukraine that booked them a place in Brazil next summer can only prove positive for Arsenal trio Laurent Koscielny, Bacary Sagna and Giroud. “You want overall the players to be in a positive mood, to have a good self-esteem, and that of course comes by thinking you have the job done,” Wenger said. “It is positive for France because it was a big relief and the country needed it. “There is a lot of unrest between the French national team and the country, since South Africa (at the 2010 World Cup), and that they could turn a situation like that in a positive way will help people to love the national team again.” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had no issue with Jack Wilshere playing in both of England’s friendlies against Chile and Germany. The midfielder, who has again been troubled by fitness problems this season, featured heavily in each of the internationals at Wembley, where Roy Hodgson’s men suffered back-to-back defeats. Wenger, though, played down any talk of a club-versus-country row and reports of a fresh ankle injury for Wilshere as the Gunners boss prepares for the resumption of Barclays Premier League action against Southampton at the Emirates Stadium. “First of all Jack is not injured, that was not the right information,” Wenger told Arsenal Player. “Secondly, I have no problem with the FA, they respected completely what they told me and it was (for Wilshere) to play in one game and be on the bench in the other. “They did that very well, so there is no misunderstanding there. (It was) exactly (what we agreed).” Arsenal – who also saw left-back Kieran Gibbs represent the senior England side over the international break – are expecting to have Theo Walcott available again to tackle his former club this week. The winger has now recovered after spending two months out following minor abdominal surgery. Wenger hopes the return to action of the pacy forward will give his team an added dimension as they look to respond to defeat at Manchester United to remain top of the Premier League. “Of course you miss a player like Theo Walcott,” he said. “Strikers who get behind the defenders have a very important quality and Theo [Walcott] has that quality. “Theo had a good start to the season, he scored goals, he provided chances and had assists.
Mike Tomlin talks with cornerback Ike Taylor (24) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Pittsburgh, Nov. 17. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)PITTSBURGH (AP) – The math is tantalizing.The schedule is favorable.The middle of the AFC is a mess.Suddenly, things are looking up for the Pittsburgh Steelers.Consecutive wins over Buffalo and Detroit have Pittsburgh (4-6) in position to play meaningful football into December if not January.“We feel like we have a good team, but when we mention those things, people say ‘Your record says you’re not,” wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery said. “We’ve just got to continue to fight this thing out and see what happens. We have to keep it going.”Cotchery allows his team’s margin for error is “nonexistent,” though the final six weeks hardly look intimidating.Starting with Sunday’s game at Cleveland (4-6), the Steelers face just one team with a winning record the rest of the way. And even that Dec. 15 showdown with AFC North-leading Cincinnati is at Heinz Field.The other five games include two against the Browns, a Thanksgiving night matchup at struggling Baltimore (4-6) and a visit by the Miami Dolphins on Dec. 8.What was billed as the return of former Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace could take a backseat to something considerably more substantial.Miami and the New York Jets are tied for the sixth and final AFC playoff spot at 5-5. Pittsburgh already owns the tiebreaker over the Jets after picking up a victory on the road last month.It’s not much hope to cling to, but it beats the alternative. The Steelers were reading the obituary on their season after a humbling 55-31 loss to New England dropped them to 2-6 at the midway point and 15th in the 16-team AFC.Two promising weeks later, they’re 10th with plenty of time left.The crossroads may have come in the fourth quarter against Detroit. The Lions had just botched a fake field goal attempt but pinned the Steelers at their own 3 early in the fourth quarter.Facing third-and-9, Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown for a 16-yard gain. The drive ended in a touchdown and Pittsburgh was on its way to its most significant victory of the season.“I don’t know if it’s a turning point, but hopefully we can look back in 3-4 months and say it was,” tight end Heath Miller said.This isn’t the first time this fall Pittsburgh appeared poised to break out of a rut. The Steelers beat the Jets and the Ravens after an 0-4 start and spark belief that better days were ahead.Pittsburgh then went out and bumbled its way to a 21-18 loss to Oakland before Tom Brady picked the Steelers apart and sent the franchise into full-blown crisis mode.Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau talked about going back to “page one” in the playbook after giving up 610 yards to the Patriots. He vowed to simplify things and his defense has responded with a pair of solid performances.The Steelers overwhelmed Buffalo quarterback E.J. Manuel in a 23-10 romp and shut down the high-powered Lions after surviving a 27-point deluge in the second quarter.Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford completed just 3 of 16 passes after halftime and wide receiver Calvin Johnson never got his hands on the ball in the second half as Pittsburgh rallied.Perhaps just as encouraging as the results were the plays the Steelers were able to produce. Lawrence Timmons recovered a fumble and returned it 30 yards to set up a score.Nose tackle Steve McLendon forced Lions holder Sam Martin to fumble during the fake field goal and safety Will Allen intercepted Stafford in the fourth quarter to put Roethlisberger in position for the game-clinching touchdown.Those were the kind of plays Pittsburgh didn’t make for several weeks early in the season, something that weighed on them in the locker room.“When you’re not getting them, you try to downplay it like it doesn’t matter,” safety Ryan Clark said. “But when you’re getting them you understand they help you win.”A pattern that will have to continue if the Steelers want to avoid missing the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time this millennium.“We’ve got to be mentally tough,” cornerback Ike Taylor said. “We know it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”NOTES: Coach Mike Tomlin said LB LaMarr Woodley, DE Brett Keisel and G Ramon Foster will have a chance to play against the Browns. All three starters sat out the Lions game because of injury. … The Steelers signed former Pitt running back Ray Graham to the practice squad on Tuesday. Graham rushed for 3,271 yards in four seasons with the Panthers from 2009-2012.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
“We’re happy to have Bill carry on in his role as our head coach and general manager,” said Smoke Eaters president Tom Gawryletz. “We were one of the hardest-working teams in the BCHL this season and I’m excited about the core of players eligible to return under Bill’s guidance next year.”Per club policy, contract terms will not be disclosed. The Trail Smoke Eaters announced today that head coach and general manager Bill Birks has accepted a contract extension.Birks joined the Smoke Eaters as an assistant coach for the 2010-11 season and was named head coach and general manager in May of 2011.This past season, Birks led the Smoke Eaters to a 26-28-0-2 overall record, more than doubling the previous season’s win total. Trail’s goal differential also improved over 2011-12 by a figure of +86 and three Smoke Eaters (Scott Davidson, Brent Baltus and Garrett McMullen) earned NCAA Division I scholarships.
THE EARLY MORNING sun felt warm on Gosoe’s face just before he was pushed into the make-shift prison, where he met several women and men. The captives were held by the rebels and on several mornings, one or two would be selected and carried behind some shooting range and they were disposed off.“They took my wife yesterday,” Samson Jardea, who said he was being held because of being a Krahn, told Gosoe. “I’ve been here for three weeks and the soldiers have not hidden their plan to murder as many Krahn people they can get their hands on.”Alfred Gosoe’s head hung below his chest, his eyes filled with tears of defiance. His heart beat faster and in all his life he realized he had never come to experience such a horrible situation. True, the government’s soldiers were doing the same thing, but for most of them he had simply heard them, and those who had reportedly carried out such heinous acts had sworn they never happened. Here he was among people who would not hide their misdeeds, where they boasted openly how men and women were picked up and carried to meet their maker.“What’s become of us, my brother?”Samson’s question did not come as a surprise to Gosoe. He knew that some madness had descended on Liberia and his nation had become a slaughter house. And what was more, there seemed to be no empathy for any Liberian. It was a painful equation really. Young men and women had been drafted against their will by the government and its rebel counterparts, and Gosoe saw in the distance the end of Liberia, if nothing was done to halt the carnage.But who was willing to stop the horror? As far as he was aware, the government in Monrovia was not ready to agree that it had outlived its usefulness, and the rebels, particularly their leader, Charles Taylor, and the defense spokesman, Jucontee Thomas Woewiyou, had not hidden their determination to continue till their objective of running the Liberian president, Samuel Doe from the country, was achieved. He knew that was a long short, for the president was someone not to be intimidated and their unwillingness to compromise in the interest of the future survival of the country would ruin the country that had become a price in their deluded contest.It, therefore, meant more trouble for Liberia.Then he thought about declarations of victory by the rebels when he was back in Monrovia. Their charismatic leader, Charles Taylor, never hid his determination to fight to the end, if it meant Liberia would burn. So, with the president’s unwillingness to agree to abdicate the throne and Charles Taylor’s desire to see to the end of the war, it would then take, Gosoe admitted, the intervention of outside forces to save Liberia.“Maybe the United Nations,” he told Samson, as both men, sat close to each other in the structure serving as a prison. It held nearly fifty persons, which included several women and their children. The structure sat a kilometer away from the center of the small town. Though it might have been a house of a resident, it had been reinforced, and a window on the extreme left corner in the back had been sealed with planks.There were smaller holes deliberately dug on each side of the four-square room, and a door that hung across the entrance that provided the means to get air into the room. Visibility was not really difficult since without ceiling, daylight spilled through the top of the structure, though the door was always locked from the outside. Behind the make-up structure, several rebel soldiers were assigned, as they made their rounds, with occasional but aimless shooting and the explosions of weapons to instill fear in their captives and o reinforce their control and in what they described as the sound of music. It was meant to deter any of the captives who would develop creative ideas for freedom. The rebels’ love for occasional but unnecessary shooting was no news to residents in the areas they held. And that was why it was difficult to imagine if anyone they captured would gamble the chance to escape.Alfred Gosoe sat in there as a prisoner, and counted his days. It had been four days now since he was brought here, and he had not heard from his wife. Though initially he had considered his arrest as a temporary measure since he knew his wife would do all she could to get him out, but four days were enough for him to entertain some doubt of his deliverance. As a Krahn he had willed himself to God, and had expected whatever would happen to him to come at its own time, as he would always say, “If it is the will of God.”With stories he had heard from some his buddies in the Armed Forces about the barbarity of the rebel soldiers; he felt sometimes that death itself could be a relief. He loved life and wanted to live through the carnage that had engulfed Liberia, but just in case he did not make it, well it would mean he tried. How many Liberians had tried and failed? How many of his tribal people had been wasted in the course of the war? What about the other side? The Gios and Manos who had been affected since the infamous year of 1985, when the former general failed to succeed? And Mandingos, too? Wasted, wasted and wasted! Sadly, he knew they too had been wasted and doomed. Perhaps conditions could take a dramatic turn for the better.Gosoe knew it was a tragedy of extreme proportion as one nation set itself up towards self destruction.Suddenly, his thoughts were interrupted by a loud whooping sound, which he realized was the sound of AK-47 weapon. It was being discharged several feet away behind the prison walls, and he wondered who was being wasted, this time.The captives shrieked with disappointment and the weak among them, particularly the women began to weep.THE BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION enjoys a reputation among Africans as one of reliability. And in the course of Africa’s unreliable provision of information to its people, the position of the BBC can better be appreciated. It therefore does not confuse the imagination when in a situation of war, it becomes a major source of information, even if it means one side of the conflict will take advantage over the BBC and provide prepackaged information to feed and confuse the already volatile situation. Hence, as Alfred Gosoe considered it, the BBC was instrumental in providing propaganda materials to feed the minds of the Liberian people as the war raged on.“Now that I am on this side,” he told Samson in their eighth day together in this prison, “I see many things are wrong, and they were made true when you heard them on the BBC.”“That sounds like true since many of us thought the rebels are in complete control as they said over the BBC,” Samson commented in undertone, as they hid behind several men and women. There was a feeling of despondency in the room and with the rebels’ penchant to murder those they did not like, or considered from the other tribe, there was the spirit of pessimism in there.“I have no desire for food,” Gosoe told his friend, “my wife and children are on the other side of the village…” His voice broke, and he stared at his friend with open eyes.The other grunted, and Gosoe could see him wiping his face. He felt his friend had a secret about his family he was not prepared to tell. But having been there for eight days, and considering that there was no chance of getting out of there alive, he began to give hints about his family.“I never told you,” Samson said, his eyes downcast, “they killed my wife the day you were brought here.”“Except God intervenes,” Gosoe assured him, “I will not only lose my life but those of my family, too.” His buddy could understand his worry.“I am a Gio and my wife is a Sapoh,” Samson continued, perspiration forming on his forehead, “I loved that woman and we have been together through many difficult times…”“I understand,” Gosoe added, as a way of consolation, “If any group wants to kill me, I will prefer my family must be set free.”Samson remained silent for a brief moment, and giving a deep breath, said, “Sometimes I asked God why should this happen?” The other heard it very clear, but he had had the occasion to ask the very question. But Gosoe knew that in this treacherous world full of unhappiness, it is man’s duty to make his existence comfortable. God is the creator of all mankind yes, but what mankind does is his own doing. To blame God for mankind’s horrible actions against its kind is to say the least, unfair, from Gosoe’s standpoint.The evening breeze came with cold, and the captives huddled behind each other. Some of them had been accompanied to the restroom, directly behind the house or prison where they were held. On a number of occasions, several females had been taken outside by the soldiers, and after nearly twenty to thirty minutes, had been brought back with tears in their eyes.That night, after a couple of the women were brought back to the prison, Gosoe noticed one of them.Josephine Johnson was now twenty two. Her lanky but gracious figure marked her out as one of the beautiful girls at the Barclay Training Center. Her father, a member of the Armed Forces of Liberia, was a legend in Liberian military circles.When the war began in late 1989, though a Krahn by tribe, he had resisted several attempts by the government to turn the crisis into a tribal war, as it was going on now.As a result, his home at the Barclay Training Center was stormed by soldiers, and he was shot point blank. With his five children, only Josephine and the last of her sibling managed to escape that night. In fact, they had spent the night with a cousin of theirs in another location when the soldiers struck.Seeking a safer place for herself and her surviving brother, they managed to leave Monrovia but were arrested at the notorious 15 Gate Check Point, and her brother, just eleven, was taken away. For a time, she became the “wife” or “sex slave” to several of the rebel soldiers and sometime later managed to escape from them. That was her story, as she told it, sometimes in tears, at other times with shame.Alfred Gosoe had known the Johnsons, since they all resided at the BTC together. Now seeing her here and in detention gave Gosoe the creeps. For anything at all Gen. Johnson was a good man who was murdered because of the injustice against the Gios and the Manos that he resisted. How could such a man’s family suffer torment at the hands of the very people he had died for?Gosoe wanted to speak with her but on second thought he felt that would bring the attention of the soldiers who would frequent the prison on them. After all his only or major crime was simply because he was a Krahn, and since the president of Liberia was also a Krahn and Krahn soldiers had been used to cause havoc against the Gios and Manos, they also were paying every Krahn in the same coin.But Gosoe also knew that there was a God of justice somewhere. And that even if either he or Josephine was executed for their tribal affiliation, there was someone who would render justice in the end.EndShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NBC is reportedly in negotiations with Victoria Beckham for a reality-TV show about her move to the United States with husband David Beckham, who last month landed a five-year, $250-million soccer deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy. Victoria Beckham, known as Posh Spice of the Brit-pop group the Spice Girls, would be paid $19.6 million for the show, according to news reports. “American Idol’s” creator Simon Fuller, who managed the Spice Girls and now represents the Beckhams, will executive produce the series.
Leeds United manager Neil Redfearn bemoaned a lack of options from the bench after his side’s 1-0 home defeat to Fulham.Redfearn brought on striker Billy Sharp and Wales Under-21 midfielder Chris Dawson in an attempt to take the game back from the visitors’ grasp, after Hugo Rodallega’s goal on the hour mark.But although they probed and produced a couple of saves from Whites keeper Gabor Kiraly, they were unable to muster an equaliser.Redfearn said: “There was too many off-days. We lacked that cutting edge, we looked reluctant to shoot. At the other end, they got in our box too easy.“The squad needs a bit of help, sometimes off the bench. If you’ve got more options you can think about playing differently.”Redfearn also revealed that midfielder Rudolph Austin was ruled out of the match after a “freak accident” during the warm-up.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
22 June 2012 South Africa’s emerging and commercial farmers will benefit from financial assistance after the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved a R1-billion line of credit to the Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa on Wednesday. The support will be also used to assist agricultural co-operatives and agri-related businesses; it will help mobilise financial resources, ultimately contributing to job creation and income generation. “The line of credit from the AfDB will be dedicated to the agricultural sector which is generally labour-intensive,” said the AfDB’s private sector and micro-finance department director, Tim Turner, in a statement. “Its benefits are expected to emphasise low-skilled workers, especially with the Land Bank’s focus on emerging farmers.” Turner said that the projected 2 700 loans to be given to emerging farmers are expected to generate some 14 000 jobs, while the financing to the commercial farmers, cooperatives and agri-related businesses is expected to create at least 2 000 jobs. “This will have multiple positive inclusive growth effects by targeting underserved populations such as rural communities, women and black emerging farmers,” he added. The credit also includes a technical assistance component for capacity building at Land Bank and will enable the government to support, promote and facilitate the development and transformation of the agricultural sector in South Africa. As one of the most employment intensive sectors of the South African economy, agriculture’s potential impact on empowerment and poverty relief is much larger than its actual weight in the economy suggests. While the primary agricultural sector contributes about 3% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), it represents about 7% of formal employment. If the entire value chain of agriculture is taken into account, its contribution to GDP actually reaches 12%. SAinfo reporter
As low cost cinema cameras dominate the independent film scene, high level filmmaking has never been more accessible than it is today. That said, it takes a lot more than the right camera and gear to actually make a film that is worth watching.Many up and coming filmmakers are scared to make a film with no budget. They often don’t have the experience to know how difficult it is to raise the funding to make a film, and won’t even consider making one on a limited budget.While there is nothing wrong with aiming to raise a substantial budget to make your first feature, the truth of the matter is that it is extremely difficult to do so (even for seasoned filmmakers). You don’t necessarily need that money to make an excellent film today. Not to mention, in order to raise that kind of money you need to have a calling card (usually in the form of a low/no budget project) so producers will trust you with their money.Image from WikimediaThe good news is that making a film with little or no money can still yield great results that are comparable to any well-funded film, so long as you are creative and adopt a solid strategy for yourself. As we all know from watching studio produced films over the last several years, more money doesn’t necessarily translate to better movies. If you’re eager to make a film, but money is tight, here are three considerations that you should never overlook.1. Story is EVERYTHINGTechnological breakthroughs in all the various facets of filmmaking have completely changed the world of cinema and digital production. While in many respects, these great advances have opened up a new and exciting world for filmmakers from all walks of life, I would argue that the quality of independent films have greatly suffered over the past several years. It used to be that a great story/screenplay got your film made, but with easy access to digital cinema cameras and post-tools, simply owning the right gear (or knowing someone with the right gear) is enough to get your film made, even if it doesn’t have a fully developed story.Understanding cinematography, editing or particular uses for gear, is critical to your success as a filmmaker. However, your camera and all the various ‘toys’ you utilize throughout production are simply there to enhance your story. You may think that you need to hyper focus on developing your skillset behind the camera or in post in order for your film to have a cinematic quality, but you need to put just as much emphasis on the story and concept. After all, a great idea with poor production value will go a lot further than a poor idea with great production value.Look at a film like ‘Clerks‘ by Kevin Smith. Yes, that example is going back a couple of decades, but even for itts time the quality level of that film was extremely poor. It was black and white, grainy, poorly lit, badly composed…but guess what? It was a success because the writing and the story were on point.2. Immaculate Location AudioNothing is more detrimental to your film than poorly recorded, amateur audio. If you’ve already made a film or two, you should clearly understand how critical great location audio is, and also understand that poor audio can completely ruin your project. Not having a big budget is absolutely no excuse for not capturing great audio, as it really just comes down to prioritizing it, rather than taking a ‘we’ll fix it in post’ attitude. For whatever reason, even though most filmmakers know how important great audio is, the audio department is one of the first things that’s compromised on low budget films.A great tool that I use for smaller productions, which I strongly recommend, is the Zoom H6 Handy Portable Digital Recorder. It is a relatively low priced field recorder, with most of the features you’d find on similar, yet more expensive recording equipment. It takes 4 XLR inputs (up to 6 with an added module), and has many of the same features built-in that you would find on a more professional level audio recorder. In an ideal world, you don’t want to be rolling your own audio (a dedicated sound recordist is always a far better choice), but in a pinch you can get great results with a device like the Zoom H6 and a couple of high quality mics.No matter if you choose to hire a sound recordist or do your own location sound, make sure that you put just as much effort into the sound as the image. After all, it’s been proven time and time again that audio influences an audience’s experience far more than imagery.3. Understand Your Limitations Early OnIf you’re shooting a film with little or no money, you need to identify your creative limitations early on, and keep your head out of the clouds when it comes time to develop your idea and screenplay. So often filmmakers with small budgets will want to write a script with car chases, explosions, exotic locations and other extraneous elements, and don’t realize until it’s too late that this just isn’t feasible.Personally, I welcome limitations when I make films with very little money. In fact, there are times when I find it easier to work with fewer resources. This gives me the opportunity to strategically utilize what I have around me and quickly dismiss what is not in the realm of possibility for my film. For example, if I have a certain location in mind for a scene but the permit to shoot there is too expensive, I may change the scene around to take place in a different part of that same location, where I could get away with guerrilla shooting. At first, this may seem like a compromise, but more often than not the scene will actually become stronger and more unique by changing it around, since the shooting limitations can force originality and uniqueness in the scene.In SummaryThere are many great tips and suggestions that I could make to no-budget filmmakers with regards to lighting, casting, camera choices, and so on. However, most of these elements are secondary and the success of your micro budget film will rely very heavily on having a vision and maintaining your focus. Your ability to focus on a well told, proactive story is critical – and thankfully this part of the process doesn’t cost you a dollar.There’s nothing wrong with wanting to shoot on a great camera, or having a preference for the visual elements of your film, but at the end of the day whoever is viewing your film is going to be captivated by the story, the sound, and the execution far more than the technical merits of your visual production, so always keep that in mind!