Artbiz with Nia Edwards-Behi

Oct 13, 2016   //   by admin   //   artbiz, News  //  No Comments


Artbiz explores that middle ground between “art” and “business”. How genuinely creative people manage (or do not manage) to carve out a living doing what they love. How they juggle dayjobs, families, real life, relationships, paying bills and doing their craft/art.

Nia Edwards-Behi is a horror genre treasure. Co-director of the UK’s best horror festival, Abertoir, and film journalist in her own right on Brutal as Hell, Nia has been instrumental in curating and guiding horror fans to “the good shit.” I was lucky enough to “meet” Nia over the wilds of Facebook when she was promoting Abertoir back in 2008. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Nia at Abertoir for a number of years, where she and her co-organisers are instrumental in fostering a warm, welcoming atmosphere for festival goers.

Q1          First can you introduce yourself? Who are you? Do you have dependents? Do you have a mortgage? Are you the sole income earner?

I’m Nia and in no particular order I’m co-director of a film festival, a film reviewer, a film scholar, and cinema technician. No, no and no.

 Q2          What do you do creatively? How long have you been doing it?

I suppose if film festival programming/curating and organising counts as creative work, then that! Around 6-7 years now, or thereabouts!

Q3          If you have one, what’s your day job? How long have had you that?

My day job is as a cinema technician – what they would have called a projectionist, back in the day (so I’m told). It involves everything from technical work, to customer service, to cleaning up popcorn. I’ve been doing the job for about 18 months, but worked in the same venue (as box office staff) much longer.

24023188596_651143ef0a_oQ4          What are the benefits of your day job?

I work with a great group of people, I get to see a lot of films, I get to see first-hand people enjoying films. Obviously just plain having a regular income is nice, too, and I’m lucky to have a very kind and flexible boss!

Q5          What are the drawbacks of the day job?

I guess the pay isn’t amazing and there’s pretty much no room for career progression, and my hours are a bit anti-social, but those aren’t major issues for me at the moment really.

Q6          Your art/craft is it a hobby/ a side gig/ your dream job/ your full time job?

It’s a sort of side-gig-dream-job that takes the time of a full time job…!

Q7          How much of what you do creatively is dictated by commercial consideration?

I suppose quite a great deal of it involves quite a lot of commercial consideration, but never to the point of selling out or losing integrity (I hope!).

Q8          Have you turned down commissions? If so, why?

I can’t think of any time I’ve turned down work, but I often think that I should turn things down more often. Naturally most of my work being film-related the boundary between work and leisure can often blur!

1621894_804296146255901_24201971_nQ9          Do you have a long term plan? A series of short term plans? Plans, never heard of them?!

I’m not especially spontaneous, but I don’t have a particular long-term plan, other than ‘more of the same’, I think!

Q10        What do you think of your “industry”?

I think my industry can be a very vibrant and exciting place, but like most of life there are parts of it I just don’t get…!

Q11        Is there anyone out there that you aspire to be like? Why?

There are some other festival programmers who I think maybe I’d like to be like in a few several years’ time, but I think I mostly aspire to just so what I do and do it as best as I can – and let that take me where it will!


Check out Nia’s writing here:

And visit the Abertoir site to see what delights are on offer this year:

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