2016 was an interesting year – our 11th year online — during which we have published 226 articles by eight different authors. Yes, eight! In the course of the year we were happy to welcome new contributors Red Rodent and Martin Wilde, whose captivating reviews of Coming-of-Age films aided Georgi`s own humble efforts to total 69 full feature and 21 short film reviews.
Each reviewer has his own style and refined taste and, while they do not always overlap, introduce the viewers to true cinematic gems: Last Ride (2009), The Devil in the Skin (2011), This is England (2006) and Tom Brown’s Schooldays (2005) are just few of the films that were reviewed on the site this past year. As a whole, in 2016 we have focused on quality over quantity and hope that our efforts have aided the readers of the SkyKid.com in their cinematic journeys.
With just two book reviews and seven introductions of young and talented musicians – it’s evident that not all areas of the site received the attention they deserve. RJ Mendera introduced Christian Lalama, Henno William, Ty Lewis and The Fandinos. Georgi added pieces about Sara Martin, Marko Bosnjak and Max & Mango. It’s worth noting the objective writing style of RJ Mendera, who is always ready to provide a constructive criticism, setting his articles apart from those of many other authors who write about youth only in superlatives.
At the SkyKid.com we take pride in providing our readers with insightful interviews with filmmakers who have made significant contributions to the Coming-of-Age genre. 2016 saw the publication of two such interviews of: Truls Krane Meby and Ivan Noel – both notable artist and filmmakers. We’d also like to express our gratitude to Will Emslie for his hard work and dedication in conducting, transcribing and publishing the interview with Ivan Noel in such a stellar manner.
Billy Elliot The Musical (BETM)
2016 was a significant year in the BETM world as it was the year in which the original production of BETM closed. The London production had its final performance on 9-Apr-2016 after an 11-year run. Despite this, BETM is very much alive and well around the world, as is evidenced by the huge number of articles published on the betm.theskykid.com website this year and the constant updating of information within existing articles as such things as a new month of data is added to the Tracking the Billys article, or cast members come and go within productions as noted in our Cast Information article, just to name a couple of articles that we spend a lot of time keeping current over the course of a year.
Articles were written on all 37 of the new productions that opened in the past year. Of these, 32 were North American regional productions, and the other five covered productions in a wide array of countries: Sweden, Israel, Hungary, New Zealand, and a tour of the UK and Ireland.
With these new productions (and within the long running productions of the show) came new Billys: 42 in North America, 12 in Europe, and five from the rest of the world, making 59 in total. Notable among these was Parker Fullmore, the youngest ever Billy who was just 10 years and 3 days old at his debut. Sixty-five new Billy profile articles were actually written in 2016 as, in addition to those written about new Billys, profiles were finally written for six of the Australian Billys who had performed back in 2008/9, before we began doing the profiles.
The writing of those six Australian Billy profiles was done by a new addition to the betm.skykid staff in 2016 – Emily Powis. With the explosion of activity in the BETM world this year, and an equally busy year coming up in 2017, it became evident that we weren’t going to be able to maintain the level of coverage throughout the Billy world without some help. Emily was asked to come on board as editor of the BETM site and has jumped in with both feet – making very significant contributions, both in terms of writing new material and keeping all the statistics we maintain on the site up-to-date. She has also been instrumental in helping with a redesign of many of the older reference articles on the site that were updated this past year to make them more user-friendly for our readers.
The Skykid.com site receives hundreds of visitors on a daily basis, yet some stand out who have consistently supported us by commenting and/or sharing our articles on the various social media. While it is impossible to mention everyone, we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Tweeters Lez @saycheezpleez , Ed Berger @Berger9Ed, GSdriver @brusselsinsight, Son Luu @sonlam1102, Fortis Boy Choir @FortisBoyChoir, Felix Mater Society @FelixMater and all the people who left intriguing comments such as Richard, Aidan and Red Rodent. As on the main skykid.com site, we on the BETM side of things are very appreciative of all our readers and supporters. Special thanks goes out to @Berger9Ed, @PerLee74, @melmeyrick1 for their frequent comments and re-tweeting about our new articles in the social media.
Last, but not least, we extend special gratitude to Porschesrule who, as the executive editor on our main site and administrator on the BETM side of things, has spent time with each and every single article we have published.
We hope that you, the readers of this site, appreciate our humble efforts and we look forward to meeting you here in the new year of 2017!