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Top 10 exciting things to check out for West Midlands film fans

By midlandsmovies, Sep 4 2015 10:27AM

Top 10 exciting things to check out for West Midlands film fans


After our Top 10 covering the best of Leicester, Derby and Nottingham film-making talent we shift our focus to the West Midlands to see the best 10 things a film fan can check out in the region…


Tom Lee Rutter – Stranger

Director/writer Tom Lee Rutter bounced into the West Midlands film scene with his upcoming acid-western-horror Stranger. As an independent film-maker he has shot and completed dozens of films both short and feature length along with countless music videos. Born in Wordsley, raised in Rowley Regis and Colley Gate he eventually moved to Kidderminster about 8 years ago and worked with his brother when growing up. The two of them finished their first feature film; a shot on hi-8 “abomination” (his words) called Full Moon Massacre. Tom thinks horror is always the best place for a film-maker to begin as it can feature every other genre and gives the film-maker chance to explore all technical aspects of film in horror (SFX, lighting, camera trickery, etc). Read our full interview with Tom about his latest film here: http://www.midlandsmovies.com/blog/4558436876/Midlands-Spotlight---Interview-with-Tom-Lee-Rutter/9385416


The Hot Tub Cinema

The award winning Hot Tub Cinema events landed in the Midlands this year with their unique brand of soothing bubbles, frothy suds and film screenings. The “Tub Tropicana Tour” came to Birmingham and this unique cinematic experience has helped make Hot Tub Cinema explode into the social cinema arena by screening films in a variety of exciting spaces across the country. With tubs of up to 6 people provided, relaxation is the focus whilst waiter service provides a brilliant way to get drinks delivered direct to your tub. With a choice of films from the 80s classics of Pretty Woman and Top Gun, the music-based Grease & Rocky Horror Picture Show to the comedic Anchorman and The Hangover movie, this cinema experience is more akin to a club with bar, neon lighting and DJs spinning tunes into the night. Our review of one of their nights in Digbeth here:

http://www.midlandsmovies.com/blog/4558436876/The-life-aquatic---The-Hot-Tub-Cinema-comes-to-the-Midlands/9642824


Boz Dimond

Since heading to art college back in 1996, Boz Dimond always had an eye for detail and a passion for film. But unlike most conventional filmmakers, Boz never attended university or film school but had always felt an affinity to the industry and at the tender age of 17, penned his first screenplay. After putting his pen to one side to focus on his passion for music, Boz spent the best part of 10 years creating tunes and developing his technical and musical skills but never lost interest in film. Boz, forever a passionate film enthusiast, then found a natural move into filmmaking and his short film Jinxed became an official selection at the Beeston Film Festival whilst his other short, Our Hands Are Tied, is currently in post-production. Boz has also written his first feature called The Target which is currently in development with TestaRossa Productions. This spy thriller genre flick is set to be made in 2015-16 and Boz has many more ideas bubbling at his production company Diamond Flicks. More info on Boz and his future film projects here: http://www.midlandsmovies.com/blog/4558436876/Midlands-Spotlight---Boz-Dimond/9276869


The Electric Cinema

Established in 1909 The Electric Cinema in Birmingham is actually the oldest working cinema in the UK. It has been through many name changes and was mostly rebuilt in the 1930s. This unique cinema also runs an education programme for students of all ages covering the history of cinema, the current film industry and general film education. It was also Birmingham’s first cinema and predated the introduction of the 1909 Cinematograph Act and back then, the word 'electric' conjured up images of Van der Graaf generators and Tesla Coils. To the vast majority of the population, who were still without electricity in their homes, the mysterious invisible power source was verging on black magic. Much like the word digital is ubiquitous today, 'electric' became a common name for film theatres with Electric Cinemas and Electric Picture Palaces springing up. Back then, the cinema showed silent films with piano backing but now has a state of the art facility set within historical architecture that shows the latest independent and blockbuster films in a glorious and classy location. You can find the cinema at 47–49 Station Street, Birmingham,B5 4DY and more info is on their site here: https://www.theelectric.co.uk


Flatpack Festival

Flatpack is a festival which takes over venues across Birmingham every March and draws people from far and wide with a mixture of films, performances, contraptions and surprises, and has been described as “magnificently eclectic” (Time Out), “joyously inventive” (the Guardian) and “the UK’s most creatively curated film festival” (the Independent). Uniquely, it’s not confined to one time or place as the annual event was spawned from the 7 Inch Cinema and was originally a mixed-media film night at the Rainbow pub in Digbeth. This grew to embrace inflatable cinema-tents, archive detective-work and DVD compilations and ten years on they continue to produce projects and provide guest programming for others throughout the year. Recent collaborators have included Home of Metal, Green Man Festival, First Light, Birmingham International Dance Festival and the Independent Cinema Office. Director Ian Francis has clocked up fifteen years putting on film events in Birmingham and beyond and co-founded Flatpack with partner Pip McKnight in 2006. He also writes for publications including Sight and Sound and Little White Lies. Visit their website for updates here: http://flatpackfestival.org.uk


Checking In

“Checking In” is an award-winning feature from the West Midlands set in a hotel that follows the highs and lows from a number of guests' viewpoints. Filmed over 2 years the film was shot entirely at Baron's Court Hotel in Walsall, just outside of Birmingham and delves into the lives of numerous guests around the establishment over the course of a 24 hour period on a random “average” working day. Told through the eyes of maid Radka (Nici Preston) & Alec the Manager (Roger David Francis), a range of guests will make you laugh and gasp but always making you think. Bringing together a host of amazing actors and crew, the team finally got to see the movie at the Lighthouse Cinema on May 12th with feedback being overwhelmingly positive. Read our review here:

http://www.midlandsmovies.com/blog/4558436876/Feature-Review---Checking-In/8603396


Hayley Davis

Hayley Davis is an up and coming actress from Birmingham who has a wide range of talents on her CV including a portfolio career where performance and writing make up the bulk of what she does having created work for the stage and the small screen. As a member of Equity, Hayley started her journey by gaining a degree in Performance at the University of Bedfordshire before moving to London where she continued to train in her field. Developing her trade she spent time undertaking courses at the Central School of Speech and Drama and the Actors Centre, before completing a year at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Hayley has starred in a recent short film called ‘Get out Clause’ with the production being edited by Fabrice Millet and also starred Laurence Saunders last seen in Eastenders. For more info on Hayley and links to her website please click here:

http://www.midlandsmovies.com/blog/4558436876/Midlands-Spotlight---Actress-Hayley-Davis/9134779


Jason Brown – Dark Vale

West Midlands filmmaker Jason Brown’s last film A Date With Ghosts was released in the US and he has already started on his next exciting endeavour called Dark Vale. Influenced by the Blair Witch Project Jason cites his successes to date as being prepared to see the benefits of hiring great actors. When Carlton TV ran a competition, he won an award for his film The Monk which gave the filmmaker greater exposure and led to him to an encounter with Shane Meadows. Later, James Cullen Bressack, who is based in Los Angeles helped Jason get distribution for “A Date With Ghosts” in US stores like Best Buy and Target. Jason wanted to be an actor originally and has a diploma in drama but now mainly works behind the camera. Raising over £5000 through investors he’s been lucky to have a mentor who has given him help called Brad Rushing who is an LA-based cinematographer. Influenced by Robert Rodriguez, Jason takes control of many aspects of his films including writing, directing, scoring and editing and hopes to take his latest movie to festivals once he has completed post-production. Read an interview with Jason here: http://www.midlandsmovies.com/blog/4558436876/Midlands-Spotlight---A-Date-with-Jason-M-J-Brown/10085681


Brindley Place Outdoor Film Festival

With another successful event running in 2015 the Brindleyplace Film Festival is situated in the heart of Birmingham city centre. Brindleyplace is a leisure and business complex built upon once derelict land and is an architectural landmark which created around three attractive public squares – Brunswick, Central and Oozells. Alongside this estate you can find The Water’s Edge, The Crescent Theatre, the National SEA LIFE Centre and the open square at the centre of all this hosts a free summer festival showcasing a variety of blockbuster films for all ages. In Summer Frozen, The Great Gatsby and Independence Day were all shown and the schedule was decided following hundreds of votes from the general public. This saw 90’s classic Clueless, staring Alicia Silverstone, achieve more than double the number of votes than any other film. Supported by Heart FM, deckchairs and beanbags were provided to the public whilst delicious free tasters were offered by a number of the restaurants based at Brindleyplace. A great success in 2015, the next one in 2016 hopes to be an even greater achievement.

http://www.brindleyplace.com/event/brindleyplace-outdoor-film-festival-2/


Film Birmingham

Want to make a film in Birmingham? Well, this is the place to start your search for a whole host of locations in the region. Film Birmingham is Birmingham City Council’s Film Office and as part of its Film Charter, Birmingham City Council is committed to making filming as easy and efficient as possible and provides free services for the industry. This includes being a one-stop shop for filming requests as they liaise with the relevant departments at Birmingham City Council and provide permits to film in the city. In addition, they manage an online database of filming locations throughout Birmingham with a dedicated team providing information and advice about the diverse range of filming locations, production offices and unit bases available. Finally, with a wealth of highly skilled film and television talent and state-of-the art facilities in the region, Film Birmingham can put filmmakers in touch with what’s available via their online crews and facilities database. Check their official website out here: http://www.filmbirmingham.co.uk


Midlands Movies Mike

1 comments
Sep 16 2015 09:08AM by Anthony

Checking In? Are you joking? I just read your review and I'm horrified to find you're not.

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