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By midlandsmovies, Jun 13 2019 08:50PM

Quite simply, here is our ongoing and updated list of Film Festivals in the Midlands (2019 edition):


• THE SHORT CINEMA http://www.theshortcinema.co.uk info@theshortcinema.co.uk Phoenix, Leicester - August 20 – 24, 2019


* NOTTINGHAM INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL http://www.nottiff.com/ 14th - 17th November 2019


• INDIE-LINCS - Feb 13th - 15th 2020 Based at Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, and run in partnership with The School of Film and Media at the University of Lincoln http://www.indie-lincs.com


• BRINDLEY PLACE OUTDOOR FEST - http://www.brindleyplace.com/event/brindleyplace-film-festival-2018/ July 15th - 21st 2019


• BORDERLINES FEST http://www.borderlinesfilmfestival.co.uk UK's largest rural film festival. Herefordshire/Shropshire - 28th February to 15th March 2020


• BIRMINGHAM FILM FEST - 1st - 10th November 2019 https://filmfreeway.com/festival/Birminghamfilmfestival


• BIFF FEST (Birmingham Black International Film Fest) https://www.biffestival.co.uk 26th October 2019


• SHOCK AND GORE FESTIVAL Electric Cinema in Birmingham https://twitter.com/shockgore July 2019


• DEAFFEST http://www.deaffest.co.uk The UK's International Deaf Film & Arts Festival Wolverhampton. Contact info@light-house.co.uk 2020 date TBC


* BIRMINGHAM INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL http://birminghamindianfilmfestival.co.uk 21st June - 1 July 2019


• THE UK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL LEICESTER - http://tonguesonfire.com/ 2020 dates TBC


• SHOUT FESTIVAL http://shoutfestival.co.uk Birmingham Dates TBC for 2020


• DERBY FILM FESTIVAL http://www.derbyfilmfestival.co.uk 14 - 17 November 2019


• FANTASTIQ FEST http://fantastiq.co.uk Fantasy/Horror Fest at Quad in Derby (part of Derby Film Fest)


• MAYHEM HORROR Film Fest - Halloween. Contact Broadway cinema in Nottingham http://www.broadway.org.uk/mayhem 10th October - 13th October 2019


• FLATPACK FEST - Birmingham, UK. http://www.flatpackfestival.org.uk 11th-16th May 2020


• BEESTON FILM FESTIVAL - https://twitter.com/BeestonFilm 25th-29th March 2020


• SHROPSHIRE RAINBOW FILM FESTIVAL http://www.rainbowfilmfestival.org.uk/midlands-zone on hiatus for 2019 - TBC 2020 dates


• GRINDHOUSE PLANET - www.grindhouseplanet.com November 2019 TBC


* BOTTLESMOKE FILM FESTIVAL - https://www.facebook.com/BottleSmokeStoke Stoke on Trent - September 8th 2019


* WIRKSWORTH 3-MINUTE FILM FEST https://wirksworth3minfilmfest.co.uk Derbyshire15th Sept 2019


* HEART OF ENGLAND FILM FEST - https://www.heartofenglandfilmfest.com Coventry 2020 Dates TBC


* THE BLACK BIRD FILM FEST Wolverhampton https://ajayhackett2113.wixsite.com/bbff Wolverhampton 2020 Dates TBC


* HIGH PEAK INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL Derbyshire https://www.highpeakindie.com 12th to 16th June 2019. #HPIFF18


* NEXUS FILM FESTIVAL https://twitter.com/NexusEastMids Nottingham 2020 Dates TBC


* NOTTZ FILM FESTIVAL Hothouse Theatre Nottingham https://twitter.com/NottmFilmFest Sat 6th July 2019


* THE SHORT STACK FILM FESTIVAL Nottingham Bi-monthly screening night at Broadway Cinema https://www.facebook.com/groups/841340665914084 (Various dates)


* 5 LAMPS FILMS - Bi-monthly short-film screenings at Derby Quad (various dates) + annual 24hr film challenge https://twitter.com/fivelampsfilms 2020 Date TBC


* PARACINEMA - Derby https://twitter.com/ParacinemaDerby May 1st -3rd 2020


Other useful Film Festival information can be find at these links:

http://www.festivalfocus.org/festival

http://film.britishcouncil.org/festivals-directory/festivals-map

http://www.thefilmfestivaldoctor.co.uk

By midlandsmovies, May 31 2019 07:40AM



Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Directed by Michael Dougherty


OH NO! THERE GOES TOKYO, GO GO GODZILLA!


When the 2014 Godzilla came out, audiences had two big criticisms: firstly, that Godzilla was chunkier than expected, and secondly that he wasn’t on-screen nearly long enough.


With this year’s Godzilla: King of Monsters, director Michael Doherty certainly can’t be accused of holding him back – there’s plenty of the big green guy on show as he smashes his way through buildings and throws down to show the roster of revived kaiju who’s boss. He’s also no less hench this time around, as his neck seems to have disappeared completely. I’m not body-shaming, he looks great!


Set five years after Godzilla duked it out with the MUTOs in San Francisco, the film follows estranged couple Emma (Vera Farmiga) and Mark (Kyle Chandler) along with their daughter Madison (Millie Bobby Brown). Emma is a scientist at Monarch, the global organisation introduced in the first film as the people charged with finding and researching Godzilla and the other Titans.


Mark left the organisation and retired after their son died at the hands (or feet) of Godzilla, but when a group of eco-terrorists (led by the always-great Charles Dance) kidnap Emma and Madison and threaten to unleash the Titans upon the world, he’s out of retirement to rescue them faster than you can say ‘that trope is so old it’s got false teeth in’.


Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins reprise their roles from the first film, but are relegated to side-kicks and exposition providers; one of the film’s most awkward moments has Chandler explaining Godzilla’s motives and how to handle him to Watanabe, who’s been established as having been researching and hunting for Godzilla for decades. Having the American man school the Japanese man on Godzilla of all things makes for uncomfortable viewing!


The actors all put in terrific performances, especially Farmiga and Brown, though I could have done with more Charles Dance because I love him very much. The film really hits it stride when all hell breaks loose and the Titans clash as the trailer promised that they would. The plot may have had some structural weaknesses, but it’s clear that this part of the film is what the filmmakers wanted to focus on; big monsters knocking the crap out of each other.


The effects are superb, as you would expect, with Godzilla and Rodan especially characterful. It’s easy to see these creatures as individuals with personalities rather than just dumb beasts with a penchant for stepping on people. I watched this in the IMAX and the film really makes use of that, especially in the battle scenes; make sure you see this on the biggest screen possible. The 3D feels tacked-on and unnecessary, though, as it was barely utilised at all; in fact it often set the actors apart from the action in a way that made me unconsciously aware of how the actors are acting against a green screen.


The film is far from perfect; certain characters deserved better treatment, the plot is hokey an predictable at times and there’s an alarming dynamic of White Heroes and Sidekicks of Colour (all the people of colour in the film are subordinate to the main heroes), but if you disengage your brain and go in expecting a fun spectacle where big monsters smash things up then you won’t leave disappointed. Plus it sets up next year’s Godzilla vs Kong quite neatly.


★★★½


Sam Kurd

Twitter @splend


By midlandsmovies, May 22 2019 11:23AM



BIRMINGHAM INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL CELEBRATES 5TH ANNIVERSARY IN THE CITY


Screenings have now been announced for Birmingham Indian Film Festival (BIFF), supported by Birmingham City University and the BFI, part of the UK and Europe’s largest South Asian film festival, opening Friday 21st June until Monday 1st July 2019.


This year marks their 5th anniversary, showcasing a rich assortment of entertaining and thought-provoking independent films that have been winning awards and making global impact, including India’s new wave of LGBTQ+ films.


The Festival is presented by the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival which is celebrating its own 10th anniversary and is extending to Manchester and Bradford.


Birmingham Indian Film Festival will run across the city for a phenomenal 11 days at existing partner venues: Cineworld Broad Street; MAC Birmingham, Cannon Hill Park; and The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen, Custard Factory. This year we welcome new partner venue Centrala based in Digbeth.


Cary Rajinder Sawhney, Executive & Programming Director of the festival said: “The Festival has dynamically opened the UK media and audiences to Indian and South Asian independent cinema in all its linguistic diversity, and that’s something we are extremely proud of. Punching above our weight as always, this year is probably our strongest programme ever with exciting Midland premieres, rarely seen archival masterpieces, and some seriously cutting-edge dramas and documentaries.”


The 5th Anniversary celebrations will open with a sparkling red-carpet event at Cineworld Broad Street, for the Birmingham Premiere of the hard-hitting Article 15, starring India’s hottest male star Ayushmann Khurrana, ahead of its UK and worldwide release later in the month.


FULL LISTINGS BELOW:


Opening Film – Article 15

21 June | 19:00 | Cineworld Broad Street (Red Carpet from 18.30)

Midlands Premiere. 120 mins Hindi with English subtitles. India 2019 Q&A with Anubhav Sinha and others


Closing Film – Photograph

1 July | 19:00 | MAC Birmingham Birmingham Premiere. 110mins

Hindi, Gujarati, English with English subtitles. India/Germany/US. 2019


Satyajit Ray Short Film Award - 22 June | 14.00 | The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen


Urojahaj (The Flight) - 22 June | 16:30 | MAC Birmingham

European Premiere. 82mins Bengali with English subtitles. India 2018 Q&A with Buddhadeb Dasgupta


Widow of Silence - 22 June | 18:00 | Cineworld Broad Street

UK Premiere. 85mins Urdu with English subtitles. India 2018 Q&A with Pravin Morchhale


Vivek (Reason) - 23 June | 16:30 | MAC Birmingham Hindi, Marathi with English subtitles. India 2018 Q&A with Anand Patwardhan.


Arishadvarga - 23 June | 19:00 | Cineworld Broad Street Midlands Premiere. 159mins

Kannada with English subtitles. India 2018


Sir - 24 June | 18:30 | MAC Birmingham Midlands Premiere. 99mins

Hindi, English, Marathi with English subtitles. India/France 2018 Q&A with Rohena Gera


My Home, India - 25 June | 18.30 | Centrala Midlands Premiere. 45 mins

English, Polish with English subtitles. India/Poland 2019


#Gadhvi - 25 June | 20:30 | MAC Birmingham

Midlands Premiere. 109mins Hindi with English subtitles. India 2018


Anurag Kashyap in Conversation - 26 June | 19.00 | The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen


Bulbul Can Sing - 27 June | 18:00 | MAC Birmingham

Assamese, Hindi with English subtitles. India 2018 Q&A with Rima Das


Saturday Afternoon - 28 June | 18:15 | MAC Birmingham

Bengali, English with English subtitles. Bangladesh/Germany/India 2019 Q&A with Mostofa Sarwar Farooki


Kattumaram (Catamaran) - 29 June | 13:30 | MAC Birmingham

Midlands Premiere. 73mins - Tamil with English subtitles


Chuskit - 29 June | 16:00 | The Mockingbird

Ladakhi with English subtitles. India 2018 Q&A with Priya Ramasubban


Ardaas II - 29 June | 19:00 | Cineworld Broad Street

Punjabi with English subtitles. India 2019. Q&A with Gippy Grewal and others


Useful Links


https://www.twitter.com/weLoveBIFF


www.facebook.com/BirminghamINDIANFilmFestival


www.instagram.com/weloveBIFF






By midlandsmovies, Mar 6 2019 02:16PM



First ever Salaam Pakistan Film Festival opens in spring in Birmingham


A brand-new touring film festival showcasing the very best of Pakistan’s new Independent film making opens at Birmingham’s MIDLANDS ARTS CENTRE on Sunday 24 March and continues on Wednesday 27 and Saturday 30 March 2019.


The screenings are part of the inaugural SALAAM PAKISTAN FILM FESTIVAL, a small but mighty film programme, which will also be touring to Manchester, Bradford, Halifax, Rochdale and Leeds throughout March.


SALAAM PAKISTAN FILM FESTIVAL celebrates the best of Pakistan's new Independent film making providing audiences with a rare chance to see award-winning films, a UK PREMIERE, Oscar winning documentaries and special Q&A’s.


The Festival is supported by various prestigious organisations including the British Film Institute and Rangoonwala Foundation and covers a range of themes including the 1947 partition, class and social struggle, female rights and the fight for social justice.


Opening the Festival will be the UK PREMIERE of the compelling UK-Pakistani film Lakeer, hailed as the first Pahari film. Lakeer is directed by pioneering film maker Shiv Dutt, who sadly passed away in 2018, and tells the story of a Kashmiri couple divided by Partition in 1947. The screening will be followed by a special Q&A with the film’s UK-based writer Ali Adaalat.




Further highlights of the festival are the rare screenings of A Girl in the River and Saving Face, two powerful and hopeful Oscar winning documentaries by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. Sharmeen was honoured with the Hilal-i-Imtiaz, the second highest civilian honour of the country, by the Government of Pakistan in 2012 and is the only woman to win two Oscars by the age of 37.


The festival is excited to announce Pakistani filmmaker Iram Parveen Bilal will be flying into the city direct from Los Angeles to attend the screening of her thought-provoking film Josh, a compelling film about class and social struggle which closes the Festival. Iram, a Physics Olympian turned filmmaker, initiated the Pakistani Oscar committee and is the founder of Pakistan's first professional screenwriting lab (QALAMBAAZ). Iram will be taking Q&A’s from the audience after the screening.


Debbie Kermode, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Midlands Arts Centre in Birmingham commented “We’re delighted to welcome the first Salaam Pakistan Film Festival to Midlands Arts Centre. We’re sure that our audiences will appreciate the opportunity to see this fantastic collection of cutting-edge Pakistani and British Pakistani films.”


Salaam Pakistan Film Festival acknowledges the support of all its partners: The National Lottery, BFI FAN, Film Hub Midlands, Film Hub North, Rangoonwala Foundation, British Pakistan Foundation (BPF).


Tickets for all screenings at Midlands Arts Centre can be booked via the Box Office on 0121-446 3232 or online at www.macbirmingham.co.uk (all films are screened with English subtitles).



By midlandsmovies, Apr 7 2018 07:29AM

In April 2018 we ran a competition to win a set of Extreme Tartan Asian Cinema films as well as 3 special Kung Fu Legends dvds in our 7 films on 7th April prize draw.


We drew one lucky winner out on the 7th and that was.... *drum roll*


Twitter user: @LiamBeeeazley


Congrats Liam!


Please get in touch and we'll have more winning prizes soon so please follow us on Twitter on @midlandsmovies for more cinema competitions coming up!


Midlands Movies

By midlandsmovies, Mar 13 2018 06:44PM




Ground-breaking new Midlands project 'Crushed Wings' being developed to tackle FGM


Based on true life events, the English-spoken drama film ‘Crushed Wings’ boldly challenges dangerously prevalent and out-dated ideas surrounding FGM (female genital mutilation), forced marriage and honour killing.


The story tells of brave Ria, an FGM-survivor who tries to find the strength through the impossible and is one of the first movies ever to be made on this subject.


“The shocking fact we wanted to show in our film is that this is not only happening in Africa and Europe – including the UK – but also in Asia and even in Russia. And many people are not aware of this”, says Amrita Tewari, the Managing Director of production company Cam Buddha Films who are behind the film.


FGM is officially classified as child abuse and the filmmakers have filmed both abroad and more locally in Birmingham to get their story across.


The film's director Lalit Bhusal explains, “We have huge aims - to release a powerful piece of film making and to push the pressure movement for a ban on FGM. By joining the Crushed Wings family you’ll be part of more than just a film; you'll be bringing us one step closer to a world free of FGM”.


The filmmakers have recently launched a crowd-funding campaign to assist in the production of their project and more info on can be found at Indiegogo here https://igg.me/at/crushed-wings


View the film’s first trailer below.





For more information on the film please visit the official site here: www.crushedwings.org


And follow on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Cam_buddha




By midlandsmovies, Jun 19 2017 01:43PM



Europe's Largest Indian Film Festival returns to Birmingham this month with 11 independent films, 2 music documentaries and a host of talent over 10 days in 3 cinemas.


The Bagri Foundation Birmingham Indian Film Festival (BIFF) returns to the city this summer in partnership with the citywide USTAV celebration of South Asian culture. Sister to the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival, (LIFF) it is regarded as Europe’s largest Indian film festival and will run from Friday 23 June until Sunday 2 July 2017.


The festival opens on Friday 23 June at Cineworld Birmingham, Broad Street with a glittering red-carpet Birmingham premiere of the historical epic, The Black Prince by Kavi Raz, a powerful UK-produced film launched at Cannes. It stars Punjabi singer Satinder Sartaaj, who will be guest of honour on the opening night, iconic actress Shabana Azmi (The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Fire), Jason Flemyng (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, X-Men:First Class) and Amanda Root (Jane Eyre). The film dramatises the true but little-known story of the last King of Punjab who was abducted by the British Raj to be mentored by Queen Victoria.


Back into the 21st Century for the closing night, on 2 July, mac Birmingham will screen the surreal Malayalam road-movie thriller Sexy Durga directed by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan. Winner of the prestigious Tiger Award for best film at Rotterdam International Film Festival Sexy Durga set in Kerala tells the tale of a hitch-hiking couple who try to escape a road to hell after accidentally getting into a car of deranged gangsters.



The acclaimed festival features new and exciting cinema featuring cutting edge films that reaffirm the festival’s position as the ‘punk-rock of Indian cinema’ and is an edgy tie-in, to UK-India Year of Culture and complementing the BFI’s India on Film programme,


Further screenings include the regional premieres of Tamil comedy, Ticket - The Movie (Raaghav Ranganthan, 2017), anarchic Bollywood comedy Badman (Soumik Sen, 2017) and N Padmakumar's inspirational Mumbai drama A Billion Colour Story (2016). The festival experiments for the first time with horror with the disturbing Hide and Seek (Vishal Furia, 2016), plus the Regional Premiere of Pakistani gangster thriller, Whirlpool (Harune Massey 2017).


The Bagri Foundation Birmingham Indian Film Festival will also host an exclusive ‘In Conversation With’ including Bollywood Director, Ashutosh Gowariker who directed Bollywood superstar, Aamir Khan in the Oscar nominated Lagaan: Once Upon A Time in India (2001) and the epic historical romance Jodhaa Akbar (2008) starring former Miss World, Aishwarya Rai.


Cary Rajinder Sawhney, LIFF & BIFF Director, says: “We are delighted to bring Birmingham audiences a carefully curated selection of the very best new Indian and South Asian independent cinema; all films are English subtitled, offering a rare window into over a billion South Asian lives. This year's selection includes premieres of new comedies, gripping thrillers, shocking horror and insightful true-life documentaries as well as bringing together UK previews of major award-winning films from the world's greatest film festivals."



New venue partners for this evolving festival continue to help it serve a broader diverse audience and this year the festival is delighted to welcome The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen, based at the Custard Factory in Digbeth. The festival’s long-term venues include Cineworld Birmingham Broad Street and mac Birmingham.


The films screened are in a wide range of South Asian languages to reflect the linguistic diversity of Birmingham’s Indian and South Asian communities and all films are subtitled in English.


Check out the event's official websites to purchase tickets and find out even more information about this exciting Midlands event: www.birminghamindianfilmfestival.co.uk




By midlandsmovies, Apr 10 2016 09:13PM

New writer Guy Russell took a trip to Derby's QUAD Cinema for their season of Hong Kong crime films and took a look at a film Tarantino described as "the best film of the year" - 2005's Election. Read his thoughts on this Asian crime classic below...


Election (2005) Dir. Johnnie To


This thrilling Hong Kong crime picture from infamous director Johnnie To commands your attention from the first minute and never let’s go. “Election” pits two gang leaders against each other, each vying for the top position within their Triad organisation. When Lok (Simon Yam) comes out successful, his unorthodox rival Big D (Tony Ka Fai Leung) refuses to accept the defeat threatening Lok and others with an inevitable street war.


Many critics argue that To is Hong Kong’s answer to Scorsese, a compliment that is hard to shrug off seeing as both filmmakers have spent a large part of their career directing stylish gangland epics.

2005’s Election is no different.


Staples of gangster films are on exhibition here, honour, brotherhood and loyalty. The violence however sets To’s “Election” apart from the others, rarely do guns come into the fore in this film instead rivals are placed in wooden crates and purposefully fired from the top of a mountain.


Substituting gore and bloodshed for traditional and simple torture techniques “Election” focuses on shocking its audience with the history and the motives of these characters rather than with shock treatment. Also in a scene to rival To’s American counterpart Scorsese’s “Goodfellas” famous ‘who’s funny’ scene, a gang member is jokingly told to eat a porcelain spoon along with his meal which he does in a strikingly confident manner.


Shot in a stylistic and vibrant manner by Cheng Siu-Keung, the cinematography succeeds in showing how beautiful China and Hong Kong are. The freedom of the countryside contrasts against the seemingly growing decay of the streets that are filled with garish karaoke bars and strip clubs.

As I said earlier, the violence displayed in the film makes the viewer aware of how different the film is, the story and its themes are served the same way.


What’s interesting is that the film spends a large amount of time with the many captains within the triad discussing who is to become the next chairman of the organisation. The inner workings of the Triads will fascinate those who also find other infamous gangs interesting.


It’s refreshing to see a Film or TV show dedicate itself to showing the hierarchy and politics of these morally absent characters. Not since David Chases ‘The Sopranos’ have I seen such a project show so much interest in exploring the world of its subject matter. Standout performance of this film belongs to the unstable and ambitious Big D played by Tony Ka Fai Leung, his performance is anchored by the quiet and focused Lok (Simon Yam). Leung plays Big D like a hyperactive child, his goals become more unachievable as his temper grows.


The only disappointing aspect of the film is it ends up feeling like a set up for a more explosive sequel, the war that is constantly being threatened throughout the film never comes to fruition which could frustrate a viewer expecting a violent gangland thriller.


It was a joy watching this film recently as part of Derby QUAD’s Hong Kong Crime Season, especially as it was screened in the glorious 35mm. There is plenty on offer here to quench the thirst of any film fan and if you’re like me and missed this in 2005 I would highly recommend this gem of a film.


8/10


Guy Russell


QUAD is Derby’s centre for art and film, on the Market Place in Derby city centre. QUAD is a gallery, cinema, café bar and workshop that anyone can use. QUAD is a partnership between Derby City Council and Arts Council England.

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