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By midlandsmovies, Oct 17 2019 01:42PM



BAME female filmmaker sells out screening of debut short film Lost Identity


West Midlands filmmaker Ruth Holder is an ambitious, driven 19 year old who has written, directed and self financed her debut short and has now sold out the Mockingbird Cinema for the premiere. The screening, on Wednesday 23rd October, sold out in a week.


‘Lost Identity’ is a short, experimental dance film that explores how we change ourselves, altering our appearance and behaviour in order to please other people and the emotional and mental impact that has on us.


The film is deeply personal to Ruth who shares, “Lost Identity is a love letter to myself and was influenced by my experiences in secondary school. I was hardly ever paid any attention to, no one even batted an eye at me and I hated it, I hated feeling like I was invisible. So I changed who I was in order to get my classmates attention and yes I got the attention I hoped for, but not in the way that I expected".


She goes on to add, “I was called names, punched and hit repeatedly like it was okay to do so and used by people who I thought were my friends. Despite knowing that what was happening to me was wrong, I deluded myself into thinking that it was okay because I finally got the attention I wanted, despite it being negative".


“So I decided to make a film about what happened to me, not only to share my experience and inspire others to stand up for themselves but also to heal. Working on this film made me realise that I'm still hurting from my past experiences and to grow and move on, I knew I had to tell my story", says Ruth.



Credit: Jade Jones-Blackwood
Credit: Jade Jones-Blackwood

Ruth sourced a professional crew and choreographer and shot the film in the Old Print Works, Balsall Heath and is keen for the work to be seen by as many people as possible, hoping to be able to tour the film in schools and youth groups to discuss the issues in her film with others who may be experiencing similar issues.


This premiere event will be the first delivered by Birmingham Young FIlmmakers Network in partnership with the Mockingbird Cinema, which is working to create a collaborative community for underrepresented creatives.


BYFN founder Cassie Smyth says, “Ruth’s film is incredibly impressive and confident, much like Ruth herself, and really confirms our suspicion that there is a lot of amazing potential in Birmingham that just needs the space and support to shine and we’re thrilled to be able to facilitate that.".


Watch the trailer here:






By midlandsmovies, Sep 23 2019 12:11PM



LICHFIELD GARRICK OFFICIALLY LAUNCHES EVENT CINEMA WITH NEW DIGITAL PROJECTION AND DOLBY SOUND PLUS BRAND NEW SEATING


Lichfield’s famous Garrick Theatre is already well known for staging exceptional live theatre bringing star names, well known plays and musicals, events, comedy, one-night gigs and traditional pantomime to its stage.


This autumn the award-winning theatre will be adding to the entertainment offering by officially launching EVENT CINEMA in the theatre’s refurbished Studio Theatre.


Using state of the art digital projection and Dolby sound, EVENT CINEMA will offer an exciting programme of screenings this autumn/winter including the hit comedy ‘One Man Two Guvnors’ starring James Corden, in celebration of 10 years of National Theatre live on screen; The Royal Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’ a special Christmas treat for all the family, and Royal Opera House favourite Bryn Terfell in a new production of ‘Don Pasquale’. The cinema will also screen blockbuster movies including ‘RAMBO: Last Blood’ starring Sylvester Stallone.



Lichfield Garrick Theatre’s Chief Executive, Karen Foster said: “For some time now residents of Lichfield and beyond have had to commute out of the city to attend a cinema. Here at the theatre we have listened to our local community, and as a registered charity, took the decision to invest money back into the building and create a cinema which will appeal to both theatre and cinemagoers alike.”


Further highlights include a Dementia Friendly screening of the musical film Calamity Jane, starring Doris Day; 42nd Street the Musical filmed live at London’s Drury Lane and PLAYMOBIL: THE MOVIE taking younger audiences on an epic comedy adventure.


EVENT CINEMA is situated in the existing Studio Theatre which has recently benefitted from the addition of brand-new seating. The 150-seater studio can be configured to host a variety of events including live theatre, conferences, seminars and outreach work.


EVENT CINEMA will officially launch on Thursday 3 October with a screening of WISE CHILDREN (live Recording) a celebration of show business, family, forgiveness and hope, with a generous dash of Shakespeare, scandal and mischief, taking the audience on a rollercoaster ride of emotion.


In 2020 audiences can look forward to further live screenings as well as new film releases.


Tickets for EVENT CINEMA are available online at https://www.lichfieldgarrick.com/whats-on/cinema/and in person at the box office (open Monday to Saturday 10am - 5pm and until 9.30pm on performance days) or by phone on 01543 412121.




By midlandsmovies, Sep 13 2019 10:21AM



Midlands Spotlight - All That You Love Will Be Carried Away


The premiere of “All That You Love Will Be Carried Away”, which is produced by Harms Way Studios, will be on Sunday 22nd September at the Odeon Worcester.


The film stars Jack Frank, Gabriella Leonardi, Christian Vaccaro, Leona Clarke, Christian Dapp, Carys Jones, Zoe Doughty and James Kay in the lead roles. Writer/Director Hendrik Harms adapted the popular Stephen King story in a unique way with pumping synth, neon hues and noir tones. And the film has a blistering score by Elliot Hardman and visuals from cinematographer Elliot Wallis.




Based on the short story by Stephen King. All That You Love Will Be Carried Away tells the story of Alfie Zimmer, a travelling salesman, who collects interesting graffiti. Every time he finds a new piece he writes it in his book. These scribblings are his “friends”. However, there are darker truths hidden in these words, and it will take all of Alfie’s strength to face what he’s been running from and keep his head above water as his life collapses around him.


Shot predominantly in Worcester at the Whitehouse Hotel and in Birmingham at the bar Subside, this is a film that is all about keeping it local.




Witer-director Hendrik Harms explains, “When making this film we were overwhelmed with the support from the community. We had catering provided by Ma Bakers, Boston Tea Party, Waitrose and Tesco, as well as some delicious home cooked meals. The Whitehouse Hotel could not have been more accommodating too. It really showed us how much Worcester has to offer for filmmakers and why it was so important to screen our premiere here in the city centre".


"This project is the culmination of so much generosity and passion from so many people that I can’t wait for them to see it on the big screen", adds Hendrik.



Director Hendrik Harms
Director Hendrik Harms

The film is part of Stephen King’s Dollar Baby scheme, which gives filmmakers the rights to adapt one of his short stories for just a single dollar. When it’s completed a DVD of the film will be sent to him, prior to its international tour of film festivals.


“We actually shot the film in 5 days, which is a massive undertaking for the script that we had, but thanks to every single person in the cast and crew being on top form, everything was incredibly smooth. It was an electric experience.”


For more information please check out the film's official pages below:


www.facebook.com/harmswaystudios

www.instagram.com/harmswaystudios

www.harmswaystudios.com



By midlandsmovies, Aug 27 2019 07:25PM


Photo courtesy of Jade Jones-Blackwood
Photo courtesy of Jade Jones-Blackwood

Midlands Interview - Birmingham director Ruth Holder


Midlands Movies editor Mike Sales speaks to Birmingham based Ruth Holder about her latest film Lost Identity as well as her struggles as an independent director and her love of Guillermo del Toro.


Hi Ruth. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Are you from the Midlands?

My name is Ruth Holder, I’m 19 years old and I’m from Birmingham. Storytelling has been a passion and love of mine since I was very young but it wasn’t until I watched Pacific Rim in the cinema, that I dreamed of becoming a filmmaker and seeing my films on the silver screen. This dream is what motivates me everyday.


And how did you get into your current position in the local film community?

By taking a huge risk. I dreamt of making my own film whilst I was in university so I had two choices - keep dreaming or make it a reality. So I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and make the film despite having no prior experience in doing so, and it’s the best decision I ever made. Now I can finally say that I am a film director, that I have made my own film and to be able to say that still feels so surreal.


Photo courtesy of Jade Jones-Blackwood
Photo courtesy of Jade Jones-Blackwood

That's great. What’s the latest project you are working on?

I recently made my first short film called, ‘Lost Identity’, which I directed, wrote and funded myself. The film explores how we alter our appearance and the way we behave, in order to please other people. By doing so, we put on a fake identity, a ‘mask’ if you will, in order to fit someone else’s perfect image. I wanted to show how this can affect someone emotionally and mentally because I believe this is something a lot of young people can relate to.


And can you tell us a bit about how they came about?

Lost Identity was influenced by my experiences in secondary school. I was hardly ever paid any attention to when I first started, no one even batted an eye at me and I hated it, I hated feeling like I was invisible. So I changed who I was in order to get my classmates attention and yes I got the attention I hoped for, but not in the way that I expected.


I was called ‘bitch’, punched and hit repeated like it was a normality and used by those who I thought were my friends. I knew that what was happening to me was wrong and knew it was unacceptable but I deluded myself into thinking that it was okay because I was finally getting the attention that I wanted.

So I decided to make a film about what happened to me, not only to share my experience and inspire others to stand up for themselves but also to heal. Working on this film made me realise that I'm still hurting from my past experiences and to grow and move on, I knew I had to tell my story.


Photo courtesy of Brandon Humphries
Photo courtesy of Brandon Humphries

As well as the personal experiences, what were the other influences on your film?

In the film, I use coloured lighting to illustrate the different stages that May, the dancer and lead actress in my film, goes through. This idea was inspired by Guillermo del Toro’s use of colour and how he uses it has a medium for visual storytelling in his films. Pacific Rim, one of my favourite films from him, has such a vast colour scheme and you can’t help but be immersed in the film’s visuals because of it. This is something I wanted to achieve with Lost Identity and I believe I did.




Photo courtesy of Brandon Humphries
Photo courtesy of Brandon Humphries

Do you or projects you choose specialise in any genres?

Since I’m just starting out there’s not a particular genre that I want to stick to at the moment. Right now, I’m keeping my options open and experimenting with different genres to see what works for me.


What do you think are the challenges faced by local independent films?

Depending on your audience and goals for your film I think independent filmmaking has its advantages and disadvantages. For instance, if you wanted to reach a mainstream audience that could prove difficult because independent films aren't distributed the way mainstream films are. Most independent films either are seen in festivals or sent straight to DVD, whereas mainstream films are screened in various cinemas internationally.


Since I’m targeting young people I do want this film to go mainstream because I believe the message of the film can impact and change so many lives. So, even though on paper it sounds impossible, I’m going to work hard to make it possible.


And what has been the most difficult hurdle you have/had to overcome yourself?

The most difficult challenge that I’ve faced is doubting myself and my abilities to make a film. To jump into the role of director with no prior experience was daunting. But I had such a great support team, my family and my mentor, Campbell Ex, believed in me and helped and supported me every step of the way.


Do you have any heroes in the industry? Any favourite films?

Christopher Nolan and Guillermo del Toro. I’ve always loved how Guillermo del Toro’s films use colour as a medium for visual storytelling and how Nolan can create such compelling stories on a large scale. It’s these two facets of storytelling that inspire my films. Also they're two of the biggest names in the film industry. This is a standing that I aspire to earn as I continue to make films. There are few young, female directors in the film industry whose names are known worldwide. I'm going to change that.



Photo courtesy of Jade Jones-Blackwood
Photo courtesy of Jade Jones-Blackwood

What has been your greatest achievement or success?

Making ‘Lost Identity’. I honestly didn’t think I was going to be able to do it because of how impossible it seemed. But I had such an amazing cast and crew who worked hard and passionately to help me bring my vision to life and I can’t thank them enough.


Finally, what are your future plans?

At the moment, I’m working on getting my film, ‘Lost Identity’ screened to the public so that’s my number one priority as of right now.


My dream is to have it screened in the BFI IMAX, which is ambitious to say the least but I believe that it’s possible. God had brought me this far and I know he has so much more in store for me. The BFI IMAX is just the beginning and it will happen, I know it will. Just wait and see.


Another ambitious plan of mine is to work with Christopher Nolan and Guillermo del Toro this year, which again sound unrealistic but I will make this dream of mine a reality.


Thank you, Ruth.


Ruth Holder - https://www.instagram.com/ravenblackstudios/

Brandon Humphries - https://www.instagram.com/b.humphriesphotos/

Jade Jones-Blackwood - https://www.instagram.com/wavy.jxde/

May - https://www.instagram.com/mxtb_/

Eduards Caklais - https://www.instagram.com/eduards_caklais/

George Allen - https://georgeallen.eu/

By midlandsmovies, Aug 10 2019 07:24AM



Jungleland


Directed by Waheed Iqbal


2019


Dead in the City films


Written, directed and starring Waheed Iqbal, Jungleland is a new feature set amongst the seedy world of criminals in the West Midlands.


Waheed Iqbal stars as Tanha, a man with some seriously bad habits – drugs and gambling being just two of them – who gets in way over his head after a bet gone wrong. With just 5 days to pay off his debt, we get a countdown of days to a sports game that could help Tanha win a large amount of cash to resolve his situation.


He visits a number of criminal associates, prostitutes and shady dealers as he travels around the streets at night, trying to pull his wayward life together. The film also has an admirable support cast including Hannah-Lee Osborn, Magdalena Ziembla, Faraz Beg, Nav Iqbal and Haqi Ali who encapsulate the sordid aspects of their very unwholesome characters.


As the sparse story develops at an unrushed rate, the film seems to owe more than a debt to Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn. Iqbal has been inspired to chose a stark colour scheme with shots drenched in neon purples and reds. At the same time, the similarities continue as he focuses solely on a single character’s point of view as the director attempts to draw the audience into his depraved and shadowy psyche.


Although some parts have the vibe of Refn’s Drive (2011) with a downbeat individual entering an immoral world, Jungleland felt more of a nod to God Only Forgives (2013) as a man moonlights his way around a city dealing with threats and iniquitous behaviour.


Sadly, this is slightly unfortunate as this film has inherited the incredibly slow pace and somewhat meandering narrative of that film as well.


Regretfully, the minimalist dialogue and some extremely time-consuming sequences have the effect of making Jungleland feel a bit of a slog at times. An example straight away is the opening 2 minutes of static Birmingham shots that feel redundant - especially when the subsequent red titles, pumping music and a car swerving through a city at night is a much more intriguing and exciting opening.


And there is a LOT of walking too. Everything is dragged out and so measured I found myself switching off which was a disappointment given its mysterious narrative and impressive electro-infused soundtrack.


But it keeps coming back to its snail’s pace. At a whopping 1 hour and 40minutes, Jungleland ends up being an ambitious attempt to deliver an exploration of wickedness and sin but the repetitive script needs tightening, the film could do with a quicker edit and the length doesn’t justify the narrative content.


That said, Iqbal no doubt has an impressive variety of skills and throws them all at the screen during its runtime. Steadicam-style tracking shots, black and white scenes and some impressive and very atmospheric lighting are the film’s finest aspects. And all of this gives the movie an aura of sleazy racketeering and deadly corruption which comes across of screen.


So definitely check out Jungleland if you’re a fan of Refn’s work – especially Only God Forgives whose tone is splashed all over the film – but for others, prepare for a long-drawn-out endeavour that may leave you either immensely fascinated or slightly fatigued.


Michael Sales

By midlandsmovies, Aug 3 2019 04:48PM



Midlands Spotlight - Film Press Kits and Festival Planning


In August 2019 we spent an amazing day with filmmaker Daniel Alexander who invited us to Birmingham to talk local film, press, marketing and short film festivals to a group of future movie-makers participating in the 'Back In' film development programme.


The programme is aimed to support support BAME filmmakers in Birmingham who will be given the opportunity to develop industry knowledge and professional connections as part of a six-month artist development programme.


The programme is run by creative agency Punch as well as Daniel who will empower the new wave of filmmakers with project support, one-on-one mentoring, masterclasses and peer-to-peer sessions.


Midlands Movies was there to share our experience and knowledge of press kits and press releases. Receiving over a huge amount each year from local filmmakers, we put together a document to help filmmakers avoid the common pitfalls that can see their press releases being ignored.


In addition, from the Midlands Movies Awards to being on festival panels, we also created a handout around the planning and preparation short filmmakers should undertake as they get ready to showcase their work at movie events after their production has finished.


And we're sharing both of them here! (click on the links to open as printable WORD documents):


*** Midlands Movies Press Kit Handout ***


*** Midlands Movies Film Festival Handout ***



The programme has been running a number of years and culminates with a screening of the participants’ shorts which will be premiered later in 2019.


Supporting the next generation of young filmmakers will help them getting better connected amongst learning many other industry skills. Currently, the film industry workforce does not reflect the diversity of the UK. In production, only 3% of employees are from a minority ethnic background, compared to 12.5% nationally.


Check out more info about Daniel at https://www.danielalexanderfilms.com/


For more info about Punch Records, visit punch-records.co.uk


Michael Sales

Midlands Movies Editor




By midlandsmovies, Jul 28 2019 10:22AM

Midlands Spotlight - New trailer for Jungleland


Jungleland is a new Birmingham-made film from local filmmaker/director Waheed Iqbal and after a busy summer in post production will soon to be released later in 2019.


Made on a very limited budget of just under £5,000 Iqbal wrote, directed, produced and acted in the film himself. As well as this the multi-faceted filmmaker took on the major role in post-production where he carried entirely carried out work on the film's picture & sound.


Not content to throw himself into every aspect of the filmmaking process, at the same time all of the work was done whilst he was a student during the last academic year.


Jungleland also features famous tracks from Bruce Springsteen and Chromatics (whose music was featured heavily in the film Drive),as well as Tangerine Dream, Alisha and Mazzy Star, all of which he has the complete rights to use.


The film itself was planned, shot and edited in just under a year and there was never any more than 4 of 5 crew members (including the director himself) working on the shoot at any given time.


"This was my first film, and the first film for the entire crew, which was made up of college students", says Iqbal.


And he hopes all the hard work will pay off as the entire producion team look forward to the upcoming release.


Watch the full teaser trailer below:






By midlandsmovies, Jul 26 2019 02:00PM

Movies shot in the Midlands


The Midlands with its mix of industrial cities and town centres and its swathes of picturesque countryside and regal-like manors and houses can provide film-makers with a wide range of locations for their shoots.


We take a look at some of the films that were made in the region and recommend that you go and check them out as most of these places are open to visitors too!


“Morning film fans - We'll be tweeting Midlands movie locations you can visit over the sunny weekend around the region...”


Cult classic The Princess Bride (1987) was shot on location at Haddon Hall #Derby which represented Humperdinck's Florin Castle in the film


#Jadoo (2013) is a comedy starring Harish Patel (from Run Fatboy Run) and filmed entirely in #Leicester @JadooMovie


Tom Hooper directed The Damned United (2009) with Michael Sheen as Brian Clough & Chesterfield FC stood in for Wembley in the film #Derby


Another football movie Goal 3 was filmed around the #Midlands including in #Nottingham and at #Leicester's King Power stadium


I visited Snake Pass, Kedleston #Derby few years ago which is in 2007's "And When Did You Last See Your Father?" http://t.co/mOablgizfM


Snake Pass was on way to Hadfield #Derby where I visited locale of The League of Gentlemen (2005 film from TV series) http://t.co/oswgfuV7Wj


The coastal marshes from Atonement (2007) are at Gedney Drove End, a beach on the Wash in #Lincolnshire #Midlands


The Upper Derwent Valley in #Derbyshire (the test area for the real raids) doubled as the Ruhr valley for the film The Dam Busters (1955)


In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1) when Snape arrives at ‘Malfoy Manor’ it is actually Hardwick Hall in #Derbyshire #Midlands


And last year, Midlands Movies visited @WollatonHall #Nottingham for @OutdoorFilm in this #DarkKnightRises get up http://t.co/7sjyMNNHQ8


Les Misérables (2013) depicted the family estate of Marius using Boughton House, Kettering in #Northampton #Midlands


The Italian Job (1969) - Although the entrance was filmed in Turin, the length of sewer used was a new pipe being installed in #Coventry


Jan De Bont's The Haunting (1999) was filmed both at Harlaxton Manor (Great Hall) in Grantham #Lincolnshire & at Belvoir Castle #Leicester


Felicia’s Journey (1999) - The rainy street scene and cinema exteriors in the Bob Hoskins movie were filmed in Station Street outside the Electric Cinema, where a plaque was later erected.


Thunderball (1965) used RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire for the film's Airforce base runway scene #Midlands #Lincolnshire


Bolsover's local pit fitting workshop and the Empire were used as locations for the film The Full Monty (1997) #Derby #Midlands


Four Feathers (2002) starring Heath Ledger was partly filmed at Burley House in Oakham #Leicestershire #Midlands


Goodbye Mr Chips (1939) had the exterior shots of Brookfield School filmed at Repton School near Burton #Derby #Midlands


Midlands director @ShadyMeadows 2002 Once Upon a Time in the Midlands starred Robert Carlyle and was set primarily in Carlton #Nottingham


The Old Bailey in Scandal (1989) is actually Shire Hall in High Pavement #Nottingham and stood in for the infamous courts during the movie


Nicholas Winding Refn filmed 2009's Bronson (Tom Hardy) around the St. Ann’s, Sherwood, Worksop & Welbeck Abbey areas of #Nottingham


Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) starred Albert Finney and was shot at the Raleigh Bicycle factory in Radford #Nottingham


Shadowlands (1993): Among the locations used in the Anthony Hopkins movie were Hole-in-the- Wall, Capler Woods and historic Goodrich Castle.


#Leicester's Great Central Railway is a pivotal location in Buster (1988), Phil Collins’ Great Train Robbery movie and The Hours (2002)


Control (2000) about the life/death of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis was partly filmed in #Nottingham around places Curtis was known to frequent


Belvoir Castle #Leicester is home to the Duke of Rutland & seen in Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) + Ron Howard’s The Da Vinci Code #midlands

John Cleese 80s classic farce Clockwise had scenes filmed at Edward’s School, Edgbaston & Menzies High School in West Brom #midlands


Brassed Off (1996) actually saw the band play in #Birmingham Town Hall which stood in for the Royal Albert Hall in the movie #Midlands


Ralph and Cedric argue at "Windsor Castle" in King Ralph (1991) which starred John Goodman but it is actually great hall and state rooms of Warwick Castle, Warks.


#Derby hero Alan Bates starred in Women in Love ('69) which featured Kedleston Hall as his & Eleanor Bron’s house #midlands #film


#Derby's historic Chatsworth House was turned into Mr Darcy’s home “Pemberley” in Pride and Prejudice (2005) #midlands


Haddon Hall, Bakewell, was used as Hatfield House, Elizabeth (1997) & doubled as Thornfield Hall in Zeffirelli’s Jane Eyre (1996) #Midlands


The Da Vinci Code was partly filmed in Lincolnshire including Burghley House, Stamford and "Westminster Abbey" was in fact Lincoln Cathedral


The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) by Justin Chadwick starred Scarlett Johansson & Natalie Portman as Mary Boleyn and sister Anne Boleyn. Parts of the film were shot in Dovedale, Cave Dale in Castleton and Haddon Hall, as well as at North Lees Hall.


"Thor's Cave, Manifold Valley, Staffordshire and the Peak District in Derby were both used for locations in The Lair of the White Worm (1988)


I've saved the best until last - Top Secret! (1984) - Fleurgendorf prison exterior filmed at Rockingham Castle, Corby #Northamptonshire


Movies in the Midlands, Films in the Midlands, Films shot in the Midlands, Film Locations in the Midlands, Movie Locations in the Midlands, Midlands Movies, Midllands Films

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