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By midlandsmovies, Feb 21 2020 10:30AM

Quite simply, here is our ongoing and updated list of Film Festivals in the Midlands (2020 edition):


• THE SHORT CINEMA http://www.theshortcinema.co.uk info@theshortcinema.co.uk Phoenix, Leicester - August 2020 (TBC)


*CINE-EXCESS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL - Birmingham School of Media Birmingham City 4th - 7th November 2020


• NOTTINGHAM INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL http://www.nottiff.com/ 13th - 15th November 2020


• 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/ DATES TBC


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


• BIRMINGHAM FILM FEST - 13th - 22nd November 2020 https://filmfreeway.com/festival/Birminghamfilmfestival


• BIFF FEST (Birmingham Black International Film Fest) https://www.biffestival.co.uk 2020 TBC


• SHOCK AND GORE FESTIVAL Electric Cinema in Birmingham https://twitter.com/shockgore 2020 TBC


• 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 2020 dates TBC


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


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


• DERBY FILM FESTIVAL http://www.derbyfilmfestival.co.uk 19th - 23rd November 2020


• 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 15th - 18th October 2020


• FLATPACK FEST - Birmingham, UK. http://www.flatpackfestival.org.uk 5th - 10th 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 2020 dates TBC


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


* WIRKSWORTH FILM FEST https://wirksworth3minfilmfest.co.uk Derbyshire 2th - 31st July 2020


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


* HIGH PEAK INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL Derbyshire https://www.highpeakindie.com 6th - 9th August 2020


* NEXUS FILM FESTIVAL https://twitter.com/NexusEastMids Nottingham 17th - 21st May 2020


* NOTTZ FILM FESTIVAL Hothouse Theatre Nottingham https://twitter.com/NottmFilmFest 2020 Dates TBC


* 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 (Various dates)


* PARACINEMA - Derby https://twitter.com/ParacinemaDerby 7th - 10th May 2020


* THE BLACK COUNTRY HORROR SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL - Stourbridge https://www.weepingbankproductions.co.uk/horror-film-festival Saturday 27th February 2020


* CINEQ - Birmingham Queer Film Festival - https://www.cineqbirmingham.co.uk 26th - 29th March 2020


* LEAMINGTON FILM FESTIVAL - Temperance Bar, Leamington Spa http://www.temperance.bar/film-festival.html 10th - 12th January 2020


* NORTHAMPTON FILM FESTIVAL - various locations across Northampton http://www.northamptonfilmfestival.co.uk/ 13th – 20th May 2020


* WORCESTER FILM FESTIVAL - Royal Porcelain Works, Worcester https://filmfreeway.com/WorcesterFilmFestival 15th – 17th October 2020



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

http://www.festivalfocus.org/festival

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

http://www.thefilmfestivaldoctor.co.uk

By midlandsmovies, Jan 27 2020 09:51AM



FILM FANS SPEAK UP FOR BIRMINGHAM-BORN SILENT COMIC


A Midlands-born star of the Silent Screen will be brought back into focus in the February edition of online magazine Birmingham Now.


Charlie Hall, born in Erdington in 1899, was regularly paired with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, but also worked with other such Hollywood luminaries as Ray Milland, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.


Hall's biographer, John Ullah, is "chief sheik" of the Birmingham branch of the Laurel and Hardy Appreciation Society and successfully campaigned for his local Wetherspoons pub in Erdington to be named after the comedian, who died in 1959.


Both Ullah and the pub's manager, Claire Brickland, were interviewed by Steve Green of Solihull-based Vamporama Films. This is their third such contribution to the show; previous packages focused upon movie producer Patrick Carney and the organisers of the first Black Country Horror Shorts Film Festival.


February's episode will go live on 27 January. Previous instalments, as well as extended edits of selected features, are available on the Birmingham Now YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIjVpJqCyNK_BymjT-fnTdQ


Find out more about Vamporama Films at films.vamporama.co.uk

By midlandsmovies, Jan 27 2020 09:37AM


Lost Identity


Directed by Ruth Holder


2019


Early on in the short, experimental dance film Lost Identity, director Ruth Holder makes it clear she has something to say.


A girl is sat at a dressing table, applying the usual make-up to her face, however her face is one of discontent, an expression that doesn't alter throughout the film.


There is no dialogue, Holder decides to communicate with the audience through dance accompanied by a grand musical score by Osi & The Jupiter.


Staged in a seemingly neglected loft space, only simmers of daylight creep in as our actress performs. Additionally a cold, blue light descends and embraces her literally and metaphorically, as a quiet storm rages inside her body. Holder remains focused on her the entire time, not letting the camera leave her sight.


The choreography proves to be vital and key to the success of the director being able to strongly portray what Lost Identity means. Circular actions are repeated indicating frustration within, and when theatre curtains are introduced our performer carefully wraps these around her neck before fighting and pushing them away. The score soars during these moments, reaching crescendo just as she overcomes the urge to give in.


As mentioned earlier, a permanent look of unhappiness is displayed when applying make-up, as the film proceeds the make-up becomes smeared in a constant battle between leaving it on and taking it off to reveal true beauty.


Lost Identity reminded me of the work Terrence Malick has been doing the last decade. Powerful, evocative images supported by rich, classical music. Traditional dialogue is also not used often in these films, imagery in Malick's case and dance in Holder's is the tool they use to peel back the outer layer of ourselves and society, inspecting even closer once inside.


An experimental dance film is not something I have much experience in regularly watching, it wasn't until the credits starting to roll that I really understood what the film meant to me and what writer and director Ruth Holder was trying to convey. A second viewing is recommended and achievable with the runtime only being five minutes, to truly appreciate what has been achieved.


Not a frame is wasted in the film, similar to the products and processes we sometimes use to create a different identity in life, less is most definitely more.


The brilliant performance, choreography, score and direction make this an absolute tour de force by filmmaker Ruth Holder.


Guy Russell


Twitter @Budguyer

By midlandsmovies, Jan 14 2020 09:21PM



CineQ LGBTQ+ film festival back in Birmingham for second year


After a fantastic first year in 2019, CineQ LGBTQ+ film festival is returning to Birmingham for a second year on 26th-29th March 2020. CineQ2020 is set to run across several venues across Birmingham.


And once again CineQ aims to create a fun and safe space in Birmingham for the LGBTQ+ community to gather, discuss important topics and enjoy a range of diverse queer cinema. CineQ has a unique focus on often-overlooked QTIPOC (Queer Trans and Intersex People of Colour) stories and perspectives, bringing new stories to screen and inviting a range of voices to speak on its panels and events.


The 2020 iteration of the festival hopes to build on the success of last year, which was lauded as “a properly inclusive festival of queer film… a jewel in the crown for Birmingham”, by offering a range of great films and events.


CineQ 2020 opens with a screening of Portrait of Jason, one of the most underrated gems of Black queer cinema, and one of the earliest examples of black openly gay men on screen. Josh Rivers will be attending and will be recording a special edition of his podcast Busy Being Black as part of the post-screening discussion.


Other films announced include critically acclaimed 2019 film Monsoon and the recently restored The Watermelon Woman - one of the classic greats of black queer representation – and the apt and timeless Closing Night film End of the Century. More films are to be announced soon via social media and at www.cineqbirmingham.co.uk




The festival is also set to include a Filmmaker Matchmaker event by CineQ x BFI NETWORK, networking event aimed at getting Birmingham creatives together for an evening of welcome drinks and creativity before the opening night film.


As part of its mission to create inclusive and welcoming queer spaces, CineQ 2020 will be continuing its dedication to CineQ Watch Parties - an experimental digital event that takes place during the 10 days previous to the main festival and aims to connect those who are otherwise isolated in society. A selection of curated short films and submissions will be screened on the CineQ Facebook page to encourage collective viewing and discussion with other queer cinephiles.


The CineQ film festival is funded by BFI FAN Film Hub Midlands and is supported by Film Hub Midlands, Grand Union, Birmingham Open Media, Mockingbird and Midlands Arts Centre. CineQ was previously operating as a community cinema supported by Flatpack Projects.


They’ve screened many titles such as The Wound, Closet Monster, and Check It as well as short film programmes at Centrala Art Gallery and Cafe, Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen, and Flatpack Film Festival. CineQ has also worked with Cinemas outside of Birmingham such as Phoenix Cinema in Leicester and has been awarded recognition by Cinema for All, Britain’s leading authority for community cinemas and film societies.


For more info check their official social media pages:

Twitter - https://twitter.com/cineqbrum

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/cineqbrum

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/cineqbrum




By midlandsmovies, Nov 26 2019 11:54AM


Steve Green with Alan Birch and Al Smith
Steve Green with Alan Birch and Al Smith

Midlands Spotlight - New online show focuses on Midlands filmmakers


Midlands filmmakers will find themselves in front of the camera when local telly legends Des Tong and Gary James launch their new online show Birmingham Now on Monday 25th November.


Birmingham Now is a new monthly YouTube series will feature interviews with personalities from the world of movies, music, theatre and art, as well as profiles of business and sports figures.


Des Tong is a Birmingham-based musician, presenter and video director, best known for his work with Sad Cafe and singer Cissy Stone. Gary James is a Birmingham-based sports journalist, presenter and branding consultant with wide experience in corporate entertainment.



Birmingham Now hosts Gary James and Des Tong
Birmingham Now hosts Gary James and Des Tong

And Steve Green and Chrissie Harper run Solihull-based Vamporama Films, producing news packages for regional television and documentary material for a variety of online and media platforms.


In the first edition, co-producer Steve Green will be talking to actor Alan Birch and writer Al Smith about their collaborations on film and stage, as well as the first Black Country Horror Shorts Film Festival.


Running in Kinver in January 2020, the Black Country Horror Shorts Film Festival includes judges include Adam Nevill, whose novel The Ritual was adapted for the screen in 2017.



There's also the first of Des Tong's "featured artist" profiles in which he chats with Wolverhampton-born singer-songwriter Rebecca Downes.


The show is a co-production between Des & Gary and Solihull-based Vamporama Films.


Previews and free subscriptions are available now via the show’s website http://brum-now.uk


YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIjVpJqCyNK_BymjT-fnTdQ

Festival link: https://www.weepingbankproductions.co.uk



By midlandsmovies, Nov 14 2019 12:35PM



Independent sci-fi Invasion Planet Earth Cast and Crew to appear at MCM Comic Con Birmingham


Originally titled Kaleidoscope Man, much of Invasion Planet Earth was shot in the Birmingham area over the 2000s and now the cast and crew will be leading a panel and a workshop on 17th November at MCM Comic Con Birmingham ahead of the film’s release.


It took two years and seven campaigns for filmmaker Simon Cox and his team to raise a significant amount of money which enabled them to shoot around a third of the movie.


Including some spectacular scenes in central Birmingham where nine hundred extras turned up to be blasted by aliens in an epic, War of the Worlds style battle scene.


Taking place as a special panel on the MCM main stage, the gang will be taking the audience behind the scenes of Invasion Planet Earth. And following this, Simon Cox (director, co-writer, editor, as well as supervisor and producer of the vfx) and Chris Jones (guerilla filmmaker) will be leading a free workshop on Creating Special Effects on a Budget.




Invasion Planet Earth tells the story of Tom Dunn who after the death of his daughter is a broken man. When his wife falls pregnant again, he cannot believe their luck. However, his joy is short lived, as on the very same day, the people of Earth become plagued with terrifying visions of the end of the world.


When a gigantic, all-consuming alien mothership appears in the sky and launches a ruthless attack on Earth’s cities, chaos and destruction follow.


Tom must find the strength and wisdom to save his wife and unborn child. However, first he must confront a shocking truth. A truth which threatens the key to the survival of the human race.


The story of the production of the film is a remarkable one. A true passion project, Invasion Planet Earth has taken twenty years to make from inception to release.


After years of pitching to the UK film industry and private investors, a small amount of money was raised which Simon used to produce a pilot and for concept art to be created. However, it soon became apparent that funding this movie in what was then, the traditional way, was not going to happen. In 2012, Simon took the bold decision to crowdfund the film using social media.




Simon then found some investors who financed the rest of the movie. However, this took time and once the live action scenes were finally shot, the special effects took another two and a half years to complete. In total, the movie was in production for seven years with ten years before that in development. Such was the multitude of generous donors and patrons of this project; the film lists over 100 producers on IMDb.


A theatrical release date of 5th December has been set and the film will be released on Digital Download on 16th December, shortly followed by the DVD release on 30th December.


For more info check out https://www.invasionplanetearth.com


By midlandsmovies, Oct 26 2019 07:15AM



BIRMINGHAM FILM FESTIVAL IN ASSOCIATION WITH TREVOR BEATTIE FILMS RETURNS FOR ITS 4th ANNUAL FESTIVAL


The fourth annual Birmingham Film Festival, an international festival of screenings, events and awards for talented filmmakers from around the world, returns to the city from 1st - 10th November.


The international celebration of film craft is a platform for new filmmakers, helping them reach a wider audience and nurture their careers to the next level. The festival’s screenings and seminars are all free to attend, making the innovative festival accessible to all and allowing the filmmakers showcase their work to a huge audience.


Birmingham Film Festival, which takes place over the course of ten days at Millennium Point, featuring an array of shorts, features, documentaries, and music videos, aims to put Birmingham on the international map and will add to the rising popularity of the UK’s second city.


The festival’s home, Birmingham, has recently become a popular location choice for Hollywood filmmakers, most notably including Steven Speilberg’s Ready Player One and Kingsman: The Golden Circle.


Trevor Beattie Films is the 2019 headline sponsor for the upcoming event. Trevor Beattie, originally from Birmingham, is considered one of the leading figures in advertising in Britain and has been responsible for a number of high-profile advertising campaigns. He has since moved into the film industry, producing the BAFTA award-winning film Moon, directed by Duncan Jones in 2008.



“I am genuinely honoured and flattered to be associated with The Birmingham Film Festival. Birmingham is more than my home, it’s who I AM and film is most definitely my future. It’s a perfect fit for me. The Birmingham Film Festival is yet another example of how Birmingham is becoming the cultural heartbeat of the nation. Birmingham never rests. And now we’re punching our weight in film".


"It has not escaped my attention that Birmingham has a Hollywood district, and I’m sorely tempted to base the Birmingham branch of my film company in B47. I just think “TREVOR BEATTIE FILMS, HOLLYWOOD, B47” has a ring to it"


"I’m really looking forward to the festival week and seeing some of the extraordinary film making talent on display. I have a message for Birmingham from DUNCAN JONES (of that other Hollywood fame). Duncan promises that he will visit Birmingham when he next returns to the UK and create a little something for next year’s festival. Birmingham has ARRIVED in film! Birmingham Film Festival will ensure that news is shouted from the rooftops.” says Trevor Beattie.


Steven Knight, the Brummie creator of Peaky Blinders, who is planning on building a £100M state-of-the-art film and TV studio in the city, is the festival’s patron. Kevin McDonagh, President of Birmingham Film Festival said: “We are really excited for this year's festival. Our aim has always been to grow the event and reach larger audiences for the amazing work that we get to show and we've achieved that this year".



"Adding more seminars and workshops was also key as it not only brings more of the industry into the city but supports local talent and helps them to grow their own careers. Raising the profile of the festival also leads into that goal, bringing more focus onto the city and its talent. If we can create an exciting and respected platform for the films and filmmakers, then we hopefully we are contributing in a positive way to future of the regions industry".


"To be honest though, our growth and success is in no small part due to the amazing talent that generously allows us to showcase their efforts. Without the film makers, we are nothing.”


The festival will conclude with a fabulous Gala Awards Ceremony on 9th November at Macdonald Burlington Hotel, during which the Birmingham Film Festival Awards will be handed out to the winners of each of each category. Awards will be given out to everything from Best Feature Film to Best Young Actor, Best Local Film and Best Special Effects.


One of Birmingham’s most famous sons, Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran, has also been announced as a judge for the music video category. "I was thrilled to be at the Birmingham Film Festival last year and wish everybody involved with this year's event the best. Though I won't be there on the night, I will be judging the music video category." says Nick Rhodes, Duran Duran.


Celebrities and special guests will be out in force on Friday 1st November at the Millennium Point to kick-start the festival at the glamorous VIP Launch Party.


The film festival invites talented and independent film makers from all over the globe to participate. To learn more about Birmingham Film Festival visit www.birminghamfilmfestival.com



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:






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