By midlandsmovies, Jul 11 2016 08:27AM
Midlands Movies Mike discovers a new gritty British thriller from the director of 'Checking In' being made in the West Midlands.
'Sustain' is the latest uncompromising film from award-winning director Dave Hastings and takes inspiration from Get Carter and Dead Man’s Shoes. Also influenced by the writing of Jimmy McGovern (The Street, Accused), 'Sustain' covers a story of racial aggression and the tragedies that unfold around it.
The narrative followes the aftermath of an attack where a family attempts to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives yet a brother discovers just how far he will go to find justice.
Producer Troy Dennison explains that the film will begin production in early 2017 with an ensemble cast, the majority of who originate from the Midlands. This is something the filmmakers were very conscious of wanting to continue, while also welcoming new talent to the project, both in front of and behind the camera.
Lead actor Brett Dewsbury, who plays the grieving and traumatised brother Kieran says to expect “a really complex character with some really interesting moments. We are attempting to create a true gritty British drama in the Midlands. It has everything a good crime drama should have; chaos, heartbreak, broken family relationships and a troubled path to some kind of justice”.
All the characters are grounded and based on research director Dave Hastings carried out while writing the film. “After House of Screaming Death and dealing with vampires, ghouls and ghosts, I really wanted to expand my horizons as a filmmaker, and look into other genre and stories”, he says.
“Working in horror, you get to play with all these imaginary characters, and they are frightening of course in their own way, but I also find real life to be even more terrifying. Some of the most horrific monsters are not actually Frankenstein’s creations or Dracula, but are us, which is a very sinister notion to wrap your mind around”.
Tom Loone, who plays a supporting role in the film, remembers “talking to Dave a long time ago on HOSD. I asked him what he'd be working on next and he told me 'whatever it is, I want it to be completely different, something totally outside the horror genre', so what excites me about Sustain is just that, it's such a gritty, raw, intimate script, and as an actor I relish these kinds of opportunities”.
“Dave and Brett (Dewsbury, the co-writer) have done an astounding job with it, and I think it's going to show a side to them we haven't seen before”.
This wider community aspect the film also explores characters such as DC Porter played by Louise Hewitt, who pursues the perpetrators. She explains how “DC Porter is one of the two detectives involved in the case and while she operates as the family liaison officer to support the Flanks throughout the film, herself and DI Bridge (Greg Yates), try desperately to bring the three criminals down”.
Again, like past projects, the film’s budget is being raised through crowd-funding avenues (Indiegogo) as the cast and crew continues feeling the West Midlands to be overlooked by major studios as a source for storytelling and talent. Co-producer Troy Dennison explains how “there is still a lack of substantial film projects in the Midlands and a drought for funding when it comes to the arts. Anything we can do to promote the wealth of talent we have in the Midlands both in front of and behind the camera is a good thing”.
Actor Brett Dewsbury also remarks how “in terms of Independent film, there is a real need to underline the importance of bringing local talent into the industry in a way that makes them stand out. The Midlands has talent and it needs the same respect that other parts of the country world get in the arts industry”.
Finally, producer Keiran Bowers calls on people to help support the film, either by donating to the campaign or simply by sharing it, and all the new content that is posted through social networking avenues, to help get it out there, because, as he states, “I read the screenplay and I was floored by how well written the characters are. This alone should get people excited!!”
Sustain has a release date planned for late 2017 and is presented by Lightbeam Productions in association with 5cm/Sec Films, ICI films and Faceless Films
Follow the production on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SUSTAINMOVIE
Donate at IndieGoGo: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sustain--5#/