icons-03 icons-02 icons-01 MM Logo


Movie news, reviews, features and more thoughts coming soon...

By midlandsmovies, Aug 17 2017 10:21AM

Five Lamps Films presents: July 2017 Screening

With the regular monthly screenings of the Five Lamps Films being moved to bi-monthly comes the added anticipation when the night finally arrives, showcasing what the local filmmaking community have to offer.

With that in mind here are some of the highlights from their July Summer showcase.

Showing first was the hosts (Carl and Sam) short featurette they filmed as they prepared to host the Five Lamps Films 24-hour Film Festival. Funny and entertaining as always, it was also nice to see what work actually goes into making sure one of the Derby Film Festivals closing events ticks along smoothly. I’m also a sucker for anything documentary based when it comes to making films, so I really enjoyed this!

The Smiling Man – Kronicle Films

This short, about a young girl who wanders the streets alone at night, impressed me in various ways. Based on a popular internet horror story, The Smiling Man starts with two young sisters who have evidently grown apart. As one sister stares at a static television, the other stares longingly into the dark street as she decides to take a walk. Whilst on the walk it’s there where she meets The Smiling Man, a creepy entity who seems to be everywhere she is.

I thought this film was shot brilliantly, as well as the performances being brilliant, especially that of The Smiling Man who was genuinely creepy! I would recommend this to any horror fan.

Some Lines – Serloin Films

My favourite of the night, Some Lines starts with two friends spending Friday night in with a few bottles of wine and pizzas. Both have been friends with each other for many years but both are holding something back.

The performances of the two girls were brilliant, they felt natural as if they were friends in real life which gave the film the punch it needed to satisfy the audience. I felt the screenplay was grounded in reality, the dialogue witty as if these were actual conversations. I also really enjoyed the score in Some Lines, it had a menacing, brooding vibe to it very similar to that of an 80’s film.

I can’t wait to see what Serloin Films have to offer in the future!

Bag of Money – Foyle River

Four people, an abandoned tunnel, an unclaimed bag of money. What could go wrong? Bag of Money intentionally starts off where most films normally end, a bag of money containing £350k has been found some time ago. Confident no one is coming to collect the bag; the film starts as the four characters pick up the bag to split the findings, unfortunately these scenarios never happen to plan and a fall out soon ensues.

Shooting on location near an abandoned tunnel in a tucked away wooded area gives this short an incredible look, not just visually but the habitat here adds to the atmosphere of the situation. This simple story has been done many times before but this time with fresh eyes. I look forward to seeing what Foyle River get up to next!

Lily Gulch – James Pyle

A veteran of Five Lamps Film Nights, James Pyle consistently puts forward films he has made himself, each film vastly different than the last. This screening he submitted Lily Gulch, an animated short about a gun slinging cowboy entering a new town ready to make a name for himself.

Short but sweet, Lily Gulch had the audience in fits of laughter throughout its run time, a common trend with Pyle’s films. I’ve now seen him tackle live action, animated and silent films so I can’t wait to see what James has got up his sleeve for the next screening.

The Last Drop (Der Letzte Tropfen) – Sascha Zimmermann

Last but not least is The Last Drop, a German short film written by the Midlands very own Tommy Draper. Premiering on a popular German TV channel, The Last Drop features a group of men and women who meet every week at in a local community centre to talk through their addiction, however this all changes when a new addition walks in.

Brilliantly directed by Sascha Zimmermann, The Last Drop is funny, dark and worth a watch!

Click here to find out more about Tommy's project here on Midlands Movies

Now back to waiting for the next screening and seeing again what brilliant project our talented filmmakers in the region have to offer.

You can catch the next show on September 26th 8:30pm at the QUAD.

Guy Russell

Twitter @Budguyer

By midlandsmovies, Jun 15 2017 10:16AM

Summer Nights outdoor film screenings head to the Midlands

Seven years in and the Summer Nights Film Festival is back at thirteen locations across Derbyshire and the UK. Presented by QUAD on an inflatable twelve metre screen, Summer Nights Festival screenings offer the chance to enjoy the great outdoors for a unique cinematic experience.

New venues for 2017 include Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire and additional nights have been added to some Midlands venues, including Wollaton Hall in Nottingham and Baddesley Clinton, in Warwickshire. Derbyshire venues are Kedleston Hall, Calke Abbey and Hardwick Hall.

The full list of Midlands dates, venues and films for the summer are below:

Kedleston Hall, in Derbyshire is showing Bridget Jones’ Baby (15) on Friday 21st July and The Legend Of Tarzan (12A) on Saturday 22nd July.

Baddesley Clinton, in Warwickshire is showing Dirty Dancing (12A) on Thursday 27th July, Fantastic Beasts (12A) on Friday 28th July and Pretty Woman (15) on Saturday 29th July.

Calke Abbey, in Derbyshire is showing Mamma Mia (PG) on Thursday 3rd August, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (12A with subtitles) on Friday 4th August and Footloose (12A) on Saturday 5th August.

Clumber Park, in Nottinghamshire is showing Dirty Dancing (12A) on Friday 4th August and Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves (12A) on Saturday 5th August.

Hardwick Hall, in Derbyshire is showing La La Land (12A) on Friday 18th August and Top Gun (12A) on Saturday 19th August.

Wollaton Hall, in Nottingham is showing Moulin Rouge (12A) on Thursday 24th August, Pretty Woman (15) on Friday 25th August, Jurassic Park (PG) on Saturday 26th August, The Dark Knight Rises (12A subtitled) on Sunday 27th August and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (12A) on Monday 28th August.

Belton House, in Lincolnshire is showing Pretty Woman (15) on Friday 8th and Top Gun (12A) on Saturday 9th September.

Standard tickets cost £13 for adults or £9 for under 12s, tickets for children aged under five years are free.

For more information on films, venues or to book tickets, please call QUAD Box Office on 01332 290606 or go to www.summernightsfilm.co.uk

Summer Nights Film Festival has also teamed up with award winning artisan food specialist Hackwood Farm, based in Radbourne, Derby, who are offering pre-ordered traditional wicker picnic hampers for two people packed with tasty traditional picnic fare and including a blanket, glasses, plates and cutlery. You can pre-order their hamper when purchasing their Summer Nights tickets. There will also be drinks and desserts available on the night at selected venues from Bobby’s Bar and Flow Catering. Please see the Summer Nights website for full details.

By midlandsmovies, Jun 3 2017 11:04PM

Shaun Barker: One More Time (2017)

Dir. Ashley Carter

Big River Pictures

“Worst team in Premiership history” says actor Jack O’Connell as he introduces us to this football documentary which follows Derby County Football Club player Shaun Barker.

O’Connell himself is a Derby-born success story seen in This Is England, ’71 and Money Monster and he shows his own local passions for Derby FC which matches the other interviewees featured in this sporting documentary.

The film follows the up and down career of Shaun Barker, a professional footballer who was involved in a serious collision with Nottingham Forest striker Marcus Tudgay and Derby goalkeeper Frank Fielding.

One of the strongest aspects of the documentary is the focus on the local. The story is intrinsically entwined with the area as Barker was born in the Midlands, played for Derby and his injury occurred during a match with a local rival. Yet it is also the local community that rallies around to support Shaun.

Ruled out for the remainder of the season with a dislocated kneecap, the problem had “career threatening” written all over it and Barker faced an agonising 16-month recovery from injury.

Barker used this support to help him with his lengthy period of serious rehabilitation even just to get walking again – which involved metal pins in his leg and many setbacks along the journey.

The documentary interviews a number of past football coaches, managers and players as well as more personal family members and technical staff as they throw their support behind Shaun who was still struggling to run even after 18 months.

Through periods of depression, Barker talks candidly about his own struggles to the camera and with injuries and time becoming an issue, Barker speaks openly about his doubts and the effect on his health, his mind and the fallout on his family.

Technical wise, the documentary uses an almost constant stream of interviews and voiceover without narration. This gives it a more personal feel as we only hear the stories from Shaun and those around him.

However, I found the constant slide-guitar and country-rock music a bit off-putting. Sometimes overpowering the audio from the interviews, it didn’t feel that it was a particularly good fit for the topic either. A few more different styles of music – like the switch to the Stone Roses’ “I am the Resurrection” towards the film’s conclusion – would have helped with the pacing and giving each part of Barker’s life a different tone.

That said, the story provides enough positive moments to capture the positivity of Shaun and his endless determination. Derby’s passionate fan base are also well represented and despite their absence from the top league, the full stadiums and community support for the club and its players shines through.

Barker finally rejoins training for Derby before a testimonial game leads to a move to the nearby Burton Albion team where he is allowed an opportunity to play again – this time against his former club – as a last minute substitution.

Midlands football fans will lap up the details of the documentary but passing fans may find the 2-hour run time as lengthy as Barker’s rehabilitation. Jokes aside though, I am sure most will appreciate the inspiring tale of an individual’s personal journey to overcome seemingly insurmountable barriers. Even now his legacy remains with his own charity being set up to help those in a similar position, and so the film ultimately rewards those who stick with it and provides a comprehensive overview of a local hero. Taking the documentary full circle, the worst team 'ever' beginning, concludes with the most satisfying happy ending anyone could ask for.

Midlands Movies Mike

By midlandsmovies, May 23 2017 09:59PM

Derby QUAD announce new Patron

A new festival Patron have been announced following the fourth Derby Film Festival, which ran at QUAD Derby from 28th April to 7th May. The ten-day festival included sell-out events, special guests and film previews from well know, lesser known, local and international film-makers.

DFF Film Previews included Oscar nominated animation My Life As A Courgette, war epic Fires On The Plain, vibrant teen-drama Spaceship, sumptuous animation The Red Turtle, family drama After The Storm, Finnish deadpan comedy The Other Side Of Hope, the new documentary David Lynch: The Art Life and Mindhorn a surreal comedy starring The Mighty Boosh’s Julian Barratt and featuring Steve Coogan, Simon Callow and Kenneth Branagh.

DFF Special events included The Phantom Of The Opera screening with live organ accompaniment at Derby Cathedral as well as Special Guests Michael Jayston, Alan J.W. Bell, Norman J. Warren, David McGillivray, Lesley Megahey and M. R Carey.

One of the sell-out events, which closed the festival on Sunday 7th May, was A Tribute To Sir John Hurt. Derbyshire actor Sir John Hurt was a Patron of QUAD since it opened in 2008 and Sir John’s widow Anwen Hurt came to QUAD and took part in a moving Q & A with Tony Earnshaw, discussing the actor’s extensive career and links to Derbyshire.

A film-reel of highlights of Sir John’s film career was followed by a premiere screening of The Journey (12A), which featured one of Sir John’s final performances.

QUAD’s Cinema One was renamed Sir John Hurt Cinema at the event and Anwen Hurt has announced she is to become Derby Film Festival’s Patron.

Adam Buss QUAD CEO and Derby Film Festival Director said “Once again we were delighted by the reactions of audiences to some of the key events and film screenings at Derby Film Festival. The brilliant Derby Cathedral played host to the incredibly atmospheric live musical accompaniment to Phantom of the Opera".

"Our tribute event to Sir John Hurt which included contributions by his widow Anwen, was on one of the most touching we have ever hosted. Anwen Hurt has agreed to be joint patron of Derby Film Festival with our existing patron David Morrissey, both of whom are committed supporters of helping us bring the best in cinema and events to Derby.”

The festival will return in 2018, full details will be found on http://derbyfilmfestival.co.uk

By midlandsmovies, May 7 2017 09:21PM

Midlands Spotlight - The Wasteland

Midlands Movies catches up with Stuart Wheeldon and his new film The Wasteland which is a modern-day mystery thriller scheduled to be shot in the Derbyshire Dales in July 2017.

Production company Nine Ladies Film launches into their new project The Wasteland which follows the journey of Laurence, a loner with a hidden past, who arrives in a small village on the offer of work from a local farmer named Frank.

As he takes the job of rebuilding a field boundary stonewall, Laurence becomes intrigued with the mysterious figure of Holly, the wife of Frank. Her own troubles both with depression and possible mental domestic abuse, lead Laurence on a new journey which he may or may not be happy to be on.

The film is written and directed by Stuart Wheeldon who is a Wirksworth (Derbyshire) based filmmaker and he is joined by Nick John Whittle as producer.

The film itself stars Paul Dewdney, a London based actor who has won the 'Best Supporting Actor' at the Long Island Film Forum for his role in 'Crossroads'. More recently the actor has also won the 2016 'Best Actor' award for the lead role in 'The Inquiry' at the Burning Reel film festival. He is also up for nomination for Best Actor at the upcoming Nice International Film Festival.

Also in the film is Johanna Stanton who has recently played the lead in feature film ‘Injustice’ – a hard-hitting thriller. Johanna has also just played Ruth Ellis in the docu-drama ‘Inside’ recently screened on Channel 5 and next up she will be filming the comedy series 'King Of The Gym'.

Completing the main cast is Bern Deegan, an Irish actor whose experience spans from feature film, award-winning short films and touring theatre. Bern plays the lead role of 'Peter Nash' in Big Ideas Films ‘Point of No Return’ which also stars Paul Ronan, Don Wycherley and Steven Berkoff. The film was directed by Kevin Glynn and is currently in post-production and Bern has appeared in the films local Midlands films ‘In Limbo’ and ‘The Telephone’ as well.

The Wasteland will feature original music by Michael Walters who is the founder and Director at Storm Force Winds. Michael's catalogue of concert music is published globally and he has been fortunate to receive three Royal Premieres (Regius Adventum 2006, Centuries 2010, Viginti 2014).

His famous music has also been broadcast on the BBC Radio 3 Concert Series (Zygonic De/regeneration 2012, Seven Minutes of Contrarian Zygonicity 2013) and this year, Michael has joined the emerging talent roster at acclaimed Film and TV composer agency SMA Talent.

With such an acclaimed cast and crew, the film gets underway with a crowd-funding campaign launching in May and more details of which can be found at the film’s official website here: www.wastelandshortfilm.com

Follow updates and news at the film’s social media page on Facebook www.facebook.com/thewastelandshortfilm.com

By midlandsmovies, Jan 9 2017 04:00PM

Quite simply, here is our ongoing and updated list of Film Festivals in the Midlands (2017):

• THE SHORT CINEMA http://www.theshortcinema.co.uk info@theshortcinema.co.uk Phoenix, Leicester - August 23rd – 26th 2017

• NOTTINGHAM FILM FESTIVAL - Hothouse Theatre’s Nottingham Film Festival. October 6th – 8th 2017 For details visit http://www.nottinghamfilmfestival.com

• ANON FILM FEST - No 2017 dates yet. Screened at Northern Light Cinema, Wirksworth, Derbys. https://filmfreeway.com/festival/anonfilmfestival

• INDIE-LINCS - March 16th – 18th 2017 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 - 2017 dates TBC. http://www.brindleyplace.com/event/brindleyplace-outdoor-film-festival-2

• WORCESTERSHIRE FILM FESTIVAL 2017 dates TBC www.worcestershirefilmfestival.co.uk Contact Lawrence Donello‏ on Twitter @Razorpost https://twitter.com/worcesterfilm

• LEICESTER DOCFILM FEST http://www.citizenseye.org Contact John Coster 2017 dates TBC

• BORDERLINES FEST http://www.borderlinesfilmfestival.co.uk UK's largest rural film festival. Herefordshire/Shropshire - FRIDAY 24 FEBRUARY TO SUNDAY 12 MARCH 2017

• BIRMINGHAM FILM FEST - November 18th – 26th 2017 https://filmfreeway.com/festival/Birminghamfilmfestival

• BIFF FEST (Black International Film Fest) http://www.vtelevision.co.uk/biff/event.html

• SHOCK AND GORE FESTIVAL http://www.shockandgore.co.uk The Electric Cinema in Birmingham, July. Contact david@theelectric.co.uk or https://twitter.com/shockgore July 2017

• DEAFFEST http://www.deaffest.co.uk The UK's International Deaf Film & Arts Festival Wolverhampton. Contact info@light-house.co.uk 12th – 14th May 2017.

• LEICESTER ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL - 16th - 19th March www.leicesterasianfilmfestival.com

• SHOUT FESTIVAL http://shoutfestival.co.uk Birmingham Dates soon for 2017

• DERBY FILM FESTIVAL http://www.derbyfilmfestival.co.uk 28th APRIL - 7th MAY 2017

• FANTASTIQ FEST http://fantastiq.co.uk Fantasy and Horror Fest at Quad in Derby

• MAYHEM HORROR Film Fest - Halloween. Contact Broadway cinema in Nottingham http://www.broadway.org.uk/mayhem 12th - 15th October 2017

• FLATPACK FEST - Birmingham, UK. http://www.flatpackfestival.org.uk 4th - 9th April 2017

• EAST ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL http://www.eastwindsfilmfest.com 2017 Dates Coming Soon

• BEESTON FILM FESTIVAL http://www.beestonfilm.com 9th - 12th March 2017

• CAN DO FEST – Nottingham http://www.can-do-fest.com Biennial Fest currently fundraising to run a new Can- Do Film festival in 2017

• ZZUB - http://www.zzubfest.co.uk Wolverhampton - 2017 Festival TBC

• SHROPSHIRE RAINBOW FILM FESTIVAL http://www.rainbowfilmfestival.org.uk/midlands-zone 6th - 8th October 2017

• GRINDHOUSE PLANET - 2017 date TBC www.grindhouseplanet.com

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




By midlandsmovies, Sep 17 2016 03:24PM

Midlands Movies discovers a new documentary from These City Lights which chronicles the football career of former Derby County captain Shaun Barker.

With a release date in December 2016, this new Midlands documentary has been made by writer and director Ashley Carter from Nottingham. Having trained at the prestigious National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield this new film “Shaun Barker: 1,065 Days” is his second film after short documentary Eudaimonia.

The film follows Shaun Barker’s life which culminated with a horrific knee injury suffered whilst playing against local rivals Nottingham Forest in 2012. The documentary continues with Barker’s subsequent four-and-a-half year rehabilitation and Ashley Carter has ensured that all proceeds from the film will be going to the Shaun Barker Foundation.

The Shaun Barker Foundation was set up in 2015 with the aim to help underprivileged children in Derby that will help raise money and awareness for three key areas Shaun had chosen; Arts and Culture, Social Care and Sports in the Community.

After becoming a fans’ favourite for his commanding defensive performances, Barker’s time at Derby began in 2009 but was overshadowed by his spells out injured. Often playing through the pain, Barker developed a reputation as a player that put his body on the line for the club and sacrificing his own personal wellbeing.

Despite being told he would never play again, Barker spent years in gruelling rehabilitation sessions, before miraculously making a comeback for the Derby County Under 21s in 2015. Despite declaring himself fit for a return, new Derby County manager Steve McClaren didn’t give him the chance to play for the first team again.

The director, a lifelong Derby County fan himself, is keen to show all sides of Shaun Barker’s personality and shed light on a period of his career that football fans might not know all the facts about.

“Since meeting Shaun in 2015, it’s clear that he isn’t like other footballers and the players we’ve interviewed so far constantly talk about how influential and inspirational he is off the pitch as well as on it”, explains Ashley. “What he went through on a personal and professional level is astounding and to still be looking to play professional football again is remarkable”.

Filming has included interviews with teammates at previous clubs Rotherham and Blackpool, as well as current and past players at Derby County. “Derby have been great in allowing us to film at Shaun’s recent Testimonial, which was an amazing night”, says Ahsley. “And they’ve also given us access to interview some of the players from Shaun’s time at the club”.

Shaun Barker: 1,065 Days will continue filming through the year before holding a premiere at QUAD in Derby, as well as being released online. All proceeds from these screenings and sales will also be going to the Shaun Barker Foundation.

The project is currently running an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign until October 2nd, where backers will get the chance to get some exclusive signed merchandise, including signed 2016/17 Derby County shirts, signed photos of the 1971/72 Derby County title winning team, signed footballs, tickets to the premiere and the chance to be on set for a day of filming.

For more information please check out the movie's Facebook pages:



By midlandsmovies, Aug 18 2016 09:51AM

Five Lamps Films (5LF) was established in 2006 in Derby’s Five Lamps Pub. The group aimed to become a way for local filmmakers to join together to talk about films and to share their work.

5LF works around the idea of ‘an open mic night for films’ – they accept submissions from all filmmakers, regardless or their age or levels of experience possessed. In all of the time that they have been operating, 5LF has only had to turn away roughly three submissions due to copyrighted content appearing within them. This just goes to show the calibre of talent there is out there for anyone willing to look for it.

For everyone to feel as if they have a home to share their work and to see it play to an audience of peers and fans is what the group has always strived to achieve. The thrill of seeing your work on a big screen in front of an audience is something that sticks with you no matter how many times you've experienced it, and 5LF is proud to be a network within which this can flourish.

A decade on from when the idea first came about in a local public house, 5LF is a growing assembly that promotes people’s creativity through film, and currently has an online library with a total of almost 300 films. The idea behind this library is to raise the profile of filmmakers showcased at any events organised by 5LF. If audiences would like to revisit a film shown at a screening, they can find it within this library and will also be drawn to other works by the filmmaker.

As they continue to expand, 5LF holds a number of public events throughout the year. An example of this would be the annual FIVE/24, their 24 hour film competition held in conjunction with Derby Film Festival that spans two days. A day is spent for filmmakers to film their entries and then a screening takes place at a later date. Looking back through the years, it would seem that the competition has only grown in popularity and success, with the number of submissions giving the judges plenty to choose the victors from. The competition takes place on the last day of the festival, and has drawn fans and stars alike, with Derby’s own Jack O’Connell giving a speech there one year.

For the rest of the year, however, 5LF keep themselves busy with the bi-monthly screenings they hold on the final Tuesday of the month at Derby QUAD – the county's home for creativity. The group utilise the 150+ seated Cinema 2, where submission of a film is free with the filmmakers receiving two free tickets for the screening. For anyone to attend the showcase, the entry fee stands at just £2.

Recently, 5LF hosted their latest. Screening with a variety of films being shown throughout the two hour event. The night was a success, and now they look forward to the next screening which is set to commence September 27th. 5LF are now accepting films for the event – further information regarding submissions can be found at fivelampsfilms.co.uk if you are interested.

Kira Comerford

RSS Feed twitter