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By midlandsmovies, Apr 13 2018 07:58AM

Flatpack Film Festival 2018


The 2018 Flatpack Film Festival kicks off on Friday 13th April so get ready to experience over 100 events and screenings across venues across Birmingham.


Running until 22nd April, there are plenty of options for all kinds of cinema fans and we take an overview look at some of the best the festival has to offer over the full 2 weeks of fun.




Colour Box

This is a fabulous film lucky dip with a focus on “doing” as much as on “viewing”. This year’s creative playground includes smartphone projectors, Moomin puppets, VR adventures and a massive zoetrope, while in the screening programme you can find the best new family shorts and features from around the world. Colour Box is suitable for all ages, although even more fun if you’re 11 and under!




Birmingham 68

A landmark year internationally, 1968 was also a turbulent time for Birmingham. This eye-opening, city-straddling programme will take you from Digbeth bikers to Erdington psychedelia, from black masses in Solihull to the lost streets of Balsall Heath. On 13-15 April a host of special guests will join us for a weekend of walks, talks and screenings tapping into a range of subjects that still resonate today. Flatpack welcome a range of guests including writer Dilip Hiro and Oscar-winning cinematographer Chris Menges and there's a very rare chance to see a psychedelic Cilla Black satire set in Ladywood.




Optical Sound

Optical Sound explores the love affair between sound and image through a packed weekend of live events and screenings. Expect AV artistry, music documentaries and ingenious gadgets.




Unpacked

A chance to poke around under the bonnet and explore the creative processes behind some of the work on show at Flatpack. At the heart of Unpacked is a day of talks and demonstrations with a fantastic line up of artists, inventors and filmmakers, while at Film Camp the focus shifts from making to showing. Film Camp is designed to gather together film exhibitors from across the Midlands to share their wealth of experience, and to explore fresh approaches to programming and audience development. The event is open to everyone from multi-screen venues and festivals to community cinema organisers and student film groups.




Special Events

Check out Flatpack’s full complement of theatre, performance, live soundtracks, daft parties and a quiz. Highlights include live animation troupe Paper Cinema and a night at the circus to remember.




Features, Shorts and Documentaries

based at the Electric and the Mockingbird, this year's survey of the best new films from around the world is a fantastic trip. For those who don’t know, Flatpack started life as a film night in a pub and the short films are an end in themselves, overflowing with great ideas and indelible images. In 2018 the competition expands to six programmes and will include a bumper crop of UK premieres. Flatpack’s international documentary selection is by turns playful, provocative and strange.


Short Film Competition Pass

The short film competition is the shining jewel in our crown each year and audiences can pick up a pass wo view Is This Some Kind Of Joke, Little Wonders, Signal To Noise, Artefacts, Memory Lane and Breaking Point for just £32.



To buy tickets and to check out the full programme go to the festival's official website - http://flatpackfestival.org.uk


By midlandsmovies, Mar 4 2018 10:43AM





The official Midlands Movies Awards results:


Best Costume, Make-up & Hairstyling

Thomas Hodge, Neal Harvey & Matthew K. Onderka-Lang & Toran Tanner for Teddy Bears Picnic


Best Editing

Leonard Garner for I am God, And Severely Underqualified


Best Actor in a Leading Role

Daniel Lipton for Kon-Tiki


Best Music (score or song)

Pav Gekko for Just Desserts


Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Maude Hirst for The Knock


Best Cinematography

Christopher Hood for Kon-Tiki


Best Documentary

Oliver Cowton for Portrait


Best Feature

David Hastings, Rebecca Harris-Smith, Alex Bourne, Troy Dennison & Kaush Patel for The House of Screaming Death


Best Actress in a Leading Role

Louise Salter for Butterfly


Best Animated Film

Lee Charlish for ninetofive


Best Director

Lee Page for The 7th Day


Best Sound (editing or mixing)

Alex Stroud for Clockworks


Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Fransua Jamil Samuel for Anoesis


Best Visual Effects

Raghav Anil Kumar, Sahil Haider, Steven Mitchell & Glenn McAllen-Finney for The Rockman


Best Writing (original or adapted screenplay)

Tommy Draper for The Last Drop


Best Short

Theo Gelernter for I am God, And Severely Underqualified


The Joan Crellen Journey Award

Time, And Again by Kel Webster & Steve Lawson







By midlandsmovies, Nov 1 2017 04:46PM



BAFTA Award winning director comes to Birmingham


Debbie Isitt, the BAFTA-award winning Director of the Nativity! films, and Director of Nativity! The Musical at The REP in Birmingham, will be coming to Midlands this month to discuss her work as part of a Q & A evening.


The acclaimed director will be in conversation about her prolific career with Roger Shannon, Film Professor and former Head of Production at the BFI on 9th November.


Birmingham-born Debbie grew up in nearby Coventry and so is Midlands through and through, but it’s also a great chance to listen and speak to a successful director for local budding filmmakers.


The REP (or to give it its full title, The Birmingham Repertory Theatre) is based in the centre of Birmingham on Broad street and is a leading producer of quality theatre works alongside a whole host of arts-centred partnerships.


With a mission to help the audience “make their own special 'moments' memorable”, the theatre has been going since 1913 when the elegant 464-seat Repertory Theatre in Station Street was built (now known as The Old Rep).



The theatre rapidly became home to one of most exciting repertory theatre companies in the country, helping to launch the careers of an array of great British actors, including Ralph Richardson, Edith Evans and Laurence Olivier.


In 1971 the company moved to Broad Street to a newly built theatre with a stage of epic proportions and an auditorium with no balconies, pillars or boxes. More recently, from 2011 to 2013, the theatre underwent redevelopment as part of the Library of Birmingham project.


Tickets for the night are from just £5.00 and include a glass of wine and Debbie will be talking about her two Christmas comedy films Nativity! and Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger as well as the musical spin-off. Her other works include a Bafta award winning teleplay The Illustrated Mum, the stage play The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband and the feature films Nasty Neighbours and Confetti.




Nativity! was Isitt's third feature film and starred Martin Freeman and became the most successful British independent film of the year. The sequel, and her fourth film, Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger, starred David Tennant, and was an instant box office hit, making twice the amount at the UK box office as the original film. Isitt has now completed the trilogy with Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey?.

For tickets and further info please click here: https://www.birmingham-rep.co.uk/whats-on/spotlight-on-debbie-isitt.html#event-datesTimes

And for more information on all the events at The Rep please check their official site here:

www.birmingham-rep.co.uk


Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Centenary Square, Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2EP

By midlandsmovies, Nov 1 2017 09:04AM



Atmospheric Films presents The Blair Witch Project


Getting the scares in early for Halloween, Films in a Flash once again took cinema screenings to unique and sometimes, all too realistic locations. October the 28th saw a sold out crowd converging on Haughmond Hill in Shrewsbury, in search of the Blair Witch. They found it. In the middle of the woods.


Unless you jetted over to Burkitsville, (formally Blair) USA, you'd be hard pressed to find a better location. The three minute walk from the car to the screening set the tone, as with torches in hand, eager film fans followed the trail through the woodland with many undoubtedly thinking…is this actually a good idea?


Victim, an independent short from Eddie Adamson, kicked off proceedings, skilfully selected for its scenes of the nefarious Slenderman stalking his victim through a not-too-dissimilar forest. It was genuinely nerve-wracking and an ideal appetizer.


Adding to the authenticity, Burkitsville residents sent a personalized video detailing the journey of the Blair Witch twig dolls which were available on the night. That’s genuine Burkitsville twigs dolls. Good idea, or tempting fate? Ask again in a few days. Attendees were also treated to a specially recorded video introduction from co-director and writer Dan Myrick, which got a cheer of approval from the audience.



Initial issues with the sound caused by the wind during the short film were quickly put right and the main feature sounded superb. As for the film itself, its impact has certainly diminished through the sheer amount of times it’s been emulated and parodied. Luckily this is exactly where such special surroundings make all the difference. The creaks of the woods and the snapping of twigs (whether jiggery-pokery from the organisers or (un)happy coincidence), beat any Dolby Surround. Was that leaf-rustling behind you caused by the Blair Witch? Or someone looking to crack open another can of Kestrel? Either way, dare you look around to find out?


Such elements create a completely individual screening: a live Special Edition, if you will. Forget 4DX: this is the immersive cinema experience you’ve been searching for.


Films in a Flash’s next movie event is a 30th Anniversary screening of Robocop, details of which are right here


Robb Sheppard

Twitter @redbezzle





By midlandsmovies, Sep 26 2017 03:47PM



Midlands Spotlight - New drama short from Chilli Rose Productions


Midlands Movies finds out about the latest short film from Chilli Rose Production who are soon to launch their new drama “Who’s There”.


Shot entirely in Kidderminster and directed by local talent Fernando Antonio Maffei, Chilli Rose Productions are launching their film with an official screening event night in just a few months time.


The official screening will take place at Kidderminster Town Hall on 7th December at 7.30pm with a £2 entry fee and with DVDs of the film itself available after the show.


Who’s There stars Antonio Magro (Blood Orange, The Alienist), Amy Shepherd (WPC 56)

Greg Hobbs (The Truth), Grace Valloriani (Harry Brown), and Sophie Canare (ARTICHOKE)


Chilli Rose Productions are a local film production company based in Worcestershire UK and, on Facebook, Fernando had plenty to say about the support he’s received about the film so far on.


“I'm so proud of what we have achieved with ‘Who's There’. My cast and crew all worked very hard to achieve something so stylish and we shot the film using the RED EPIC camera”.


Fernando adds, “There is so much talent around here, I believe there are some great filmmakers around Kidderminster and the Worcestershire surrounding areas, the more we work together the stronger the local industry will become”.


For more information follow the film on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/chilliroseproductions


Watch the trailer for Who’s There below:




By midlandsmovies, Sep 26 2017 06:42AM



Blair Witch in the Woods - A Haughmond Hill Halloween screening


Mother! It. CHiPs. 2017 has already had its fair share of terrifying movie moments.


But there’s one cinema event which has us at Midlands Movies feeling like we’re just asking for trouble: Atmospheric Films presents The Blair Witch Project.In the woods. That’s in. the. woods.


Not content with simply showing films in the open air, Films in a Flash take their screenings to unforgettable locations where they add their own unique flourishes. Bespoke film props - as well as a few surprises for atmosphere and authenticity - takes audience immersion to a whole new level. Think the Secret Cinema without having to re-mortgage your house to pay for the privilege.


Previous events have included Jurassic Park whilst a T-Rex* prowled in your periphery, and a Jaws screening when you’re a stone’s throw from the eeriest of lakes.


With The Blair Witch Project director Eduardo Sanchez already sending his endorsement, the night promises to be full of scares, screams and snotty close ups. Add to that horror film short Victim and the reportedly haunted Haughmond Abbey within howling distance and you’re sure of a cinematic experience you’ll never forget.


Taking place at Haughmond Hill in Shrewsbury on October 28th, tickets are selling at a scary pace but some are still available here.


Midlands Movies will see you there; we’ll be standing facing the corner.


The Blair Witch Project - Atmospheric FilmsHaughmond Hill in Upton Magna

Saturday 28th October 2017

6:30pm til 10:30pm (last entry 7:15pm)

Minimum Age: 15


Robb Sheppard

Twitter: @RedBezzle


*May have been a man in a suit.




By midlandsmovies, Sep 17 2017 10:54PM



Midlands Professional - Film Event Organiser John Currie


Midlands Movies speaks to event manager and festival organiser John Currie as part of our Midlands ‘Professional’ series. In this latest feature John talks to us about his experience and career arranging one of the best festivals in the Midlands film calendar - the Beeston Film Festival.


At age 53 and the father of 5, Beeston Film Festival director John Currie is originally from Liverpool but has lived in Beeston now for the best part of 20 years and (in his words) now very much regards it as his home. Firstly, alongside raising his children, John explains that far from being solely local, his festival is now both local AND global with entries from 37 different countries.


“At our last event we ended up screening films from 22 countries and we have an award panel from America, Africa, Asia and Europe! The point of the festival is to connect, to reach out and bring global stories to Beeston and in return celebrate filmmakers and honour them with B’Oscars”.


Inspired to set up the BFF when he attended the Dublin International Short Film and Music Festival, John was there for the screening of the first film he produced called ‘Go with God’.


“And guess what? It was an international short film festival held upstairs in a pub! A model we’ve replicated at the White Lion thanks to our awesome host Sergio”.


And what has been the most difficult hurdle John’s overcome as the organiser?


“We have overcome so many problems but the biggest problem was finding a venue. Unsurprisingly Beeston doesn’t have a cinema of the scale of Showcase, Cineworld or even Broadway (in Nottingham City centre). Luckily one of our friends mentioned that Sergio at The White Lion was interested on setting up a cinema in his upstairs function room. The room has a wonderful retro feel with lush red velvet chairs and benches surrounding the room. Getting the projector and sound to good standard was challenging on a low budget but proved to be successful. Not only has the festival been hosted their but many other events adding to the joy of Beeston”.



In the past John has hosted a number of other film events such as showcase nights, taking part in the D H Lawrence festival and Scarlarama as well but is more than happy to pass on his experiences with others.


“Clarity of vision and determination to succeed [are skills needed] plus the help of loads of talented filmmakers otherwise there would lots of people staring at a blank screen”.


“We are also blessed by finding some great partners such as the B’Oscar sponsors, who are local Beeston businesses; the fabulous review team of Beestonians who review entries and make selections; our awesome global award panel who decide B’Oscar winners; Sergio at The White Lion and of course the students from New College Nottingham who volunteer their hard work enthusiastically to make audience and filmmakers as welcome as possible. So appreciation of those who share your vision is vital”.


John goes on to explain that there are two keys challenges faced by film festival organisers:


“You need to appeal to filmmakers and appeal to the audience, without these people excited by what we are doing there would be no festival. For filmmakers we offer a platform, an audience to industry judges, and of course the chance to win a coveted B’Oscar. For the audience we need to provide an exciting programme, in a convivial atmosphere rubbing shoulders with as many filmmakers as we can attract”.


And how does John balance the financial aspects with the creative side?


“Well, we are self-funding, and get great support from local businesses, so each year to grow the scope of the festival to ensure that we are sustainable. We are also aware that festival audiences are looking for surprises! Short film festivals are the platform for filmmakers to take risks, develop their skills and surprise the audience! So far we have had plenty of surprises and that’s why our audience numbers keep on increasing year on year”.


And what advice would John give to like-minded people thinking of setting up their own festivals?


“Ensure you clarify your vision, be certain sort your festival should be, so once that is honed, work incredibly hard to make it happen because it is an amazingly rewarding process”.


“For us, in 2018 we are expanding by adding a section dedicated to Women’s Voices. This is a very open definition: films made by men but tell a woman's story in a good way, with a great leading female actor, can still be considered; as long as the film has a good mix of women and men working on the crew, and as long as they tell a good woman's story, it can be submitted”.


In the festival’s first year they screened 70 films over two days and in 2018 John plans to run the event over 4 days with hopes to screen 130 films making it the biggest international short film festival in the Midlands.


Finally, we ask John if he has any final words to give to fans/organisers of regional film festivals. “Well, a short film festival offers 2 hour programs that are constructed from a mosaic of cinematic genius rather than a single overarching storyline. This provides a platform to emerging filmmakers from Beeston to Bangkok and enriches the lives of everyone involved”.


Big thanks to John Currie for his time and check out the Official Festival website here and also our coverage of 2017’s event.





By midlandsmovies, Sep 15 2017 02:03PM



Midlands Spotlight - Witchfinder General screening

 

The National Civil War Centre is screening Witchfinder General in the fantastic chilling atmosphere of its authentic Tudor Hall on Halloween night. With a great night promised the night has been arranged by the Palace Theatre and National Civil War Centre on 31st October in truly unique surroundings.


A horror evening awaits at the National Civil War Centre on Halloween night as the Tudor Hall plays host to one of cinema’s most horrifying cult classics, Witchfinder General.


Set during the anarchy and chaos of the Civil War, the 1968 film follows witch hunter Matthew Hopkins (horror icon Vincent Price at his malevolent best) as he conducts a vicious reign of terror in puritan East Anglia. But his persecution of an innocent village priest sets in motion a trail of revenge that escalates to a brutal, bloody denouement.


The sinister old world ambience of the Tudor Hall is the ideal setting for this 17th century fright night. Having stood through the turbulence of the Civil War when Newark was a melting pot of mayhem and violence the building is also said to be haunted by the ghosts of Lady Ossington and ‘the boy in the dorm’ and, during restoration work, a suspected witch bottle was unearthed from its foundations.


This unique and ominous atmosphere paired with the film’s unnerving horror is sure to be the perfect cocktail for a blood-curdling Halloween night. 


The screening begins at 8pm with the bar open from 7pm and will be introduced by Civil War historian and film aficionado Adam Nightingale. Tickets, costing only £5, are limited for this exclusive event so make sure to book early.


You can book online by clicking here or phone for tickets on 01636 655755.


Please note - This film is rated 15 so ID may be required and entry will be refused to any underage guests


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