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By midlandsmovies, Jun 9 2019 07:52AM



Comic Con Leicester 2019


Celebrating its 5th Anniversary, Leicester Comic Con is one of the highlights of Leicester’s cultural quarter and a must-see on the Midlands cosplay calendar. With 4 successful years behind them, the convention once again returned to the art-deco ex-cinema Athena venue which has always given this event a local and quirky flavour.


Although taking place over the first weekend in June at the height of summer, the weather couldn’t have been wetter. Although previous years have seen many people gather at the front of the venue, allowing cosplayers to congregate and take photos, the incessant rain meant that it was a slightly darker beginning than previous years.




What it did mean though was that people being forced inside resulted in a bigger, better – and slightly cramped – atmosphere inside where comic and film fans, artists and those dressed up pushed together to create an amazing buzz.


As you arrive, out the front of the venue were three of the vehicles used for Bumblebee in the cinema iterations of the Transformers. In Michael Bay’s first take on Transformers in 2007, Bumblebee was depicted as a 1976 Camaro and then a fifth-generation 2011 Camaro before returning to his original cartoon Volkswagen Beetle version in Travis Knight’s Bumblebee (2018).


As famous a car as you’re sure to see today, right? Well not quite. Once inside attendees were greeted with the Bat-Signal which was illuminating the Tumbler – the armoured Batmobile used in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.




Heading upstairs first of all, there was also a mannequin dressed as Knight of the Old Republic who we took photos next to after resting our bags on the model. However, rather embarrassingly after we left, we noted that to our surprise this “mannequin” started to move. The very static cosplayer had trolled us good!


Upstairs, as with most years, there is a gaming area at the very top of the venue and the artists are situation in stalls on each tier of the balcony. We’ve said before – and we’ll say it again – but this is such a unique venue that it really does have a fantastically original and special feel when compared to other conventions often situated in bland leisure centres or echo-y halls.


Up on this top tier were Nick Gribbon who specialises in cinema, Marvel and zombie illustrations whilst the convention alsowelcomed Leicester post-apocalyptic artist Gustaffo Vargas who brought his Peru-infused ‘drug Guinea Pigs’ to the floor. Sass & Sorcery were there selling their magical art prints and greeting cards, as was game art designer Little Woodlouse, pop culture artist Lee Bradley and anime-inspired artist Emmett Green.


Keith Chan returned as one of the convention’s veteran artists along with David Millgate and his 2000AD artwork and poster prints. And also out for his 5th year in a row was Ryan Button of RB Illustrations. We’re slightly biased as Ryan did our fantastic film night event posters but was great to see one of the designs (for our Die Hard-themed screening night) finally become a limited edition print. As well as more Bumblebee (and Grimlock) related Transformers art too!



Rachel of Nottingham’s EldritchRach Illustration was another return artist whilst another Nottingham artist of handmade crafts & illustrations was Fanatic Pufferfish and next door was Here Be Monsters, the comic from Luke Parker.


A welcome return too for Midlands animator and cartoonist Thomas Crook (who we covered in our early days) and his delightful dairy creation – the Cheesemen – who, as you can guess, are mysterious characters made of cheese. Here, attendees could grab a free build-your-own robot Cheese Man. A great little model can be made from card and a cool idea to link back to their fun website for the instructions.


Along with the artists, the balcony also hosts the body-painting zone where very brave men and women allow themselves to be covered in head to-toe make-up. Given how hot the venue was starting to get, it made strange sense that their little amount of clothing was very much enviable by this time.


We then headed back down the stairs where there was an Indiana Jones and Game of Thrones photo opportunity whilst on the main stage you could share space with Star Wars droids, Yoda, Ewoks and the Emperor’s throne as well.


The main ground floor hosts shops, coin-op machines and a mass of Funko Pop sellers but we recommend checking out local business Arcade Frames run by local Nottingham film-fan and musician Rob Lane who creates retro-fused LEGO mini figure frames.



Finally, we couldn’t not mention one of the organisers of the event itself, Gavin Lee-Pate. With 5 successful years under his belt, Gavin (and his partner in crime Richard Tewkesbury) should be rightly proud of another successful event which gives joy to so many local people from all ages and backgrounds. Gavin is also a successful artist in his own right under Cult Locations Ink. These are small hand drawn prints of famous movie locations from the Overlook Hotel to Florin Castle (from The Princess Bride) – which is actually Derby’s Haddon Hall no less.


So as we finish Saturday, we wish all the best for the hosts, stalls, artists and attendees - and as we write this we mustn’t forget that there’s a whole second day of fun on Sunday!


Please check all the artists and on their links - and Happy ComicCon-ing everybody – you’ll find no better place in the region this Summer!


Michael Sales






By midlandsmovies, May 31 2019 11:03AM



Return of the Garrison Star Wars Event at Leicester Space Centre


At last you can reveal yourself to the Jedi…


On 29 – 30 June 2019 visitors are invited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Phantom Menace at the National Space Centre.


The Centre, 501st UK Garrison, Rebel Legion, Galactic Academy and Mandalorian Mercs are joining forces to create a full weekend of immersive experiences from a galaxy far far away.


With costume characters, exhibitions, talks, workshops and the all-important Parade there will be over 100 characters from film, comic, game and animation at the event.


Enjoy a family day out, or full weekend with chances to show off your skills in a Silver Sabres lightsabre masterclass, see amazing full size props thanks to the Isle of Wight Prop Crew, take home limited edition merchandise from the Hyperspace Hypermarket, and get hands on with craft sessions for children to enjoy.


In a weekend packed with activities there’ll also be talks and workshops available throughout, an amazing art exhibition, including limited edition prints and pins.


Costumes are encouraged with the highlight of the weekend, as always, being the costume parade.


There will be the opportunity to meet some very special guests (autograph fees apply).


Warwick Davis - Sunday Only


Warwick Davis played Ewok Wicket in Return of the Jedi. He went on to take the title role in Willow, again with George Lucas. He has also played Professor Filius Flitwick and Griphook in the Harry Potter films and a fictionalized version of himself in the sitcom Life’s Too Short, written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.


Harriet Walker - Saturday only


Dame Harriet Walter is well known for her stage and Shakespearian roles, as well as her appearances in Sense and Sensibility, Downton Abbey and The Crown. Harriet played Kalonia, a Doctor in the Resistance, in The Force Awakens in 2015, following in the footsteps of her Uncle, Sir Christopher Lee.


Andy Seacombe - Saturday & Sunday


Probably best known for being the voice of Watto in the two Star Wars prequels: The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, he is also an accomplished stage, television and radio actor, with a career spanning four decades.


This event will raise money for charity. Malika Andress, Head of Marketing at the National Space Centre, added: “We are proud to be working with Warwick Davis to support Little People UK through this event.”


“We are extremely grateful that our friends 501st UK Garrison, Rebel Legion, Galactic Academy and Mandalorian Mercs are returning to help us create an unforgettable weekend."


Tickets cost £15 per adult and £12 for children and concessions. Annual Passes are not valid and Jedi mind tricks won’t work. https://spacecentre.co.uk/event/return-of-the-garrison


Little People UK was co-founded in January 2012 by actor Warwick Davis, his wife Samantha and a group of individuals with the same goal; to offer friendship and support to people with dwarfism, their families and friends, and help build a positive future for those individuals.


By midlandsmovies, Apr 18 2019 09:32AM



Midlands Spotlight - Paracinema Horror Weekend 2019


Friday 3 - Monday 6 May 2019


Venue: QUAD, Market Place, Cathedral Quarter, Derby, DE1 3AS


Anything goes! This is the motto of Paracinema, a festival dedicated to films and genres outside the mainstream. Expect a steady diet of horror, sci-fi and fantasy but in addition we want to explore other genres and sub-genres that don't get the opportunity to play on the big screen.


Taking place in Derby next month, the horror weekend will be showcasing the local, national and international in all genres of horror.


A Paracinema weekend pass costs £50 and enables entry to all events across all four days of the event.


Alternatively, a Paracinema Day pass costs £20 and allows entry to all events on a single day of the event.


For the full programme please see the film screenings and event list below including gaming, Q & As, a quiz and so much more. Click the links at the bottom for tickets and mroe more information.


Friday 3rd May

Paracinema Shorts 1 & 2 12:00pm


Zeroes 3:30pm (Also screening on: Monday 6th May)


Gaming : Paracinema Arcade 5:00pm (Also screening on: Saturday 4th May, Sunday 5th May, Monday 6th May)


F*** You All – The Uwe Boll Story 6:15pm


Knife + Heart 8:15pm (Also screening on: Sunday 5th May)


Mega Time Squad 10:30pm


Saturday 4 May 2019

Paracinema Shorts 1 10:45am


House Of Blue Shadows 12:30pm


In Conversation: Emily Booth In Conversation with Director Jake West 2:30pm


Inner Ghosts + Director Q+A 4:00pm


The Dead Center 6:05pm


Diamantino 8:00pm


Slasher In A Knife Factory! – A Nightmare On Elm Street 8:30pm


The Next Kill 10:00pm (Also screening on: Monday 6th May)


Sunday 5 May 2019

Paracinema Shorts 2 11:15am


Far From The Apple Tree 1:20pm


Special Event : Drag Me To Hell – Representations of Drag & Transvestism in Horror Film & Television 3:00pm


Bearkittens + Director Q+A 3:30pm


Fornacis + Director Q+A 5:20pm


Luz 7:20pm


Quiz: The Legendary Paracinema Quiz! 8:30pm


Film Screening Shorts Programme

Five Lamps Films 24 Hour Film Challenge – Entrants Screening 8:30pm


Knife + Heart 8:50pm (Also screening on: Friday 3rd May)


Monday 6 May 2019

Ghost Story 12:00pm


Ghost Stories: The Curious Tales Of The Making Of Ghost Story

2:00pm


VIPCO – The Untold Story – Premiere + Director Q+A 4:00pm


Scopophilia 6:30pm


Book Of Monsters 6:45pm


Zeroes 8:30pm (Also screening on: Friday 3rd May)


The Next Kill 8:45pm (Also screening on: Saturday 4th May)


More information:


https://www.derbyquad.co.uk/whats-on/cinema/paracinema-film-festival-weekend-pass


https://www.facebook.com/ParacinemaDerby/


https://twitter.com/ParacinemaDerby



By midlandsmovies, Apr 7 2019 11:32AM



Midlands Review - Capcom Go at the National Space Centre


On April 6th 2019, Midlands Movies Editor Mike Sales headed to the National Space Centre in Leicester who were screening the world premiere of a brand-new show in the UK’s largest planetarium. Read his thoughts below of this spectacular new space-based event...


CAPCOM GO! The Apollo Story celebrates the achievements of the Apollo missions and highlights what it took to put the first humans on the Moon and with our enjoyment of last year's First Man, we couldn't be more excited.


Capcom, if you didn’t know, is short for ‘capsule communicator’ - a NASA position who is the liaison between an in-space crew and mission control.


And with a packed crowd for the first screening, the planetarium show opens on a tv of the original ‘first step’, and soon the old-style tv fades away into the distance. But then your breath is taken away when space suddenly comes into view and takes up your entire field of vision in an amazing 360 degree experience.


Colourful diagrams and archive footage fills in the backstory of the cold-war space race. From the first dog to the first man we get computer graphics zooming us across the world showing how global the event became.


A section devoted to the unsung human “computers” whose solutions to complex mathematics made JFK’s dream possible showcased the men, and especially women, of the back-room staff. Do check out Hidden Figures – a fantastic film that explores this important but sometimes overlooked portion of the Apollo plan.


The film continues as elliptical orbits and slingshot journeys fill the planetarium’s ceiling and – word of warning – the constant moving of the stars can give younger viewers serious motion sickness, so do beware!


As well as the historical and fun, the film doesn’t skip over the dangerous testing that was done and the lives lost in the process. Halfway through, a serene and respectful moment gives time for the audience to reflect on the real cost for the pioneers aiming for the stars.


However, we are soon at the Saturn 5 launch pad in what was to be one of the highlights of the show. The swinging camera shows the rocket on its pad and an overhead crane shot will give you a sense of vertigo not seen since Spider-Man: Homecoming 3-D!


As the boosters ignite, the room shakes and the film is a pleasure for both the eyes and the ears. Following the Apollo journey, the film mixes cinematic flourishes with more educational information about the lunar modules and we are soon skipping across the moon’s service in another fantastic sequence showing the dangerous landing. And yes, we get the obligatory, but still hugely powerful “eagle has landed” and “one small step” speeches too.


As the film concludes we get one more rampant scene of fun as the lunar rover jumps and bounds across the surface in a segment that seems a little overblown - but with music pumping and the rover jumping, younger viewers will hopefully leave the auditorium fulfilled by the entertainment and the easily digestible “factoids”.


The full 30 minutes are not just a well-crafted and well-rendered CGI treat by the award-winning NSC Creative, it contains full and understandable information for all ages with lashings of spectacular space sequences. And as Apollo inspired a new generation of engineers and enthusiasts, the final positive message of hope in Capcom Go aims to do the same with today’s astronaut admirers.


Michael Sales


By midlandsmovies, Apr 3 2019 11:31AM



THE POPULAR ‘BEWARE THE MOON’ SCREENINGS RETURN TO DUDLEY CASTLE THIS SUMMER


Dudley Zoological Gardens are again teaming up with Flatpack Projects to present the cinema spectacular BEWARE THE MOON.


Dudley Castle will once again be transformed into a vast open-air cinema for two consecutive nights – Tim Burton’s afterlife comedy BEETLEJUICE will screen on Friday 2nd August, followed by the supernatural cult classic THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT on Saturday 3rd August 2019.


Previous Flatpack events have included spectacular outdoor screenings of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, THE LOST BOYS, THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN and AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON in the stunning castle courtyard. Guests at BEWARE THE MOON can enjoy hot food, a licensed bar, DJs and spine-chilling special effects projected onto the historic castle ramparts – with a very spooky surprise or two thrown in for good measure!


BEWARE THE MOON: BEETLEJUICE (15)

Friday 2nd August 2019, doors open at 7pm

Castle Hill, Dudley, West Midlands, DY1 4QF

Tickets: £12 (concs £10), Double Bill Ticket: £20

Book via https://www.dudleyzoo.org.uk/beetlejuice/


BEWARE THE MOON: THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (15)

Saturday 3rd August 2019, doors open at 7pm

Castle Hill, Dudley, West Midlands, DY1 4QF

Tickets: £12 (concs £10), Double Bill Ticket: £20

Book via https://www.dudleyzoo.org.uk/blair-witch/


Dudley Castle will also be hosting some additional outdoor screenings in May – the foot-stomping celebration of Queen BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (Friday 17th May 2019) and the classic love story DIRTY DANCING (Saturday 18th May 2019).


Some FAQs are below:


How do I gain access to the event?

Entrance to the event will be via the Fellows Pub car park, No 1 The Broadway, Dudley, DY1 4QB, from 7pm. Last admission on site will be 9.15pm.


Where can I park?

Please note parking is not available either at the Castle or on The Fellows pub car park for this event. Please park on the main Zoo car park (situated off the Tipton Road, DY1 4SQ) which will be open from 6.30pm. Car parking is included in your event cost. Please note the car park is an approximate 15 minute walk away from the event. Please advise staff in advance of any access needs and we can plan an alternative route. Please note this car park will close at 11.30 pm.


How do I get there via public transport?

Dudley Bus Station is 2 minutes walk from the entrance via Fellows Pub car park.

Rail: Dudley Port Station 3 miles / Sandwell & Dudley Station 5 miles. Frequent bus service to Dudley from Dudley Port station.


What should I bring with me?

Please bring your booking confirmation ticket with you on the evening for admission purposes. This can be shown on your mobile phone. All guests listed on your ticket must arrive together. All concessionary ticket holders will also need to present proof of concession status. We advise guests to bring a torch with them as areas of the Zoo can be a little dark when you leave. We also advise sensible footwear to be worn and suitable clothing for the weather. Seating will not be provided so please bring picnic blankets and/or camping chairs. Tents are not allowed.


What time does it start?

Doors open at 7pm and we kick off with a DJ, followed by shorts at 9pm and the main feature at 9.30pm.


What time does it finish?

The event is expected to finish around 11pm and guests should also exit the site via the green gates on the Fellows Pub car park.


What happens if it rains?

The event will go ahead whatever the weather. TICKETS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE & NON-EXCHANGEABLE.


Will there be food and drink available to buy?

Refreshments will be available to purchase during the evening from the Courtyard café and inside the Castle Grounds. You are welcome to bring your own picnics too.


Are pets allowed?

Only assistance animals are allowed access to the site.


Is it suitable for children?

The film is rated 15. All children under the age of 16 yrs must be accompanied by an adult.


Can I smoke at the event?

Smoking is permitted in the designated smoking area by the Courtyard café.




By midlandsmovies, Mar 21 2019 02:29PM



FLATPACK LAUNCHES FESTIVAL PROGRAMME FOR 2019


Birmingham’s Flatpack Festival returns this May Day Bank Holiday for its thirteenth edition and boasts a wonderfully eclectic line-up over the 6-day festival with 100 events taking place at 14 different venues across Birmingham.


Running from 30th APRIL – 5th MAY and with everything from car park theatre and cat-shaped bento to Moomins and post-punk legends, this year’s Flatpack will treat audiences to a week of inspiring screenings, exhibitions, live performances, installations and some very special guests.


Flatpack will welcome acclaimed stand-up Stewart Lee and filmmaker Michael Cumming to offer an exclusive taste of their new documentary KING ROCKER, a unique tribute to the Black Country’s unsung post-punk heroes The Nightingales.


Cumming will also screen his film OXIDE GHOSTS sharing his personal insights into the process of making the cult TV series Brass Eye. Other highlights include the world premiere of immersive theatre piece A MOMENT OF MADNESS, in which participants are thrust into the heart of a spy thriller in a car park.



The ever-popular family strand Colour Box will return with a host of animated shorts and free drop-in activities to entertain all the family. Tokyo artist and animator Mari Miyazawa will present her unfeasibly cute BEAUTIFUL BENTO workshops in the UK for the first time - turning traditional Japanese lunch boxes into fun, edible characters. Other Colour Box highlights include the SOUNDPLAY DOME, a unique interactive musical installation for children of all ages to explore, a special preview of Sky TV’s MOOMINVALLEY featuring the vocal talents of Richard Ayoade and Matt Berry, and a series of workshops on animating the canine film characters from Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs.


Flatpack will open in spectacular style at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with the world premiere of Sinestro Home Video’s live rescore of Japanese classic A PAGE OF MADNESS, complete with benshi narration.


This year’s programme of feature films present a wide and varied picture of international cinema including: EIGHTH GRADE the debut feature from YouTube star and comedian Bo Burnham; Peter Strickland’s offbeat horror IN FABRIC which follows the life of a cursed dress as it passes from person to person with devastating consequences; and SUMMER, an ode to the underground rock scene of pre-perestroika Leningrad featuring an epic soundtrack from David Bowie, T-Rex and Iggy Pop.



The documentary strand will include the UK premiere of NARCISSISTER ORGAN PLAYER a revealing look at the inscrutable performance artist; Werner Herzog’s MEETING GORBACHEV, an engaging and tender portrait of the eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union.


Part cinema and part music gig, Optical Sound offers a fascinating fusion of live performance and audio-visual artistry whilst Flatpack’s creative industries strand Unpacked offers unique insight into the processes of filmmakers and artists. This year’s line-up includes the inaugural DUPLICATE: ARTIST PUBLISHING FAIR showcasing self-publishers from the UK and beyond; WHO FUNDS WHAT? is an informative event for emerging filmmakers to help demystify where the boundaries lie when it comes to film funding.


Flatpack’s acclaimed short film strand celebrates emerging talent, with 21 of the 50 shorts in competition for the jury prize of £1,000 being UK premieres and finally Flatpack has always had a taste for digging into the archives, now reflected in a new strand gathering rare, unseen material and revealing the stories behind it. A day of VIDEO TALES at MAC will showcase rediscoveries from the VHS era, including a peek at pioneering booking agency and record shop Oriental Star forty years after they brought qawwali legend Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan to the UK for the first time.


After starting life as a monthly night in a Digbeth pub in 2003, Flatpack’s mobile film empire has grown to include cinema-tents, family film tours, outdoor extravaganzas and archive archaeology - not to mention an annual festival recognised as one of the most distinctive and downright fun in the UK calendar. Flatpack are also lead partners with Nottingham's Broadway Cinema on Film Hub Midlands, a BFI-supported initiative to develop film culture across the region.


Full details of the Flatpack Festival programme and ticket information can be found at www.flatpackfestival.org.uk

By midlandsmovies, Mar 21 2019 09:55AM



Take a trip to the moon in new film at the National Space Centre Leicester


On 06 April the National Space Centre in Leicester is launching a brand-new planetarium show and you could be one of the first people on the planet to take a seat in the UK’s largest planetarium to see it.


CAPCOM GO! The Apollo Story, celebrates the achievements of the Apollo missions, highlighting what it took to put the first humans on the Moon.


The show tells the amazing story of the Apollo space missions, which are just as important today, as humankind looks to return to the Moon and on to other planets.


CAPCOM GO! has been produced by the award winning NSC Creative, one of the world’s leading planetarium-specialist production companies, with shows screening in over 600 venues in 60 countries.


On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 10 mission, the National Space Centre is inviting visitors to take a seat in the Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium, the UK’s largest planetarium, to discover how NASA not only landed man on the Moon, but also saw humankind take one giant scientific and technological leap.


Apollo inspired a generation of engineers, mathematicians, human computers and scientists. Paul Mowbray, Director of NSC Creative, said; “What better way to celebrate 50 years since one of the greatest achievements in human history than by introducing a new generation to the immense challenges the team overcame with the aims of inspiring our visitors to become the explorers, designers, engineers, thinkers and dreamers of the future.”


The new show kicks off a full programme of celebrations in the Easter school holiday period. Apollo Easter will see visitors witness explosive presentations, build and land their own Lunar Module and construct a Moon orbiter, as well as take a seat in the Planetarium for this brand-new show.


Book now and upgrade your ticket for a free Annual Pass upgrade. Tickets cost £15 per adult and £12 per child with the cost of your planetarium show included in your ticket.


https://spacecentre.co.uk/event/apollo-easter


By midlandsmovies, Mar 17 2019 10:21AM



Midlands Spotlight - Leicester Horror Con


With stalls, guests, talks, screenings, cosplay and more, a new event heads to Leicester this summer covering all things strange, spooky and scary in the form of Leicester Horror Con 2019.


Taking place on Saturday 22nd June from 11am to 5pm the event will be held at the suitably historical and ghostly Guildhall in Leicester.


With five reported ghosts, the Guildhall is reputedly Leicester's most haunted building and has appeared on the television show Most Haunted.


One of the highlights of the convention is their "Dark Market". Here, the UK’s best horror traders will be in attendance selling artwork, posters, toys, comics, books, DVDs/Blu-Rays and more.


In addition, there will be guests, screenings and an evening event and the day will be a chance for attendees to meet fellow horror fans, buy merchandise from vendors and learn more about the genre everyone loves.


Leicester Horror Con is being organised by horror film fan Nathan Leverton who has run a number of events in Leicester which includes Leicester Comic Con in the city’s Silver Arcade and a Challenge Charity Boxing at the Morningside Arena.


A slight warning - it is likely material on display will not be suitable for minors and whilst Under 10s can go free, they must be accompanied by a ticket holding adult.


For everyone else, the tickets re limited but provide attendees with a wristband that gains them entry to the "Dark Market" at The Guildhall, as well as screenings, talks and discounts at participating venues. Please note, it does not include entry to any evening shows at venues after the convention ends at 5pm.


Tickets are a suitably priced £6.66 and an be bought at Eventbrite here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/leicester-horror-con-2019-tickets-57705160689


For more information - and with updates on traders, timings and further guests then please check out the event's social media pages on the links below:


www.instagram.com/leicesterhorrorcon

www.facebook.com/LeicesterHorrorCon




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