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By midlandsmovies, Feb 9 2020 05:40PM



Midlands Movies Awards 2020 - Nominations


1. Best Feature sponsored by Fish Bulb Films

Invasion Planet Earth by Simon Cox

Sustain by Dave Hastings

The Jack in the Box by Lawrence Fowler

Outside the City by Nick Hamer


2. Best Short

Keep Breathing by Mark Corden

Night Tide by Richard Miller

I Need to Tell You Something by Lucy Alder

Knock Door Run by Andrew Rutter

Off Grid by Carl Timms


3. Actor in a Leading Role

Melvyn Rawlinson in Coping

Ryan J Harvey in Death Knock

Damien Molony in Keep Breathing

Varakunan Panchalingam in My Father


4. Actress in a Leading Role

Emmeline Hartley in Keep Breathing

Ravneet Sehra in Scars

Esther McAuley in Can’t Hide It

Sophie Wheelans in I Need To Tell You Something


5. Actor in a Supporting Role

James Bryhan in Shame My Name

Ed Spence in My Friend Frank

Joe Warriner in Park Life

John Sugden in Knock Door Run


6. Actress in a Supporting Role

Cate Johannessen in I Need to Tell You Something

Jenn Day in Unmade

Cherry Bagnall in Death Knock

Bharti Patel in Damage


7. Animated Film

James Pyle for Lip Flaps

Lee Charlish for Waxworks Owner Fumes at Closure

Bhulla Beghal for A Scribbled Memory

Matt Williams for Rubber Johnny


8. Costume & Makeup & Hairstyling

Jessica Peck and Lee Charlish for The Cold Caller

Terri Hughes and Louis Brough for The Reunion

May Weller and Emma Grant for Not Again Lily

Isabella Larter, Liz Fowler & AnnMarie Malley for The Jack in the Box

9. Directing

Lucy Alder for I Need to Tell You Something

Simon Cox for Invasion Planet Earth

Joseph Archer & Jack Archer for On in 15

Carl Timms for Off Grid

Nick Hamer for Outside the City


10. Documentary

Raised by Queenz by Soph Webberley

Outside the City by Nick Hamer

Carolyn - A survivor of aversion therapy by Andrew Cardinal

Connor by Jessica Brain


11. Editing

Lawrence Fowler for The Jack in the Box

Richard Miller for Night Tide

Asher Hardy for I Need to Tell You Something

Simon Cox for Invasion Planet Earth


12. Music (Score or song)

David Beard for McKinley

Matthew Tucker for Rubber Johnny

Joe Reeves for Raised by Queenz

Les Hayden for Hidden


13. Cinematography

Jon O’Neill for McKinley

David Cawley for Knock Door Run

Grant Archer for Night Tide

Ed Radford for Coping


14. Sound (Editing or Mixing)

Justin Dolby for The Siren’s Song

Lee Charlish for The Cold Caller

Jason Nightall for Dead Air

Wayne Kelly For Inkling


15. Visual Effects

Dojo FX for Off Grid

Lukas Remis for Invasion Planet Earth

Ali T. Khan for Inkling

Lawrence Fowler for The Jack in the Box


16. Writing (Original/adapted)

Josh Brown for Greenlight

Richard Miller for Can’t Hide It

Tommy Draper, Mark Corden & Emmeline Hartley for Keep Breathing

Lucy Alder for I Need To Tell You Something


By midlandsmovies, Jan 7 2020 09:36PM



Midlands Spotlight - Movie-related shows at Leicester Comedy Festival 2020


We take a wry look and recommend some of the best film-related shows at the annual and hilarious Leicester Comedy Festival taking place in February 2020 at venues all across the city.


For these and all other shows check out the full programme at the official website https://comedy-festival.co.uk/


Nathan D’Arcy Roberts: Is My Dad Denzel Washington?

Saturday, 08 February 2020 Time: 4:30pm (5:30pm) Doors open: 4:10pm Entry: £5 OR PWYW

Venue: Just the Tonic at The Shed - Vault

Nathan D'Arcy Roberts (BBC Introducing Radio 4 Comedy Award nominee) is bringing his exciting new show to the Leicester Comedy Festival. Raised having never met his father Nathan embarks on a journey to confirm his belief that the identity of his estranged papa is none other than the Oscar-winning actor.

https://comedy-festival.co.uk/event/nathan-darcy-roberts-is-my-dad-denzel-washington


Jokes On Us present MADDIE CAMPION: MAD MONEY WORK IN PROGRESS

Wednesday, 12 February 2020 Time: 7:45pm (8:45pm)Doors open: 7:25pm Entry: FREE

Venue: Manhattan 34 - Downstairs bar

In 2008 Katie Holmes didn't reprise her role as Rachel Dawes in the acclaimed Batman Begins follow up, The Dark Knight. Instead she chose to make the movie "Mad Money", which was both a critical and commercial flop. In this stand-up show Maddie Campion argues that Katie Holmes made the right decision.

https://comedy-festival.co.uk/event/maddie-campion-mad-money-work-in-progress/


COMEDY FILM NIGHT: TRADING PLACES

Friday, 14 February 2020 Time: 8:00pm (9:55pm)Doors open: 7:40pm Entry: £7.00

Venue: Harborough Theatre - Theatre

Upper-crust executive Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) and down-and-out hustler Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) are the subjects of a bet by brokers Mortimer and Randolph Duke. An employee of the Dukes, Winthorpe is framed by the brothers for a crime he didn't commit, with the siblings then installing the street-smart Valentine in his position. When Winthorpe and Valentine uncover the scheme, they set out to turn the tables on the Dukes.

https://comedy-festival.co.uk/event/comedy-film-night-trading-places/


COMEDY FILM NIGHT: FOUR LIONS

Friday, 14 February 2020 Time: 6:00pm (7:35pm)Doors open: 5:40pm Entry: £7.00

Venue: Harborough Theatre - Theatre

Four Lions tells the story of a group of British jihadists who push their abstract dreams of glory to the breaking point. As the wheels fly off, and their competing ideologies clash, what emerges is an emotionally engaging (and entirely plausible) farce. In a storm of razor-sharp verbal jousting and large-scale set pieces, Four Lions is a comic tour de force; it shows that while terrorism is about ideology, it can also be about idiots.

https://comedy-festival.co.uk/event/comedy-film-night-four-lions/


MCUSICAL: THE UNOFFICIAL MARVEL PARODY MUSICAL WORK IN PROGRESS

Sunday, 16 February 2020 Time: 2:30pm (3:30pm) Doors open: 2:10pm Entry: FREE OR PWYW

Venue: Grays@LCB Depot - Lightbox

MCUsical: The Unofficial Parody Musical retells the last 10 years of your favourite superhero cinematic films through an hour of your favourite Broadway songs! You'll love it 3000! (Please note that this show is a Work-in-Progress showing)

https://comedy-festival.co.uk/event/mcusical-the-unofficial-marvel-parody-musical-work-in-progress/


Dad’s Army Radio Show

Monday, 17 February 2020 Time: 7:30pm (9:30pm) Doors open: 7:10pm Entry: £12.00 - £15.00

Venue: Harborough Market Hall

Watch as your favourite, classic BBC sitcom (and film!) comes to life with just two actors, two microphones and plenty of sound effects! Be transported back to Walmington as David Benson and Jack Lane work from original radio scripts, vintage music and all of Perry and Croft's beloved characters and catch phrases.

https://comedy-festival.co.uk/event/dads-army-radio-show-harborough-market-hall/


Hats Off To Laurel and Hardy

Saturday, 22 February 2020 Time: 8:00pm (10:00pm) Doors open: 7:40pm Entry: £10.00

Venue: The Guildhall - The Great Hall

The award-winning Lucky Dog bring their internationally renowned biopic about the best-loved comedy duo of all-time back to Leicester Guildhall. Widely regarded as being the most accurate show ever written about The Boys, it is the closest thing you can get to seeing the original pair in action.

https://comedy-festival.co.uk/event/hats-off-to-laurel-and-hardy/


Notflix: The Improvised Musical

Saturday, 22 February 2020 Time: 8:00pm (9:00pm) Doors open: 7:40pm Entry: £12.00

Venue: Curve - Studio - Curve - Studio

Five-star, total sell out show Edinburgh Fringe 2016-2018 and Vaults Festival 2017-2019. Did we mention the cast are making it up as they go along? Did we mention it's a musical? Featuring a live band and original, improvised songs.

https://comedy-festival.co.uk/event/notflix-the-improvised-musical/



By midlandsmovies, Nov 7 2019 12:07PM



20th Anniversary Screening of Wild Wild West at National Space Centre in Leicester


On 22 November enjoy a wiki-wiki-wild-wild-west evening at the National Space Centre. Take part in an early evening NERF shoot out in the galleries, followed by a 20th anniversary screening of Wild Wild West in the UK’s largest Planetarium.


Guests are welcome to bring their own non-powered NERF guns to participate!


The evening culminates in some fun on the Wild West Gaming tables, courtesy of the Ministry of Steampunk.


Boosters café/bar will be serving a selection of hot dogs, nachos, sandwiches, snacks, popcorn, soft and hot drinks, as well as alcoholic beverages from 18:30 on the night.


Tickets cost £10 per adult and £8 per child (12+ only due to the film classification).


Clcik here for info, tickets and details https://spacecentre.co.uk/event/wild-wild-west-20th-anniversary-screening/


Wild Wild West (12+)


If you think special government agent James West is fast with a six-shooter, wait'll he lays a quip on you! Will Smith plays West, reuniting with Men in Black director Barry Sonnenfeld in an effects-loaded, shoot-from-the-lip spectacular.


Kevin Kline plays inventor Artemus Gordon, teamed with West on a daring assignment: stop legless Dr. Arliss Loveless (Kenneth Branagh) and his diabolical plot for a Disunited States of America. Salma Hayek joins the action as mysterious adventuress Rita Escobar.


And all manner of geared-up 1860s gadgets—from belt-buckle derringers to surprise-packed billiard balls to a walking, eight-story, steam-and-steel tarantula—help make Wild Wild West a Wow!


Steampunks in Space


This event kicks off an alternative weekend dedicated to the “history that never was” as Steampunk fans get out their ray guns, strap on their goggles, and jump in their spaceships and head to the National Space Centre for Steampunks in Space, also including the SOLD OUT night of chap hop, science and cheese: Chap Hop and Cheese.


By midlandsmovies, Oct 4 2019 10:25AM



The Leicester Institute for Advanced Studies are hosting an upcoming film and discussion event series called The Talkies.


The Talkies first event is a discussion around Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and is running in collaboration with various academic research projects throughout the University.


The movie stars Lena Headey (Game of Thrones), Douglas Booth (The Dirt) and Matt Smith (Dr Who) and the University will be showing during the Halloween season.


It’s a free screening followed by a discussion panel with Zombie expert Ed Thurlow (organiser of the world's longest running zombie festival), and leading academics in the Austen World, Dr. Gillian Dow (University of Southampton), and Dr. Julian North (University of Leicester).


They will set-the-scene for engaging discussion revolving around society's most thought-provoking issues. This event is hosted by key researcher in Culture and Victorianism, Emma Probett. The initiative is to bring together a diverse audience with a film screening and discussion with a panel of academics and special guests.


Pride and Prejudice and Zombies tells the story of a zombie outbreak which has stirred Austen's classic tale into a contemporary narrative of martial arts, zombie killers and a blood-soaked battlefield of the undead.


This action-packed plot throws Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James) and Mr Darcy (Sam Riley) into a modern realisation of seemingly unkillable social anxieties surrounding class, contagion and migration.


The Leicester Institute for Advanced Studies (LIAS) is an interdisciplinary centre of excellence.


Dedicated to creating a collaborative and inspiring environment, it brings together researchers from across all disciplines to deliver ambitious, transformative, and impactful research.


And for those attending there will be a selection of Halloween-themed refreshments provided and takes place at The University of Leicester Main Campus, Attenborough Tower, Attenborough Theatre, Leicester, LE1 7RD on Tuesday 29th October 2019.


The full timings are:


15:45 Doors open, refreshments offered

16:00 Welcome special guest panellists

16:30-18:20 Screening

18:20-19:00 Panel discussion and audience Q&A



Register here for FREE



By midlandsmovies, Sep 20 2019 08:13AM



Secret Cinema - Casino Royale with no cheese in sight


We get out of the region this month to check out the most famous of themed nights in the UK - the Secret Cinema. With Bond 25 (No Time To Die) soon to be wrapped, the amazingly received Secret Cinema nights - where an audience immerse themselves in a theatrical recreation of a famous film - have moved from Star Wars to Moulin Rouge but now tackle the world famous British Spy.


So our Leicester guest contributor Oli Page headed down to London to experience their latest event. Was he shaken or stirred? Read on to find out...


“Blackthorn… Jackson Blackthorn” I excitedly mumble under my breath. Tickets booked, aliases assumed. I was going to a Secret Cinema event for the first time ever. As an avid lover of film and working with the events industry, this seemed like a match made in heaven and a long time coming.


The opportunity to take part in the Casino Royale experience was one that I was very keen on as I loved the film. Being given my character/alias well in advance helped keep the anticipation strong considering the tickets were purchased months prior. Every so often an email prompts you with a video package, your mission, your backstory and more cynically where to buy officially licensed products.



Upon arrival in the outer London location, I’m led from the meeting point to an industrial site (a common feature for most Secret Cinema events). However, the red carpet that adorns the path to the re-imagined Casino Royale provides a welcome juxtaposition to the rough surrounding.


Listening on avidly to my assigned informant, I’m told of the investigation afoot. Guests are greeted warmly by the host who runs through the rules and engages with the crowd. Suddenly a loud gunshot echoes throughout the atrium and shock, chaos and disruption rules.The sound of a sudden bang in a populated public space might be considered too big a risk in this day and age, however it added to the immersive and atmospheric occasion.



I won’t go into further detail on the content or storyline, but this brings me to my biggest takeaway from the event. You will undoubtedly get the most out of the experience by leaning into the participatory elements; embrace your alias, inhabit your character whilst talking to the actors and immerse yourself in the stunning surroundings. If you give a little, you will gain so much.


The story runs throughout the night with hints and tips presented to you as regular intervals before a sensory explosion of activity. The last set piece finds all guests brought into a recreation of the iconic poker game between Bond and Le Chiffre before a finale sees lights flashing, music swelling and the explosive drama of live theatre.




It is an immense credit to the producers of Secret Cinema how seamlessly they bring about the end of the theatrics into the screening of the film itself. The added bonus to all the excitement is that the live theatre and action doesn’t stop. It continues throughout the film with the actors recreating famous scenes, luxurious Aston Martins gliding through the auditorium and towering flames engulfing the audience’s vision whenever a major explosion occurs.


This is more than a film screening, it is enhanced cinema. It is for fans of course, but knowing the film is really your minimum requirement for enjoyment. Secret Cinema have once again provided a truly superb experience for film lovers and those who attended, like me, will eagerly be awaiting their next offering.


Oli Page


Oli Page is a freelance film programmer and curator from Leicester. He has programmed screenings at Phoenix, New Walk Museum, Leicester Cathedral and various neighbourhood and community centres. He completed an undergraduate degree in Film Studies followed by a postgraduate degree in Cultural Events Management.


By midlandsmovies, Aug 26 2019 06:31AM



If you go down to the Kinema in the Woods today


Ever wanted to see great films in a cinema that’s not the multiplex experience? Well, Lincolnshire’s Kinema in the Woods may well just be the place for you. A long overdue visit, Midlands Movies headed to the rural village of Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire to find out more about their unique film-screening experiences.


Starting life as a sports pavilion from the 19th Century, that original building sat in the grounds of The Victoria Hotel, looking over tennis courts, croquet lawns and gardens. Unfortunately, that was until the hotel burnt down on Easter Sunday 1920.




But in 1922 the pavilion was transformed into a cinema with the first film intended to be shown was to be "The Lion Eaters". Yet the film failed to arrive and a Charlie Chaplin film was shown in its place.


Despite these setbacks, you’ll find no such problems these days with the family-run business playing both the latest blockbuster releases as well as a fine selection of classics from days gone by.





As we arrived, the Kinema is definitely in the woods being surrounded as it is by a dense forest but the quaint lighting gave the building a friendly exterior. Heading inside, the black and white pictures of stars such as David Niven, a chandelier hanging from the ceiling and someone in a literal box office was a great old-style vibe of cinemas from the past.




Once inside the fantastic décor continued with old film posters sitting alongside the latest blockbuster fare (a little unnerving to see classics like King Kong with IT: Chapter 2 next to it) but it all added to the charming feeling.




A glass case full of old cameras, photos and other archive memorabilia was fun to see not just the Kinema’s history but also from around the region. The largest cinema props however were a full-size Dalek from Dr. Who and a sneaky Humphrey Bogart mannequin who was guarding the door to screen 1.




The Kinema is believed to be the only full-time cinema in the UK still using rear projection but even more special is an ornate lacquered red and gold organ played regularly by The Kinema's resident organist, Alan Underwood every Saturday night.


And for us, we sat down on the classic but comfy cinema seats with a huge bag of popcorn and as the traditional ruffled curtain raised up, the bright clear screen finally reminded us that we were here to see a more recent film. The questionable quality of Angel Has Fallen (see our reviews page for our thoughts on that) didn’t dampen our spirits either. As at the intermission break – the organ rose from underneath the stage and we were treated to a fantastic rendition of a number of hits from the movies including some recognisable James Bond themes.




The Kinema caters for all ages and is also available for private hire and birthday screenings too. Their autism-friendly shows offer a relaxed environment to view films and their senior screenings take place on Thursday mornings. Non-seniors can attend to so no worries about missing out on the complimentary hot drink and biscuits!




Not content with this excellent and varied programme of screenings, the Kinema also runs outdoor shows in the beautiful grounds of Jubilee Park. Film fans can bring a chair to sit on and enjoy their favourite flicks in the great outdoors but don’t forget to pack a coat and/or sunglasses depending on the ever-changing Midlands weather.


For further info check out the cinema's website here: https://thekinemainthewoods.co.uk


For full details of what is currently on and how to purchase tickets click here: https://thekinemainthewoods.co.uk/KinemaInTheWoods.dll/WhatsOn


Michael Sales




By midlandsmovies, Jul 12 2019 09:01AM



Midlands Spotlight - Birmingham Indian Festival 2019 a huge success


The 5th anniversary of Birmingham Indian Film Festival opened with Director Anubhav Sinha walking the red carpet at Cineworld, Broad Street for his hard-hitting thriller ‘Article 15’ (out now on global general release) and ended this week with a sold-out screening of Ritesh Batra’s ‘Photograph’ at MAC Birmingham.


The Festival was part of the Bagri London Indian Film Festival which together is the UK and Europe’s largest South Asian Film Festival.


Eleven days of 16 screenings and events took place in five venues across Birmingham and showcased a number of high profile and emerging women film-makers films, Q&A’s with Directors as well as a rarely seen documentary and special screenings of LGBTQ+ shorts attended by a diverse audience.


The Festival’s first Screen Talk took place at The Mockingbird Cinema with India’s leading cult iconic Director Anurag Kashyap.


Other guests at screenings during the festival included investigative journalist and activist, Anand Patwardhan, legendary Bengali director, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Kannada actress Anju Alva Naik and directors Praveen Morchhale and Gaurav Bakshi.


This year’s inaugural BIFF Audience Award went to the charming romance ‘Sir’, directed by Rohena Gera which took the Cannes film festival by storm in 2018. The award, which has been running at the Bagri London Indian Film Festival for 7 years, marks the first time it has been presented to a female director.


Rohena Gera said “I am truly delighted that ‘Sir’ has won the Audience Award in Birmingham. It means a lot to me that the film connects with the audience at the heart of the UK. I am honoured to be their favourite".


The Satyajit Ray Short Film Award went to Rohan Parashuram Kanawade for U Ushacha who was presented with £1000 from the Satyajit Ray Foundation at the closing night of the London festival. Cary Rajinder Sawhney MBE, Executive and Programming Director said “I’m delighted that we have showcased our strongest film selection ever for the 5th anniversary of Birmingham Indian Film Festival, helmed by the Birmingham premiere of politically daring film ‘Article 15’.


Continuing to push boundaries of diversity, I’m pleased that our women protagonist led and LGBTQ+ themes have seen audiences flocking to them, redefining images of Indian and South Asian Culture in the media".


Dharmesh Rajput, Head of Cinema, Birmingham added: “It’s been fantastic to have an increase in diverse audiences attending the festival this year and to have ended on a high with a sold-out screening of Ritesh Batra’s ‘Photograph’ which was well received by the audience. I’m proud that the festival platforms independent South Asian films which wouldn’t necessarily be seen here in the UK and that we’ve been able to interact with directors at Q&As".


The festival could not have gone so well without the help of Birmingham City University and the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce who share the festival’s passion for Asian arts and culture and would also like to extend their thanks to new hotel partner Malmaison Birmingham.


Birmingham Indian Film Festival will be announcing details of further screenings this year and ask audiences to keep in touch by subscribing to the Festival newsletter via their website www.birminghamindianfilmfestival.co.uk




By midlandsmovies, Jul 8 2019 12:00PM



Young filmmaker shorts screened at Leicester drama academy event


On Sunday July 7th Midlands Movies descended upon the King Richard III Centre in Leicester city centre where a unique film festival was underway featuring some of the most talented young filmmakers in the region.


The Pauline Quirke Academy (PQA) is a weekend performing arts Academy providing tuition for children and young people in comedy and drama, musical theatre and film and television.


Set up and endorsed by English actress Pauline Quirke (Birds of a Feather) in 2007, they are located in 105 towns and cities around the UK and focus on the arts. The youngsters attend outside of their normal school hours at weekends which shows the amazing commitment by these up and coming creatives and their families.


The King Richard III Centre opened in 2014 on the site of Greyfriars, the medieval friary in whose church the King was buried. A regal location then for the young people of PQA Leicester to attend a royal-esque red carpet event for them and their families to watch the short films that have been months in the making.



From drama to comedy and sci-fi and horror, the students haven’t just starred in the films but created the stories, had input into the scripts and took control of their productions behind the scenes. Some were directors, cinematographers, sound recordists as well as many more roles which enabled the children to experience a whole variety of skills to help them in their learning.


And so, with 6 planned screenings over the afternoon we spoke to as many of the students as possible to get their unique perspectives on their projects, the filmmaking process and their hopes for the future.


Josh Brambini-Meadows was first up and has been at PQA for 7 years – not bad for someone at just 13 years old! “In my film I play a visually impaired person with a guide dog but the boy is bullied at school. It was hard because you don’t know what it’s like but we used the subject “heroes” to develop our story about guide dogs who do all these good things. I’m a big fan of action films and I’d really like to develop my acting in future at PQA”.


Carmen Lee-Bennet echoed Josh and was in the film ‘Perfect’. “I play the lead’s best friend Emily and my friend at PQA Molly wrote it. I prefer to act and am looking forward to doing the PQA pantomime at Christmas. I can’t wait to see the film tonight”.



Amira Chawla-Sampey stars in ‘Freeze’ and as one of the newer members says, “I haven’t been on the big screen so am excited. I started in January and I really enjoy PQA”. Similarly Jasmine Lee-Bennett (9) adds “This is my first film and PQA has made me more confident” and friend Charlene Baariu (10) continued, “I’m looking forward to seeing my film tonight and it’s the first one I’ve ever made!”


Sophie Swaby describes how she got involved with the technical elements: “I play a student in Freeze and also did sound recording behind the camera. They’re both really fun things to do”. Isabella King said, “I’m in Legends which is about a sleepover party and then there are creepy dolls and explore a scary house. When I first joined I thought I would quit but I really like it because I met lots of new friends”.




Alex Gupta told us, “I am in Glitch which is about a boy who goes into a video game so it’s an action story with zombies. We filmed in the woods so there was a lot of scraping on brambles! We get lots of opportunities at PQA - this time I was director – and that’s what I want to do in future”.


Student Fran Mee explained how PQA supports her goals: “PQA is really fun and lots of opportunities to star in films. I’m in Safe with Me and did some sound recording. I want to be a singer and actor and the PQA staff are very supportive and they believe in you. It’s really amazing”.


And young Patrick Lambert-Connolly has his sights set on shepherding a crew again in the future: “I’m the director of Safe With Me and I enjoyed using the camera. The hardest thing about being a director is patience. I like all the opportunities you get with PQA – to perform in West End, be in films and lots more!”


“I was the director of photography which I like more than acting. I love making a film from scratch with my good friends” said Leo Denton (11) whilst Alexa Skidmore enjoyed the zombie make-up “with lots of fake blood and white face paint. I like these projects as we can create whatever we want”.


Senior student James King (17) came at his project with a lot experience which he was more than happy to pass on: “My 6 years at PQA has been great. I act in Detention and helped with a bit of scriptwriting. I enjoy seeing myself on the big screen and as an older student I try to help the younger people”.



His sister Courtney King (15) “I’ve been at PQA 8 years and it’s a really friendly working environment and like a second family to be honest” and their sibling Olivia King added that she too enjoys working with others “I have all my best friends at PQA and it’s a really nice atmosphere. Although one time my face was stained yellow from make-up and it got all over my food later”, she adds, already experienced in the world of production problems.


Friends Madison Brace, Elodie Dakin, Daya Chahal love the freedom they get at the academy: “We helped behind-the-scenes and in front of the camera. We enjoy comedy and drama and you get to use your imagination at PQA and you make great memories”.


Siblings Oliver (13) & Sienna Ross (7) said, “We like getting together with like-mind people and have a really good time on projects”. And it’s not only the students enjoying the PQA experience. Parent Melanie King can’t sing the praises of the academy enough. “When we first looked at what PQA could offer my daughter, I thought it looked an amazing place. She has always been very creative and the classes have helped focus her skills. I was so proud to see her on the West End stage last year and PQA brings out confidence in children and helps them progress”.






Zoe, Andrea, Shanice Nyandoro “We’re in Freeze and A Part of Me. We love dancing and singing and it’s great PQA include everyone when they make the films”.


Taiven Allen “I directed The Intruder about a boy who wakes up to find a clone in his bedroom. This is my first film and I like expressing feelings as different characters but also enjoy the technical side. I’m influenced by Bradley Cooper who moved from acting to directing and we did a little improvising on set which was fun”.


Megan & Amelia Jackson “It was very physical on set, we did a few takes of a slapping scene! But also people don’t see how many people are working behind the projects and during the filming you get to know people more”.




Caitlin Spencer (13) said, “I’m the lead in short film Perfect which is about being anxious at school and not fitting in. I prefer acting and found the project a great place to discuss our ideas and PQA allows you to experience things you wouldn’t normally be able to”.


Finally James Bremner (14) shares his positive experiences with fellow students: “I play a scientist who sorts out a glitching robot clone. It was nice to find out how the process takes place on a film set and gives you an insight into how bigger movies are created. My dream is to be an actor and I love my friends there as we’re all so passionate about the same things”.


And so we moved on to the screening and each film was fantastically received by full-capacity audiences. With support from PQA associates Emmeline Hartley, Alex Stroud, Tommy Draper and event management (and occasional acting) by PQA Principal Karen Stevens, it was a hugely successful and entertaining day. I cannot wait to see further projects from these talents as it is them who will be the next generation of filmmakers from the region – and I highly recommend you check out the films when they hit the festival circuit from Summer.


Michael Sales






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