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By midlandsmovies, Nov 26 2017 09:16PM



Grindhouse Planet Film Festival 2017


Still a young pretender on the Midlands circuit, the Grindhouse Planet Film Festival may have started small but has grown into a successful alternative to the mainstream regional showcases with its focus on the bloody and gruesome. Midlands Movies Mike heads to the home of horror for the second time for another dose of sleazy celluloid.


Now in its second year, the festival ran on 26th November with over 50 films being chosen to screen at Leicester city’s The Shed venue. With a cosy and friendly atmosphere the films comprised shorts and features from the local to the international whilst all the while maintaining its grass roots grime.


With a 48-hour film challenge and a question and answer session from filmmaker Steve Lawson, the event had a varying array of talented filmmakers and fans eager to see the nasty gems on offer.




The festival was spread over 10 hours and included such fan favourites as West Midlands zombie comedy Still, web-series sci-fi shocker The Rockman and dark drama All Bad Things.


Blood, guts, nudity, violence and laughs were all covered across the films and although Quentin Tarantino drew attention to the genre with his 2007 homage to the 70s double-features of his youth, it was great to see local filmmakers show their love for the exploitation movie tropes of the past as well.




Around the halfway mark, The Shed held host to a Q & A with Leicester filmmaker Steve Lawson of Creativ Studios. Having recently completed Hellriser (our coverage here) and a co-directing stint on short Time, and Again (review) the writer-director was happy to share his current experience with the passionate audience.


“Jumping from making my first film to working with distribution companies I realised very quickly you have to compromise a lot and change a lot of things but you cannot make films without producers”, explained Steve.


“After doing the low-budget Essex Heist which wasn’t a mega-seller but was distributed into Asda and other major retailers, other companies began taking my calls,” he joked. He went on to say: “My new film though is for Hereford Films (We Still Kill the Old Way) who are based in London. It’s a serious horror slightly away from the grindhouse style”.


Steve is a firm believer in filming efficiently which he says zero-budget filmmakers should have an understanding of - as whether you are making a £10,000 film or a £10 million film, filmmakers should prioritise the important business side of things. And with his career in full swing Steve gave some exclusive nuggets about his upcoming film.


“This new movie stars Shane Taylor from Band of Brothers as the lead and support comes from Rula Lenska who hasn’t made a film since Queen Kong. Actually I don’t know what I’m doing here as I start tomorrow at 9am and should be prepping!”




As well as Steve, we heard from Kelly McCormack who is heavily involved in the film-making scene in Leicester and beyond, and was down at The Shed supporting The Rockman (as associate producer) as well as Christmas based short The N0ughty List as a make-up artist.


“How did I jump from one to the other?” asks Kelly. “Well, they needed someone to put lots of fake blood on Santa and I had lots of fake blood”. Encapsulating the grindhouse spirit and community, Kelly feels the support from fans and filmmakers often help get these zero-budget films off the ground.


“I’ve been here most of the day and loved Charismata but the 48 hour film challenge was so good to watch to see what local people can do in a short time. Once you get a team that’s fully on board you know that it’s going to go mostly right with these mini-projects. Regarding the festival itself I was here last year but The Shed has had a refurbishment and the filmmaking community has had an even better atmosphere over the last 12 months so it’s made this year even more special”.


She adds that the spirit of genre film fans helps inspire others too. “There’s also a lot of networking going on and this is the type of festival where you can see people achieve whatever they set out to do. And we shouldn’t forget that big thanks should go to the organiser Marc Hamill as it’s been a really great day".


Another attendee was actor, filmmaker and grindhouse fan Ryan Flamson who starred as the main character for one of the entrants in the 48 hour film challenge.


“Well I starred as Coke-head the Clown [laughs] and it was a lot of fun and the short got a great crowd reaction. The turnout has been really good and the local talent is far better than people realise”.


Ryan adds, “People don’t always get the opportunity to showcase these types of films but Grindhouse Planet helps this and the quality of production is getting better and better. Especially with the budget limitations we all have”.


“Another thing is that people can come here to learn", says Ryan. "Steve Lawson gave a great Q & A about distribution and you can hear lots of feedback and get involved in networking too. I really loved The Killer Must Kill At Christmas from the 48-hour film challenge so recommend people go check that out”.


Check Ryan's recommendation below




With another successful year completed, the fans of saws, gore and more once again demonstrated their appreciation of all the talent on show and were buzzing to hear more about a third festival in 2018. Lets hope Marc and the team can grind out another successful full house of fright flicks next year. I'm almost certain he will.


Check out the official website here: http://www.grindhouseplanet.com


Check out The N0ughty List which is being shown before our own Batman Returns Christmas screening at Firebug in Leicester https://www.facebook.com/events/349772655487985/



By midlandsmovies, Sep 9 2017 07:48AM

BIRMINGHAM ON FILM II

9 - 17 SEPTEMBER 2017

 


Birmingham on Film returns this week with a celebration of the city’s waterways.

 

Last year Flatpack: Assemble launched a month-long season of Birmingham-related archive film, screening the best (and worst) films made in and about the city. Birmingham on Film II takes place from 9-17 September, with a focus on Birmingham’s 35 miles of canals.

 

Expect retro kids TV, Cliff Richard, Midlands alien sightings and everyone’s favourite disc jockey Alan Partridge….




STARMAN

Saturday 9 September, 7.45-10.00pm, Stirchley Baths, FREE

The John Carpenter classic, Starman (cert: PG) stars Jeff Bridges as an alien visitor to Earth who is knocked off course and must take an interstate road trip to rendezvous with a mothership from his home planet. 

 



DIY DRIVE IN CINEMA

Saturday 16 September, 2.00-4.30pm, Rum Runner Yard, Regency Wharf, £3

The chance to build your own mini-car out of scrap material and then park up for some Birmingham-based kids TV including Brum and Tiswas.

 

TAKE ME HIGH

Saturday 16 September, 6.00-7.30pm, Gas Street Basin, £10

Take Me High stars Cliff Richard as a self-absorbed banker who moves to Birmingham, buys himself a narrowboat and invents the Brumburger. This neglected musical oddity aboard a canal boat and a Brumburger is included in the ticket price. 

 

WATERWAY TO HAVE A GOOD TIME

Saturday 16 September, 4.30-5.30pm, Rum Runner Yard, Regency Wharf, FREE

Sunday 17 September, 2.00-3.00pm, Rum Runner Yard, Regency Wharf, FREE

A selection of canal related archive shorts curated by the Media Archive for Central England followed by a special screening of I’m Alan Partridge.



MADE IN BRUM

Sunday 17 September, 12.00-5.00pm, Gas Street Basin, FREE

Hop aboard the floating cinema and catch a wonderful selection of family-friendly shorts made in Brum.

 

COLOUR BOX SHORTS: NATURE’S TALES

Sunday 17 September, 12.00-2.00pm, Rum Runner Yard, Regency Wharf, FREE

An assortment of Flatpack family favourites from our Colour Box short film programme.

 

THE BARGEE

Sunday 17 September, 3.30-5.00pm, Rum Runner Yard, Regency Wharf, FREE

Harry H Corbett – better known as Steptoe the younger – is a bargee who ferries boats and goods up and down the Grand Union canal, wooing various women while his mate Ronnie Barker keeps an eye on the tiller.


Birmingham on Film II is part of Birmingham Heritage Week, which runs from 7-17 September.


For ticket information go to http://flatpackfestival.org.uk/2017/08/birmingham-on-film-2/


By midlandsmovies, Jun 19 2017 01:43PM



Europe's Largest Indian Film Festival returns to Birmingham this month with 11 independent films, 2 music documentaries and a host of talent over 10 days in 3 cinemas.


The Bagri Foundation Birmingham Indian Film Festival (BIFF) returns to the city this summer in partnership with the citywide USTAV celebration of South Asian culture. Sister to the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival, (LIFF) it is regarded as Europe’s largest Indian film festival and will run from Friday 23 June until Sunday 2 July 2017.


The festival opens on Friday 23 June at Cineworld Birmingham, Broad Street with a glittering red-carpet Birmingham premiere of the historical epic, The Black Prince by Kavi Raz, a powerful UK-produced film launched at Cannes. It stars Punjabi singer Satinder Sartaaj, who will be guest of honour on the opening night, iconic actress Shabana Azmi (The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Fire), Jason Flemyng (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, X-Men:First Class) and Amanda Root (Jane Eyre). The film dramatises the true but little-known story of the last King of Punjab who was abducted by the British Raj to be mentored by Queen Victoria.


Back into the 21st Century for the closing night, on 2 July, mac Birmingham will screen the surreal Malayalam road-movie thriller Sexy Durga directed by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan. Winner of the prestigious Tiger Award for best film at Rotterdam International Film Festival Sexy Durga set in Kerala tells the tale of a hitch-hiking couple who try to escape a road to hell after accidentally getting into a car of deranged gangsters.



The acclaimed festival features new and exciting cinema featuring cutting edge films that reaffirm the festival’s position as the ‘punk-rock of Indian cinema’ and is an edgy tie-in, to UK-India Year of Culture and complementing the BFI’s India on Film programme,


Further screenings include the regional premieres of Tamil comedy, Ticket - The Movie (Raaghav Ranganthan, 2017), anarchic Bollywood comedy Badman (Soumik Sen, 2017) and N Padmakumar's inspirational Mumbai drama A Billion Colour Story (2016). The festival experiments for the first time with horror with the disturbing Hide and Seek (Vishal Furia, 2016), plus the Regional Premiere of Pakistani gangster thriller, Whirlpool (Harune Massey 2017).


The Bagri Foundation Birmingham Indian Film Festival will also host an exclusive ‘In Conversation With’ including Bollywood Director, Ashutosh Gowariker who directed Bollywood superstar, Aamir Khan in the Oscar nominated Lagaan: Once Upon A Time in India (2001) and the epic historical romance Jodhaa Akbar (2008) starring former Miss World, Aishwarya Rai.


Cary Rajinder Sawhney, LIFF & BIFF Director, says: “We are delighted to bring Birmingham audiences a carefully curated selection of the very best new Indian and South Asian independent cinema; all films are English subtitled, offering a rare window into over a billion South Asian lives. This year's selection includes premieres of new comedies, gripping thrillers, shocking horror and insightful true-life documentaries as well as bringing together UK previews of major award-winning films from the world's greatest film festivals."



New venue partners for this evolving festival continue to help it serve a broader diverse audience and this year the festival is delighted to welcome The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen, based at the Custard Factory in Digbeth. The festival’s long-term venues include Cineworld Birmingham Broad Street and mac Birmingham.


The films screened are in a wide range of South Asian languages to reflect the linguistic diversity of Birmingham’s Indian and South Asian communities and all films are subtitled in English.


Check out the event's official websites to purchase tickets and find out even more information about this exciting Midlands event: www.birminghamindianfilmfestival.co.uk




By midlandsmovies, Mar 29 2017 02:55PM



Film Festival Hints and Tips


Okay, so you have a short film that you have made. Congratulations!!! This is a huge step that you have taken. You are either incredibly excited or completely exhausted. Probably a little of both! So what do you do now?


You have a film that you are incredibly proud of and you want to get it out there to be seen by your peers as well as by industry people. Hopefully this will lead to more work. I have 4 films that have gone to film festivals…so let me tell you how I did it. Maybe you can get an idea of what the process will be.


What Festival Do I Submit To?


I think that this is where most young filmmakers make their first mistake. They submit their films to Sundance, and Toronto and Cannes and Berlin…All the major festivals. Now this is great, but odds are that this will be a waste of money. First, you need to determine who your audience is. Is your film a horror film? Is it a family drama? Is it a documentary? I only ask you this because it is a waste of your entrance fee if you submit a family drama to a horror festival. And vice-versa. Once you get a firm idea of your audience, then you will have narrowed your niche of festivals to submit to.

What Platform Do I Use?


There are 2 widely used submission platforms that you can use. I started out using Withoutabox.com for my submissions, but then moved to Film Freeway. Here are several of the main differences.


A. Fees are cheaper. WAB has 3-4 fees to use their submission platform and Film Freeway has only 1.


B. Film Freeway allows you to submit a link with your submission. This is vital because your film should be seen in high quality mode, and WAB has a very poor system in which to view your film. Unless you make a copy and send it thru the mail.


C. WAB has more places to submit to, but Film Freeway is improving daily.


D. If you are a student, there are many festivals on Film Freeway that allow you to submit for free.


E. Film Freeway allows you to search by genre. My latest film is a horror film. I found over 100 festivals that were specific to horror. I then was able to submit specifically to them, which upped my odds of success.


Time Moves Slowly Here


This can be very nerve-wracking if you are in a hurry for some response. You Must Be Patient! I submitted my film to 92 film festivals back in July 2015, and about 30% still have not responded. This is probably due to the fact that the festivals themselves are still out in the future. But what I’m trying to say here is this: Stay calm and be patient.


Do I Attend?


This is a very individual question that only you can answer. Do you have the finances to travel to the festival? If you do, that’s great. Choose your festivals wisely. Go to festivals where there will be industry people attending and other filmmakers. This is a time to meet as many of your peers as possible. Make it count.


In conclusion, getting into a film festival is very exciting. It shows that someone has actually enjoyed your film and wants to share it with others in their festival. This is a good thing. Be happy and be grateful. There are literally thousands of submissions every year to every festival. You got in. Try and make the most of it.


John Montana


John Montana is a guest writer and filmmaker for No Title Production Films from the USA






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:

http://www.festivalfocus.org/festival

http://film.britishcouncil.org/festivals-directory/festivals-map

http://www.thefilmfestivaldoctor.co.uk

By midlandsmovies, Nov 15 2016 05:58PM




For the third year in a row we take a look at Leicester Comedy Festival and give our recommendations for some of the best film and movie-related shows that are occurring during 8th – 26th February 2017.


For all info on tickets and more check the events at the official festival website: http://comedy-festival.co.uk/events/


Midlands Movies Presents: Spinal Tap screening with live band

15th February

Firebug

First up is our own movie screening at Firebug on February 15th where we plan not only to show the fantastic rock-mockumentary from 1984 we are going to have a live band playing some of the hits from the infamous comedy film. From “Stonehenge” to “Big Bottom”, a band will accompany the movie alongside our usual themed fun with popcorn, food and costumes inspired by the film. Entry is FREE with a suggested donation.

www.midlandsmovies.com


CineMadness: Comedy Shorts

8th & 16th Feb

Firebug

If you're fond of the twin disciplines of 'laughing' and 'watching images on a screen' , then this is the show for you! Join FlipYou for a night of short comedy films and sketches from talented home-grown film-makers. With popcorn and pints you can sit back and enjoy our CineMadness! Free goody bags for all. (Advance ticket purchasers score amazing super goody bags!) Cert: 18

https://www.facebook.com/Cinemadness/


Comedians Cinema Club (split screen)

24th February

The Criterion

Comedians Cinema Club is a sure-fire blockbuster hit with laughs and movies which are nothing like the originals. Touted as one of the best audience participation comedy shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (The Guardian, 2014); this mixes the comedic with the cinematic for an engaging experience.

http://www.comedianscinemaclub.com


The Just Us League Presents Marveled

13th February

The Exchange Bar

Gary Tro and Javier Jarquin attempt to perform as many of the characters of superhero films as possible in chaotic hour long show.

http://www.garytro.co.uk/


Aidan Goatley: 10 Films with My Dad

17th February

The Regent Sports and Social Club

For Aidan and his dad, they communicated via films and he takes you on their journey from John Wayne to 3D to show how 2 men grew up with the help of popcorn and Hollywood. This Edinburgh Fringe Show was described as “charmingly funny” by The Scotsman.

http://www.aidangoatley.com/10-films-with-my-dad.php


Commentary

9th February

The Phoenix

This show returns to the Comedy Festival with media-mashing entertainment. Watch, listen and prepare yourself as live comedians, poets, musicians and more interact with films and animations before your very eyes. Re-scripting, re-scoring, re-invented cinema. #WhatAreYouWatching?

https://twitter.com/CommentaryShow


An Hour with Woody Allen(ish)

9th February

Grays at LCB Depot

Simon Schatzberger plays Woody Allen performing his classic 1960s classic stand-up comedy routines fresh from sell out shows in London and Edinburgh over 2015 and 2016.

http://www.woodyallenish.com/Welcome.html


The Elvis Dead

12th February

The Soundhouse

In this show the cult classic Evil Dead 2 is interpreted through the songs of Elvis so what more could you possibly need to know? 2016 Comedy Fest Best Debut Nominee Rob Kemp returns with something a lot different. With changes from last year’s show this new production promises to be different but still very ‘deathly’ fun.


Hats off to Laurel and Hardy

17th February

Leicester Guildhall

This award-winning production is from Guildford based theatre company Lucky Dog Theatre Productions and has been on tour since 2013 in the UK, Berlin, Prague and Los Angeles. The show portrays and accurate and moving portrayal of the comedy film duo which experts say is the closest impersonations they have ever seen.

http://www.luckydogtheatreproductions.com/shows.html


By midlandsmovies, Oct 29 2016 09:05AM

Midlands Movies editor Mike Sales finds out more about the exciting Beeston Film Festival which heads into its third year of attracting the latest short films from around the globe.


The festival builds slowly each year but has become an essential festival date in the calendar for up and coming Mildands filmmakers in its home in Nottinghamshire.


The Beeston Film Festival is now a regular annual event and as the organisers still feed off the success of the highly praised 2016 awards earlier this year, they have not rested at all in their goal to bring a bigger and better event to the region in 2017.


Running from the 9th to the 12th March 2017, the festival has some fantastic new plans for their event in Spring next year. Firstly, the festival has introduced a new Three Counties category. This particular set up will allow dedicated filmmakers from Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire to showcase their work specifically.


The films can be of any genre and this category is also split into two distinct sections for longer films (up to 15 minutes) and an award for shorts (up to 5 minutes).




Secondly, although the Beeston Film Destival offers up the magnificent B’Oscar for award winners, this year the organisers are offering a range of prize money for winners in their competition too. This brilliant announcement will help filmmakers from the Midlands - especially given the struggles of small independent production companies in securing funding for their projects.


The organisers have teamed up with the Matthew Martino Benevolent Fund (MMBF) which is a Nottingham based international charity that aims to support a whole generation of filmmakers, actors and creatives. Through varied schemes they attempt to raise raising as well as educate educating young people within the arts.


The MMBF are planning to award two financial prizes for the Three Counties category with the ‘Long’ entrants standing a chance of winning a £150 prize, professional mentoring, plus the physical award and other perks. In addition, the shorts section winner will see a £50 prize and a physical award.


Simon Phetter, Business Development Manager, MMBF Trust explains the background to this new partnership. "We are supporting the Three Counties Competition because we are Nottingham based firstly and we love encouraging local talent through such demographic driven competitions as they allow greater impact."


And it doesn’t stop there. For the very first time the festival will now be over multiple venues with The University of Nottingham’s Filmmaking Society hosting the opening night in their Student Union building. This will feature the Three Counties programme whilst the remainder of the festival will take place at The White Lion Bar and Kitchen as tradition from the festival’s earlier years.


The organisers hope one more perk will encourage filmakkers to submit and enjoy the festival by making their entry fee double up as their admission to the whole On-Line Festival too. Filmmakers will be able to watch the competition in their category of submission and enjoy the talent in all the others. The On-Line Festival presents films that are accepted into ALL the festival’s categories. This includes drama, comedy, horror, documentary, animation and the local Three Counties competition. The On-Line Festival will be available for 3 weeks after the festival in Beeston.


Further prizes will be awarded for Best Director, Best Script, Best Cinematography, Best Acting Performance, Best Soundtrack & Sound Design and an Audience award.


Phew! With a great new set of plans plus the expertise built up since the festival's launch, the 2017 Beeston Film Festival is definitely a date not to be missed.


For further information please visit their official festival site at http://festival.beestonfilm.com


Midlands Movies Mike

By midlandsmovies, Aug 28 2016 10:13AM

(for part 1 of this blog please click here)


After some quick refreshments and brief chat about the films from the first half, the second part of The Short Cinema kicked off with Saiyan Armour directed by Daryl Grizzle. This strange but amusing film was set on a council estate where three youths discuss their summer break. Amongst all the “bruvs” and teen bravado the film actually showcases one of them attempting to convince his friends that he spent his holidays on Planet Vegeta (a Dragonball Z reference). Confused? Well it brilliantly subverts expectations ending on a t-shirt reveal that is as surprising as it was satisfying. A curious but comical gem.

http://www.festivalfocus.org/film/135680/saiyan-armour/


Sophie Black’s impressive Night Owls was previously reviewed by us a few months ago but this rewatch confirmed all our admiration for the film from the first viewing. A subtle drama shot in Victorian browns, the short covers a drama set on one wet night as two opposites are attracted in strange circumstances as characters bond over loneliness and being outsiders.

http://www.midlandsmovies.com/blog/4558436876/Midlands-Feature-Review---Night-Owls/10401665


Keeping Shop directed by Raj Pathak was another film set in a late night shop and showed the conflicted relationship between a father and son during a botched (and often comedic) robbery. This failed hold-up opens old and unresolved family wounds and the film’s good gags sit with a sad undercurrent that were both balanced well.

https://vimeo.com/160152894


Transcended was shown before our Star Wars screening and the sci-fi short shows a human being infected and becoming a dangerous ‘bomb’ in a remote setting. Great cinematography by director Christopher Bevan, the film combines horror and drama which sit together well. Alongside this is a remarkable cast comprising of A.J Stevenson (Cal), Michael Muyunda (Alix) and Julia Quayle (Bren).

http://www.christopher-bevan.com/transcended/


Rajnish Sharma directed dark apocalyptic drama Ascension showing the struggle of a solitary man surviving in a bunker from scary and unknown aggressors. The ambiguous tone and nervy camera work helped create a sense of unease along with the protagonist which lifted the film above some of the clichés of a crackling radio voiceover and disturbed loner.

https://www.facebook.com/Short-Film-Ascension-168693876866878/


Congratulations must go to Best of Festival winner Dolls by Leicester filmmaker Keith Allott. We reviewed the film earlier in the year and the film’s discomforting atmosphere was a joy to experience again. The effective horror short used creepy toys and great sound (from Kris Tearse) to deliver possibly the moment of the night. Having seen it before I knew the use of a shocking jump cut would have the crowd screaming and it delivered in spectacular fashion as the scary jolt was broken with an embarrassed audience getting their breath back.

http://www.midlandsmovies.com/blog/4558436876/Feature-Review---Dolls/10637057


The penultimate film was James Hissett’s Art Film #1: The Struggle. With a title like that it was only going to go one way in the funniest film of the night. Parodying every awful arthouse/student film cliché the film was shot appropriately in black and white with all the pretentiousness you would expect. Hilarious scenes included a montage of sequences shot in reverse as well a stop-motion chair on a lonely factory floor. These were brilliantly undermined by a comedy voiceover from the fictional filmmaker who struggles to get out of bed, watches Buffy the Vampire Slayer and discusses his favourite cereal - the true callings of a 'conflicted' artist.

http://www.jameshissett.co.uk


There were signs of incredibly happy faces at the show’s conclusion as On the Fence by Thaxnay Kapdee arrived in the form of a gloriously animated Pixar-esque short. This sweet CGI cartoon followed a love-struck boy’s attempts in wooing a girl from over the fence using kites. A radiant idea well-executed, this lovely film had exceptional warmth from a gifted animator with shining talent.

https://vimeo.com/tweenandkey




And with that, the festival ended on such a high there was nothing but congratulations and well-wishes to be shared by the audience and filmmakers alike. A spectacular event encapsulating not just the talent from the region but the encouragement, cooperation and support the film-making community in the area gives each other. Special thanks should go to the festival’s organiser Alexzandra Jackson who again has created the festival highlight of the year for Leicester and long may it continue for another 10 years.


http://www.theshortcinema.co.uk


Midlands Movies Mike

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