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By midlandsmovies, Jul 20 2019 03:24PM



Midlands Spotlight - Lucky


Lucky is the new forthcoming film from award-winning writer/ director David L Knight and is his first project since returning to film production.


Unlike his previous films Suicide Blonde and Rachel, Lucky is a romantic drama set in a unique world all of its own, full of quirky colours and possibilities as it tells the story of Lucy and Mark who have never believed in true love.


However, the film hopes to show that with a little luck somebody is about to teach these two strangers that destiny has other plans.


With Lucky, David and his team wanted to create a story that was a little different to a lot of films that are currently being watched on the festival circuit. More light-hearted in tone he hopes the film leaves the audience with a wonderful sense of optimism, while also delivering on the drama.


As with his previous films not giving the story focus to one single character, David has assembled an amazing cast from across the UK, including Chelsea Grace, Luke Maskell and Stoke based actor/ filmmaker Craig Ostrouchow.


Creating further collaborative partnerships with fellow Midlands-based filmmakers, David has brought on established production designer Chloe Brown to help create Lucky’s world.


While he also continues his collaboration with director of photography Martin Tucker and other returning crew Janine Bevan and Tim Vickerstaff.


Lucky is currently running a crowd funding campaign to raise funds for its production (click here) and check below their promotional video:




By midlandsmovies, Jul 15 2018 08:06AM



Movie makers shine bright at Leicester charity film gala


Saturday 14th July saw a fantastic evening of films, fun and fundraising as Rajnish Sharma Films and Whatsername Productions presented a collection of some of the newest short films and local filmmakers at the Leicester Short Film Gala.


With red carpet glamour, all proceeds from the night would be donated to Leicester’s YMCA charity. The gala was hosted at their Y theatre which is the oldest and only surviving Victorian theatre in the city and the evening began with a reminder of the great work they do to help with homelessness in the area.


As well as the money raised tonight, they are currently running a Challenge 135 campaign where they are asking 135 local businesses to donate £135 in honour of their 135 year-old anniversary. (Find out more about this great cause on their site by clicking here).


However, the full film showcase quickly began and was hosted by Dean Presto. He stirringly introduced a night of five separate films which was followed by question and answer sessions after the screenings to discuss the productions with each of the films’ directors.





First up was Fabletown that was a black and white drama with a hint of fairy tale lore about it. With a Sin City-esque monochrome palette populated by flashes of bright colour, it mixed a dark film noir aesthetic with fantasy influences. With hints to the big bad wolf and Little Red Riding Hood via Dorothy’s adventures in Oz, the mix of light and dark was a great tonal choice and set the mood for the rest of the night.




Up next was Rajnish Sharma’s Ascension which we have covered on Midlands Movies in the past. This post-apocalyptic thriller shows a barricaded man who is haunted by past demons as he tries to save himself from a dangerous world outside.


Covering themes of selfishness, regret and survival the director explained the difficulties of filming with a low budget during his interview segment. But he also highly praised the hard work and passion of local film crews to get such fantastic projects finished at all.




Following this was comedy sketch Parenthood from Flip You Productions. We had also come across Parenthood before at The Short Cinema screening in 2016.


This story about the joys of taking your child to the park twisted a simple tale into something much darker and the audience responded to its short 2-minute runtime with howls of laughter. With a great atmosphere and appreciative crowd we headed into the interval on an entertaining high with people anxious for the final two films coming up.


At the break, the filmmakers and fans were encouraged to network and fellow organisers Kelly McCormack and Charlotte Roper showed no signs of nervousness given the strong audience reactions to the show’s first half.



Midlands Movies Mike, Charlotte Roper and Rajnish Sharma
Midlands Movies Mike, Charlotte Roper and Rajnish Sharma

After buying tickets to the event’s charity raffle and wetting our whistles, we returned to the auditorium and took our seats ready for the second half which started with dramatic mood-piece Thursday.




The longest of the evening, Thursday is from Leicester’s GM Finney Productions who won Best Special Effects for their film The Rockman at this year’s Midlands Movies Awards. Switching from their sci-fi success to a more sombre drama, the film told the story of a young woman who, after suffering a personal loss, finds herself in a life or death situation in order to keep her family legacy alive.


With an orchestral score, flashes of violence and some terrific performances, Thursday’s director Glenn McAllen-Finney described how the shooting was surprisingly easy. This was despite the frustrations of difficult weather and the ‘less-than-regular’ route to gain a suitable location for the film’s hostage sequences.




Last but certainly not least was Eve from Rajnish Sharma Films, a dark psychological horror showing a young woman getting ready for a night out to meet friends. Starring the talented Leicester actress Eve Harding, her character finds herself excitedly preparing for her evening, only to be caught in a metaphorical loop that is frustrating and frightening in equal measure.




With huge rounds of applause the screenings ended with all the filmmakers given credit for their hard work and the night properly concluded with the draw of the charity raffle. With exciting prizes to be won including tickets to Leicester’s well known The Short Cinema event coming up in August – and our very own Midlands Movies Mystery Box (!) – the night was a fantastic success for all those involved.




An evening of laughs and thought-provoking shorts, the night showcased not only some tremendously creative films but proudly demonstrated the strong film community prevalent in my home town. With strong support from cast and crews across all the productions, Leicester’s low-budget filmmakers showed a great level of cooperation and it was encouraging to witness an audience with an appetite for independent shorts.


Finally, with a good cause at its heart and a whole host of shared enthusiasm between the organisers and attendees, the adoring film fans meant that the Short Film Gala was a huge success from start to finish.


Midlands Movies Mike


Please check out more about the films on the links in the article




Midlands Movies Mike and Kelly McCormack
Midlands Movies Mike and Kelly McCormack

By midlandsmovies, Jun 14 2018 12:58PM



New film You Are My Sunshine, which will be filmed and produced in and around the Midlands this summer, is launching a new crowd-funding campaign for their upcoming LGBTQ drama.


Written and directed by award winning filmmaker Dave Hastings, and produced by award winners Troy Dennison and Kaush Patel, You Are My Sunshine promises to be a heartfelt look at two extraordinary lives wanting nothing more than to be together against hostility and prejudice.


Set across two decades, Sunshine tells the story of Tom and Joe, who first meet in the 1970s, a time when homosexuality is still deemed immoral and wrong. As the two youngsters try and navigate their way through an uncompromising time in history, their modern day counterparts also have to deal with the repercussions of their early lives when events take a turn and families collide once more.


Looking for help to tell their stories, their filmmakers’ campaign launches with an aim to raise funding for locations, make up effects, transport as well as other considerations such as food and insurance.


Much of the cast have already been secured including Steve Salt who will be playing the younger version of Tom, while Jack Knight will be the younger version of Joe, Martin’s son. Both are from the Midlands and studying drama in London and they are joined by Charlie Clarke, Charles O’Neill and Rosemary Manjunath.


Director Dave Hastings comments, "This is an important story to tell now more than ever. Especially when we are again seeing a rise in homophobic crimes around the world, which in itself is sickening. Sunshine shows that while in the face of tough adversity, whatever your sexual preference, there is never anything wrong with falling in love with someone of the same gender”.


Producer Troy Dennison elaborates; "while the film presents hope, it never shies away from showing the ugly side of these discussions, with the script showing how in the 1970s, even when we had the first Pride in the UK, attitudes were still very difficult, and were strong enough to rip whole families apart, an event that could take decades to heal, while in other cases, not even being repaired at all, leaving some members of the LGBTQ community vulnerable and separated by their families forever".


The filmmakers first feature collaboration was Checking In” (see MM review here) which told five stories all set over the course of a 24hr day in a hotel. The film was screened in London, was featured on BBC Midlands News, and eventually went on to WIN BEST BRITISH FILM at the 2014 London Film Awards. The film was made on a budget of £2,000.


And their Hammer horror inspired second film entitled The House of Screaming Death won Best Feature at the 2018 Midlands Movie Awards.


“We are very passionate about filmmaking and doing the absolute best we can with what limited resources we have. But we believe this just makes us more creative on set and how we develop not only ourselves but the movies we make”.


To make a pledge please check out the Indiegogo Campaign by clicking here


For more info please head over to their official website: www.lightbeamproductions.co.uk



By midlandsmovies, May 31 2018 06:33AM



Midlands Spotlight - Ambitious short seeks support with new campaign


A group of Leicester based filmmakers have begun their crowdfunding campaign to finance their highly ambitious short film, being produced in partnership with Creative Media Skills (CMS) at Pinewood Studios.


The Nail That Sticks Out tells the story of Aiko, a controversial Japanese artist living in the UK, who is struggling to complete her latest collection. Her muse and girlfriend, Elisabeth, faces her own pressures dealing with her fledgling acting career. The journey to Aiko’s final masterpiece takes in passion, lust, obsession and shows no sign of a happy ending.


With a majority of the crew Masters students at De Montfort University, eight of which are studying International Film Production and one Digital Arts student, the group have received training from some of the biggest names in the British film industry.


This includes Iain Smith (Producer of Mad Max: Fury Road, Children of Men), Chris Kenny (Producer of Batman, Empire of the Sun), Gareth Unwin (Producer of The King’s Speech) and Terry Bamber (Production Manager on Casino Royale, Skyfall). The crowdfunding campaign is now live and runs for 30 days with a goal of raising £4,000 to support the production of the film. The ‘Asia extreme’-inspired short film will begin production towards the end of July and will be shot in Nottingham, Leicester and Loughborough.


Iain Smith spoke of his anticipation for the film: “The Nail That Sticks Out is an extraordinary and exciting project. It’s being made by a wonderful, energetic and creative team of student filmmakers. It has been a great pleasure to work with them at CMS; in particular Rebekah (Writer), Jordan (Director) and Jamie (Producer) who have huge talents. I predict they will go far.”


Jordan Dean’s previously spoke to Midlands Movies (click here) and two of his short films have been Official Selections at the Los Angeles Cine Fest, the $2 Dollar International Film Festival in New York and the Move Me Productions International Film Festival in Antwerp. His film Behind the Lens was nominated for a Midlands Movies Award in 2018 and his last film Not Alone recently won the Best Short Film award at the Direct Monthly Online Short Film Festival.


Jamie Ball, the film’s producer, said: “I feel that there is nowhere near enough varied representation of female and LGBT+ characters on screen, something I'm really passionate about. I'm pleased that the first film I'm producing addresses these issues, while at the same time telling a new and interesting story."


The cast and crew include award-winning Director Jordan Dean, award-winning actress Natsumi Kuroda, and Midlands Movies Award nominated composer Peter Flint. The cast and crew are all passionate about telling stories that showcase diversity.


The crowdfunding campaign can be found at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-nail-that-sticks-out-short-film-horror-drama/x/18734609#/





By midlandsmovies, Apr 13 2018 08:11AM



Loughborough feature film launches crowdfunding campaign to enable cinema screenings


Do Something Jake is a new zero-budget feature film shot out in the streets with the help of university students, graduates, local businesses, enthusiasts, a charity for disadvantaged youngsters, and talented film-makers.


We featured the film during its early production and interviewed one of its stars Tom Loone but now after more than two years in post production, Do Something, Jake is finally complete and ready to be released.


“We have a lot of people waiting to see this film,” explains screenwriter-producer Caroline Spence, “not only our 100+ members of cast and crew, but also supporters from all over the country as well as overseas, who have been following this journey from inception. So to be unable to screen Do Something, Jake in UK cinemas would be tragic.”


The producers are now planning to organise a DCP (Digital Cinema Package) and a BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) certificate and Caroline, with director James Smith, have launched a crowdfunding campaign via Indiegogo to help raise the £2,000 required.



Do Something, Jake is the debut feature film from James and Caroline, who work under the banner of Raya Films. An ambitious project, the film was shot on zero budget with a large, international cast and expansive locations in the region.


"With Do Something, Jake we were forced to take a radical approach in order to make our first movie,” explains director, James Smith. “We shot with no-budget, out in the street, in private residential properties, with help of friends…and others enthusiastic or daft enough to believe in us. This approach is not for the fainthearted. This film pushed me to mental and physical limits that, even now when I reflect, make my eyes water.”



Caroline concludes, “The post-production process has been a long haul with some significant setbacks and obstacles to overcome. Yet we’ve also had a few strokes of good luck, with post-production professionals from Europe and Los Angeles (some of whom work on Hollywood blockbusters!) who had heard about the film and approached us to offer their help.”


If the crowdfunding campaign is successful, Do Something, Jake will be premiered in the UK the evening of 20 September 2018 at the Odeon cinema, Loughborough.


To donate and find out more check the IndieGoGo page here - https://igg.me/at/DoSomethingJake






By midlandsmovies, Feb 16 2018 04:52PM



Local filmmakers fundraising for Poison Ivy fan film


Since her introduction in 1966, Poison Ivy remains one of the most popular Batman villains of all time yet has been strangely underrepresented in modern cinema. With her only notable big screen appearance being in Batman and Robin (played by Uma Thurman), her portrayal was less than pleasing for many fans and critics alike.


Well, local fans and filmmakers want to set that record straight by giving Ivy her own starring role in an upcoming fan film. Sophie Black, Aislinn De'Ath and Robert Dukes want to be faithful to the source material from the comics yet still palatable for modern audiences.


The screenplay was written by De'Ath and is inspired by Ivy's graphic novel appearances and an award-winning cast and crew are already attached to the project and ready to begin filming.



First though the group are launching a crowd-funding campaign where fans can make pledges to be involved - from executive producer to donations towards the materials to make Ivy’s costume. Monies raised will also be put towards production design, location and marketing costs. With a goal of £2,800 to be raised, the film shoot will take place in February 2018.




Aislinn De’ath will be playing Poison Ivy and has appeared in numerous short films, including The Dress in 2015, which won her the Best Actress award at Festigious Film Festival whilst Robert Dukes joins the case as Bruce Wayne. Robert has played a charming yet dangerous antagonist in Surveilled and a soldier in World War 2 drama The Code.


The film is being helmed by Nottingham director Sophie Black who is also working on here next release which will be the ambitious fantasy short Songbird, starring The X Factor's Janet Devlin. Joining Sophie is Sarah-Jane Lyon (make-up), Charlotte Ball (production designer)


For more information please check out their official campaign page here - https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-poison-ivy-fan-film-fantasy


Poster design is by Adam Blakemore of Strelka design, with concept art by Sophie Black


By midlandsmovies, Jun 9 2017 03:19PM



New production company Them Pesky Kids hit the region as their Kickstarter campaign launches into full swing for their upcoming short film Ariella.


Formed recently in Nottingham, Them Pesky Kids are aiming for a fresh take on the crime-thriller genre as they begin production on their film with a fundraising campaign goal of £10,000 due to end on 30th June.


The filmmakers are brothers Michael and Jack Jobling and Ariella will be their first film they have created together, though they have both worked individually on music videos, short films and documentaries.


Michael Jobling’s last project Anoesis was well received locally at the Short Stack and Beeston Film festivals and went on to win a student Royal Television Society award. Ariella is being produced by Ryan Harvey who won the Best Student Drama for his debut film Tuesday Afternoon at the Nottingham International MicroFilm Festival.


With a talented crew, the film tells the story of a seemingly innocent waitress who is told to keep an eye on two thugs hiding out in her cafe, but her own motives get in the way of her professionalism.


And as well as the successful past of the filmmakers, they have managed to attract amazing local talent in front of the screen as well.


Hannaj Bang Bendz, who recently won Best Actress at the LA Film Festival for her short film, The Man up the Stairs stars alongside Johann Myers who is a Nottingham based actor who has recently starred in Luther and Black Mirror.


As the villain, James Graeme takes the creepy role and has also been in Phantom of the Opera and Jesus Christ Superstar on the West End. Finally, playing his daughter is Nottingham based singer and actress, Tiger Cohen Towell who has appeared as a BBC Introducing artist.


‘The cast and crew have brought this collaborative mentality on board, they’re really bringing their A-Game”, says Jack Jobling. He adds, “I’ve lived in Nottingham for a year and I’m still astonished by how professional and creative everyone is!”


His brother Michael agrees with him. “Everyone believes in this project, the community support is incredible. It’s great to direct a film that’s bringing such talented Nottingham-based artists together”.


Previously, Them Pesky Kids held a launch screening at The Nottingham Contemporary to showcase their earlier films as well as unveil their plans for the future.


And in June 2017 they’ll be releasing further news, cast announcements, vlogs, songs and flash rewards across their social media pages.


Check their full Kickstarter and social media pages below:


https://www.facebook.com/thempeskykidsfilm


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/498110007/ariella-short-film?ref=user_menu

By midlandsmovies, Apr 10 2017 11:00AM



Birmingham production company Rotunda Films feels the UK deserves its own superheroes as it launches a new crowd-funding campaign to create a series of films featuring a unique range of characters.


A group of West Midlands creatives are coming together to launch a new selection of local superheroes in their own shared universe.


Taking the Marvel and DC template, the filmmakers are specifically looking to focus their efforts on the UK, taking on the American-centric shows on Netflix. And with the team they have put together they feel British superhero fans are long overdue and simply “deserve to have their own heroes”.


They are starting this ambitious project with their film Mystic Highway, where they will be creating the first characters in this exciting new world.


Along the way audiences will be eventually introduced to a variety of characters as well. These heroes include ‘Spitfire’ (who is a symbol of the British resolve to stand against the odds) and ‘Vesta’ who does not consider herself a hero but does what any loving parent would do to protect those she loves.


Also in their plans are the female Code-X, a former military-trained special forces operative with few words and The Father, who oversees the missions, guiding the heroes in the right direction. There is rogue element Blu Silver and finally there is Myst, the demon hunter.


As the project gets underway, contributors will receive first access to the films VOD services and there’s scope for backers to be part of this world and appear in one of the adventures and even get a chance t be made into their very own action figure!


As with all low budget films, the creators are raising funds for general costs as well as special effects and props for their production.


With a 10 day shoot scheduled for later in 2017, Rotunda Films say that, “this is merely the beginning and we are hoping to use the first film as a proof on concept for the rest of the project”.


Follow their project at Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/uksuperhero as well as watching the video above for more information


Rotunda Films official sites:

http://www.rotundafilms.com

https://twitter.com/rotundafilms





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