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By midlandsmovies, Nov 23 2018 10:24AM



Midlands Spotlight - Grindhouse Planet 2018


The Grindhouse Planet Film Festival promises to be the biggest, baddest, in your face, down your throat, melt your brain Horror, Sci-fi, Action , Martial Arts and Exploitation festival in the region.


Now two years in (click here for our 2017 & 2016 coverage) the epic b-movie festival will once again be held at one of the UK's longest running entertainment venues - the legendary Shed Venue in Leicester city – where you will find a playlist of movies like no other.


Taking place on Saturday 24th November 2018, organiser and filmmaker Marc Hamill of Roasted Films explains that each film is selected by a Panel of Grindhouse connoisseurs from around the globe.


“Also, you will find no dramas, no rom-coms and no musicals - unless totally twisted”, he adds.


Marc continues, “The festival is for film fans and filmmakers to meet like-minded people, have a drink, watch some movies and have a bloody good time".


"There will also be a chance to get hold of the Grindhouse Planet 48 Hour Film Challenge Anthology DVD featuring past competition submissions. This will be available with donations collected for local charity Wishes 4 Kids".


There is also a chance to attend Q&A sessions with some of the planet's best Grindhouse directors and producers. This year, Jason Impey is the festival’s special guest.


Director of modern Grindhouse classics such as Home Made and Tortured, the prolific exploitation filmmaker will be taking part in a Filmmaker Q&A giving insights into the filmmaking process as well as a preview of a truly remarkable Grindhouse documentary that he's currently working on - VIPCO - The Untold Story.


With the full line-up above, tickets are on sale now and available from www.grindhouseplanet.com and the event starts at 12pm and runs until midnight at The Shed, 5 Yeoman Street, LE1 1UT Leicester


More information at the festival’s Facebook Event Page here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/330695347736176/



By midlandsmovies, Jul 11 2018 02:00AM

Quite simply, here is our ongoing and updated list of Film Festivals in the Midlands (2018 edition):


• THE SHORT CINEMA http://www.theshortcinema.co.uk info@theshortcinema.co.uk Phoenix, Leicester - August 20 – 25, 2018


• NOTTINGHAM MICRO FILM FESTIVAL Twitter @FilmNottingham http://www.nimfestival.com/ 8-10 March 2018


• INDIE-LINCS - March 15-18 2018 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 - http://www.brindleyplace.com/event/brindleyplace-film-festival-2018/ July 16 -22 2018


• LEICESTER DOCFILM FEST https://twitter.com/docfilmfestival Contact John Coster November 2018


• BORDERLINES FEST http://www.borderlinesfilmfestival.co.uk UK's largest rural film festival. Herefordshire/Shropshire - 23rd February - 11th March 2018


• BIRMINGHAM FILM FEST - November 22 – 25 2018 https://filmfreeway.com/festival/Birminghamfilmfestival


• BIFF FEST (Black International Film Fest) https://www.biffestival.co.uk 2018 dates TBC


• 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 27 to Aug 5 2018


• DEAFFEST http://www.deaffest.co.uk The UK's International Deaf Film & Arts Festival Wolverhampton. Contact info@light-house.co.uk Friday 17th to Sunday 19th May 2019


• THE UK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL LEICESTER - http://tonguesonfire.com/ 15 March - 31 March 2018


• SHOUT FESTIVAL http://shoutfestival.co.uk Birmingham Dates TBC for 2018


• DERBY FILM FESTIVAL http://www.derbyfilmfestival.co.uk 4th - 13th MAY 2018


• FANTASTIQ FEST http://fantastiq.co.uk Fantasy/Horror Fest at Quad in Derby (part of Derby Film Fest)


• MAYHEM HORROR Film Fest - Halloween. Contact Broadway cinema in Nottingham http://www.broadway.org.uk/mayhem 11 October - 14 October 2018


• FLATPACK FEST - Birmingham, UK. http://www.flatpackfestival.org.uk 13 - 22 April 2018


• EAST ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL http://www.eastwindsfilmfest.com May 2018


• BEESTON FILM FESTIVAL - https://twitter.com/BeestonFilm 8th - 11th March 2018


• SHROPSHIRE RAINBOW FILM FESTIVAL http://www.rainbowfilmfestival.org.uk/midlands-zone 5th - 7th October 2018


• GRINDHOUSE PLANET - www.grindhouseplanet.com November 2018 TBC


* BOTTLESMOKE FILM FESTIVAL - https://www.facebook.com/BottleSmokeStoke Stoke on Trent, 8th - 9th September 2018


* POCKET FILM FESTIVAL (Unseen cinema) http://www.unseencinema.co.uk/pocket-film-festival-2018/ Stafford 12-17 March 2018


* BIRMINGHAM HORROR GROUP - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/birmingham-horror-group-mini-movie-marathon-25-march-2018-tickets-41683231668 Mini-Movie Marathon Mini-Movie 25 March 2018


* SHROPSHIRE'S FIRST WORLD WAR FILM FESTIVAL https://twitter.com/wilfredowen100 8th October to 23rd November 2018


* THE BRAVE BLACK BIRD FILM FEST Wolverhampton https://ajayhackett2113.wixsite.com/bbff Wolverhampton 25th Feb 2019 (submissions until July 2018)


* HIGH PEAK INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL Derbyshire https://www.highpeakindie.com 12th to 16th June 2019. #HPIFF18


* NOTTINGHAM FILM FESTIVAL Hothouse Theatre Nottingham https://twitter.com/NottmFilmFest 8th July 2018


* THE VENUE LINCOLN FILM FESTIVAL Lincolnshire https://www.thevenuelincoln.co.uk 6th - 8th July 2018


* THE SHORT STACK FILM FESTIVAL Nottingham Bi-monthly screening night at Broadway Cinema https://www.facebook.com/groups/841340665914084 (Various dates)


* THE TELFORD FILM FESTIVAL Telford & Wrekin - various venues across Telford as part of the twon's 50th anniversary http://www.telford50.co.uk/filmfestival 14th September to 31st October 2018


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 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 24 2016 09:19AM

Midlands Spotlight – New Grindhouse Festival comes to Leicester


The best new grindhouse movies will soon be heading to the Midlands with the launch of a festival held at one of the UK's longest running entertainment venues.


The legendary Shed venue in the heart of Leicester city will host Grindhouse Planet on Sunday 27th November with the promise of showing the biggest, baddest, in-your-face, melt your brain horror, sci-fi, action, martial arts and exploitation films.




But it doesn’t stop there! Fans of mobsploitation, sexploitation and everything else “-elsploitation” will be shown to grindhouse fans with dramas, rom-coms and musicals only appearing if they are (what the organisers are saying) “totally twisted”.


From 12 noon until midnight, the festival will be showing a range of movies selected by a panel of grindhouse connoisseurs from around the globe. The festival is for film fans and filmmakers to meet like-minded people and watch movies from the genre as well as incorporating a stall from The Cult Movie Store where rare grindhouse flicks can be purchased.


In addition, there are chances to attend Q&A sessions with some of the planet's best grindhouse directors and producers. Special guests include Steve Lawson – the writer and director of genre features including Killersaurus, Nocturnal Activity and Footsoldier will be available for signings and a Q & A about his films and production company Creativ Studios.


Also in attendance will be poster artist Thomas Hodge. Aka The Dude Designs, the Midlands born artist is the author of VHS Video Cover Art and responsible for the artwork for films such as Hobo With A Shotgun, They Live!, Wolf Cop, The Toxic Avenger, The Exterminator, Savage Streets and many more grindhouse classics.


The judges on the day will be the co-founder of SFX Magazine MJ Simpson as well as Marc Hamill, the founder of Roasted Films and director of British grindhouse film The Wrong Floor. The final judge will be our very own Editor Mike Sales to round off the three.



And what else? Well the organisers have gone even further by arranging a music festival at the same time. As well as films, there will be live bands playing throughout the day from metal, punk, electronic and acoustic artists.


If you have a grindhouse film that you would like to submit then the organisers request filmmakers head to FilmFreeway where you can send over your shorts and features. Films must be original productions and copyrights must belong to the submitter with winners receiving award trophies.


Head here to submit: https://filmfreeway.com/festival/GrindhousePlanetFilmFestival


For updates and information about future special guests, films and music artists then head to the festival's official site here: http://www.grindhouseplanet.com



By midlandsmovies, Mar 20 2016 12:19PM

Midlands Movies speaks to one half of Roasted Studios, Marc Hamill whose new feature film The Wrong Floor is about to be released in 2016 and his reaction to a recent screening of his movie at new regional film festival.


Indie-Lincs is a new festival in Lincolnshire which covers both local and international filmmakers and champions low and micro-budget films.


Taking place over the weekend of March 11th and 12th the festival organisers were not looking for sequels, remakes or adaptations but focused on the best original work from around the globe. In addition, they hoped the filmmakers and the audience could network successfully with each other and the independent filmmaking community.


With a programme of dynamic, inventive and challenging fiction as well as documentary and animated films, Indie-Fest is proud that it embodies the low budget filmmaking ethic.


One filmmaker who made the most of the opportunity was Marc Hamill. His production company Roasted Studios have recently completed their first grindhouse feature film called The Wrong Floor. Screening on the Saturday Marc was not only there to promote his film but enjoy the festival with the other attendees.


“Although I was primarily in attendance for the screening of The Wrong Floor, I couldn’t help but be seduced by the indie film offerings at this year’s festival”, says Marc. “From controversial social commentaries, to grindhouse carnage, a whole spectrum of hidden gems were given a stage to shine”.


Marc was also impressed by the level of talent at the festival. “The quality of the film making on display was certainly impressive, especially given that the festival focuses on micro-budget films. There was literally something for everyone. The highlight of the festival for me, being a filmmaker, was the workshop on making a short film for festivals. It was basically a cheaters guide to win awards at major festivals”.


Marc adds with a smile - “Filmmakers Phil Stevens and Domonique Webb explained their winning formula and demonstrated how to execute the perfect production to exploit the system. They expressed their ultimate disappointment at the success of their winning formula and it really felt that by sharing their knowledge, they were somehow cleansing their souls. You may be wondering what this winning formula may be, I will summarise quite severely: Make a social commentary film under 10 minutes with desaturated colours using handheld camera with excellent sound quality. That’s pretty much the long and short of it”.


Based at Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, and run in partnership with The School of Film and Media at the University of Lincoln, the festival films also competed for prizes in several categories. The prizes take the form of an 'Imp' which is the emblem for Lincoln city and resides high up on a stone pillar in the city's magnificent gothic Cathedral.


The mischievous Imp was thought by the organisers as the perfect embodiment of the independent filmmaker's spirit, someone who dares to upset the equilibrium and do things their own way


Marc was impressed by the festival though and got a great reception for his own film too. “The whole atmosphere at the festival was upbeat and inspiring. The indie-lincs team did a fantastic job and made everyone feel welcome. It was a unique festival which I would highly recommend to film makers and film lovers alike”.


Find out more about Roasted Studios at this link here: http://thewrongfloor.com/


Indie-Lincs information is on their website at: http://www.indie-lincs.com/


The Hamill brothers at Indie-Lincs
The Hamill brothers at Indie-Lincs

By midlandsmovies, Mar 2 2016 04:09PM

The Green Inferno (2013) Dir: Eli Roth


After many documented problems Roth's homage to the Italian cannibal films of Deodato and Lenzi finally gets a home release. The film centres on student (played by the at the time, future Mrs Roth Lorenza Izzo) Justine as she joins a college activist group who set off to Peru to disrupt plans to bulldoze through the Amazon and with it, wipe out an indigenous tribe who live on the land that they desire.


The creepy yet charismatic leader of the activists, Alejandro, has an ulterior motive which ultimately contributes to the group finding themselves stranded in the jungle and not alone. The films concept should set it up to both mimic its influences whilst still allowing scope for the story to be told in a contemporary way however as with the majority of Roth's output any social commentary or subtext is not only lacking in substance but is also overpowered by the desire to shock and gross out.


If that were the full story then at least the gore fans would be happy but unfortunately the film is tonally and quality wise all over the place with the first forty minutes being perfunctory at best and weak at worst while the mixture of fratboy humour alongside what could have been serious commentary showing a clear disconnect between the perceived target audience and the actual audience for the sub-genre resulting in a slight alienation of both.


That said when the action actually starts Roth sporadically shows us his early promise and why he is in the relatively bigger leagues for horror. Sadly though there isn't enough meat in this film to last for its entire running time and while not terrible, The Green Inferno suffers from a weak first act, mixed performances and a disappointing conclusion. This barebones release is one for horror fans to rent rather than purchase.


6/10


Midlands Movies Marek

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