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By midlandsmovies, Sep 13 2019 09:20AM



Midlands Spotlight - 3rd Annual Q-Film Weekender 8-10 November


The Q-Film Weekender returns to the Northampton Filmhouse from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 November 2019 for its third year.


Running across three days, the festival celebrates queer cinema from around the world, showcasing LGBTQIA+ talent and films with an exciting programme of features and shorts, exclusive previews and complementary events. Highlights of the festival are now on-sale with further films to be announced.


The programme includes award-winning films such as Céline Sciamma’s highly-acclaimed Portrait of a Lady on Fire and the trans documentary Seahorse: The Dad Who Gave Birth, followed by an exclusive Q&A with star Freddy McConnell.


Other events and Q&As include a selection of shorts and a special ‘In Conversation’ with trans filmmaker Jake Graf on Saturday 9t November. Tickets for these films and events can now be booked via the Filmhouse website www.northamptonfilmhouse.com or by calling 01604 624811.


The Q-Film Weekender is also proud to announce its Q-Film panellists: Q-Film’s Cat Nicholas, Co-Chair of Northampton Pride and Community Co-Chair of Northampton Borough Council’s LGBTQIA+ Forum Matthew Toresen, Screen Northants co-founder Becky Adams, Borough Councillor for Phippsville Anna King and Northampton Outlaw’s Simon Chapman.


The full programme is to be announced shortly on the Northampton Filmhouse website and the Weekender’s social media.


The Q-Film Weekender is presented in association with Q-Film and has been made possible by grant funding from Film Audience Network.


By midlandsmovies, Jun 5 2019 11:42AM



Dates announced and submissions now open for third annual Q-Film Weekender


The Northampton Filmhouse is proud to present the third edition of Q-Film Weekender from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 November 2019, a three-day festival celebrating heroes of queer cinema and showcasing LGBTQIA+ stories from around the world.


The programme looks to include exclusive previews, features and short films, alongside complementary events.


For the first time, the Filmhouse invites filmmakers to submit qualifying films to be considered for official selection as part of the festival. A panel of experts from the LGBTQIA+ community within Northamptonshire will advise and curate the programme for the big screen, with prizes awarded to winning films.


Through the Q-Film Weekender, the Filmhouse is excited to provide a platform for new filmmakers and bring innovative films to audiences they may not have had the opportunity to see before.


To find out more and submit a film for consideration, go to www.FilmFreeway.com and search for Q-Film Weekender. The deadline for submissions is Sunday 8 September 2019.


Full terms and conditions, including submissions fees, can be found on FilmFreeway


CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR FILM


The full programme will be announced at a later date.


The Q-Film Weekender is presented in association with Q-Film and has been made possible by grant funding from Film Audience Network.



By midlandsmovies, May 22 2019 11:23AM



BIRMINGHAM INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL CELEBRATES 5TH ANNIVERSARY IN THE CITY


Screenings have now been announced for Birmingham Indian Film Festival (BIFF), supported by Birmingham City University and the BFI, part of the UK and Europe’s largest South Asian film festival, opening Friday 21st June until Monday 1st July 2019.


This year marks their 5th anniversary, showcasing a rich assortment of entertaining and thought-provoking independent films that have been winning awards and making global impact, including India’s new wave of LGBTQ+ films.


The Festival is presented by the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival which is celebrating its own 10th anniversary and is extending to Manchester and Bradford.


Birmingham Indian Film Festival will run across the city for a phenomenal 11 days at existing partner venues: Cineworld Broad Street; MAC Birmingham, Cannon Hill Park; and The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen, Custard Factory. This year we welcome new partner venue Centrala based in Digbeth.


Cary Rajinder Sawhney, Executive & Programming Director of the festival said: “The Festival has dynamically opened the UK media and audiences to Indian and South Asian independent cinema in all its linguistic diversity, and that’s something we are extremely proud of. Punching above our weight as always, this year is probably our strongest programme ever with exciting Midland premieres, rarely seen archival masterpieces, and some seriously cutting-edge dramas and documentaries.”


The 5th Anniversary celebrations will open with a sparkling red-carpet event at Cineworld Broad Street, for the Birmingham Premiere of the hard-hitting Article 15, starring India’s hottest male star Ayushmann Khurrana, ahead of its UK and worldwide release later in the month.


FULL LISTINGS BELOW:


Opening Film – Article 15

21 June | 19:00 | Cineworld Broad Street (Red Carpet from 18.30)

Midlands Premiere. 120 mins Hindi with English subtitles. India 2019 Q&A with Anubhav Sinha and others


Closing Film – Photograph

1 July | 19:00 | MAC Birmingham Birmingham Premiere. 110mins

Hindi, Gujarati, English with English subtitles. India/Germany/US. 2019


Satyajit Ray Short Film Award - 22 June | 14.00 | The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen


Urojahaj (The Flight) - 22 June | 16:30 | MAC Birmingham

European Premiere. 82mins Bengali with English subtitles. India 2018 Q&A with Buddhadeb Dasgupta


Widow of Silence - 22 June | 18:00 | Cineworld Broad Street

UK Premiere. 85mins Urdu with English subtitles. India 2018 Q&A with Pravin Morchhale


Vivek (Reason) - 23 June | 16:30 | MAC Birmingham Hindi, Marathi with English subtitles. India 2018 Q&A with Anand Patwardhan.


Arishadvarga - 23 June | 19:00 | Cineworld Broad Street Midlands Premiere. 159mins

Kannada with English subtitles. India 2018


Sir - 24 June | 18:30 | MAC Birmingham Midlands Premiere. 99mins

Hindi, English, Marathi with English subtitles. India/France 2018 Q&A with Rohena Gera


My Home, India - 25 June | 18.30 | Centrala Midlands Premiere. 45 mins

English, Polish with English subtitles. India/Poland 2019


#Gadhvi - 25 June | 20:30 | MAC Birmingham

Midlands Premiere. 109mins Hindi with English subtitles. India 2018


Anurag Kashyap in Conversation - 26 June | 19.00 | The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen


Bulbul Can Sing - 27 June | 18:00 | MAC Birmingham

Assamese, Hindi with English subtitles. India 2018 Q&A with Rima Das


Saturday Afternoon - 28 June | 18:15 | MAC Birmingham

Bengali, English with English subtitles. Bangladesh/Germany/India 2019 Q&A with Mostofa Sarwar Farooki


Kattumaram (Catamaran) - 29 June | 13:30 | MAC Birmingham

Midlands Premiere. 73mins - Tamil with English subtitles


Chuskit - 29 June | 16:00 | The Mockingbird

Ladakhi with English subtitles. India 2018 Q&A with Priya Ramasubban


Ardaas II - 29 June | 19:00 | Cineworld Broad Street

Punjabi with English subtitles. India 2019. Q&A with Gippy Grewal and others


Useful Links


https://www.twitter.com/weLoveBIFF


www.facebook.com/BirminghamINDIANFilmFestival


www.instagram.com/weloveBIFF






By midlandsmovies, Jan 17 2019 05:09PM



Colette (2019) Dir. Wash Westmoreland


This biographical drama comes from Still Alice director Wash Westmoreland and is based upon the life of French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. Nominated for a Nobel Prize in Literature she is also famous for her 1944 novella Gigi which was the basis for the film of the same name.


Colette covers the early part of her life with Keira Knightley returning from an acting break as the lead woman whose first writings were published under the pen name of “Willy” – a nickname for her husband Henry Gauthier-Villars (Dominic West). She writes a series of stories revolving around “Claudine”, a fictionalised version of her own life which is filled with avant-garde parties and lesbian liaisons.


However, much like in the film Big Eyes (Tim Burton), Colette soon demands her name be revealed as the real author of the stories which her husband resists and which subsequently causes riffs between them. The film is told in a linear fashion and for a film about writing, sadly has too few literary trappings and most reminded me of the standard fare of Merchant Ivory period dramas – but with added liberal and progressive flourishes.


Knightley is solid and Dominic West plays the uptight, sleazy type of macho husband that he often excels in – but is one actor I have never thought has much of a range and he does little to correct that here in Colette.


As Colette’s will becomes more determined, the film delves into notions of masculinity and femininity and whilst swanning into boisterous parties one night in extravagant dresses, she partakes in serious muscular exercise the following day. The cinematography is fascinating as it captures beautiful French scenery as well as bawdy get-togethers exploring both public and private spaces.


The film however concludes with her departure from literature into her mime and stage career displaying her fight for female independence at a time where female respectability was considered paramount and she moves from exercising her mind to the physicality of her body.


Therefore Colette is certainly progressive and honourable – telling a little-known tale of creative and wanton passions – but if I’m honest I found little “life” in the film. Also, there was a very palpable chemistry vacuum between the two leads, yet the excellent support from Eleanor Tomlinson, Aiysha Hart and Fiona Shaw helps ease these gaps.


A melodrama of women’s independence, I would recommend Colette for those interested in the film’s central historical subject matter but for many others, the film – as respectful as it is – dips into blandness, both technically and narratively.


★★★


Michael Sales



By midlandsmovies, Jan 14 2019 08:09PM



Midlands Spotlight - CineQ Queer Film Festival in Birmingham in March


Working with the BFI FAN Film Hub Midlands, Centrala Art Gallery, Midlands Arts Centre and Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen the CineQ Film Festival runs from the 22nd until the 24th of March covering a range of Queer AF screenings, parties and workshops.


CineQ Queer Film Festival will put the focus on new stories, and QTIPOC (Queer Trans and Intersex People of Colour) perspectives, while introducing ‘New Queer Cinema’ a type of queer cinema often overlooked and showcase some of the best underrepresented LGBTQ film both past and present.


After the film festival, CineQ will specially curate a selection of queer films representative of the LGBTQ community which will tour cinemas, film festivals and film societies in the region in order to grow the appetites of LGBTQ cinema lovers in the Midlands.


CineQ founder Rico Johnson-Sinclair says, “Queer cinema has often been a blind spot in the region’s best independent and multiplex cinemas. Not to say that there isn’t an offer. LOVE, SIMON, CALL ME BY YOUR NAME and GOD’S OWN COUNTRY were notable successes in recent years, but there’s a plethora of films from a variety of perspectives that are being made, but just not shown in cinemas”.


“Often the only places to watch queer films are streaming services, we want to change that by bringing audiences across Birmingham and the Midlands, more opportunities to see these brilliant titles on the big screen”.



CineQ was previously operating as a community cinema supported by Flatpack Projects. They’ve screened many titles such as THE WOUND, CLOSET MONSTER, and CHECK IT as well as short film programmes at Centrala Art Gallery and Cafe, Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen, and Flatpack Film Festival.


CineQ has also worked with cinemas outside of Birmingham such as Phoenix Cinema in Leicester and was recently awarded a commendation by Cinema for All, Britain’s leading authority for community cinemas and film societies.


Further programme announcements will be made available via social media and the CineQ website from 22nd January 2019.


Facebook @CineQBrum

Twitter: @CineQBrum

Instagram: @CineQBrum


By midlandsmovies, Aug 24 2018 06:33AM



Midlands Spotlight - LGBT film You Are My Sunshine completes first part of production


After two weeks filming around various locations within the Walsall area, the first shooting block for the new upcoming Midlands feature film You Are My Sunshine has now ended with a deeply heart-breaking scene filmed in North Wales.


Actors Steve Salt and Jack Knight played out their final scenes together as the younger versions of Tom and Joe, the film's protagonists, which chronicles the tender story of how they first fell in love and the difficulties they face against a backdrop of 1970s Britain. Set during a time when gay rights were only just asserting themselves, the film also leads into the modern day where we find how their characters are continuing in the face of prejudice.


Writer/Director Dave Hastings has praised not only their performances but also those of actors and actress Charlie Clarke, Kiah Reeves, Dale Roberts as well as Hellraiser alumni Simon Bamford, all of whom he says brought great pathos and unique energy to the sometimes challenging and dramatic scenes.


"Everyone has been remarkable", continues Dave. "When I first wrote the script for Sunshine back in 2014, I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined these performances. They are heart-breaking, funny, sincere, emotional, as well as loving. I'm such a happy and humbled director because of each and every one of them".


Producer Troy Dennison, who supervised a shoot that saw the filmmakers and actors take to such iconic Walsall locations like Barr Beacon and the Park Lime Pits has equally praised the cast. Thanking them all for bringing some extremely powerful performances to the screen Troy added, "Absolutely astounding, all of them, every single time they were all on set"


"We have been so lucky to have them wanting to work with us, and we will do our very best to honour their work in the final film. That we will always promise".



WIth a very ambitious shoot, and working closely alongside Walsall Council, the director thanked the authorities assistance and advice which eased potential filming issues on location around the borough. "The council have been absolutely incredible and so very supportive, helping us work on the streets of Darlaston which doubled for 1970s British exteriors in one instance" says Hastings.


The production even had an element of nostalgia when it returned to Manor House in West Bromwich where the company had shot The House of Screaming Death. This time, it doubled as a 1970s bedsit. The crew of the film were equally up to challenge to help present and turn locations into those with a genuine 1970s vibe. Director of Photography Will Bradshaw studied the look of former British films made within the era, while set designer L.J. ‘Stark’ Greenwood researched various colour palettes as well as vintage props.



But while this phase of the shoot is over, the crew's attention and planning is now moving towards a secondary block of filming which sees the story of Joe and Tom continue into modern day & the repercussions of the past still haunting them.


And for now, Dave reflects on that final scene just filmed in North Wales. "It was the right one to finish on. We'd been on a rollercoaster of emotions, all of us, both in front of and behind the camera over the past two weeks with the differing scenes and charged content, so this last one, set on an isolated beach, where young Tom & Joe look to the future, just allowed us all to say goodbye sadly to them collectively".


Dennison agrees, stating "It was very difficult to say goodbye because we'd become a massive family again for two weeks".


You Are My Sunshine is a co-production between Lightbeam Productions, 5cm/Sec and Pat The Bull Films and is being executively produced by Kaush Patel. It will continue to be filmed in and around both Walsall and Sandwell areas in the West Midlands.


Find out more information here:


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YouAreMySunshineMovie/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MySunshineMovie




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, Apr 1 2018 01:41PM

You, Me and Him (2018) Dir. Daisy Aitkens


You, Me and Him is a brand new comedy drama from writer/director Daisy Aitkens and follows the story of lesbian couple Olivia (Lucy Punch from Bad Teacher & Hot Fuzz) and Alex (Faye Marsay from Game of Thrones & Pride) and the trials of their complicated relationship.


They bond over mocking the idiotic hedonism of their recently divorced next-door neighbour John (a bearded David Tennant) but before long, their age-gap leads to the awkward question of pregnancy. Nearing 40, Olivia secretly becomes pregnant via artificial insemination and when Alex finds out, she drowns her sorrows at John’s divorce party and wakes up in his arms. And despite her regrets Alex too becomes pregnant owing to this one-night liaison.


Thus the film sets in motion a clash of situations none particularly planned for. You, Me and Him is set in the Midlands around Stratford-Upon-Avon which gives it a local flavour and with a strong cast of film and TV stars, the movie gets off to a likeable start from the outset. Punch’s Olivia is all hilarious noise and sniffly tears whilst Marsay brings a sensitivity to her more eclectic boho cynic.


Marsay is particularly effective as what could be an annoying hippie stereotype is given much more depth by her compassionate take on the role. Tennant too is having huge fun with his debauched Casanova. His support for a chauvinist “Manimist” help-group later makes way for a sympathetic character who is struggling to deal with expectant-father difficulties.


In support, Sarah Parish as Mrs. Jones throws in an OTT performance which is equal parts prejudice combined with a number of sharp-barbed insults. And Smack the Pony’s Sally Phillips is hilarious as an Australian antenatal class teacher bouncing around on fitness balls.


Although the actors are all top notch, the film slightly lacked a cinematic presence and the performers weren’t flattered by the TV lighting. But this was a minor flaw and disappeared when the well edited jokes were pushed to the forefront.


As the narrative develops, Tennant’s flamboyant father-to-be clashes with Olivia’s emotional (and flatulent) mother-to-be for the attention of Alex whose previous life of drink and drugs is calmed by her newly glowing predicament. The comedy (and the drama) almost solely come from this triumvirate. And their dialogue – some of which seemed brilliantly improvised – is slick, well-written and had me chuckling throughout.


You, Me and Him therefore aims for comedy in the main. With sight gags, cutaways, slapstick and plenty of body and adult humour all thrown in, it was surprising then to find that the film’s highlight is a tonal swing in the third act. A shift from the previous broad comedy to an incredibly sincere sequence is both thoughtful, honest and exceptionally moving. The pratfalls and hilarity make way for heart-breaking moments that are all the more powerful with the removal of dialogue. The trio of main actors will make you weep as their pain, caring and tender embraces emote from the screen without so much as a word.


But there’s hope amongst all this anguish and director Aitkens more than handles the complex balance of Richard Curtis-style droll laughs mixed with poignant compassion. The film is overall lightweight but takes a meaningful look at the serious issues of LGBT love (not a “large sandwich” as the film jokes) and the multifaceted intricacies of modern relationships. With three wonderful showings from Punch, Marsay and Tennant, the film is an enjoyable romp with plenty of laughs without forgetting the affectionate support needed for mothers, fathers and partners.


7/10


Midlands Movies Mike

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