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By midlandsmovies, Sep 4 2018 08:45PM

Midlands Spotlight - StarMan

Regional film production company Nine Ladies Film return with StarMan, an ambitious short about human frailty and an alien encounter. Midlands Movies Mike Sales uncovers more about this stellar new production.

StarMan is the most recent release by British filmmaker Stuart Connock Wheeldon who explains that the film is not just a tale of financial hardship. In fact, StarMan "seeks to topple the film industry’s under-representation of people of a poor socio-economic rank", says Stuart.

As a timely criticism of the abandonment by the UK Government of ex armed forces personnel, the film tells a journey of homeless ex-paratrooper Mark (Nigel Barber) and his efforts to survive in a world of judgement and misconception.

His chance encounter with the open-minded Lisa (Mia Mills) spurs him onwards to realise his final mission: that of returning to a life beyond the constellations.

The story continues as Mark’s interactions with Lisa urge the viewer to question the modern-day surge of prejudice and spurious charity. Stuart explains that Lisa’s husband (Elliott Rennie) offers "condemnation of her efforts to help Mark; his opinions representing the ever-growing cultures of narrow-mindedness and self-servitude".

As well as looking at current issues regarding army personnel, the film hopes to be an indictment of our plastics epidemic and propensity to waste food as well as our discarding of religion.

Derbyshire writer-director Stuart has been able to assemble a formidable group of actors and crew for the filming in and around Wirksworth in Derbyshire.

The film was written by Stuart himself and Nick John Whittle. Doug Cummings was 1st Assistant Director, Jordan Frater Sound Recordist, Jennifer Whitmore Production Designer and Wheeldon was the film's director.

With a zero budget, the filmmakers have pulled together all their resources and have released the films's first trailer below and be sure to check for updates at the official website http://www.nineladiesfilm.com/starman.html

By midlandsmovies, Apr 7 2018 12:43PM

Midlands Spotlight - Don't Follow the Light

After the success of his psychological horror and Midlands Movies Award-nominated The Telephone, Derbyshire writer-director Stuart Connock Wheeldon is again delving into the world of independent cinema with his new film Don't Follow the Light.

Stepping into the preproduction phase this short will be filmed in and around the Derbyshire countryside during the summer of 2018 and Don't Follow the Light is a prequel to the filmmaker’s much-talked-about production concept for Vanished which is gaining a cult following on social media.

That film is to be a smart spin on misadventure and mystery and Stuart says Vanished has already attracted the interest and support of industry professionals.

The prequel - which now seeks funding - pre-empts the story of Gillian Gold, who is described by the filmmaker as the ‘Banksy of Journalism’ and a tenacious investigative journalist. Stuart has been influenced by Hitchcock as Don't Follow the Light is set amongst a succession of unsolved murders and the disappearance of Gold herself.

A range of fine actors has already been chosen for production with Lana O'Kell set to play Gillian Gold and Nigel Barber will be joining the cast in the role of Dr. Williams. Paul Dewdney will play Dr. Childs and Dilly Evans-Smith has landed the role of Jessica.

Stuart hopes all these acclaimed actors will bring an engaging mix of experiences and will add heart and soul (“not to mention a degree of ruthlessness”) to the characters.

His production company Nine Ladies Film is now about to undertake a crowdfunding campaign. Stuart is joined by Nick John Whittle as producers of the film and they plan to get together a working budget to realise this early chapter in the Gillian Gold story.

He hopes that with the help of a generous public who enjoy independent film, Don’t Follow the Light's dark ideas can be expressed in full once production is underway.

For more information visit The Vanished Film website to find contact details and updates about the crowdfunding page http://vanishedfilm.org

By midlandsmovies, Jun 27 2017 02:56PM

The Telephone (2017)

Directed by Stuart Connock Wheeldon

Nine Ladies Film

A simple piano refrain and shots of quirky antiquities opens new horror short The Telephone from Nine Ladies Film.

With a more experimental introduction than previous films, Wheeldon has used images to create a sense of intrigue as we cross-jump shot-to-shot between seemingly random items and a list of missing persons before settling down for the tale.

Nigel Barber (as Max) is shown as a tormented artist scrawling Pollock-esque paint ejaculations across a canvas, before a parallel narrative shows a man (Bern Deegan as Richard) in a red telephone box. What follows is a series of eerie dream sequences experienced by Richard and as we receive these uncertain errors with him, the audience begins to ask if these are real or imagined. Or are they even glimpses of the past?

Well, Richard turns out to be a journalist investigating the disappearances highlighted at the film’s start but the relationship between him and the mysterious Max is intentionally vague. The constant telephone ringing provides an interesting background noise to the (hinted-upon) mental torment that Barber and Bern are encountering as well.

The main narrative is only hinted at, with the audience having to do much of the work as the jarring edits and almost non-existent dialogue create a mysterious puzzle that I hope most viewers would throw themselves into.

The music is great if a little overpowering at times and is edited higher in the mix than the sound effects – mainly the title’s ‘buzzing’ telephone – but the cleverly constructed angles and shots maintain a good sense of intrigue. Black and white flashbacks keeps the visuals appealing and the film had the suburban weirdness of Ben Wheatley’s Kill List and even a bit of Nic Roeg thrown in there too.

A big change of style for the local filmmaker, the short film definitely prioritises atmosphere and feeling over narrative. Personally I found the lack of story a bit frustrating at the start, but the film clarifies further in the second half and answers some of the uncertainties but also cleverly leaves you hanging on a number of points.

Some may be put off by the dream/nightmare-like randomness of the plot threads but I recommend putting any doubts ‘on hold’ for a high-concept hazy nightmare. In the end, The Telephone ends up being a great calling card for Wheeldon and a huge leap forward for the director in style and visual story-telling.

Midlands Movies Mike

Watch the full short on the Vimeo video below:

By midlandsmovies, Jan 15 2017 09:30AM

Midlands Spotlight - The Collector

Coming up later in the year is The Collector, a new indie horror film from Stuart Wheeldon which combines dread and survival in brand new project from two established Midlands filmmakers.

With In Limbo and The Telephone already released, The Collector is the new film that has emerged from the mind of the award-winning production company NineLadiesFilm and AnonMotionPictures.

Billed as an abstract horror, the film follows Elliot who awakes one day in a crowded street begging for food before heading to a derelict house trying to survive his new primal existence. Casting a shadow over Elliot is a mysterious stranger who calls himself the “Collector” who, by rolls of dice, alters the path of our unlucky hero with every intention of sending him to his doom.

Written by Midlanders Nick John Whittle and Stuart Wheeldon, the film will be shot on location in Spain and has already lined up an impressive group of actors for production to start. Playing The Collector himself will be Nigel Barber (above) who has appeared in ‘Spectre’ as well as ‘Rogue Nation’ ‘M:I5’. Also on his CV is ‘Roboshark’ for BUFO/Sony Pictures and Bollywood feature ‘Welcome to Karachi’.

As Elliot, the filmmakers have cast Daniel Booroff who was the winner of the Southern Shorts Award for Excellence in Acting as the character Terry in ‘Evil’s Evil Cousin’. In the role of Lucy is actress Sophie Ablett who has studied drama at Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris. Her first job was in Taboo starring Tom Hardy for Scott Free Productions on BBC1/FX. And her later work has included ‘The Railway Children’ in the West End where starred in the lead role of Bobbie before being named as ‘ONE TO WATCH’ by The Independent in March 2016.

Another coup for the filmmakers is the inclusion of indie band Frank who will be supplying a new song for the soundtrack entitled ‘Way We End’. The group have gone from strength to strength with support slots for Manchester’s Proud Mary , Inspiral Carpets and Happy Mondays and the band recently played their biggest gig to date at the local Derby Arena.

With production well underway, the filmmakers hope to collect many more fans so please support this fantastic new project by following the film’s updates and news at the official website and social media sites:



By midlandsmovies, Aug 14 2016 06:13PM

Midlands Spotlight: Nine Ladies Film to release horror short The Telephone

Award winning production company Nine Ladies Film are soon to launch the second in a trilogy of horror short films ‘The Telephone’. Mike picks up the receiver on this new regional movie full of scares and spooks.

“If you heard the ringing, would you be prepared to answer what lies at the end of the phone?”

And so asks the new film from filmmaker Stuart Wheeldon and his soon to be released project ‘The Telephone’. The second part of a planned trilogy of short horror films, this new creative film has been made and produced by Nine Ladies Film based in Wirksworth in Derbyshire.

The film tells the tale of journalist Richard who is intrigued by the story of a mysterious disappearance of a young woman called Jane and heads to a local hotel in a pub which was the last place she was known to be alive.

Awakening in the night by an endlessly ringing old telephone, the film follows Richard as he liaises with the pub’s owner Max and whose instincts tell him there is much more to the mysterious story. Is a ghostly figure that is seen late at night, that of Jane? Could the telephone ringing just be in his head?

Well, the film hopes the audience will be as intrigued as the protagonist and writer-director Stuart Wheeldon has been joined by award winning videographer/photographer George Peck who takes on the role of Director of Photography. Music for the film is composed by Jordan Frater and it was entirely shot on location in Derbyshire in Spring 2016.

The film also have a slew of well-known actors and actresses which include Nigel Barber (Mission Impossible 5, Spectre) playing the role of Max and Bern Deegan (Hideaways, The Honeymooners) supported by Rachel Prince in the role of Jane.

The trailer to the film was released earlier in Summer and can be viewed on the Vimeo link below

For further information please follow Nine Ladies Film on Twitter and keep 1st September 2016 free for the official release of the film

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NineLadiesFilm

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5180374/?ref_=nm_knf_i1

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