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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 8 2018 05:27PM



Leicester filmmakers to be showcased at Midlands charity film gala


Midlands Movies Mike speaks to Kelly McCormack who is one of the producers of a new Leicester event coming up in July which will feature a range of regional short films.


Presented by Rajnish Sharma Films and Whatsername Productions a new film event takes place on July 14th 2018 with a charity screening of some of the newest short films and filmmakers in Leicester.


Promising a night that cannot be missed, Kelly explains that this will be an evening of red carpet glamour, movies and entertainment. With all proceeds going towards the YMCA charity, Kelly goes on to discuss how the preparations for event is going with just a week to go.


“We’ve been planning since September of last year but as we’ve got closer we’re now at full throttle with ticket sales and getting ready to show 5 brilliant short films”.


She goes on to say, “The films range from 1 minute to 18 minutes long with contributions from Rajnish Sharma, Mike Yeoman, G M Finney Productions and more”.


“We’ll be doing a raffle as well and all money raised is going to charity. Plus The Y Theatre is a great place so hopefully people will get an amazing experience in a fantastic venue”.


Built in 1900, the Y Theatre is the oldest surviving Victorian theatre in Leicester. It’s also a community focused non-profit and a bustling live performance venue providing a range of recreational programmes and performance for all ages.


“There will be a public vote on the evening too and a winner announced. And we hope to bring a lot of filmmakers together and give them an opportunity they may not have had”, adds Kelly.


The event will be a formal black-tie event with red carpet photos on arrival, the film screenings as well as question and answer sessions with the directors themselves.


Concluding with a charity raffle with exciting prizes, tickets are available and if purchased before 14th July are only £10 (£11.37 with Eventbrite).


Full price tickets will be available at £15 on the door and all seating is unreserved.


Venue information: Y Theatre (YMCA), 7 East Street, Leicester, LE1 6EY


TICKETS: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/leicester-short-film-gala-tickets-43074484944?aff=efbeventtix


FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/events/2053434741538285/



By midlandsmovies, Mar 16 2017 02:49PM



Leicester film Ascension by local movie-maker Rajnish Sharma has been selected to be part of the prestigious Lift-Off Festival line up of true independent cinema. 2017's Manchester Lift-Off Film Festival takes place at Texture in the city's Northern Quarter and Mike finds out more about this impressive feat from Rajnish himself.


Rajnish Sharma's Ascension was selected out of 1000+ global entrants, to screen at Manchester Lift-Off Film Festival this Spring. At the event, all films will be judged and then scored by the attending audience, where winners are potentially screened at any of the ten proceeding Lift-Off global events. Their ultimate aim is to give filmmakers like Rajnish the best exposure possible as they embark on their continued artistic journey within the film industry.


Rajnish explains that, "Ascension focuses on a man who has barricaded himself from a broken, fractured world in order to survive. However, he eventually finds himself having to face the consequences of his actions and the people he has hurt".


"The intention of my debut short film was to create a project with minimal resources and money and still make a brilliant looking film with an engaging narrative", adds Rajnish.


Rajnish believes the screening at the Lift-Off Film Festival is important as it shows that a beginner's film can make huge waves, and that someone who is dedicated to the craft of filmmaking can see their work pay off and their give fuel to their passion.


The screening takes place on Wednesday 29th March 2017 at Texture, 67 Lever Street, Northern Quarter, M1 1FL.


In addition, Lift-Off currently has festivals in Manchester, New York, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Paris, Amsterdam, Seoul, Sydney, Tokyo, Los Angeles and London.


Ben Polhman Co-Director and Co-Founder of Lift-Off says…


"This years competition was extremely tough. It is clear to see that indie filmmaking in Manchester and the surrounding areas are quickly becoming some of the best in the world. Getting into this programme whether you are a local filmmaker or a filmmaker from elsewhere is a really great achievement. These artists are well on their way to becoming industry players!"


Midlands Movies wishes Rajnish all the best as he expands his screenings beyond the region and readers can find out more information about the film on Facebook here:


https://www.facebook.com/AscensionShortOfficial/

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