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By midlandsmovies, Dec 3 2018 10:22AM



Midlands Spotlight - Off Grid release new trailer to coincide with crowdfunding campaign


Off Grid is the upcoming production from Dark Matter Films and Bewdley-based Director Carl Timms who shot the short film on location in Worcestershire earlier this summer with a completion date pencilled in for early 2019.


The crowdfunding campaign will raise money for the film’s special effects and final post-production for this post-apocalyptic, supernatural thriller which boasts a stellar cast including James Cosmo, MBE (Game of Thrones, Braveheart, The Outlaw King) as force of nature John Tanner; Alison Steadman (Pride and Prejudice, Gavin & Stacey) as his frail wife, Grace and Marc Baylis (Redcon-1, Coronation Street) as the enigmatic Stranger


Rising British horror actress Kate Davies-Speak (Horizon, Dead Air) as Cailtin Rourke is also involved and the trailer, which can be viewed above, offers a glimpse of the other-worldly threat, ‘The Shining Ones’, who are plaguing humanity.



Off Grid is directed by Carl Timms (click here to read our review of his earlier Midlands film STILL) and written by Mark Brendan through their production company Dark Matter Films and was shot over the summer of 2018. It tells the story of elderly couple, John and Grace Tanner, who have fled deep into the forest following an apocalyptic event. There John fights to protect his frail wife, and his own sanity, from a supernatural threat. The arrival of another survivor forces John to assess if he is an ally or a threat, leading to revelations that could shatter the sanctuary he has built for them.


Bewdley-based director Carl Timms says, "We are delighted with how the filming turned out. We feel honoured to have worked with such a talented cast who brought these characters to life exactly as we hoped. Off Grid is a hard-hitting, intense drama that tells an ambitious, character-driven story in just 20min. To make it work we needed actors with real gravitas and they delivered beyond our hopes. But credit must also go to our amazing crew who all worked so hard to make this the best it could be".




The Indiegogo campaign with a target of £5,000 for Off Grid launched 25th November and can be found by clicking here. All funds raised are being put into post-production of the film, including CGI effects work, grading, sound design and final mastering.


The ‘perks’ on offer include an Associate / Executive Producer credit including tickets to a premiere screening, sponsorship opportunities for local businesses, digital and DVD copies of the finished film, limited edition artwork and behind the scenes photography, and a thank you in the credits for making the film happen. If the campaign is a success, Dark Matter Films are planning an early 2019 completion date and high-end festival run.


Keep up to date at https://www.darkmatterfilms.co.uk


Photos courtesy of Gary Moore, strongarmphotography


By midlandsmovies, Nov 26 2018 07:58AM



Midlands Spotlight – Irene’s Ghost


Midlands Movies Mike Sales finds out about new local film Irene’s Ghost made by filmmaker Iain Cunningham which covers a personal story about the search for a family member using animation and filmed footage.


Irene’s Ghost is a documentary which follows a son’s search to find out about the mother he never knew. The birth of his own child inspires the filmmaker to go on a journey to discover the truth about Irene, who passed away when he was just a child. Piecing together fragments of the past to make sense of the present he uncovers a long-held secret.


Directed by Iain Cunningham, the film is set around Nuneaton in Warwickshire and recently had a premiere at BFI London Film Festival. With plans to screen in cinemas next year and a local event in April 2019, Iain take centre stage doing the detective work to uncover his own mother’s story.


“I think that wanting to make this film is probably the reason I went into filmmaking in the first place”, says Ian. “The need to find out about Irene was always entwined with the desire to create something about her, to give her life a bit of poetry and give her a voice that she was in some ways denied in life”.


Irene died before Iain was old enough to form memories of her and after difficult decades where he was unable to broach the topic with his father, Iain encounters long-lost relatives and Irene’s best friend Lynn and gets to know his mother through the stories they tell.


From life in Nuneaton in the 1970s, factory work and living for nights at the Co-op Hall and holidays, the documentary pieces the puzzle of her life together, and slowly Irene’s personality comes to life.


Iain runs production company Forward Features and focuses on intimate and personal work. He decided to incorporate bursts of animation to illuminate memory and fantasy as he explores mental illness, grief and female friendship.


For more information on Irene’s Ghost check out the film’s official website and watch the trailer for the film below


www.irenesghost.com






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, Nov 13 2018 10:39AM



Midlands Spotlight - Sutton Coldfield Movie Makers


Sutton Coldfield Movie Makers are a lively group of filmmakers and enthusiasts who meet twice a month in the West Midlands to create projects and inspire new and experienced filmmakers alike. Midlands Movies Mike Sales catches up with Jill Lampert to find out more.


Jill Lampert is the Membership Secretary of Sutton Coldfield Movie Makers, a grass-roots organisation that meets at 7.45pm every second and fourth Thursday of the month.


Their get-togethers take place between September and June at Wylde Green Community Hall, Emscote Drivein Sutton Coldfield and they are a community of like-minded cinephiles who enjoy developing film-making skills and supporting their members with their projects.


Although members of Sutton Coldfield Movie Makers include people with many years of experience working in mainstream television, Jill says that the club is an ideal place for beginner filmmakers to take their first steps into filmmaking.


"There is always a warm welcome given to visitors and new members and the first visit is free!"


Many members are currently working on different projects - from a murder story, an excerpt from Shakespeare and a short comedy with special effects. There are also a number of work in progress documentaries underway too and the range of subjects vary from beauty spots in Derbyshire to a boy with a passion for cricket as well as a film on hedgehogs and also another about homes for elderly, disabled and vulnerable people in France.


With such a wide range of experience and diversity of projects, SCMM has already created and completed a number of award-winning short films and their most recent work has included:


The Race to Death’s Door

Julian Austwick wrote and directed this ambitious short comedy film with many locations and a large cast.





Short Cut

Jack Reid wrote a short script which interested experienced filmmakers Ann and Arthur Fletcher. They developed the script and helped Jack to make this film featuring a shy birdwatcher.




A Helping Hand

Filmmaker Debbie Daniels’ first short film is about an elderly man who couldn’t sleep at night. He turned night into day but found this was isolating and lonely, so he turned to Dr Spellman for help. The doctor’s remedy was surprising.




The Attic

Members of Sutton Coldfield Movie Makers rented holiday cottages in Wales which doubled up as locations for this spooky short film by Andy Wills.




Behind the Signs

Three groups of members each put together a very short film explaining (in imaginative ways) the story behind a different pub sign. These three films were bound together by another story put together by a fourth group. Altogether some 27 club members were involved in making this film.


One special feature of this film was that members who had no experience in some aspect of filmmaking were invited to have a go. So the crew largely consisted of members who were trying out a new role e.g. directing for the first time, or doing the lighting for the first time.


For more information and to become a member check out the group's official page at


www.suttoncoldfieldmoviemakers.org.uk



By midlandsmovies, Nov 4 2018 08:44AM



Midlands Spotlight - Nottingham International Film Festival


The Nottingham International Film Festival is taking place at the Cineworld and Nottingham Arts Theatre from the 11th-15th November and is showing a great selection of independent film from around the world.


After two successful years the festival is expanding in length and will be spread across two venues with Nottingham’s city centre cinema Cineworld and stalwart of Nottingham’s arts scene The Nottingham Arts Theatre hosting a mix of feature and documentary films, short films, experimental, music videos and animations.


The opening night documentary, The Ballad of a Righteous Merchant, is about Werner Herzog and the making of his film My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done.


The film is playing at Cineworld on 11th November at 4PM and the director will be doing a Q&A after the screening. Check out http://www.nottiff.com/ballad-of-righteous-merchant for all the information and to buy tickets.



Screenings at the Arts Theatre are great value for money as they include both a Short Film Showcase and a feature presentation for the price of one ticket. Viewers can also grab a selection of passes for the Cineworld screenings, including all six films for £24 (£20 for students).


A 60-Minute Short Film Showcase and feature film double bill at The Nottingham Arts Theatre can be purchased for just £7.50


For all ticket options and offer click here: http://www.nottiff.com/tickets-and-passes/

For more details please visit http://www.nottiff.com


Full Line-Up below:


Ballad of a Righteous Merchant

HERBERT GOLDER / UNITED STATES / 63 MINUTES / ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Starring: Werner Herzog, Michael Shannon, Chloë Sevigny, Willem Dafoe

Playing at 4pm on Sunday 11th November at Cineworld Nottingham


Opening Night Shorts

A selection of short films from around the world with stars Billy Bob Thornton, Stephen Graham and Alfred Molina in the linuep.

Playing at 6:30PM on 11TH November, Cineworld


Octav

SERGE IOAN CELEBIDACHI / ROMANIA / 100 MINUTES / ROMANIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES

Starring: Marcel Iures, Victor Rebengiuc, Lia Bugnar

Playing at 6pm on Monday 12th November at Cineworld Nottingham


My Year with Helen

GAYLENE PRESTON / NEW ZEALAND / 93 MINUTES / ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Starring: Helen Clark

Playing at 8:30pm on Monday 12th November at Cineworld Nottingham


Behind the Mirror

DIETMAR GAMPER, LINDA ROEHL / ITALY / 73 MINUTES / GERMAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES

Starring: Hanna Weithaler, Veronika Pircher, Walter Tribus

Includes Tuesday Night Short Film Showcase

Playing at 7PM on Tuesday 13th November at the Nottingham Arts Theatre


Phantompain

ANDREAS OLENBERG / GERMANY / 98 MINUTES / GERMAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES

Starring: Daniel Littau, Sven Martinek, Jessica Boehrs

Includes Wednesday Night Short Film Showcase

Playing at 7PM on Wednesday 14th November 7PM at the Nottingham Arts Theatre


You Can’t Say No

PAUL KRAMER / UNITED STATES / 91 MINUTES / ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Starring: Marguerite Moreau, Annie Monroe, Peter Fonda

Playing at 6pm on Thursday 15th November at Cineworld Nottingham


When The Storm Fades

SEAN DEVLIN / CANADA / 81 MINUTES / ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Starring: Kayla Lorette, Ryan Beil

Includes Thursday Night Short Film Showcase

Playing at 7PM on Thursday 15th November at the Nottingham Arts Theatre


Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies

AMANDA LADD-JONES / UNITED STATES / 84 MINUTES / ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Starring: Alan Ladd Jnr, Morgan Freeman, Ridley Scott, Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver

Playing at 8:30pm on Thursday 15th November at Cineworld Nottingham

By midlandsmovies, Nov 2 2018 10:21PM



Midlands Spotlight - Aurora


Midlands Movies editor Mike Sales discovers new local short film Aurora from regional filmmaker Louis Brough. From its fairy tale roots to an extended post-production period, the film has had a rocky road to completion but is close to release through the hard work of a dedicated cast and crew.


Inspired by the beloved fairy tale "The Sleeping Beauty in the Woods", new Midlands short Aurora follows a young teenage girl and her journey of self-discovery before the curse placed on her at birth takes over.


And although the film finished shooting in July of last year, since then local director Louis Brough has been deep in post-production but it’s not quite a ‘happy ever after’ just yet.


After losing the original composers, the score was rewritten and the mixing was a long process which the production spent a long time perfecting. And visual effects had a difficult task in removing telegraph poles and creating a floating book but, in his own words, "finally we are ready to submit the film to festivals and share it with the world”, says Louis.


“We had an amazing shoot in Hampshire's New Forest, capturing some terrific performances and have developed a beautiful and unique story”.



Alongside Louis is co-director and award-winning actress Natalie Martins and Louis explains, like the best old tales of yore, the idea has been gestating for a very long time.


“I originally wrote this idea down when I was 11 and decided this is a good time to develop this project. And after speaking to Natalie about it we both fell in love with the idea of exploring a coming of age story in a fairy tale setting”.


Louis adds, “Together we want to explore the character of Sleeping Beauty in much more detail than what has previously been explored in other adaptations of this classic tale. We will spend time with her and witness her reaction as she is told about the curse that has been following her for her entire life”.

This coming of age fantasy tale is an exploration of the Sleeping Beauty story told from the perspective of the girl who will fall asleep at the end of the film.


And although the audience may know that it ultimately has a happy ending owing to its many retellings, Louis hopes the intrigue will come from not knowing anything about this girl who will be awakened by true love's kiss.


And Louis suggests the film uses the familiarity to explore many more new ideas and themes.


"The concept of Aurora uses a tale we all know very well, but delves into depths which are likely to remain in the audience's minds for some time”.


The video of their funding campaign can be viewed below and check out the film’s updates on Facebook:


www.facebook.com/scarlettlightmedia





By midlandsmovies, Oct 31 2018 03:03PM



Local filmmaker Rebekah Fortune hosting two events at the Birmingham Film Festival


Tamworth set film “Just Charlie” was directed by Rebekah Fortune of Seahorse Films and the talented filmmaker is passing on her world of experience during a number of fantastic upcoming Midlands events in 2018.


First up, Rebekah will be hosting a panel sponsored by BFI NETWORK and The Producers Forum which is aimed at those wanting to make their first – or even trickier second – feature. The event will include a wide range of experts including Jack Tarling whose feature Gods Own Country won awards across the globe as well as being nominated for a BAFTA.


Clare Peace who has produced many independent features that have secured world-wide distribution and Alison Solomon, a respected Midlands casting director will also be in attendance.


Rebekah adds, “I will also be talking about my experiences of making my first feature ‘Just Charlie’ which has won awards across the globe including at The Edinburgh International Film Festival”.


The event will include both a Q & A session as well as networking opportunities and runs from 4pm to 6pm on Sunday 25th November 2018.


Click here to purchase tickets via Eventbrite



The second event involving Rebekah is a screening of her first feature ‘Just Charlie’. Midlands Movies reviewed the film here but this screening will be the first time the film will have been shown in Birmingham.


Having won the prestigious Audience Award at last year’s Edinburgh Film Festival, numerous awards internationally and plenty of critical acclaim, the film tells the story of football star, Charlie, who has the world at his feet.


With a top club desperate to sign him, his future is seemingly mapped out but the teenager sees only a nightmare. Trapped in the body of a boy, Charlie is torn between wanting to live up to her father’s expectations and shedding this ill-fitting skin.


The film itself was shot entirely in and around Tamworth and Lichfield and involves local cast and crew and the evening will also be followed by a Q & A from the filmmaker.


Click here to purchase tickets via Eventbrite



But that’s not all! Rebekah is part of Cinesisters Midlands which is a group set up for female directors and producers in the East and West Midlands to come together as a peer mentoring opportunity.


Midlands Movies has covered the group on our blog here and the group has helped nurture female directing and producing talent in the region. With meetings held on the second Monday of each month at venues across the Midlands, the next dates in their diary if you wish to join are:


* Broadway Nottingham 12th November

* The Light Wolverhampton 11th December

* Phoenix Leicester 14th January

* BOM Birmingham 11th February

* QUAD Derby 11th March

* The Albert Tamworth 8th April


And those interested can contact the group at wearecinesistersmidlands@gmail.com


For more information on Rebekah’s current and upcoming work check out her production company website at www.seahorsefilms


By midlandsmovies, Oct 4 2018 09:02AM



Student filmmaker tackles dark drama in new short film Terminal


Ben Evans is a student filmmaker studying in Derby who has created a new short film project called ’Terminal’ which he has written and also directed in 2018.


Starring Sophie Bloor from BBC One's 'In the Dark', the film is a short drama about the mental health of a young character towards the end of her life.


A tough uncompromising look at illness, ‘Terminal’ tells the story of Ellie (Sophie Bloor) who is diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis at the age of eight. With her father soon walking out on her, the story is picked up eleven years later. And he returns to find Ellie on her deathbed hoping to be part of her life again.


Joining Sophie will be Alix Ashurst as Helen, David Castleford as Mark, Tom Hendryk as the doctor and actress Ellie Jackson as a young Ellie.


Crew wise Ben is excited to have Jon Altham from SoundWave Studios on board to compose music on 'Terminal' and has just released the official poster for the film to the public (see above).


And with the filmmaker currently deep in post-production, Ben has high hopes for his short and is already looking at entering the film onto the festival circuit later in 2019.


Check out the full information about the film over on IMDB here:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8570308/?ref_=rvi_tt


And for regular updates follow the film’s social media at Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Terminal-Short-Film-1513325858777724





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