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By midlandsmovies, Jul 9 2018 09:30AM



The Second City Provides Instant Entertainment


Birmingham-based talent company Instant Entertainment has recently announced the signing of Bruce MacDonald of Boomtown Films. If you recognise MacDonald’s name, it’s no doubt down to his direction of The Perfect Wave, the 2017 true-life drama which gave Scott (Son of Clint) Eastwood his big break in Hollywood.


Also on MacDonald’s horizon is the September 2018 release of Samson, the religious/historical epic tale of lost love and vengeance, starring Jackson Rathbone (The Twilight Saga), Rutgar Hauer and Billy Zane.


As CEO Phillipe Ashfield told us, high on Instant Entertainment’s schedule is the focus on #Womeninfilm, where projects are being prioritised to promote equal pay and opportunities across the industry. The next such project is the Julie Paupe-penned Exordium a Peplum-esque film, which focuses on the parents of the foretold heroes of the Trojan War.


Altogether, this is yet more exciting news for Birmingham. The region has recently seen the #WMGeneration movement showcase the creative talent in the West Midlands, tempting Channel 4 to consider moving their production offices to Birmingham and Coventry in the process.


This is alongside the strides that Film Birmingham have been making in developing FilmApp, which has allowed high profile filming requests for the Second City to be fast-tracked. This, of course, follows in the footsteps of Spielberg’s Ready Player One using Digbeth as a dystopian location and internationally acclaimed series The Game doubling Brum for London.


You can keep up with Instant Entertainment’s developments via their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/instantEntertainment


via Red Bezzle https://twitter.com/redbezzle


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, Jun 14 2018 11:05AM



"They sometimes say real life is scarier than horror movies. Those people just aren't watching the right movies!"


So say the organisers of Shock & Gore, a local festival that launched in July 2011 and looks to bring together audiences and film-makers who have a love of horror, science fiction and fantastic films at the oldest working cinema in the UK.


Returning this summer to The Electric Cinema in Birmingham from Friday 27th July to Sunday 5th August, a host of genre screenings make up the brunt of the festival but they also programme stand-up comedy, Q&As, live choirs and all-night events.


Classics like The Old Dark House and the original Cape Fear are accompanied by new films such as Under The Tree and A Prayer Before Dawn. Cult favourites like Buffy The Vampire Slayer and The Prisoner will also be shown, plus their annual party night marks 20 years of Blade and 50 years of Night Of The Living Dead.


Shock & Gore are also hosting a special screening of Ben Wheatley's anarchic High-Rise at the top of Birmingham's iconic Rotunda building and the popular Trash Film Night will be taking to the seas (or, more accurately, Birmingham's canals) for a floating screening of Shark Attack 3: Megalodon.


And on Thursday 2nd August, Conjurer's Kitchen will be presenting the classic movie The Silence Of The Lambs. Master food artist Annabel de Vetten will be cooking up some devilishly sweet treats to accompany a screening of one of the greatest thrillers of the last thirty years.


With a commitment to celebrating not only the work of established genre filmmakers, but also those looking to get their first break and national exposure, the focal point of the festival is always the official Shock & Gore competition. This is where entries from across the globe will be viewed and awards will be given for Best Feature Film and Best Short Film.


The Shock & Gore 2018 short film showcase takes place on Sunday 29th July at 2pm and offers opportunities for snappy jump scares, extreme set pieces and brief snippets of terror. Previous years have featured films from Japan, Dubai, Canada, the US, France and Italy, as well as a number of home-grown shorts.


And you still have time to enter via FilmFreeway at this link: https://filmfreeway.com/ShockGore


Full listings and the special events programme is online at www.shockandgore.co.uk


Plus you can find the festival on Twitter @ShockGore



By midlandsmovies, May 31 2018 06:33AM



Midlands Spotlight - Ambitious short seeks support with new campaign


A group of Leicester based filmmakers have begun their crowdfunding campaign to finance their highly ambitious short film, being produced in partnership with Creative Media Skills (CMS) at Pinewood Studios.


The Nail That Sticks Out tells the story of Aiko, a controversial Japanese artist living in the UK, who is struggling to complete her latest collection. Her muse and girlfriend, Elisabeth, faces her own pressures dealing with her fledgling acting career. The journey to Aiko’s final masterpiece takes in passion, lust, obsession and shows no sign of a happy ending.


With a majority of the crew Masters students at De Montfort University, eight of which are studying International Film Production and one Digital Arts student, the group have received training from some of the biggest names in the British film industry.


This includes Iain Smith (Producer of Mad Max: Fury Road, Children of Men), Chris Kenny (Producer of Batman, Empire of the Sun), Gareth Unwin (Producer of The King’s Speech) and Terry Bamber (Production Manager on Casino Royale, Skyfall). The crowdfunding campaign is now live and runs for 30 days with a goal of raising £4,000 to support the production of the film. The ‘Asia extreme’-inspired short film will begin production towards the end of July and will be shot in Nottingham, Leicester and Loughborough.


Iain Smith spoke of his anticipation for the film: “The Nail That Sticks Out is an extraordinary and exciting project. It’s being made by a wonderful, energetic and creative team of student filmmakers. It has been a great pleasure to work with them at CMS; in particular Rebekah (Writer), Jordan (Director) and Jamie (Producer) who have huge talents. I predict they will go far.”


Jordan Dean’s previously spoke to Midlands Movies (click here) and two of his short films have been Official Selections at the Los Angeles Cine Fest, the $2 Dollar International Film Festival in New York and the Move Me Productions International Film Festival in Antwerp. His film Behind the Lens was nominated for a Midlands Movies Award in 2018 and his last film Not Alone recently won the Best Short Film award at the Direct Monthly Online Short Film Festival.


Jamie Ball, the film’s producer, said: “I feel that there is nowhere near enough varied representation of female and LGBT+ characters on screen, something I'm really passionate about. I'm pleased that the first film I'm producing addresses these issues, while at the same time telling a new and interesting story."


The cast and crew include award-winning Director Jordan Dean, award-winning actress Natsumi Kuroda, and Midlands Movies Award nominated composer Peter Flint. The cast and crew are all passionate about telling stories that showcase diversity.


The crowdfunding campaign can be found at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-nail-that-sticks-out-short-film-horror-drama/x/18734609#/





By midlandsmovies, May 28 2018 07:59AM



Midlands Spotlight - Birmingham Creatives Ready for Hire


Midlands Movies finds out about Talent Connect which is a new initiative bringing twelve fresh faces to Birmingham’s creative industry. It is the first time a scheme like this has been piloted, with a drive to help enable new talent to enter into the film sector as freelancers.


A group of 18 to 25-year-olds with an array of talents are to become available for projects that need immediate hiring with each participant having an online profile.


Once registered on their website, employers can access these profiles where they can choose a participant which fits their requirements and contact them directly. The skills of this talent pool are camera operation, camera assisting, editing, hair and make-up, lighting assistant, graphic design, scriptwriting, locations, administration, social media, web development and more.


Contracts are set up between the company and the participant, who have all set up as self-employed and Talent Connect contacted Michael Ford of Infinite Wisdom for his thoughts. “I would definitely look at this platform if I needed new freelancers, having already recruited similar talent through the Producers’ Forum in recent months".


Much like the Creative England Crew Database, the difference between them is that this forum screens its members which is a huge selling point for Michael.


Talent Connect has been created by The Producers’ Forum and Creative Alliance with the support of Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, with BFI’s Film Forever National Lottery funds. Creative Skillset is the industry skills body for the Creative Industries.


The Producers’ Forum is an independent organisation serving the vibrant community of filmmakers and content producers region. Membership includes producers, writers, and directors and many others involved in other aspects of film & TV.


The Forum provides training, networking, and lobbying. In an industry currently undergoing profound changes, it provides a unified lobbying voice through developing strategic relationships with key partners such as Creative Skillset, Film Birmingham, Creative Alliance, and West Midlands Screen Bureau.


Creative Alliance, founded in 2005, was one of the first training providers in the UK to offer apprenticeships in the Creative and Cultural Industry, an industry with no previous history of apprenticeships.


For more information check out https://talentconnect.creativealliance.org.uk



Talent Connect member Fahima Khatun
Talent Connect member Fahima Khatun

By midlandsmovies, May 27 2018 09:44AM



Midlands Spotlight - Summer Nights Film 2018


Summer Nights festival as it is now in its eighth year and returns to its Midlands origins (as well as many more new venues throughout the country) with another spectacular line-up of outdoor cinema events in luxurious and fun locations in the region.

Highlights include a screening of IT (2017) at Calke Abbey on August 4th and Wollaton Hall on August 24th as well as Wayne’s World at Wollaton Hall on August 23rd. Party on!

Tickets can be purchased at the early bird price of £12.50 until the 1st June when they will increase to £15.50.


For the full line-up please see dates, films and venues below:


East Midlands


Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire – Fri 20th DUNKIRK & Sat 21st July MOULIN ROUGE


Bradgate Park, Leicester – new venue! Fri 20th THE GREATEST SHOWMAN & Sat 21st July DIRTY DANCING


Calke Abbey, Derbyshire – Thu 2nd PRETTY WOMAN & Fri 3rd THE GREATEST SHOWMAN & Sat 4th IT Sun 5th August THE GREATEST SHOWMAN


Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire – Fri 17th THE GREATEST SHOWMAN & Sat 18th August DIRTY DANCING


Wollaton Hall, Nottingham – Thu 23rd WAYNES WORLD Fri 24th IT Sat 25th THE GREATEST SHOWMAN Sun 26th THE DARK KNIGHT RISES - Mon 27th August BEAUTY & THE BEAST


Belton House, Lincolnshire – Fri 7th THE GREATEST SHOWMAN & Sat 8th September GHOSTBUSTERS



West Midlands:


Baddesley Clinton, Warwickshire – Thu 26th BEAUTY & THE BEAST Fri 27th TOP GUN & Sat 28th July FOOTLOOSE


Attingham Park, Shropshire – Fri 31st August DIRTY DANCING & Sat 1st September DUNKIRK


There are further dates and venues throughout England includng Surrey, Yorkshire and Cheshire


More information about these screenings and the festival can be found online here: www.summernightsfilm.co.uk





By midlandsmovies, May 16 2018 04:21PM



Midlands Spotlight - Phoenix Access Cinema


As part of Deaf Awareness Week 2018 Midlands Movies catches up with Josh Senior who is the Cinema Programme Assistant at Phoenix Leicester. We talk to Josh about their recent crowd-funding campaign to assist those with hearing impairments as part of their Access Cinema programme.


In December 2017, Phoenix Leicester launched a fundraising campaign to buy 26 new amplified headsets to help more people with sight and hearing loss enjoy films at the cinema.


Phoenix Leicester has an infrared system in both their main screens which allows people with a sight or hearing loss to use a personal headset to hear the film audio described alongside the action in the film or to hear an amplified dialogue track.


Midlands Movies were proud to donate £200 towards the Phoenix’s campaign and the target goal of £2000 was reached in January 2018 with the support of Leicester City Council and a host of other generous donors.


With the success of the campaign they have increased the number of headsets so can now cater to even more people including guide dog groups, social groups and special educational needs school groups.


Josh Senior explains, “As part of our regular programme we build in films that audio description tracks and subtitles. As well as that, the headsets can be used for amplification also”.


“We are building upon this in the future whereby our website will be able to highlight even more films where the technology is available”, continues Josh. “This all ties in with the expansion of the Phoenix in 2020 where two new screens will be available to allow greater access for those with additional needs”.


Phoenix Leicester has regular subtitled films on Tuesday evenings and also provides Autism-friendly screenings on a regular basis. Josh goes on to say the cinema works closely with others in the region, especially with Film Hub Midlands.


“Staff attend workshops and training around accessibility for cinema which keeps us up to date of the current challenges. And the BFI shares knowledge to help us find ways to provide solutions”.


Through Access Cinema, Phoenix Leicester hopes to bring people with differing access needs together to watch the best in world cinema and socialise with friends and family.


Asked about Oscar-winning Midlands film The SIlent Child Josh adds, "There's a great package called the Lives in Sign Language which covers a wide range of genres and experiences and we hope we can bring that to the Phoenix in late Summer".


Striving to keep up to date with social policy, advancements in accessible technology and best practice, the cinema also aims to provide all customers with the most enjoyable cinema experience possible. And with these new headsets they are another step on the way.


All the headsets are readily available at the Phoenix box office with additional help on hand to assist customers as required.


To find out more about Access Cinema at Phoenix Leicester then click on the What’s On section of their website:

https://www.phoenix.org.uk/access-cinema/


And for information on the appeal please click below:

https://www.phoenix.org.uk/blog/phoenix-access-cinema-appeal/


By midlandsmovies, Apr 27 2018 09:40PM



Midlands Spotlight - Finham Park Film Festival


Midlands Movies comes across new regional film festival based in Coventry that has big aspirations with a whole host of up and coming filmmakers.


The Finham Park Film Festival 2018 may be a small film festival but had its beginnings when Mike Gunn Head of Media Arts first started teaching Film Studies at Finham Park in Warwickshire. He encouraged students to have the highest expectations and with many of them entering their projects to local film competitions, it was of no surprise when the students soon started winning.


Later, talented students began entering national competitions and within just the last four years, Finham Park students have had five student films nominated for national prizes, including their first winner last year, Jack Brazil, now in Year 12.


Based in Coventry, thus originated their own film festival. Known for its outstanding film work, their media department have been hosting, serving and demonstrating the work produced. A fully catered, 3 meal, sit-down event is the icing on the movie cake where Andrew Hartshorn, the Head of Food Technology got students cooking Michelin-starred food to 72 guests at the festival.


The school use the festival to showcase fantastic films as well as show the wider community just how much potential they have. They want to inspire the next generation of students to even higher goals and make the school a centre of film-making excellence.


At last year’s festival, the festival helped ignite the Coventry 2021 bid for City of Culture and only eight months later, Coventry won, bringing even greater attention to the city’s young filmmakers.


This year’s festival prizes will be judged by a panel of judges from the film industry including ITV producer Anna Andrews and Ali Bannister, who worked on Steven Spielberg’s War Horse. Sean Hartofilis, an independent New York film-maker will be less known but Josic Cadoret’s work funding new talent at BFI Film London will become more prominent now he has been announced as one of the six regional talent executives by the BFI.


Students nominated for awards are looking forward to hearing from their heroes and getting tips on how to be at the forefront of Coventry’s 2021 City of Culture festivities.


If you’d like to know more about the school or the festival check out https://twitter.com/FinhamFilm



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