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Movie news, reviews, features and more thoughts coming soon...

By midlandsmovies, Mar 16 2020 11:37PM

New short film Exhibit by Isobel Richards released online

Isobel Richards is a film production student from the Midlands whose new short film EXHIBIT has been released online.

EXHIBIT tells the story of Peter who follows friends Dan and Alex into a closed museum after a drunken night out. After becoming trapped, the short film asks whether they can find their way out before it's too late.

The full short can be watched on the YouTube link below:

Check out further news, updates and future films at Izzy’s social media channels:



By midlandsmovies, Mar 8 2020 11:16PM

On Friday 6th March I had the pleasure of being invited to attend the screening of It's Just a Boy, the first short film from Nottingham-based Leap of Faith Films. It's also the first film from writer/director Jane Louise Webb.

There's always something special about attending a screening with the people who made the film. I hid at the back, in a great position to soak up the atmosphere. There's a thrill of energy that runs around the room, seats filled with cast members and crew members and family members (and at least one random roving reviewer). Children run up the aisles as people catch up and reminisce about the shoot, all waiting for the announcement that showtime is upon us.

As this is Webb's first film, it's easy to imagine the nerves that come with seeing your work on the big screen for the first time. It's Just a Boy started its journey with a teaser trailer and crowdfunding campaign in 2018, and now it's screening in a cinema and doing the festival rounds. She needn't have worried though as it's turned out to be a very strong debut indeed!

13 year old Amy (Angel-May Webb) has a secret admirer, a boy she messages but has never met. He desperately wants to meet up so she tries to give her mother Penny (Sarah Eastwood) the runaround. Penny's not easily fooled, though, as she intercepts the messages and confronts her naive daughter. Amy can't see what the fuss is all about - after all, it's just a boy. Isn't it?

The film gets a little uncomfortable to watch at times, seeing poor Amy excited at the prospect of a boy liking her and embarrassed by what she sees as her mum's overprotective behaviour. The story might seem predictable, but if so then it's only because it needs to be to deliver its warning message. As the story cruises to its inevitable end, Amy's refrain of 'it's just a boy' hammers home how sinister the situation is. She's being catfished, gaslight and groomed and she's too young to appreciate the danger she's in. Even her dad doesn't seem overly bothered until it's clear that things aren't on the level.

It's Just A Boy is an excellent film, well-shot with great performances from the two leads and an important message. A statement at the end provides some worrying statistics about the number of kids on social media and the percentage of them that have been contacted by suspicious accounts. It can be hard to protect vulnerable children and teenagers in the digital age, and parents will always worry for their safety. The hope is for the film to be shown in schools to raise awareness of the issue and to help protect as many kids as possible.

The credits roll, the lights come up to a well-earned round of applause and cheers, then it's off to the bar for celebratory drinks as everyone congratulates each other on a job well done.

Jane Louise Webb has delivered a powerful first film, and something tells me this is far from the last we'll see of her and Leap of Faith films!

Sam Kurd

Twitter @Splend

By midlandsmovies, Feb 21 2020 10:45AM

Northampton Film Festival 2020 - Kind of a Big Deal

There’s a new regional festival in town which comes to the Midlands in May. The Northampton Film Festival 2020: Kind of a Big Deal is now encouraging local filmmakers to submit their films for free.

The screening events will run across Northampton from 13th May to 20th May and there’s no age limit when it comes to the films entered.

So it doesn't matter if you start making it now (organisers Screen Northants can help budding directors meet potential cast and crew) or if it's a decade old. As long as it's no longer than 30 minutes and has some connection to Northampton or Northamptonshire, you can submit it.

Any genre: from experimental to documentaries to music videos with a bit of a story, if it's a short film they will take it!

There's a number of ways to get involved:

- submit to the short film competition

- if you are a school you can enter the special schools competition for Northamptonshire - make a film on the theme of Mavericks and Misfits (or if you've already made one on any theme you can submit it to the short film competition)

- if you don't fancy a competition but want to share a film they have a “First Films are Sh*t Show them Anyway” night where people who haven't entered a film festival before can just share their work in a non-judgemental arena. Get it out of the way then next year maybe you'll submit!

- Enter their 48hr Film Challenge at the end of this month or in April for a chance to go into their Winners of Winners category at the festival in May! It's free... Read their handy guide here and see the bottom of this email for dates


- finally, the festival will be doing a load of events in the run up to the festival and at the festival itself so keep your eyes peeled!

Check out the official website and please share - www.northamptonfilmfestival.co.uk

By midlandsmovies, Feb 10 2020 08:47PM

Midlands Spotlight on filmmaker Jayne Slater

Jayne Slater is an award-winning freelance filmmaker based in the East Midlands and Midlands Movies finds out more about this up and coming filmmaker as she releases her new short See You Again.

As well as being a keen director, Jayne Slater has experience as both a scriptwriter and as a producer too. Working across many departments Jayne has undertaken assistant directing and location management within a wide range of projects.

Not stopping there, she has also been a production assistant and like many, started as a runner. Helping her out along the way however was valuable experience gained whilst at University over the last few years.

Graduating with a BA Hons from the University of Derby in 2018 where she studied Film Production, Jayne has recently completed a new short which is currently doing on the festival circuit.

See You Again is her new drama which tells the story of mum Rachel who has to keep putting off spending time with her daughter, Elle, because of overtime. One night she tries to make this right, as it may be her last chance to see Elle.

Jayne explains where her idea originated from: “We live in a world where people increasingly chose work over spending time with their children. For children, they don’t understand the concept of a job and can hold resentment for their parents’ absence”.

“If a parent had a chance to correct this understanding and showed they care, I’d imagine they would take it”, adds Jayne.

She goes on to say, “This was the first short I made after becoming a graduate. I wanted a film that showed my liking towards the supernatural and fairy tale elements without costing a bomb”.

The cast includes Jenn Day as Rachel and Isobel McNerney as Elle. It also features Dylan Knight, Trevor Oram and Craig Micheli in support roles.

Jayne finishes by saying, “Work-life balance is something a lot of people struggle with, especially in this generation, and so I wanted my film to have message that a lot of people could relate to”.

We hope Jayne’s film captures the imagination of its audience as well as resonating with its family themes.

Check out the full trailer above as well as the poster for the film from designer Cong Nyugen.

By midlandsmovies, Jan 24 2020 12:46PM

Midlands Spotlight on lighting camera operator Dan Hunt

This week on our Spotlight we check out Midlands-based lighting camera operator and cinematographer Dan Hunt.

With over 10 years' industry experience, Dan specialises in corporate work, commercials and branded content.

His previous projects include shooting international advertising campaigns, music videos and gigs for Top 40 artists, broadcast TV, award-winning shorts and a cinema-released feature film.

Dan’s career started way back with a first class BSc (Hons) in Film Production Technology, This was closely followed by the formation of Warped Noise, a production company specialising in music videos and live events.

From this Dan says, “I learned valuable business skills, which enabled me to refocus my efforts into becoming a successful freelancer working for companies across the UK and Europe”.

Always on the lookout for more opportunities with Midlands filmmakers and beyond Dan has plenty of camera experience. “I have my own kits but am equally comfortable shooting on a wide range of cameras including Arri, RED and Black Magic Systems. I'm also a highly skilled Movi and Camera Crane operator”, says Dan.

With travel being one of Dan’s biggest passions he says he’s been lucky enough to combine this with filming assignments in India and Tanzania. Afterwards, Dan undertook a three-month tour of European film festivals for a documentary project.

When he’s not filming Dan takes time out to indulge his hobbies including snowboarding, photography and (of course) movie buff!

With a CV full of interesting and exciting projects you can find out more about Dan’s work via a number of pieces that he either shot or was heavily involved in at his website. Check out just one of them in the video below.

For more information please head to Dan’s official website at https://danhuntcamera.com/

By midlandsmovies, Dec 20 2019 11:25AM

Midlands Spotlight – New Christmas anthology film Advent

Advent is a new Christmas anthology feature film to be released in December 2020 from Pat The Bull Films and Lightbeam Productions.

Made up of three substantial yet uniquely identifiable Christmas tales, Advent sees various lives all caught up over the course of December 24th 2020.

The opening segment story Ho-Ho-Hostage is a festive comedy that follows a family visiting a local soup kitchen who accidently stumble upon a robbery.

With a diverse cast the production has announced that actor Arthur Bostrom, who is known around the world as Officer Crabtree from Allo' Allo' is now involved.

Arthur filmed scenes in December at The Crossing at St. Pauls in Walsall Town Centre and his character, The Mayor, is switching on the annual Christmas Tree Lights in the shopping centre, in which we also meet the core set of characters who then provide the structure of the stories we follow further.

Continuing with the spirit of the season, Kaushy Patel presents the second segment, Three Ghosts chronicling the Wilkinson family whose continual fighting and arguing tips the balance on Christmas Eve. However, this continual emotional struggle has finally taken its toll on all of them both mentally and physically.

Fearing that all hope is lost, one member decides to proceed with a devastating course of action. Their only hope? Three Christmas ghosts, who are determined to show them all how their consequences will have emotional repercussions.

Concluding this anthology is Dave Hastings’ third segment Dominik which tells the true story of a quiet and gentle stranger, who begins to appear at Midnight Mass every Christmas Eve at a local nearby church.

Written and directed by Charlie Duckerin, Kaushy Patel and Dave Hastings and stars Arthur Bostrom, Kerry Frater, Matt Allen, Leah Solmaz, Kaine Baker, Anthony Webster, Cameron Dean, Chris Davis, Charlie Clarke, Sarah Gain, Andy Chaplin, Elizabeth Wakefield, Elizabeth Burden, Elisha-Rose Rowley, Jonathan Butler and many more.

Dave Hastings adds, “It was a wonderful experience to have Arthur want to come on board and support us independent filmmakers in the Midlands. His performance within the Christmas Tree light switch on scenes are funny, charming and full of festive spirit, and he was in the amazing capable hands of segment director Charlie Duckerin and a stunning cast and crew".

"His performance runs alongside some compelling ones we've already shot, and we have no doubt that will continue on with the next two filming blocks, each with an incredible cast to look forward too”.

Follow the film on its Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/AdventMovie/

By midlandsmovies, Nov 26 2019 11:54AM

Steve Green with Alan Birch and Al Smith
Steve Green with Alan Birch and Al Smith

Midlands Spotlight - New online show focuses on Midlands filmmakers

Midlands filmmakers will find themselves in front of the camera when local telly legends Des Tong and Gary James launch their new online show Birmingham Now on Monday 25th November.

Birmingham Now is a new monthly YouTube series will feature interviews with personalities from the world of movies, music, theatre and art, as well as profiles of business and sports figures.

Des Tong is a Birmingham-based musician, presenter and video director, best known for his work with Sad Cafe and singer Cissy Stone. Gary James is a Birmingham-based sports journalist, presenter and branding consultant with wide experience in corporate entertainment.

Birmingham Now hosts Gary James and Des Tong
Birmingham Now hosts Gary James and Des Tong

And Steve Green and Chrissie Harper run Solihull-based Vamporama Films, producing news packages for regional television and documentary material for a variety of online and media platforms.

In the first edition, co-producer Steve Green will be talking to actor Alan Birch and writer Al Smith about their collaborations on film and stage, as well as the first Black Country Horror Shorts Film Festival.

Running in Kinver in January 2020, the Black Country Horror Shorts Film Festival includes judges include Adam Nevill, whose novel The Ritual was adapted for the screen in 2017.

There's also the first of Des Tong's "featured artist" profiles in which he chats with Wolverhampton-born singer-songwriter Rebecca Downes.

The show is a co-production between Des & Gary and Solihull-based Vamporama Films.

Previews and free subscriptions are available now via the show’s website http://brum-now.uk

YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIjVpJqCyNK_BymjT-fnTdQ

Festival link: https://www.weepingbankproductions.co.uk

By midlandsmovies, Nov 18 2019 11:32AM

Award-nominated 15-year old filmmaker Luke Allen hosts premiere for new film Unstable

The premiere for the latest short film from award-nominated 15-year old filmmaker Luke Allen is taking place next month in the Midlands.

Based in Telford, his latest short film UNSTABLE is having a red carpet premiere event now production is complete.

Unstable tells the story of Adam (Alexander Westwood), a man whose life starts to go downhill when his ever-increasing increasing addiction starts to affect his relationships.

Made on zero budget with all the members of the cast kindly working and travelling free of charge, what was initially going to be a small screening to kindly thank the cast and crew has now led to a much larger event.

The premiere will take place on Saturday 7th December at Telford Priory School in Wrockwardine Wood from 7.30pm.

Luke goes on to explain how the short was concepted ; “The idea for the film came about as I volunteer with a charity called ROC (Redeeming Our Communities) which has led to me coming in contact with several recovering addicts”.

“I've always felt that their representation has been incorrect in media and that addicts are very rarely (if ever) presented as ordinary people who've made a mistake and need help. I hope that this film is successful in portraying them in such a light”, adds Luke.

Tickets are free with a small cost for refreshments and dress code is formal and the audience will be treated to a Q&A with the director and the film’s cast members.

All details for the premiere are available at www.lukeallen.co.uk and free tickets are available to book at Eventbrite:


Check out the full trailer for UNSTABLE above.

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