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By midlandsmovies, Aug 22 2014 03:27PM

A University of Derby Film tutor has a new short film called “Dolls” accepted into an online competition to win top prize of £41,000 at an international festival. Midlands Movies Mike finds out about this eerie movie.

“Dolls” has been made by Kelly Holmes’ and tells a sinister tale of a borderline incestuous relationship between a young brother and sister set in a doll’s house in their Victorian playroom.

The short is in contention in the Viewster Online Film Festival, where internet-based audience members vote for their favourite film and the movie’s director of photography Gavin Struthers has previous credits including Downton Abbey, Doctor Who, Da Vinci’s Demons and the new pirate drama Black Sails.

Starring Anna Tolputt – who was in Run, Fatboy, Run – and Derby actor Dean Whatton, who has appeared in the hugely-popular drama series Game of Thrones, the film is at the whilm of a panel of judges who can award $70,000 (more than £41,000) of prize money to the top film. The four-minute drama centres on a sibling power struggle between brother George and his prize toy, his sister Tabitha and shot in the TV studio at the University’s Markeaton Street site in Derby.

A set was constructed to look like a Victorian playroom holding more than 100 porcelain dolls whilst staff and students from the university helped to create the intricate set and produce the final film.

Director Kelly said, “This film has been a long time in the making but I am thrilled it is now getting recognition. There are more than 500 films in the running for an award and it has been bouncing around the top 50 since the start of the festival.

"I just want as many people as possible to vote for this now as it would be such a fantastic achievement to win an award”, she added. “I have a passion for the weird and creative in genres like horror, thriller and fantasy and have been making films as a director, producer and other crew roles for over ten years.”

Last year, Kelly visited Los Angeles to help make films for Hollywood’s famous American Film Institute, where she worked as an Art Director and Assistant Director in locations such as the Disney Film Ranch and the sets of The Usual Suspects. Viewster Online Film Festival is part of Viewster, a free video streaming website with millions of fans watching international content. All content is free and allows the community to discover new international hits, discuss and find trends. This year’s festival has the theme of ‘Relation Status: It’s Complicated’.

The film can be viewed at http://www.viewster.com/movie/1262-17420-000/dolls with voting is now open and ends on June 26th.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/dollsthefilm

By midlandsmovies, Jun 17 2014 06:29PM

Laura Cotton is a 3rd year film production student studying at the University of Derby who is in the process of fundraising for her final year degree show film. Heavily inspired by the works of H.P.Lovecraft, ‘The Copy-Writer’ is set in 1970s England and when completed, Laura and her fellow students hope to enter the film into a variety of local and international Lovecraftian and genre film festivals later this year.

The majority of the production team herald from the Midlands area and have been studying the discipline of film from a very early age in both Nottingham and Derby. The production itself will take place in the local area too and they are drawing upon support from local businesses and organisations to keep this film a local project with an international reach.

Directed and written by Liam Banks, Lovecraft's work has always been something Liam has been interested in and now having the opportunity to create his own Lovecraftian tale is a dream come true for the young filmmaker. Having directed many short films in his time at the University of Derby and in his spare time, Liam has screened them locally and entered them into various film festivals and hopes for the same success with this new project.

Horror and the world of the supernatural has always appealed to Liam so working within this genre is a real treat and he can't wait for production to get underway on this tale which tells the story of Henry, a man haunted by strange monsters but are they real or is this a slow decent into insanity?

Liam feels this project will really provide a turning point for him to "up his game" as a filmmaker and work with a host of talent to create something they can all be proud of.

Currently half way towards their goal, Laura hopes a final push by the group will help make the film a reality and you can see the latest news, cast and crew, gallery and more information about their campaign at http://thecopywriterfilm.webs.com

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