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By midlandsmovies, Sep 26 2017 03:47PM



Midlands Spotlight - New drama short from Chilli Rose Productions


Midlands Movies finds out about the latest short film from Chilli Rose Production who are soon to launch their new drama “Who’s There”.


Shot entirely in Kidderminster and directed by local talent Fernando Antonio Maffei, Chilli Rose Productions are launching their film with an official screening event night in just a few months time.


The official screening will take place at Kidderminster Town Hall on 7th December at 7.30pm with a £2 entry fee and with DVDs of the film itself available after the show.


Who’s There stars Antonio Magro (Blood Orange, The Alienist), Amy Shepherd (WPC 56)

Greg Hobbs (The Truth), Grace Valloriani (Harry Brown), and Sophie Canare (ARTICHOKE)


Chilli Rose Productions are a local film production company based in Worcestershire UK and, on Facebook, Fernando had plenty to say about the support he’s received about the film so far on.


“I'm so proud of what we have achieved with ‘Who's There’. My cast and crew all worked very hard to achieve something so stylish and we shot the film using the RED EPIC camera”.


Fernando adds, “There is so much talent around here, I believe there are some great filmmakers around Kidderminster and the Worcestershire surrounding areas, the more we work together the stronger the local industry will become”.


For more information follow the film on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/chilliroseproductions


Watch the trailer for Who’s There below:




By midlandsmovies, Feb 19 2017 09:35PM



After covering 2015 film The Taxi Midlands Movies hitches another ride to talk to Worcestershire based filmmakers TestaRossa Productions about their latest project.


The Taxi’s writer-director Fernando Maffei is now deep in production on Artichoke, a brand new English/Italian crime film shot in Worcester. The story concerns a Mafia hitman who is sent to England to do a job for an old boss but who ends up having his loyalties violently tested.


Fernando and his Midlands-based crew have now wrapped on their first feature and are currently in post-production where the Kidderminster-based filmmaker has again worked with producer Lawrence Donello from Worcester. Aside from The Taxi, the duo have worked on several short films including Who’s There and Homeland all of which were shot in the region.


A thoroughly Midlands cast is led by Jetinder Summan (Holby City, Doctors) as well as emerging talent Greg Hobbs (Doctors, Who's There) Sophie Canare (Who's There, Homeland) Francesco Tribuzio (Age of Kill, The Taxi) and Worcester's own Hollywood connection Vincenzo Nicoli (Alien 3, The Dark Knight) .


Using a micro-budget and a mostly local crew, the team did not limit themselves to the region alone and went as far to enlist the help of notable Director of Photography Lisa Muzzulini who spends her time between UK, NY and Berlin.


And finally, make-up artist Charlotte Pingriff (PrettyScary Youtube channel) has created a host of aesthetic designs including bleeding statues, bruised faces and also assisting with the special effects for the film whilst Lawrence and Fernando hope the feature will generate further opportunities for local film technicians.


“We would like artists to get to work in the industry by making high end features locally which will pave the way for them to work on bigger budgeted features such as those shot recently in Midlands including Spielberg's Ready Player One and Michael Keaton's American Assassin currently filming in Birmingham”.


And with talk of a film studio being built by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders, Taboo) the opportunities can only increase, with the producers of Artichoke also believing strongly in promoting the region as a film friendly destination.


“We had an amazing crew who were pushed to their limits on such a tight schedule but they delivered”.


Once fully completed, Artichoke hopes to be selected into film festivals worldwide as well as ultimately securing distribution. And following that, Lawrence and Fernando even have their next film lined up (LUCIO) AND their next feature (BARGAIN) which has been the culmination of several years work.


To find out more about Artichoke please follow on their official Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/artichokefilm

By midlandsmovies, Sep 4 2015 10:27AM

Top 10 exciting things to check out for West Midlands film fans


After our Top 10 covering the best of Leicester, Derby and Nottingham film-making talent we shift our focus to the West Midlands to see the best 10 things a film fan can check out in the region…


Tom Lee Rutter – Stranger

Director/writer Tom Lee Rutter bounced into the West Midlands film scene with his upcoming acid-western-horror Stranger. As an independent film-maker he has shot and completed dozens of films both short and feature length along with countless music videos. Born in Wordsley, raised in Rowley Regis and Colley Gate he eventually moved to Kidderminster about 8 years ago and worked with his brother when growing up. The two of them finished their first feature film; a shot on hi-8 “abomination” (his words) called Full Moon Massacre. Tom thinks horror is always the best place for a film-maker to begin as it can feature every other genre and gives the film-maker chance to explore all technical aspects of film in horror (SFX, lighting, camera trickery, etc). Read our full interview with Tom about his latest film here: http://www.midlandsmovies.com/blog/4558436876/Midlands-Spotlight---Interview-with-Tom-Lee-Rutter/9385416


The Hot Tub Cinema

The award winning Hot Tub Cinema events landed in the Midlands this year with their unique brand of soothing bubbles, frothy suds and film screenings. The “Tub Tropicana Tour” came to Birmingham and this unique cinematic experience has helped make Hot Tub Cinema explode into the social cinema arena by screening films in a variety of exciting spaces across the country. With tubs of up to 6 people provided, relaxation is the focus whilst waiter service provides a brilliant way to get drinks delivered direct to your tub. With a choice of films from the 80s classics of Pretty Woman and Top Gun, the music-based Grease & Rocky Horror Picture Show to the comedic Anchorman and The Hangover movie, this cinema experience is more akin to a club with bar, neon lighting and DJs spinning tunes into the night. Our review of one of their nights in Digbeth here:

http://www.midlandsmovies.com/blog/4558436876/The-life-aquatic---The-Hot-Tub-Cinema-comes-to-the-Midlands/9642824


Boz Dimond

Since heading to art college back in 1996, Boz Dimond always had an eye for detail and a passion for film. But unlike most conventional filmmakers, Boz never attended university or film school but had always felt an affinity to the industry and at the tender age of 17, penned his first screenplay. After putting his pen to one side to focus on his passion for music, Boz spent the best part of 10 years creating tunes and developing his technical and musical skills but never lost interest in film. Boz, forever a passionate film enthusiast, then found a natural move into filmmaking and his short film Jinxed became an official selection at the Beeston Film Festival whilst his other short, Our Hands Are Tied, is currently in post-production. Boz has also written his first feature called The Target which is currently in development with TestaRossa Productions. This spy thriller genre flick is set to be made in 2015-16 and Boz has many more ideas bubbling at his production company Diamond Flicks. More info on Boz and his future film projects here: http://www.midlandsmovies.com/blog/4558436876/Midlands-Spotlight---Boz-Dimond/9276869


The Electric Cinema

Established in 1909 The Electric Cinema in Birmingham is actually the oldest working cinema in the UK. It has been through many name changes and was mostly rebuilt in the 1930s. This unique cinema also runs an education programme for students of all ages covering the history of cinema, the current film industry and general film education. It was also Birmingham’s first cinema and predated the introduction of the 1909 Cinematograph Act and back then, the word 'electric' conjured up images of Van der Graaf generators and Tesla Coils. To the vast majority of the population, who were still without electricity in their homes, the mysterious invisible power source was verging on black magic. Much like the word digital is ubiquitous today, 'electric' became a common name for film theatres with Electric Cinemas and Electric Picture Palaces springing up. Back then, the cinema showed silent films with piano backing but now has a state of the art facility set within historical architecture that shows the latest independent and blockbuster films in a glorious and classy location. You can find the cinema at 47–49 Station Street, Birmingham,B5 4DY and more info is on their site here: https://www.theelectric.co.uk


Flatpack Festival

Flatpack is a festival which takes over venues across Birmingham every March and draws people from far and wide with a mixture of films, performances, contraptions and surprises, and has been described as “magnificently eclectic” (Time Out), “joyously inventive” (the Guardian) and “the UK’s most creatively curated film festival” (the Independent). Uniquely, it’s not confined to one time or place as the annual event was spawned from the 7 Inch Cinema and was originally a mixed-media film night at the Rainbow pub in Digbeth. This grew to embrace inflatable cinema-tents, archive detective-work and DVD compilations and ten years on they continue to produce projects and provide guest programming for others throughout the year. Recent collaborators have included Home of Metal, Green Man Festival, First Light, Birmingham International Dance Festival and the Independent Cinema Office. Director Ian Francis has clocked up fifteen years putting on film events in Birmingham and beyond and co-founded Flatpack with partner Pip McKnight in 2006. He also writes for publications including Sight and Sound and Little White Lies. Visit their website for updates here: http://flatpackfestival.org.uk


Checking In

“Checking In” is an award-winning feature from the West Midlands set in a hotel that follows the highs and lows from a number of guests' viewpoints. Filmed over 2 years the film was shot entirely at Baron's Court Hotel in Walsall, just outside of Birmingham and delves into the lives of numerous guests around the establishment over the course of a 24 hour period on a random “average” working day. Told through the eyes of maid Radka (Nici Preston) & Alec the Manager (Roger David Francis), a range of guests will make you laugh and gasp but always making you think. Bringing together a host of amazing actors and crew, the team finally got to see the movie at the Lighthouse Cinema on May 12th with feedback being overwhelmingly positive. Read our review here:

http://www.midlandsmovies.com/blog/4558436876/Feature-Review---Checking-In/8603396


Hayley Davis

Hayley Davis is an up and coming actress from Birmingham who has a wide range of talents on her CV including a portfolio career where performance and writing make up the bulk of what she does having created work for the stage and the small screen. As a member of Equity, Hayley started her journey by gaining a degree in Performance at the University of Bedfordshire before moving to London where she continued to train in her field. Developing her trade she spent time undertaking courses at the Central School of Speech and Drama and the Actors Centre, before completing a year at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Hayley has starred in a recent short film called ‘Get out Clause’ with the production being edited by Fabrice Millet and also starred Laurence Saunders last seen in Eastenders. For more info on Hayley and links to her website please click here:

http://www.midlandsmovies.com/blog/4558436876/Midlands-Spotlight---Actress-Hayley-Davis/9134779


Jason Brown – Dark Vale

West Midlands filmmaker Jason Brown’s last film A Date With Ghosts was released in the US and he has already started on his next exciting endeavour called Dark Vale. Influenced by the Blair Witch Project Jason cites his successes to date as being prepared to see the benefits of hiring great actors. When Carlton TV ran a competition, he won an award for his film The Monk which gave the filmmaker greater exposure and led to him to an encounter with Shane Meadows. Later, James Cullen Bressack, who is based in Los Angeles helped Jason get distribution for “A Date With Ghosts” in US stores like Best Buy and Target. Jason wanted to be an actor originally and has a diploma in drama but now mainly works behind the camera. Raising over £5000 through investors he’s been lucky to have a mentor who has given him help called Brad Rushing who is an LA-based cinematographer. Influenced by Robert Rodriguez, Jason takes control of many aspects of his films including writing, directing, scoring and editing and hopes to take his latest movie to festivals once he has completed post-production. Read an interview with Jason here: http://www.midlandsmovies.com/blog/4558436876/Midlands-Spotlight---A-Date-with-Jason-M-J-Brown/10085681


Brindley Place Outdoor Film Festival

With another successful event running in 2015 the Brindleyplace Film Festival is situated in the heart of Birmingham city centre. Brindleyplace is a leisure and business complex built upon once derelict land and is an architectural landmark which created around three attractive public squares – Brunswick, Central and Oozells. Alongside this estate you can find The Water’s Edge, The Crescent Theatre, the National SEA LIFE Centre and the open square at the centre of all this hosts a free summer festival showcasing a variety of blockbuster films for all ages. In Summer Frozen, The Great Gatsby and Independence Day were all shown and the schedule was decided following hundreds of votes from the general public. This saw 90’s classic Clueless, staring Alicia Silverstone, achieve more than double the number of votes than any other film. Supported by Heart FM, deckchairs and beanbags were provided to the public whilst delicious free tasters were offered by a number of the restaurants based at Brindleyplace. A great success in 2015, the next one in 2016 hopes to be an even greater achievement.

http://www.brindleyplace.com/event/brindleyplace-outdoor-film-festival-2/


Film Birmingham

Want to make a film in Birmingham? Well, this is the place to start your search for a whole host of locations in the region. Film Birmingham is Birmingham City Council’s Film Office and as part of its Film Charter, Birmingham City Council is committed to making filming as easy and efficient as possible and provides free services for the industry. This includes being a one-stop shop for filming requests as they liaise with the relevant departments at Birmingham City Council and provide permits to film in the city. In addition, they manage an online database of filming locations throughout Birmingham with a dedicated team providing information and advice about the diverse range of filming locations, production offices and unit bases available. Finally, with a wealth of highly skilled film and television talent and state-of-the art facilities in the region, Film Birmingham can put filmmakers in touch with what’s available via their online crews and facilities database. Check their official website out here: http://www.filmbirmingham.co.uk


Midlands Movies Mike

By midlandsmovies, Jul 1 2015 08:30PM

Just released is a trailer for “Penny for the Guy”, a brand new upcoming release from Big Frog Films from Redditch.


This 20 minute horror short was filmed and made entirely in Redditch using a Midlands based cast and crew.


The local film will be having a preview screening, together with two other Midlands based shorts, at the Palace Theatre in Redditch. This will take place on October 31st 2015 – suitably on Halloween night itself!


Based in the Worcestershire area, Big Frog are a production company were set up to create new films from original comedy sketches to corporate videos and everything in between.


The full trailer for “Penny for the Guy” can be seen above and Carla Buckley from Big Frog Films explains that “we are already started submitting to festivals all over the world”.


Midlands Movies hopes to have a review for this unique film very soon but until then, check out the trailer and follow updates on the film on Twitter by following https://twitter.com/bigfrogprod


Or check out their official website at this link: http://bigfrogproductions.webs.com


Midlands Movies Mike

By midlandsmovies, Jan 18 2015 01:01PM

Tom Lee Rutter speaks to Midlands Movies about his upcoming film which is slightly away from the norm as his acid-western-horror-drama comes to the Midlands area...


New film Stranger has its roots within Mark Twain's novella The Mysterious Stranger as Tom Lee Rutter explains...


Originally from the black country and now based in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, Tom has worked on several features, shorts and music videos in his time but this is the first feature he plans to push that little bit further.


With a shoot planned for Stourport and Kidderminster for the bulk of the filming, his new movie Stranger is due out by the middle of 2015 with a number of select screenings before being released for the home market on DVD.


“It laments on the classic counter-cultural acid Westerns of El Topo and Greaser's Palace”, says Tom and the film also marks the return of a famous face some may recognise from the past.


“Well, Stranger sees a return to acting from Gary Shail who you may remember graced the screen in the likes of cult classics Quadrophenia, Shock Treatment, the Michael Caine Jack The Ripper and Metal Mickey”.


The film has a large cast and some of the main actors starring are local performers Dale Sheppard, Gypsy Lee Pistolero, Richard Rowbotham, James Taylor and Maryam Forouhandeh.


Story wise, the film concerns the character Caine Farrowood who is a bounty hunter that works under the control of a shady kingpin called Loomweather and after one particular retrieval goes awry, Caine is left for dead.


However, just as Caine thinks his life is over, he mysteriously awakens back home to the comforts of his wife Christina. This confusion sets him on a journey to find answers whilst crossing paths with someone who may very well be the fallen angel himself.


With the August release date already locked in the diary by the filmmakers, the first trailer has also just been released online so please take a sneak peak of this cult project at the following link:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ioCqu1qJVY


Midlands Movies Mike


Check out more about the ongoing production on the details below:


Thomas Lee Rutter (writer/editor/director)

Official Website: http://strangermovie.blogspot.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Strangerthefilm


By midlandsmovies, Jan 17 2015 01:22PM

Midlands Movies Mike speaks to Boz Dimond about his upcoming short film Jinxed and his long relationship with the creative industries. Mike chats film, gangsters and more with the ambitious filmmaker...


Since heading to art college back in 1996, Boz Dimond always had an eye for detail and a passion for film. But unlike most conventional filmmakers, Boz never attended university or film school but had always felt an affinity to the industry and at the tender age of 17, penned his first screenplay.


After putting his pen to one side to focus on his passion for music, Boz spent the best part of 10 years creating tunes and developing his technical and musical skills but never lost interest in film.


Although a far off ambition back then and the prohibitive cost of movies still being shot on film – thus keeping it out of the realms of most regional artists - Boz then attended the Hay on Wye Film School where he met writer/director Bruce Robinson (Withnail & I, The Rum Diaries) and things finally changed.


Boz, forever a passionate film enthusiast, then found a natural move into filmmaking and used his passion for the alternative and love for both movies and music as a new playground as an emerging artist.


“I enjoyed Brotherhood of the Wolf and anything Tarantino does”, explains Boz now he has two short films under his belt.


“I am proud that Jinxed has become an official selection at the Beeston Film Festival in Nottingham whilst my other short, Our Hands Are Tied, is currently in post-production”,

Boz goes on to say,


He has also written his first feature called The Target which is currently in development with TestaRossa Productions. This spy thriller genre flick is set to be made in 2015-16 and Boz has many more ideas bubbling at his production company Diamond Flicks.


“I also have an idea for a character called Charlie Vegas who is one of the strongest characters I have written and I want to explore him in future projects inlcuding a film I penned called Villain. I would also love to go back to the old school British gangster movies like Get Carter and another film titled Villain which starred Richard Burton”.


“With their colourful language and strong stories, I see them as an antidote to the current crop of poorly made/acted straight-to-DVD crime films that are being made in the UK at the moment”.


With Jinxed being selected for inclusion in the Los Angeles Independent Film Awards, Boz is working with producer/editor Lawrence Donello (Trance, The Devil's Whispers) in making all his future projects a success.


Midlands Movies Mike


Find more about Boz and his films on the links below:

https://www.facebook.com/DiamondFlicks

https://www.facebook.com/filmstudioworcester


By midlandsmovies, Jan 10 2015 05:37PM

Midlands Movies Mike chats to film-fan turned writer-director Fernando Maffei who is taking a cinematic trip with his new project The Taxi. Mike speaks to the Worcestershire based creator about his background and new film...


Fernando Maffei has always dreamed of becoming a director and growing up in Kidderminster in a very Italian household, Fernando knew it was where he wanted to be. His cousin Antonio Magro is an actor and a cousin, Giuseppe, is studying film at Gloucester University, so he didn't need much encouragement to take his first steps in the cinematic world.


Penning his first script in 2005 whilst training as a barber (Fernando also works in Grade One Barber shop in Kidderminster ) the project just sat on a shelf while he earned a living but he didn’t give up and continued to write at the same time. In 2011 he was then asked to act in a short film called “The Mistake”, directed by Kyriacos Mosfiliotis alongside Midlands singer and actress Michelle Cox (Checking In, Tezz).


Here Fernando got his first taste of being on set and loved it. After becoming friends with film maker Hakam Poselay (Checking In) Fernando started to see film making as a possible career.


So as Fernando started looking for people to read his script, he spoke to a number of established film directors including Noel Clarke. It was on a Twitter conversation with Noel that he then came to the attention of producer/editor Lawrence Donello (Trance, The Devil's Whispers).


With a shared Italian heritage, Lawrence was already aware of Anontio Magro (Blood Orange, Titanic ITV) and with Fernando’s arrival , he encouraged the new filmmaker to focus on the film business and they ended discussing his script “Lucio”.


By November 2014, Fernando had directed his first short called “The Taxi” featuring Francesco Tribuzio (Age of Kill, Bastille Day), Cameron Moon (Kalidescope Man, Dead Walkers) and Carolyn Ellis (Peaky Blinders, By Any Means). Currently in post-production with Lawrence as editor, the plan is to hold a cast and crew screening in Easer before submitting “The Taxi” to the Flat Pack Festival as well as others internationally.


Now in 2015, ChilliRose Productions is Fernando’s new production company and he cites Lawrence as the one who “gave me the kick up the arse I needed”.


Fernando goes on to add, “I’ve always been interested in film and I worked hard all my life after being instilled with a strong work ethic from being brought up by two loving parents who worked, with the support from my grandparents as well”.


“Similarly, I’ve worked hard on The Taxi and we are working on sound and editing as well as colour grading for a release in 2015”.


As well as the £1500-budgeted The Taxi, Fernando has also raised money for MacMillan cancer charity with a movie fancy dress event where Oscar replicas were given out to the best costumes and recognises Tom Hanks, Will Smith and Gary Oldman as some of his favourite actors.


“I enjoy how those actors often carry a film by themselves, like Castaway and I Am Legend, so when it came to the story of the retired hitman protagonist in The Taxi, I knew who I was looking for”.


With influences from 80s actionners like Die Hard and Robocop, Fernando hope the success of The Taxi will lead to greater things and we at Midlands Movies hope so too for the wonder from Worcestershire.


Check more information about The Taxi and other projects here:


https://www.facebook.com/pages/CHILLI-ROSE-PRODUCTIONS/303561826494782

E: fenmaffei@gmail.com

07980 311575

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