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By midlandsmovies, Jul 20 2019 03:24PM



Midlands Spotlight - Lucky


Lucky is the new forthcoming film from award-winning writer/ director David L Knight and is his project since returning to film production.


Unlike his previous films Suicide Blonde and Rachel, Lucky is a romantic drama set in a unique world all of its own, full of quirky colours and full of possibilities as it tells the story of Lucy and Mark who have never believed in true love.


However, the film hopes to show that with a little luck somebody is about to teach these two strangers that destiny has other plans.


With Lucky, David and his team wanted to create a story that was a little different to a lot of films that are currently being watched on the festival circuit. More light-hearted in tone he hopes the film leaves the audience with a wonderful sense of optimism, while also delivering on the drama.


As with his previous films not giving the story focus to one single character, David has assembled an amazing cast from across the UK, including Chelsea Grace, Luke Maskell and Stoke based actor/ filmmaker Craig Ostrouchow.


Creating further collaborative partnerships with fellow Midlands-based filmmakers, David has brought on established production designer Chloe Brown to help create Lucky’s world.


While he also continues his collaboration with director of photography Martin Tucker and other returning crew Janine Bevan and Tim Vickerstaff.


Lucky is currently running a crowd funding campaign to raise funds for its production (click here) and check below their promotional video:




By midlandsmovies, Jun 13 2019 08:25AM



Midlands Spotlight - The Pocket Film of Superstitions


Midlands Movies Mike uncovers a dark new feature film currently in production from Tom Lee Rutter, the writer/director of regional flick Bella in the Wych Elm.


THE POCKET FILM OF SUPERSTITIONS is a planned creepy docu-fantasy almanac and will explore a wide range of superstitions both well-known and not so well-known through the ages.


Produced under the director’s Carnie Features production company, Rutter promises a more “polished, feature-length progression” after his short film Bella In The Wych Elm (our review here) was released in 2017 to acclaim despite a low budget.


Director Rutter tells us that with this new film audiences should expect “dreamscapes, Victorian gothic, practical effects and nods to the haunted screen of the silent-era through to the seventies”.


“I am half-way through production now and up till now have completely self-funded but due to the ambitious jumps through time with period set-pieces and the SFX I have had to start up a Gofundme campaign”, he adds.


This will help “to raise a little money for us to achieve some exciting sequences on the horizon”.



He goes on to explain, “My films have always been proudly self-funded and are very independent in nature. Despite the limitations brought about by very little in terms of finance it has always given me the freedom to explore styles and create projects that I feel don't get explored enough in indie circles today”.


Hoping to be a one of a kind West Midlands movie you can find out more information and donate to their crowd-funding campaign here: GoFundMe LINK


You can also follow further updates from the official Facebook page here which includes some exciting behind-the-scenes photographs and lobby-card stills - click here for Facebook page




By midlandsmovies, May 21 2019 06:45AM



Not content with already being involved with multiple projects, Lee Charlish of Korky Films is beginning pre-production on a new project Wake-Up Call. Launching a new funding campaign, Midlands Movies uncovers more information about this unique horror project.


With tagline “True love cuts deep”, Wake-Up Call tells the story of Ronald Weiss, a plastic surgeon, who en-route to a convention, gets lost and finds an old, foreboding guest house and reluctantly stays overnight. However, he is forcibly coerced into performing surgical enhancements and is drawn into a macabre, psychological dilemma.


Lee Charlish is hoping to get the film made by raising funds and has enlisted the help of Leah Solmaz, a local Lichfield-based producer, who originates from Birmingham. There is also the opportunity for the concept to be further explored and developed into a feature film, but this will be dependent on reception, appetite and, of course, funding.


Lee adds, “The film’s ominous subtext clearly exposes society’s obsession with body image, and delves into the ugly depths which people might sink to in order to abate such perceived inadequacies. Although the ideas explored are taken to the extreme and sometimes the surreal, it’s this original approach to storytelling which will make the movie ingenious and compelling to audiences”.


Leah Solmaz of recently created Luna Kaynak Productions is attached as producer of the project and will oversee the movie written and directed by Lee and, good news to us, will be a joint production of both local Midlands-based film companies.


Leah is Birmingham born and has worked as an actor on several, local productions, including the Midlands Movies Awards’ winning feature, The House of Screaming Death. She also co-wrote/co-directed a feature called "Checking In" which won Best British Film at the London TV & Film Awards. She is currently producing (and starring) in Theosight, a web-series, which will be released soon and continues to write other projects.


Lee Charlish is a Coventry based writer, director, producer and ‘sometime animator’. He is an award-winning director, having won the Midlands Movies Award for Best Animated Film in both 2018 and 2019, as well as the DepicT! British Special Mention Award; at the Encounters Film Festival, Bristol, in 2016 for his surreal, psycho-horror, Pig Dream.


The musical score will be provided by long-time Korky Films collaborator Chris Pemberton who has worked with several high-profile bands and artistes, all over the world, and is looking to establish himself further in the world of film soundtrack composition.


Acting talent already attached includes Adrian Annis, who has worked previously with Lee on the creepy, fantasy thriller – Scarecrow and Stuart Walker, who has provided voice-work on Korky Films’ – The Cold Caller and, more recently – Waxworks Owner Fumes at Closure. Completing the cast is Charlotte Elizzabeth Langley, as ‘The Wife’.


The first port of call for funding will be the British Film Institute (BFI), although other options are being explored to ensure the movie is made. A full, ‘production package’ is currently being put together, to ensure funding applications are robust and realistic.


Although fully-cast, with three exciting actors, Leah is currently engaging with local talent to ensure Wake-Up Call is fully-crewed with a team, fully on-board with the movie’s unique story and required look and feel. It will also help with the funding campaign and will “offer a real sense of collaboration and inclusion from the get go”.


Lee Charlish says,"We know that talent exists in the region, in various roles, and we are looking for dedicated creatives to join us. We actively encourage anybody and everybody to get in touch, there are no prejudices; we just need a willingness to commit and help make this movie the best it can be".


Leah says, "We are nearly there and hopeful we have enough to secure a worthwhile budget which will truly make Wake-Up Call possible and able to fulfil its ambitions".


If anyone is suitably enticed, they should contact Leah at leahsolmaz@gmail.com to get more information, and discuss their experience and skills for consideration.


For more info check out: https://leecharlish.wixsite.com/wake-upcall


By midlandsmovies, May 9 2019 09:49AM




Midlands Spotlight - A Kidnap


'A Kidnap' is a new Midlands-based psychological thriller feature from award-winning writer/director Lee Greenhough and cinematographer Paul Horton. With aims to be both innovative and daring, the film is an ambitious project which will be made on a low budget scale within one soundstage in the region.


The film tells the story of adopted brother Lewis and his younger sister Izzy who get kidnapped, and they are brought into two rooms by three strangers known as Tuco, Angel and Blondie. Over the next two hours the kidnappers start to realise they don’t share the same ideas on how to orchestrate the kidnap and with tension mounting, their plans have to change.


The filmmakers are currently crowdfunding (click IndieGoGo link here) where contributors will get a chance to be involved in the film and also receive one incredible perks and rewards which can range from learning to fly a drone to VIP tickets to the film’s premiere.


Lee Greenhough explains his background, “The most important thing you need to know about me is that I really love film, if I’m honest I’m pretty obsessed. I started off wanting to act but as I got into my late twenties decided it wasn't for me as I wanted more creative control and started to write and direct”.


“Any hobbies went out of the window, all I wanted to do was pursue my dream. Since then I started my own production company Greenhoughfilms, won awards and raised money for charities with some of my short films. I’ve also tried to learn every aspect of filmmaking from directing and editing to more specialised skills like aerial cinematography and colour grading”, Lee adds.


Lee has also been mentored in creative writing by a former BAFTA winner and is a regular at the London Screenwriting Festival as well as being a screenwriting and directing judge at the prestigious Top Shorts Film Festival.


Working on various projects including pre-production on his new British thriller feature film ‘On Our Own’, Lee is also looking for producers for his latest feature screenplay ‘Together Apart’ and an original TV show pilot 'Verifying Vincent'.


Also involved in the project is Director of Photography Paul Horton who has over 15-years of experience as a professional and has worked on a range of projects from popular feature films to classic British TV shows such as Hollyoaks.


Ash Gardiner joins as Assistant Director and is based near Birmingham in the Midlands and the crew is rounded out by Matthew S Jones (Sound Recordist), Merryn Rea Peachey (Scipt Supervisor), Grant Snaith (1st Assistant Cameraman) and Abbie Allen (PR and Film Administrator).


With regards to crowdfunding Lee goes on to explain, “As with any film endeavours there are always inherent risks, however, me and my team are well experienced in these projects and know that with whatever we raise we can still make a film”.


“If you want to help but can't afford to contribute money, you can still pitch in by sharing this campaign with as many people as possible: friends, family, social media it all helps to raise awareness for this campaign. Also if you know someone who is a psychological thriller fan or a business who may want to become a corporate sponsor then please pass on our details”, says Lee.


With the project now underway you can find out more about the film and all the latest updates at the production’s official website and social media pages:


Web www.akidnap.co.uk

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/akidnapfilm

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, Sep 5 2018 07:40AM



Midlands Spotlight - Ocean-Eyes Pictures Announce New International Joint Project The Guiding Light


Lincolnshire based production company Ocean-Eyes Pictures have announced a new joint production with Nottingham based production company Polymath Productions and Argentinian producer Gisele Mauvecin. The new project, titled “The Guiding Light” is set to film in Autumn and will be directed by Tom Brumpton, from a script written by Ocean-Eyes owner Adam Luff.


The news comes off the back of a successful few years for the trio. Ocean-Eyes last project, “Nurture of the Beast”, which starred Brumpton, was picked as an Official Selection by various film festivals around the world.


Mr. Luff also enjoyed success for his screenplay “Lunar Art”, which picked up two awards at the inaugural New Renaissance Film Festival in 2016, while Mr Brumpton secured a place in the BAFTA Crews 2018 Programme as a director and producer. At the same time Mauvecin’s latest film, “Gender”, recently enjoyed a sold-out screening in London and has been picked up as an Official Selection by international film festivals.


The inspiration for “The Guiding Light” comes from a particularly difficult period in Brumpton’s life. He lost his Aunt Pat in April 2016 and later his Aunt Kath in late June 2017. “My aunts were wonderful people. I was very close to them and losing them felt like losing a family home".




As the pair began working on “The Guiding Light”, Brumpton aimed to create something life affirming. “I didn’t want my last memory of these women to be death and misery. I wanted to turn that grief into something positive”.


The film follows Barbara, a world champion dancer who after years of struggling with autoimmune disease is forced to retire. Shortly after, she contracts pneumonia and becomes critically ill. Minutes from death, she’s visited by her younger sister, Angela. The two embark on a journey through Barbara’s happiest memories before she’s forced to face her own mortality. The film, which brings together musical elements with surrealism, is set to be filmed in the East Midlands in late Summer/early Autumn.


Asked on their inspiration for the film, Brumpton stated “Whatever happens, blame Nicolas Winding Refn!” he jokes “I discovered him in 2009 when I saw “Bronson”, and fell in love with his work. His use of music and lighting is a massive inspiration. As for the musical side; Rob Marshall had a big impact. “Nine” is one of my favourite musicals but seeing what Damien Chazelle did with “La La Land” really stuck with me. As Adam and I worked on the film we saw it as a film of various parts. There are nods to European arthouse cinema and musicals, with moments of body horror and the surreal.”



Despite the bleak sounding subject matter, Brumpton thinks of the film as a celebration of love and life. “The film is a reflection on Pat’s life, and her relationship with Kath and my Mum. It’s about looking back on the things you achieved with a sense of pride and completion, and the role the people closest to us play in the value of those memories".


Mr. Luff had this to say on his involvement, "I enjoyed discussing the premise with Tom and I'm proud of the script. The juxtaposition of musical elements and surrealistic visuals is something terribly exciting, and I cannot wait to see where it takes us".


The trio have teased a premiere at a highly respected venue in 2019 and are running a crowdfunder via Indiegogo which can be found here https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-guiding-light-short-film#/


By midlandsmovies, Aug 19 2018 09:30AM



Midlands Interview - Christopher Bevan and Belinda Basson talk The Other


Midlands Movies speaks to the director Christopher Bevan and Producer Belinda Basson of upcoming local film The Other - an ambitious and gripping short thriller currently in production from the award-winning team.


Midlands Movies: Hi both, can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

Chris Bevan: Hello. I’m a Derby-based director working across shorts, music videos, commercials and documentaries with a real interest in thriller, sci-fi and drama films. In addition to freelancing I also am the creative director of my production company YSP Media.

Belinda Basson: I moved into film production following a career in corporate communications, marketing and PR, fulfilling an ambition I had had originally to work in film as a first career. I am now Director of film production company Dreamfusion Productions, with a diverse portfolio of films completed.


MM: And how long have you worked in the film industry?

CB: I’ve been making films for a good 12-13 years now since picking up a handycam at 16 years old and making action movies with my friends and family. Since then I’ve turned it into my full-time career and have never looked back!

BB: I have worked in different capacities in film production for ten years, producing a diverse body of work through my company Dreamfusion Productions. My collaboration with Chris began six years ago and we have written, developed and produced a wide range of films since the first project we worked on together.


MM: It’s great to see such collaboration. So, what has been the most difficult hurdle you have had to overcome?

BB: The biggest recurring hurdle is finding all the resources to get films made, from funding to locations. That said, by working with Chris and several excellent teams of cast and crew, we have brought some great films to completion, all with high production value, even when limited funds have been available.

CB: Belinda and I have collaborated on quite a few films now and I think as time goes by, the challenge of finding the funding to realise these ideas and concepts as they become greater in scope and ambition is definitely a hurdle but one we have tackled head on. As a producer Belinda is ambitious and never backs down from a challenge, always finding a way to pull off the seemingly impossible!


MM: Your new film is The Other. Can you tell our readers a bit about it and how it came about?

BB: The idea for 'The Other' came from a film I once saw called 'The Man Who Haunted Himself'. In what was widely recognised as Roger Moore's best and most chilling performance, a successful man has his comfortable life challenged by unexplained occurrences which have an increasingly dramatic and devastating effect on his mental state. The film left a lasting impression and I have long wanted to revisit the 'doppelganger' notion but in a contemporary context relevant for society today and reflecting the pressures of our everyday lives.

CB: We were excited to bring on board writer Ben Errington to develop the story and script for The Other. Our story follows Marcus, an ambitious chef who wants to reach the heights of his profession. His life is stable and predictable until one day an unexplained event sets his life on a frightening course, increasingly throwing his life into chaos and making him question his own sanity.



MM: And how did you come to cast your actors Adam Horvath, Dani Tonks, Liz Leonard, Christopher Tajah?

CB: The lead of Marcus was definitely written with Adam Horvath in mind. We’d worked with him on a project a few years ago and having seen his performance in Derby Theatre’s production of ‘Brassed Off’ we knew he could deliver both the depth and range of emotion that the challenging role of Marcus required. Belinda was very keen to cast Adam and we were all delighted when he loved the script and accepted the role!

BB: For the roles of Ruth, Wendy and Phillip we put out casting calls and had a great response. We managed to narrow down a shorter list of actors who appeared to be a close fit our character profiles and held auditions in both London and Derby. Of the great calibre of actors we auditioned, we cast Dani, Liz and later Christopher.


MM: As we’re a local organisation we are always keen to find out how filmmakers make the decision to create their movie in the Midlands?

BB: The Midlands has a wealth of film making and acting talent and we wanted to reflect the quality of both people and locations in the region. We decided on Derby as we are based in the City and our lead actor is from Derby. We were very fortunate to find and receive permission to film in some great locations.

CB: We filmed in the city centre with amazing support from Derby Museums and had some additional locations in Sandiacre and Ripley.

BB: We also chose Birmingham due to the excellent support available from Film Birmingham, which was outlined to us by Sindy Campbell at an RTS Midlands networking event. We were very keen to achieve the maximum production value possible so chose to aim for feature-scale settings. One of the ways to achieve this was to have an impressive cityscape backdrop, which was perfectly delivered by the City of Birmingham.


MM: And are you both from the region yourselves?

CB: I was born in Shrewsbury and later moved to Derby so have always lived in the Midlands.

BB: I am not originally from the region but studied in the Midlands and have spent a considerable amount of time in both Derby and Nottingham.


MM: And with the film ready to go, how was the actual shooting?

BB: The shoot was challenging in terms of the number and types of locations, but our excellent cast and crew rose to the challenge and delivered awe-inspiring work! We are very excited at the prospect of working with them again to finish The Other.

CB: We had such a committed cast and crew and working with them across the main block of filming last year was a pleasure. Of all the films I’ve worked on as director, this felt the most ambitious and I’m really pleased with the results so far. We have shot 80% of the film now and are looking to crowdfunding to support the final 20% and post-production.



MM: And with regards to your influences, what films or filmmakers inspire you?

CB: I’ve always been a huge fan of Clint Eastwood’s work with Unforgiven being one of my all-time favourites. In terms of big names, I’ve always been inspired by Fincher, Spielberg, Nolan and Villeneuve but I also look to directors such as Damien Chazelle, Ryan Coogler, Gareth Edwards and Debra Granik to name but a few. It would be remiss of me not to mention my love for Star Wars and huge admiration for George Lucas too!

BB: I have been inspired by the work of Hitchcock, Spielberg, Coppola, Nolan and the naturalistic directing style of Clint Eastwood. I also really like the quirky, visionary creative styles of David Lynch and the Coen brothers. I have too many film favourites to mention here!


MM: So did those sway any of your creative decisions in The Other?

BB: There are several stylistic themes in the film which reference the styling of these great directors, especially Alfred Hitchcock.

CB: I worked closely with DP Karl Poyzer and we frequently referenced Fincher’s work on Gone Girl and Zodiac in particular during pre-production on The Other when developing the look. With regards to story and character, Villeneuve’s Enemy and Hitchcock’s Vertigo both came up in conversation in terms of creative influences for contemporary and classical representations of doppelgangers in film.


MM: And when and where can people expect to see The Other?

BB: We are currently aiming to raise funds to complete the filming of the remaining two striking scenes through crowdfunding support. If we are successful, we would hope to have the film completed by early next year.

CB: It’s an exciting time for us as we are gearing up to launch our IndieGoGo campaign for the film! Should we be successful in crowdfunding these two integral scenes and our post-production, we would hope to begin submitting to festivals within the next six months and a premiere will hopefully not be far away!


MM: And finally, what’s next on the horizon for you?

BB: Our next point of focus will be a challenging feature with themes that should appeal to a very wide and diverse audience. I can reveal no more at this stage!

CB: This will be another YSP Media and Dreamfusion Productions collaboration and we have spent four years developing this project. We’re hoping to get things rolling once The Other is completed and released – watch this space!


Thank you both.


The Other’s IndieGoGo pre-launch page can be found here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-other-a-short-thriller-film-drama--2/coming_soon/x/208337


And check the teaser trailer here:







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



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