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

By midlandsmovies, Jul 24 2019 09:52PM

Midlands Spotlight - Singh: Number 7

We find out about upcoming Leicester based football film Singh: Number 7 which follows a young British-Asian player called Jasdeep Singh and his struggle to make it as a professional footballer.

From Leicester's West Knighton Films, this exciting new movie sees an aspiring sportsman chasing an unrelenting dream to become a professional footballer and make it to the highest level in the game.

With monumental pitfalls and obstacles standing in way, such as institutionalized racism, cultural stereotypes, and a skeptical family, Jas finds himself at a crossroads.

The story also sees Jas having an amazing opportunity to prove himself on the biggest stage of all after an unbelievable FA Cup run. Will he take this once in a lifetime chance or will he become just another statistic?

Well, filmmaker Pardeep Chera will hopefully be "on the ball" as he creates a film based around a contemporary underdog story that follows those whose talent eventually shines through despite major adversity.

"This could either be through poverty, abuse or physical disability", says Pardeep, with Singh: Number 7 painting a gritty setting indicative and reflective of the area the story is set, the outskirts of Leicester.

With vibrant suburban homes mixing with local businesses and a football field or park every few miles, the setting is perfect for this exicitng tale of drama and dreams.

Pardeep himself is also an actor with more than 7 years of experience in the industry. His career began as he took to the stage in various theatre productions but eventually he shifted his focus onto film.

Watch the newly released trailer below and get following on social media for the latest updates

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SinghNumber7

By midlandsmovies, Jun 3 2017 11:04PM

Shaun Barker: One More Time (2017)

Dir. Ashley Carter

Big River Pictures

“Worst team in Premiership history” says actor Jack O’Connell as he introduces us to this football documentary which follows Derby County Football Club player Shaun Barker.

O’Connell himself is a Derby-born success story seen in This Is England, ’71 and Money Monster and he shows his own local passions for Derby FC which matches the other interviewees featured in this sporting documentary.

The film follows the up and down career of Shaun Barker, a professional footballer who was involved in a serious collision with Nottingham Forest striker Marcus Tudgay and Derby goalkeeper Frank Fielding.

One of the strongest aspects of the documentary is the focus on the local. The story is intrinsically entwined with the area as Barker was born in the Midlands, played for Derby and his injury occurred during a match with a local rival. Yet it is also the local community that rallies around to support Shaun.

Ruled out for the remainder of the season with a dislocated kneecap, the problem had “career threatening” written all over it and Barker faced an agonising 16-month recovery from injury.

Barker used this support to help him with his lengthy period of serious rehabilitation even just to get walking again – which involved metal pins in his leg and many setbacks along the journey.

The documentary interviews a number of past football coaches, managers and players as well as more personal family members and technical staff as they throw their support behind Shaun who was still struggling to run even after 18 months.

Through periods of depression, Barker talks candidly about his own struggles to the camera and with injuries and time becoming an issue, Barker speaks openly about his doubts and the effect on his health, his mind and the fallout on his family.

Technical wise, the documentary uses an almost constant stream of interviews and voiceover without narration. This gives it a more personal feel as we only hear the stories from Shaun and those around him.

However, I found the constant slide-guitar and country-rock music a bit off-putting. Sometimes overpowering the audio from the interviews, it didn’t feel that it was a particularly good fit for the topic either. A few more different styles of music – like the switch to the Stone Roses’ “I am the Resurrection” towards the film’s conclusion – would have helped with the pacing and giving each part of Barker’s life a different tone.

That said, the story provides enough positive moments to capture the positivity of Shaun and his endless determination. Derby’s passionate fan base are also well represented and despite their absence from the top league, the full stadiums and community support for the club and its players shines through.

Barker finally rejoins training for Derby before a testimonial game leads to a move to the nearby Burton Albion team where he is allowed an opportunity to play again – this time against his former club – as a last minute substitution.

Midlands football fans will lap up the details of the documentary but passing fans may find the 2-hour run time as lengthy as Barker’s rehabilitation. Jokes aside though, I am sure most will appreciate the inspiring tale of an individual’s personal journey to overcome seemingly insurmountable barriers. Even now his legacy remains with his own charity being set up to help those in a similar position, and so the film ultimately rewards those who stick with it and provides a comprehensive overview of a local hero. Taking the documentary full circle, the worst team 'ever' beginning, concludes with the most satisfying happy ending anyone could ask for.

Midlands Movies Mike

By midlandsmovies, Sep 17 2016 03:24PM

Midlands Movies discovers a new documentary from These City Lights which chronicles the football career of former Derby County captain Shaun Barker.

With a release date in December 2016, this new Midlands documentary has been made by writer and director Ashley Carter from Nottingham. Having trained at the prestigious National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield this new film “Shaun Barker: 1,065 Days” is his second film after short documentary Eudaimonia.

The film follows Shaun Barker’s life which culminated with a horrific knee injury suffered whilst playing against local rivals Nottingham Forest in 2012. The documentary continues with Barker’s subsequent four-and-a-half year rehabilitation and Ashley Carter has ensured that all proceeds from the film will be going to the Shaun Barker Foundation.

The Shaun Barker Foundation was set up in 2015 with the aim to help underprivileged children in Derby that will help raise money and awareness for three key areas Shaun had chosen; Arts and Culture, Social Care and Sports in the Community.

After becoming a fans’ favourite for his commanding defensive performances, Barker’s time at Derby began in 2009 but was overshadowed by his spells out injured. Often playing through the pain, Barker developed a reputation as a player that put his body on the line for the club and sacrificing his own personal wellbeing.

Despite being told he would never play again, Barker spent years in gruelling rehabilitation sessions, before miraculously making a comeback for the Derby County Under 21s in 2015. Despite declaring himself fit for a return, new Derby County manager Steve McClaren didn’t give him the chance to play for the first team again.

The director, a lifelong Derby County fan himself, is keen to show all sides of Shaun Barker’s personality and shed light on a period of his career that football fans might not know all the facts about.

“Since meeting Shaun in 2015, it’s clear that he isn’t like other footballers and the players we’ve interviewed so far constantly talk about how influential and inspirational he is off the pitch as well as on it”, explains Ashley. “What he went through on a personal and professional level is astounding and to still be looking to play professional football again is remarkable”.

Filming has included interviews with teammates at previous clubs Rotherham and Blackpool, as well as current and past players at Derby County. “Derby have been great in allowing us to film at Shaun’s recent Testimonial, which was an amazing night”, says Ahsley. “And they’ve also given us access to interview some of the players from Shaun’s time at the club”.

Shaun Barker: 1,065 Days will continue filming through the year before holding a premiere at QUAD in Derby, as well as being released online. All proceeds from these screenings and sales will also be going to the Shaun Barker Foundation.

The project is currently running an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign until October 2nd, where backers will get the chance to get some exclusive signed merchandise, including signed 2016/17 Derby County shirts, signed photos of the 1971/72 Derby County title winning team, signed footballs, tickets to the premiere and the chance to be on set for a day of filming.

For more information please check out the movie's Facebook pages:



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