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By midlandsmovies, Mar 6 2019 02:16PM

First ever Salaam Pakistan Film Festival opens in spring in Birmingham

A brand-new touring film festival showcasing the very best of Pakistan’s new Independent film making opens at Birmingham’s MIDLANDS ARTS CENTRE on Sunday 24 March and continues on Wednesday 27 and Saturday 30 March 2019.

The screenings are part of the inaugural SALAAM PAKISTAN FILM FESTIVAL, a small but mighty film programme, which will also be touring to Manchester, Bradford, Halifax, Rochdale and Leeds throughout March.

SALAAM PAKISTAN FILM FESTIVAL celebrates the best of Pakistan's new Independent film making providing audiences with a rare chance to see award-winning films, a UK PREMIERE, Oscar winning documentaries and special Q&A’s.

The Festival is supported by various prestigious organisations including the British Film Institute and Rangoonwala Foundation and covers a range of themes including the 1947 partition, class and social struggle, female rights and the fight for social justice.

Opening the Festival will be the UK PREMIERE of the compelling UK-Pakistani film Lakeer, hailed as the first Pahari film. Lakeer is directed by pioneering film maker Shiv Dutt, who sadly passed away in 2018, and tells the story of a Kashmiri couple divided by Partition in 1947. The screening will be followed by a special Q&A with the film’s UK-based writer Ali Adaalat.

Further highlights of the festival are the rare screenings of A Girl in the River and Saving Face, two powerful and hopeful Oscar winning documentaries by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. Sharmeen was honoured with the Hilal-i-Imtiaz, the second highest civilian honour of the country, by the Government of Pakistan in 2012 and is the only woman to win two Oscars by the age of 37.

The festival is excited to announce Pakistani filmmaker Iram Parveen Bilal will be flying into the city direct from Los Angeles to attend the screening of her thought-provoking film Josh, a compelling film about class and social struggle which closes the Festival. Iram, a Physics Olympian turned filmmaker, initiated the Pakistani Oscar committee and is the founder of Pakistan's first professional screenwriting lab (QALAMBAAZ). Iram will be taking Q&A’s from the audience after the screening.

Debbie Kermode, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Midlands Arts Centre in Birmingham commented “We’re delighted to welcome the first Salaam Pakistan Film Festival to Midlands Arts Centre. We’re sure that our audiences will appreciate the opportunity to see this fantastic collection of cutting-edge Pakistani and British Pakistani films.”

Salaam Pakistan Film Festival acknowledges the support of all its partners: The National Lottery, BFI FAN, Film Hub Midlands, Film Hub North, Rangoonwala Foundation, British Pakistan Foundation (BPF).

Tickets for all screenings at Midlands Arts Centre can be booked via the Box Office on 0121-446 3232 or online at www.macbirmingham.co.uk (all films are screened with English subtitles).

By midlandsmovies, Jan 14 2019 08:09PM

Midlands Spotlight - CineQ Queer Film Festival in Birmingham in March

Working with the BFI FAN Film Hub Midlands, Centrala Art Gallery, Midlands Arts Centre and Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen the CineQ Film Festival runs from the 22nd until the 24th of March covering a range of Queer AF screenings, parties and workshops.

CineQ Queer Film Festival will put the focus on new stories, and QTIPOC (Queer Trans and Intersex People of Colour) perspectives, while introducing ‘New Queer Cinema’ a type of queer cinema often overlooked and showcase some of the best underrepresented LGBTQ film both past and present.

After the film festival, CineQ will specially curate a selection of queer films representative of the LGBTQ community which will tour cinemas, film festivals and film societies in the region in order to grow the appetites of LGBTQ cinema lovers in the Midlands.

CineQ founder Rico Johnson-Sinclair says, “Queer cinema has often been a blind spot in the region’s best independent and multiplex cinemas. Not to say that there isn’t an offer. LOVE, SIMON, CALL ME BY YOUR NAME and GOD’S OWN COUNTRY were notable successes in recent years, but there’s a plethora of films from a variety of perspectives that are being made, but just not shown in cinemas”.

“Often the only places to watch queer films are streaming services, we want to change that by bringing audiences across Birmingham and the Midlands, more opportunities to see these brilliant titles on the big screen”.

CineQ was previously operating as a community cinema supported by Flatpack Projects. They’ve screened many titles such as THE WOUND, CLOSET MONSTER, and CHECK IT as well as short film programmes at Centrala Art Gallery and Cafe, Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen, and Flatpack Film Festival.

CineQ has also worked with cinemas outside of Birmingham such as Phoenix Cinema in Leicester and was recently awarded a commendation by Cinema for All, Britain’s leading authority for community cinemas and film societies.

Further programme announcements will be made available via social media and the CineQ website from 22nd January 2019.

Facebook @CineQBrum

Twitter: @CineQBrum

Instagram: @CineQBrum

By midlandsmovies, Nov 20 2017 09:20AM

Interview with Screening Rights Film Festival organiser Michelle Aaron

Film festival organiser Dr Michele Aaron gives an insight to Rebekah Smith on what inspired her to set up The Screening Rights Festival and the process in selecting independent films for it.

Now in its third year the week long Screening Rights Film Festival, which was hosted at the Mac in Birmingham, was the most successful yet.

Warwick University lecturer and one of the festival organiser Dr Michele Aaron said she established the festival after spending."In many years writing about the inadequacies of the depiction of human adversity in mainstream film culture as an academic I wanted to do something more immediate and more concrete about it as well. I wanted to bring films to Birmingham that wouldn't normally come.”

This year’s festival was held between 26th October and the 1st November, with the Birmingham film festival priding itself in showcasing independent films from around the world and aims to create debate on the potential of film to affect personal, social and political change.

“The festival is all about creating a platform and space to engage with pressing issues of contemporary society in a different way to mass media, bringing films that 'come from' the people most affected by these issues themselves is crucial", adds Michelle.

This year’s festival featured international critically acclaimed documentaries about online censorship, Syrian refugees and the Aramean genocide, alongside guest panels. She hopes to incorporate British independent films into the programme during future festivals.

“There were some especially powerful events the films chosen are always important and moving but this year we were lucky to have special guests, panels and audiences that took the films' impact to another level.”

“These films do not usually make it to Birmingham but there is definitely an audience for them.”

Check out Screening Rights Festival here https://screeningrights.org/

Rebekah Smith


By midlandsmovies, Jul 15 2016 10:36AM

Gritty documentary comes to Birmingham

Come the Revolution will be hosting a special screening of The Hard Stop at mac birmingham on 22nd July by documentary filmmaker George Amponsah.

Come the Revolution is a collective of curators, programmers and creatives from Bristol and Birmingham committed to exploring and challenging black life, experience and cultural expression through cinema.

2016 marks the 5th year anniversary of the fatal shooting of London resident Mark Duggan in August 2011. This ignited the worst civil unrest in recent British history. In The Hard Stop, Duggan’s life is explored from the perspective of two of his closest friends, Marcus and Kurtis, and follows the progress of their lives in the aftermath of the unfortunate events.

The film will followed by a Q&A with Director George Amponsah, cast members Marcus Knox-Hooke and Kurtis Henville and community support worker Stafford Scott for a discussion on the themes of The Hard Stop.

Employing observational video, imaginative use of news archive, iconic cinematography and a compelling music soundtrack the film follows Marcus and Kurtis’s experiences since the event. The Hard Stop will then also screen at Mac Birmingham from 22nd – 28th July as part of its full UK wide release.

Director George Amponsah is best known for award winning feature length documentaries The Importance of being Elegant (BBC Storyville) and The Fighting Spirit (PBS). A graduate of NFTS, he is now a highly experienced director with a rack of credits on documentaries for the big screen, television and the internet.

Further information at: https://macbirmingham.co.uk/event/the-hard-stop

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