Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts

21 September 2018

END OF THE ROAD - CINEHOUSE R.I.P

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On 15th September 2009, I started Cinehouse as an alternative to my main site The Peoples Movies. Giving me a chance to talk and review the alternative side of the mainstream film. From World Cinema, Arthouse, Indie film, Short film, the weird and wonderful. For about 6-7 the journey was great though bumpy one. Then came along some wonderful people who decided to help keep the site going and did a brilliant job. But even those great things must end and today Cinehouse 9 years, 6 days old I've Decided to put Cinehouse into Hiatus. Not the end but at the moment closed for now.

Like to thank everyone  who has written for the site, read, likes, shared, gave opinion on the reviews and posts. If you're looking for World Cinema, indie, arthouse, classic film head over to The Peoples Movies which we'll cover more of what we did here.

16 September 2014

Michael Madsen to attend European premiere of THE NINTH CLOUD at RDFF

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THE NINTH CLOUD, Jane Spencer’s dark, philosophical drama, will receive its European Premiere at this year’s Raindance Film festival, on Monday 29 September (8.50pm) at the Vue Piccadilly. The film’s stars will be attending, including Michael Madsen and Leo Gregory. Director Jane Spencer and producer Julia Verdin will also be attending and all will be giving a Q+A after the screening.

Set in 90s London, THE NINTH CLOUD tells the story of Zena (Megan Maczko), who, trying to escape the grief of her family being killed in a plane crash, becomes infatuated with fellow American Bob (Michael Madsen), an enigmatic but failed poet and writer, who has taken up residency in a Hackney squat. Searching for hope through Bob’s artistic visions, whilst clinging on to her fragile grasp of reality, Zena collides and colludes with an array of desperados, angst-ridden IT girls and debauched failed artists. Two men in particular zero in on her: Brett, a narcissistic socialite (Leo Gregory), and Jonny, a drink-drowning musician searching for a way to re-surface (Jean Hughes Anglade). But it is to the unattainable Bob that Zena is mystically drawn to – as if only he holds the answer to the meaning of her life...

Jane Spencer’s tragi-comedy takes us on a journey through the underbelly of 90s London where loss, love and the meaning of existence are given a uniquely surreal twist.

She comments: “The film is about a group of people from all walks of life, trying to find hope in a world full of darkness and tragedy. Zena is a dreamer, who, against all circumstance, is trying to make something good happen in the world - even at a very high personal cost. I grew up watching films from the 1960's 'free cinema' movements and idolised the work of Lindsay Anderson, Tony Richardson, John Schlesinger, and also the philosophical films of that time; the French films of Truffaut, and especially Jacques Rivette. I suppose THE NINTH CLOUD is a 'homage' to those films, in a way
.
Producer Julia Verdin adds: “One of the things that attracted me to this project is that it is a film about escapism. All of the character is their different ways are trying to escape from reality and living in worlds that they have created for themselves and so blocked from moving forward by their own perceptions which i think is something that audiences will identify with.

The screening will take place at The Vue Piccadilly at 8.50pm on Monday 29 September. There is a second screening, also at the Vue Piccadilly, on Tues 30 at 4pm.


Tickets can be bought from: www.myvue.com/Raindance

23 April 2014

Films set in Lisbon

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After The Night (Ate Ver A Luz) is a striking indie gangster story set in the gritty slums of Lisbon and is out in UK cinemas and VoD from the 25th April.

A visually striking film, it accurately shows Lisbon’s diverse culture, people and surroundings and climbs inside the world of Lisbon’s Creole slums.

We take a look back at a cinematic history of films set in Lisbon…

AFTER THE NIGHT (Ate Ver Luz; 2013; Basil Da Cunha)
An outcast living a solitary nocturnal life with an iguana named Dragon as his only friend, Sombra wanders around in the Creole slums of Lisbon as he is looking for cash to pay back the local gang boss. Dragged into an armed robbery, he runs away and is chased until the early hours of the day.


After The Night is out in cinemas and VoD from the 25th April (watch at I-Tunes)

A TALKING PICTURE (Um Filme Falado; 2004; Manoel de Oliveira)

For some thought-provoking, for others dull – this movie reveals the encounters of a mother and daughter on a Mediterranean cruise. John Malkovich is the captain.



IN VANDA'S ROOM (No Quarto da Vanda; 2000; Pedro Costa)

This award-winning, warts-and-all documentary/fiction provides a close-up of the lives of Cape Verdean slum dwellers and drug addicts in Lisbon’s deprived Fontainhas district.


THE LETTER (A Carta; 1999; Manoel de Oliveira)

Passion, futile love, adultery, tragedy, piety… It's all in this Oliveira classic that won the Jury prize at Cannes.


THE NINTH GATE (1999; Roman Polanski)

Stars Jonny Depp as a rare book dealer seeking out a supernatural demon text. In the course of his travels around Europe through France and Spain, to track down the authentic copy of the book for his client, he visits Sintra in Portugal. It's a picturesque area of Portugal just outside Lisbon with plenty of atmospheric hilltop palaces and castles.
Depp visits Chalet Biester with its turreted outline tucked into lush green woodland exuding mystery.


BONES (Ossos; 1997; Pedro Costa)

A grim and gripping tale of life in the slums on the outskirts of Lisbon, dealing with poverty, suicide and the struggle of love and death.


LISBON STORY (Viagem a Lisboa; 1994; Wim Wenders)

Inventive and beautifully photographed, this German drama follows director Monrow on his quest to finish a silent film in Lisbon. Stars Portuguese band Madredeus and a cameo by Manoel de Oliveira.


THE WINTER IN LISBON (El Invierno en Lisboa; 1992; Jose Antonio Zorrilla)

This crime drama is about a disillusioned US jazz pianist who fl ees to Lisbon where he befriends an artist. The film stars famous trumpet player Dizzy Gillespie.


After The Night is out in cinemas and on VoD from the 25th April

30 January 2014

Forbidden Love - The Invisible Woman Feature

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The theme of forbidden love has formed the basis of many romantic dramas; fuelling scenes of passion, desire, and devotion. The latest film to add to the line-up is The Invisible Woman, the true story of Charles Dickens and his young mistress, actress Nelly Ternan. Ralph Fiennes directs himself as Dickens, with Felicity Jones as the young beautiful actress. Nelly is forced to remain an ‘invisible’ muse and lover to hide the scandalous relationship from the world. To mark the February 7th release in cinemas, here is a look at eight films about forbidden love.

The Graduate (1967)


Starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, The Graduate tells the story of Benjamin Braddock and his affair the wife of one of his father’s business partners, Mrs. Robinson. Having recently graduated from college, Ben meets Mrs. Robinson upon arriving home and they begin their short-lived affair. However, his past comes back to haunt him as Ben finds himself falling in love with Elaine, Mrs. Robinson’s daughter. The Graduate, a hugely influential coming of age comedy, hilariously tells one of the most tense and noteworthy love stories in film.

Water for Elephants (2011)


When his parents die in a car accident before he finishes his veterinary studies, Jacob Jankowski falls into a new life in the circus. It is here that he meets Marlena, the young wife of the ill-tempered and unstable circus owner, August. Jacob soon falls in love with Marlena, and she with Jacob. August’s violent nature threatens their lives and the livelihood of the circus. Based on the novel, Water for Elephants, starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson, depicts the whirlwind love affair of Jacob and Marlena and how two people will beat all obstacles to be together.


Lolita (1997)


In this forbidden love affair based on the famous Nabokov novel, Humbert Humbert falls in love with his land lady’s 14 year old daughter, Dolores “Lolita” Haze. Humbert, a British professor who moved to the US to teach, marries Charlotte Haze, in order to stay close to Lolita. Lolita proving to be much more mature than her age begins a relationship with her step father. The gripping tale of Lolita, starring Melanie Griffith and Jeremy Irons, with Dominique Swain as Dolores, is filled with romance, guilt, jealousy, and perfectly depicts the ultimate price one might pay for forbidden love.


In The Mood for Love (2000)


Newspaper editor, Chow Mo-Wan, moves into a new building with his wife and at the same time, Su Li-Zhen, a beautiful secretary, moves into the building with her husband. Chow and Li-Zhen form a friendship and begin spending time together as their spouses are away. However, they soon find out their significant others are having an affair and vow to not be like their unfaithful spouses, yet find comfort in their growing relationship. Set in Hong Kong in 1962, In the Mood for Love, starring Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung Chiu Wai, beautifully illustrates the growing love between two individuals and their resistance to give into passionate feelings.

The Scarlett Letter (1995)


Seeking independence from 17th century England, Hester Prynne arrives to Massachusetts Bay Colony awaiting the arrival of her husband from England. While befriending other outsiders in the colony, Hester falls for young pastor Arthur Dimmesdale. Soon, Hester bears their child, after rumour of her husband’s death reaches her. On the day Hester is made to wear a scarlet A, her husband arrives very much alive and seeks revenge on her love and his own wife. The Scarlet Letter, starring Demi Moore and Gary Oldman, shows that sometimes love will overcome every rule and all humiliation.

Romeo and Juliet (1996)


Retold in a modern day Verona, Romeo and Juliet remains the timeless story of star crossed lovers. The Montague and the Capulet families are fierce, feuding enemies when their children meet and fall in love. The two have hidden their love from their families and soon meet their tragic destiny. Still preserving the original dialogue from the Shakespeare classic, Romeo and Juliet, starring young Leonard DiCaprio and Claire Danes, is one of the greatest forbidden love stories told.

Titanic (1997)


101 year old Rose DeWitt Butaker tells the story of her romantic adventure on the Titanic, and her discovery of true love, to her granddaughter and the crew aboard the Keldysh research ship. While aboard the Titanic, Rose met Jack Dawson, a spirited artist with whom she soon fell in love. When the Titanic went down, Jack lost his life, but Rose used his name to disappear from her mother and fiancé. 84 years later, Rose recalls this story as the crew searches for remnants of the wreck her nearly priceless lost jewellery. A beautifully told story of love lost, Titanic, starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, is one of the most spectacular stories of forbidden love.

The Invisible Woman (2013)


Set in 19th century England, The Invisible Woman illustrates the illicit love affair between Charles Dickens and young actress, Ellen Ternan. At the height of his success, an older Dickens meets 18 year old Nelly with whom he soon falls in love and begins a secret affair, eventually leaving his wife. To keep her reputation, Nelly must live a life of “invisibility” until Dickens’ death. An epic drama, starring the outstanding Ralph Fiennes and illustrious Felicity Jones, The Invisible Woman passionately depicts what one must pay for love in an entrancing and heart wrenching film.

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN IS RELEASED IN UK CINEMAS ON 7 FEBRUARY

20 December 2013

Programme Announced For 2014 Glasgow Short Film Festival

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Glasgow Short Film Festival today announced the selection for its 2014 competitions, which include some notable world premieres and exciting new works by leading Scottish and international artists.

Organisers highlighted the strength of Scottish filmmaking talent, which has made it necessary to expand the Scottish competition this year. GSFF Director Matt Lloyd said: “At a time when Scottish film producers are forecasting an extremely bleak future for indigenous production, we can at least demonstrate that there is no shortage of emerging talent. We couldn’t contain our selection within the usual four programmes - this year a mighty thirty films screen across five programmes of new Scottish work.”

Notable inclusions in the Scottish competition include the world premiere of No Hope For Men Below, the first film from musician and film-maker Adam Stafford since his 2009 short The Shutdown, which won six Jury Prizes in international festival competitions including San Francisco International Film Festival and Palm Springs International Shorts Fest; Gavin C Robinson's BAFTA Scotland-winning animation Hart's Desire; and The Port, Rory Alexander Stewart's depiction of infamous Leith pub The Port O’Leith. The international selection includes the UK premiere of When We Lived in Miami by US indie actor/director Amy Seimetz (best known for her leading role in Shane Carruth’s Upstream Colour), new works by award winning internationally renowned artists Mika Taanila, Mike Hoolboom and John Smith, and L’Assenza, by UK film critic Jonathan Romney.

Glasgow Short Film Festival runs from 13 – 16 February 2013. The full 2014 festival programme, including a number of large-scale events focusing on the relationship between film and music, and an examination of the state of Scottish filmmaking, will be announced in early January.

SCOTTISH SHORT FILM AWARD
Sponsored by Mother India’s Café

Ahora, no
Scottish premiere / Elia Ballesteros & Kate Campbell / UK & Spain / 2013 / 17 min

Bear With Me
World premiere / Colin Healy / UK / 2013 / 12 min

The Bird Man of Red Road
Chris Leslie / UK / 2013 / 8 min

Colours
Scottish premiere / Graham Fitzpatrick / UK / 2013 / 15 min

Fishcakes & Cocaine
Scottish premiere / Alex Nevill / UK / 2013 / 26 min

Getting On
Ewan Stewart / UK / 2012 / 9 min

The Groundsman
Scottish premiere / Jonny Blair / UK / 2013 / 16 min

Hannah
Scottish premiere / Michael Crumley / UK / 2013 / 17 min

Harry & Avis
World premiere / Nathan Hollis / UK / 2013 / 10 min

Hart's Desire
Gavin C Robinson / UK / 2013 / 6 min

I Love You So Hard
Ross Butter / UK / 2013 / 4 min

Lagan
Peter Shaw / UK / 2013 / 4 min

Let's Go Swimming
Douglas King / UK / 2012 / 19 min

Liar
Martin Smith / UK / 2013 / 12 min

Loma
Scottish premiere / Katri A Vanhatalo / Finland & UK / 2013 / 10 min

The Man Who Was Full Of Birds
Scottish premiere / Gianpiero Vannucci / UK / 2013 / 18 min

The Misbehaviour of Polly Paper-Cut
Bryan M. Ferguson / UK & USA / 2013 / 6 min

Mission
Scottish Premiere / Mark Buchanan / UK / 2013 / 22 min

Nae Paresan
Felipe Bustos Sierra / UK / 2013 / 13 min

No Hope For Men Below
World premiere / Adam Stafford / UK / 2013 / 11 min

Orbit Ever After
Scottish premiere / Jamie Stone / UK / 2013 / 20 min

The Port
Rory Alexander Stewart / UK / 2013 / 17 min

Radio Silence
Duncan Cowles / UK / 2013 / 21 min

Red Dust
Ilona Kacieja / UK / 2013 / 16 min

The Registrars
Jane McAllister / UK / 2013 / 29 min

Romance & Adventure
Douglas King / UK / 2013 / 23 min

Seams and Embers
Claire Lamond / UK / 2012 / 6 min

Spectators
Ross Hogg / UK / 2013 / 4 min

Stay The Same
Sam Firth / UK / 2013 / 14 min

Stovies
Scottish premiere / Rose Hendry / UK / 2013 / 7 min

The Things That Are Important To Us
World premiere / Richard Poet & Frances Poet / UK / 2013 / 11 min


GLASGOW SHORT FILM FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

Afghan '72
European premiere / Pierre Forcioli-Conti / USA / 2013 / 4 min

Anomalies
Scottish premiere / Ben Cady / UK / 2012 / 12 min

Buffalo Death Mask
Scottish premiere / Mike Hoolboom / Canada / 2013 / 23 min

The Butter Lamp of Yak (La lampe au beurre de yak)
Scottish premiere / Hu Wei / France / 2013 / 15 min

The Case
Scottish premiere / Cecilia / Stenbom / UK / 2013 / 9 min

Colours
Scottish premiere / Graham / Fitzpatrick / UK / 2013 / 15 min

Dad's Stick
Scottish premiere / John / Smith / UK / 2012 / 5 min

The Danger of Complete Extinction
UK premiere / Konstantin Kolesov / Russia / 2012 / 26 min

Ebb and Flow (A Onda Traz, O Vento Leva)
Gabriel Mascaro / Brazil / 2012 / 28 min

Emergency Calls (Hätäkutsu)
UK premiere / Hannes Vartiainen & Pekka Veikkolainen / Finland / 2013 / 15 min

Erotos
UK Premiere / Grégory Montaldo / France / 2013 / 7 min

Grandpa and Me and a Helicopter to Heaven
Åsa Blanck & Johan Palmgren / Sweden / 2012 / 14 min

Gutenberg
Scottish premiere / Amalie Vilmar / UK / 2013 / 2 min

How To Abandon Ship
International premiere / Robin McKay / USA / 2013 / 10 min

The Immaculates (Gli Immacolati)
UK Premiere / Ronny Trocker / France / 2013 / 13 min

Karmok
European premiere / Rannvá Káradóttir & Marianna Mørkøre / Faroe Islands / 2012 / 5 min

L'Assenza
Scottish premiere / Jonathan Romney / UK / 2013 / 21 min

Malaise
Scottish Premiere / Christian Schmeer / Germany / 2013 / 6 min

The Missing Scarf
Scottish premiere / Eoin Duffy / Ireland / 2013 / 6 min

No Hope For Men Below
World premiere / Adam Stafford / UK / 2013 / 11 min

Off-White Tulips
UK premiere / Aykan Safoglu / Turkey & Germany / 2013 / 24 min

On the Threshold (Sto katofli)
UK premiere / Anastasia Kratidi / Greece / 2013 / 19 min

Pandas (Pandy)
Scottish Premiere / Matus Vizar / Slovakia & Czech Republic / 2013 / 12 min

Plug & Play
Scottish Premiere / Michael Frei / Switzerland / 2013 / 6 min

The Questioning
UK premiere / Zhu Rikun / China / 2013 / 22 min

Riverbero
International premiere / Frederico Biasin / Italy / 2013 / 14 min

Six Day Run (Kuuden päivän juoksu)
UK premiere / Mika Taanila / Finland / 2013 / 14 min

SLR
Scottish premiere / Stephen Fingleton / UK / 2013 / 23 min

Stay The Same
Sam Firth / UK / 2013 / 14 min

Summer Fall

UK premiere / Maryna Roshchyna / Ukraine / 2013 / 24 min

That Music (esa musica)
International premiere / Dario / Vejarano / Colombia / 2013 / 27 min

A Third Version of the Imaginary
UK premiere / Benjamin Tiven / Kenya & USA / 2012 / 12 min
Trusts and Estates
Scottish Premiere / Jeanette Bonds / USA / 2013 / 5 min

When We Lived in Miami
UK premiere / Amy Seimetz / USA / 2012 / 13 min

15 December 2013

Feature - A New Wave in New Queer Cinema

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Spurred on by the AIDS crisis, the social exclusion of homosexual men during the 1980s induced fear and anger from both sides of the gender boundaries. Wanting to break away from various pithy representations at the start of a new decade, UK and US based gay filmmakers such as Gregg Araki (The Living End), Todd Haynes (Poison) and the late Derek Jarman (Blue) sought to create films which were expressionistic and upfront in their frustration towards heteronormative boundaries and relationships. They represented a new way of belonging within a gay community, a stronger acceptance of a grounded identity where there was pride in being different. Knowing these films were completely unlike anything else, film critic B Ruby Rich classed this wave of filmmaking as ‘New Queer Cinema’ in a 1992 issue of Sight & Sound. Yet, as the 90s continued and breakthroughs with AIDS treatments progressed, homosexual identities became more politically recognised and accepted. As a result, the central gay character grew to be more present within mainstream (Philadelphia) and populist Indie (Beautiful Thing) film throughout the decade. Following the standard template of having an identity problem with being gay or living with AIDS, these forms of conflict seemed the only way of making a story interesting or crucial in forcing a statement.

However, by the end of the 90s, the activist force of ‘New Queer Cinema’ seemed to fizzle out as gay equality within Western society became stronger and more widely accepted than ever before. As a result, the representation of the triumphantly well adjusted homosexual man took over most narratives. In Hollywood, popular centralised gay storylines (Brokeback Mountain, Milk) still centred on weepy ideals, set within a certain time period, where central characters were martyrs to highlight just how significantly times had changed. As for the some of the original ‘New Queer Cinema’ filmmakers, after having said everything they needed to, they moved on to different styles and forms of storytelling, either within mainstream or independent productions. Since the popularity behind the politics resulted in a move into the ordinary, many of the early gay activists and filmmakers – who thrived in their difference from the hetero norms – would argue that the war for recognition, acceptance and equality is over. However, the lack of fluidity within the structure of gay narratives still created dissatisfaction with a few younger directors. Rather than portray the direct anxiety that can be faced with homosexuality or have gay characters completely represent the community, directors Andrew Haigh, Travis Mathews and Ira Sachs have created stories where this identity is a mere factor towards a more universal story. In their films, characters are already well adjusted with their identity. They lead a standard suburban life where the issues of death or coming out are not important. Most importantly, they do not fall into a perception of a gay community. Although these characters may struggle with issues of their identity, they are subtlety handled by these filmmakers, making their connection with other characters or their community resonate. It is a sudden and unique shift within ‘Queer Cinema’, but also a welcome one.


Haigh’s Weekend, released in 2011, proved to be a surprise hit for the filmmaker. The small production, detailing a brief - yet passionate - weekend between two very different personalities, earned consistent critical praise and box-office success (earning the second highest screen average on its opening week in the UK, behind Speilberg’s TinTin). Similarly, Matthew’s acclaimed 2013 film, I Want Your Love, charts the various sexual encounters of a local mid-twenties San Francisco hipster within his social circle of friends. Finally, Sach’s Keep the Lights On, follows a relationship set over a decade, from its amusingly awkward beginnings through to its tribulations with addiction. Although these stories may be different, the characters within them reveal various personalities and situations which are relatable to both homosexual and heterosexual audiences. With dialogue and performances that feel improvised and stylised hand-held cinematography, the naturalistic qualities of these works present how social boundaries within more everyday settings have been abolished. Rather than smack various issues over the viewer, these films treat their audiences with respect in regards to their intelligence and own experiences. Speaking exclusively to Mathews, he says ‘I don’t want to take someone’s hand and say ‘‘we are about to go somewhere gay and this is what you need to understand.’’ It is what it is.’

The existence of this new wave of film came from frustration. Before these filmmakers, there was merely a desire of wish fulfilment in seeing fully adjusted, happy, gay men within the media. For Haigh, films and television displayed a sense of contemporary gay life which he himself knew nothing about. However, Sachs was confused at why the subject of troublesome long-term relationships was never an issue, after experiencing one himself. Such was the popularity and importance of ‘positive’ representations within the media that Mathews believes that he and his peers are making progress in depicting the lives of gay men; ‘Not all of us are living perfectly well adjusted lives and I personally don’t want to shy away from something that could be seen as a bad portrayal. We can be just as flawed and interesting as the next guy and we [Mathews, Haigh and Sachs] want to show that.’


In showing the honesty and flaws within their characters’ lifestyle, each filmmaker relies on addressing the thorny issue of sex. Previously, the depiction of gay sex usually proved unjustified or a crass ‘will-they-won’t-they’ plot device. It provided cheap thrills or was thrown in for the sake or liberation of being able to show it. Yet, for these filmmakers, sex is integral in showing the normality within the everyday of a developing relationship. Unfortunately, this is an area which immediately classifies a direct demographic within these universal storylines. Unlike the works of Lars Von Trier and Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), who approach the topic of sex within heterosexual relationships to drive their stories, the subject of gay sex can still divide an audience. As the character of Glen says in Weekend – when speaking about his personal art project – ‘straights won’t care because it’s not about their world.’ However, as many highbrow critics have noted, this is where the appeal of these three films lie. The topic of sex displays a generational experience within many contemporary works of rooting your identity and displaying who you are. With the ideas depicted within these films evidently crossing over the lines that have divided sexuality, the characters become more resonant purely because the story takes place within the relationship of two men. Yet, one might wonder that whilst the barriers of cultural sexual rigidity still remain slightly profound and – especially in this case – can divide an audience, would these characters ever be fully appreciated?

The reason Mathews wrote I Want Your Love was through bafflement over the void left within cinema where sex between two characters revealed an extension to their personality. However, what puts Mathews above the rest in his depiction of intercourse is that he had his actors perform live sex in front of the camera; ‘When two people try to or have sex, there is a lot of information exchanged and I didn’t want to shy away from it when telling my story. I could not present the intimacy with my characters without showing sex. I just feel like we’re in a place in time where the stories we’re telling about ourselves can be a bit more complicated and modern.’ Haigh, however, was more reserved. Developing his two characters before showing any intimacy, he takes an empathetic eye, allowing his scenes to feel more meaningful and personal for his two leads. In his own words, he says, ‘it was very important for me not to just shoehorn the sex into my film. I wanted to present the effect of the first encounter and have the audience understand the characters before revealing more. By the end of the film, you want them to enjoy the sex they have in their final moments together.’ As with Keep the Lights On, critics in the UK and US have applauded the portrayal of sex being naturally integrated and included in people’s everyday contemporary lives, rather than separated from it.

Within the context of these individual works, the depiction of intimacy provides a level of character development which is rare to find in a lot of cinema but progressive in how narrative forms are changing.
There is a sense of satisfaction that comes from watching these films. Not only are you witnessing a change in the norms of representing homosexuality, but they are making progression with the identity by setting it within contemporary urban landscapes. In moving gay identities to the background and having other facets contribute more towards these flawed characters, it injects a much needed sense of realism in depicting the lives of these people. Rather than hammer you over the head with the issues raised in these films - ideas such as muted homophobia in Weekend, faithfulness within relationships in Keep the Lights On, or the importance of a small community within a culture in I Want Your Love – they linger through their lack of force. In going underneath the larger issues and executing them with empathy and intelligence, it allows the universal appeal to open up which is liberating. It is invigorating seeing filmmakers embrace how much of a mess life can be sometimes.

David Darley

1 November 2013

Derek Jarman: Pandemonium Exhibition To Celebrate UK Director's Life And Work This January

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Derek Jarman: Pandemonium is an exhibition presented by King’s Cultural Institute to mark the 20th anniversary of Jarman’s death from an HIV-related illness in February 1994.

A student of humanities at King’s from 1960 to 1963, Jarman went on to become one of the most important creative practitioners of his generation and a crucial voice in gay politics in Britain. Painter, filmmaker, set designer, diarist, poet, gardener, activist – Jarman’s work across many areas and media was distinguished for its continual innovation and sense of daring.

Derek Jarman: Pandemonium is not a retrospective; rather it focuses on Jarman’s life along the Thames and the ways his work engaged with London – from his student days at King’s, to his time in artistically vital warehouses at Bankside and Butler’s Wharf, where he lived for most of the 1970s alongside contemporaries including Andrew Logan and Keir Smith

The exhibition links Jarman’s studies as an undergraduate – especially the emphasis on the literature and history of the Medieval and Renaissance periods – to his later artistic and intellectual interests, drawing a line from his formative learning in the early 1960s, before he went to art college, with his lifelong passions.

Among his most arresting work in the 70s were his now rarely seen Super 8 films, and the exhibition will be screening three films continuously. Also on display will be a selection of the astonishingly elaborate notebooks he kept for each of his feature films and writing projects, as well as personal and privately loaned material to contextualise his many collaborative relationships.

This immersive exhibition captures the unruly spirit of this truly innovative and multi-faceted artist and his artistic times, especially the collaborative spirit which was so important in cultural production at that time.

Derek Jarman: Pandemonium is part of Jarman2014, a year-long celebration of Derek Jarman’s life & work. Full listings and further information will be available soon at www.jarman2014.org

Derek Jarman: Pandemonium will open on Thursday 23 January until Sunday 9 March 2014 and will take place at Inigo Rooms, Somerset House East Wing, Strand WC2R 2LS

Image credit: Studio Bankside, Derek Jarman, 1973-74 , © LUMA Foundation

12 October 2013

Win LGBT Award Winning Film Out In The Dark On DVD

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One of the big things we're keen to do here at Cinehouse and The People's Movies is extend our range of film writing and reviewing, one of those areas we are keen to explore is LGBT cinema. LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) cinema mainstream cinema the ga is closing and what better way to get things going by running a competition to win one of LGBT's biggest films of 2013, OUT IN THE DARK.

The award-winning directorial debut from Michael Mayer, gay drama OUT IN THE DARK (15) stars newcomer Nicholas Jacob as Arab student Nimr alongside Michael Aloni (Policeman, Infiltration) who plays Jewish lawyer Roy. A gripping story of forbidden Arab-Israeli love, Nimr is rejected by Islamic society for his sexuality, and outcast by Jewish society for his nationality. The film will be released on DVD 14 October 2013, courtesy of Network Releasing whom we've joined forces to give away 3 copies of the film on DVD.

OUT IN THE DARK made its UK debut at the BFI London Lesbian Gay Film Festival earlier this year and was screened as part of the Accenture Gala. The film also won the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the Mardi Gras Film Festival 2013. It was released at key sites in the UK on 5th July 2013 and now on 14th October you can own the film on DVD.

"A powerful love story with a fresh twist" Paul Burston, Time Out

Danger, sensuality and excitement togetherDavid William Upton, So So Gay



To Win Out In The Dark on DVD please answer the following easy question:

Q. What Major international film festival did Out In The Dark make it's World Premiere at in 2012?


You must be 15 years or older to enter.
Deadline for this competition is Sunday 27th October 2013 (23:59pm)

If you haven’t done already Like us and stay with us at our Facebook page (if you are already liking us just share this post)

Terms&Conditions: You Must be a UK or Irish resident aged 15 or older to enter. If your successful and win the competition then you will be asked for Postal address to arrange deliver of the prize.The competition is not opened to employees, family, friends of The Peoples Movies, Cinehouse,Network Releasing  who have the right to alter, change or offer alternative prize without any notice. The Peoples Movies, Cinehouse takes no responsibility for delayed, lost, stolen prizes.Prizes may take from days to a few months for delivery which is out of our control so please do not complain, we will tell you when prizes are sent to us, mostly all competition prizes come directly from the PR company representing the film distributor. Deadline Sunday 27th October 2013(23:59pm)..

UK Competitions and Prize Draws at UKwins
Loquax Competitions
Free Competitions
ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions

30 June 2013

Stoker Interview - Matthew Goode

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English actor Matthew Goode is known for his roles opposite Mandy Moore in Chasing Liberty, in Woody Allen’s Match Point and the epic graphic-novel adaptation Watchmen. Other notable roles include the Evelyn Waugh adaptation Brideshead Revisited, Leap Year, Imagine Me and You, and A Single Man, opposite his friend Colin Firth. In STOKER, from acclaimed director Park Chan-wook, Goode plays Charlie Stoker, uncle to central character, India (Mia Wasikowska), and brother-in-law to Evie (Nicole Kidman)…


Director Park reveals that he gifted Mia a jaguar statue. Did you get anything nice?

He gave me the part. That was the best present! And yes, he did he gave me a gift — an amazing green tea. He and his wife gave me these six or seven boxes of this green tea with this lovely little teapot. Fantastic. I like it a lot. It certainly has anti-oxidant stamp on it.

What surprised you most about working with a great filmmaker like Director Park?

The atmosphere he creates and the man himself are so wonderfully peaceful, especially considering what his work is often about, with the violence and often quite disturbing themes. But as a man he is the antithesis of that. He is not manic. It is funny, because he and Quentin Tarantino like each other’s work. They have an appreciation but, obviously, Quentin is much more manic. Both are brilliantly intelligent and, as I say, Director Park is so peaceful and I liked the whole Korean vibe on set because I found it quite Zen. Listening to him is very peaceful, particularly the way he speaks. I find him a very relaxing, calming person to be around. He is just fabulous, a really lovely guy. I think his next film is a Western and I would love to be in that, as barman with a moustache or something like that!

How did the director help you to understand his visual ambition for STOKER?

We actually got a folder when we arrived, stuffed full, where just about every single frame had been drawn. It was amazing and also slightly worrying.

Why was it worrying?

Well it was like, ‘Wow! This is going to be quite demonstrative and there won’t be much room,’ but he is actually very collaborative during the filming and it was fantastic. You knew pretty much that it was going to look special even if you weren’t always sure at the time why things happened. Nicole said that she always wondered why he photographed her hair being brushed for so long that day. And then you realize when you watch the film he was going to do that incredible cross-cut with the fields. So some things you knew and some times you were just like, ‘Well, he is an Asian director, perhaps this is what they do.’ The film is ravishingly shot.

And how did you and Nicole Kidman strike up the chemistry on screen?

Well, we went to the house because Director Park wanted to show us around it early-on during the rehearsal stage and I remember getting there and it was very hot, in the hundreds, and I was in a vest, a bit sweaty and Nicole said, ‘Actually, I think we should rehearse one of the scenes now that we are in the house.’ And I, professional that I am, had not got my script with me, so I was a bit worried that it would really show me up. Then it turned out to be the scene with the kiss at the end, so I was thinking, ‘Well, it’s just a rehearsal, we are not going to get to that moment, are we?’ But, suddenly, she’s approaching and that very day in an impromptu rehearsal she ends up going in for the kiss. I thought, ‘This is weird.’ I had this flashback to being in the cinema and seeing her in BMX Bandits! That was one of the first films that I watched in the cinema and if someone had told me at the age of seven, ‘Oh, you are going to kiss her. It is just going to be in another 25 years,’ well that is a very, very weird thing. Also, you are not in character when you are rehearsing. I was just a grubby Englishman in jeans and a vest, probably stinking of cigarette smoke. So at the rehearsal it was a little intimidating but on the day, in character, it was fine and just another scene. The rehearsal really helped.

Apparently, you and Mia visited the local Nashville honky-tonk bars on your weekends off?

Yes. We went two stepping. That’s one of the joys. We were such tourists. It was like buy cowboy boots? Check! Also my wife and my daughter were there because we were filming in Nashville and I knew that I wasn’t going to work every single day. It was one of the joys of the job that they came with me. We did everything that you think a tourist does and I bought them cowboy boots and my daughter actually got two pairs of cowboy boots. They are huge. She is only just wearing them now. With the two stepping, there were some very cool places to go, like The Bluebird Café, which has a reputation. It is the quality of the musicians that blows you away. We went to The Station Inn which is a very famous old place and the players are unbelievable — Bluegrass and swing music and it just makes you really happy. It’s a great a way to wind down. You see the old couples dancing, two-stepping, and they make it look so easy. Mia did a lot of dancing with my wife as well while I was sitting a couple out.

Having your family there must have made shooting STOKER even more special…

It did, because this can be a very selfish job. It becomes harder and harder. I have never really liked being away from family. I went to Australia and that was tough. Three months away with the little one at home. I hated it. They did come out for two weeks and that was hell. Then I had a one-year old with jet lag, while I was working a 16-hour day! It was awful when they had to leave and go back to Britain but, boy, did I sleep well. They are always the priority. . I just wish that I could work in England more. But you do have to go where the job takes you. It is not like I can pick and choose.

You were chosen for this film, so things must be going quite well…

I take work far more seriously since becoming a dad. I generally still wake up with financial crises going on in my head and for me it is just about getting a job and doing it. I think you do get better. I have been doing it for 14 years now and I have done 20-odd things. I’d love to think that down the road I am going to meet someone like Michael Fassbender’s got this amazing relationship with Steve McQueen. I’d love to find a director who brings out the best in me time and time again. That is what I’d like to think will happen one day.
Stoker is out on DVD & BluRay 1st July.

28 June 2013

Winners of 67th Edinburgh International Film Festival Announced

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The winners of this year’s prestigious Edinburgh International Film Festival awards were announced at the Festival’s awards ceremony, held at Filmhouse today and hosted by Grant Lauchlan, producer and presenter of stv’s Moviejuice. The ceremony took place ahead of Sunday’s Closing Night Gala, NOT ANOTHER HAPPY ENDING, which concludes the 12-day Festival.

The Award for Best Film in the International Competition was presented to Mahdi Fleifel’s A WORLD NOT OURS (Lebanon/UAE/Denmark/UK), which received its UK premiere here at EIFF. The award is given to filmmakers from outside of the UK in recognition of their imagination and innovation. Acclaimed South Korean director Bong Joon-ho chaired the International Feature Film Competition Jury, which also included actress Natalie Dormer and film critic Siobhan Synnot.

The jury citation read: “The International Jury loved this film’s warm regard for the people at the heart of the film. A difficult subject was handled with confidence and humour. We hope that many more people get the opportunity to see A WORLD NOT OURS.”

Mahdi Fleifel said: “I am immensely grateful to the programmers at the EIFF for inviting my film. I have lived, studied and worked in the UK for 13 years, but I've never managed to screen any of my work at a single British film event - not even my short films which were pretty successful internationally. Winning the prize in Britain's No. 1 Film Festival is too good to be true. I hope this will help bring our film to a wider audience in the UK and I would like to thank the jury for this wonderful honour.

The jury also gave a special mention to Elias Giannakakis’ JOY (Greece). The citation read: “The Jury would like to make special mention of Elias Giannakakis’ unique character study in JOY and an outstanding performance by Amalia Moutousi.

The Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film went to Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel’s LEVIATHAN (UK/USA/France), which received its UK Premiere at the Festival. A visually stunning documentary, LEVIATHAN wins one of the longest-running film awards in the UK, honouring imagination and creativity in British filmmaking.

The winner was chosen by the Michael Powell Jury, chaired by Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf and including actor and director Kevin McKidd and film critic Derek Malcolm. The jury described the film “as an original and imaginative documentary which observes the brutal routine of deep sea fishing in a way which completely immerses the watcher in its story.”

Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel said: “We are totally bowled over by the news of this award. All our films have been rejected by every British film festival to date, so it is all the more moving for us! We also admire in so many ways the work of this jury, which makes this award especially meaningful to us both. It also gives us the courage and conviction to continue to keep pushing at the envelope - of cinema, of documentary, of art.”

The jury awarded a special commendation to Paul Wright’s FOR THOSE IN PERIL “for its passionate portrait of a young Scots survivor of a tragedy at sea.”

The Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film was shared by Jamie Blackley and Toby Regbo for their performances as the dysfunctional schoolboys in uwantme2killhim? The performance awards were voted for by the Michael Powell Award Competition Jury.

Jamie Blackley said: “I felt lucky enough to hear that two films I was in had been selected for the EIFF, so to then win this award is a wonderful shock that I wasn’t expecting and I am proud to share it with Toby. I’d like to thank Andrew Douglas and the cast and crew for making the experience so special for me and to EIFF for making me feel so welcome.”

Co-star Toby Regbo added: "I'm absolutely over the moon. Making this film was so positive: a really interesting story, a great director and a superb actor to work opposite, what more could you want really? I'd like to say thank you to the EIFF for supporting British independent film and young actors."

Reinstated in 2013 after a two-year absence, The Audience Award, supported by Sainsbury’s Bank, went to FIRE IN THE NIGHT (UK) directed by Anthony Wonke for his deeply moving documentary detailing the 1988 Piper Alpha disaster in the North Sea. The film, which received its World Premiere at the Festival, skilfully combines archival footage, audio recordings and interviews with some of the 61 survivors of the disaster, some of whom are interviewed for the very first time.
Voted for by cinema-goers attending public screenings, films were eligible from across the Festival programme at the discretion of the Artistic Director.

Anthony Wonke said: “It’s 25 years ago this July that Piper Alpha exploded and sunk into the North Sea and we hope that with this film the memory of that fateful night that affected so many lives will act as a suitable remembrance. I'd like to thank everyone who voted for FIRE IN THE NIGHT, it really does mean an awful lot to everyone involved especially all the men who took part in the film. I know that they will be incredibly touched and thankful that the public engaged with this film and their story in such a positive way.

EIFF Artistic Director Chris Fujiwara said: “The Audience Award, which we reinstated this year after a two-year hiatus, is not only one of the most significant of EIFF’s initiatives designed to engage audiences with cinema, it’s also one of the most fun. We’re delighted by the enthusiasm shown by our audience members who took part in choosing this award, and we’re grateful for the support and commitment of Sainsbury’s Bank.

GHL by Lotte Schreiber won The Award for Best Short Film in the shorts category. The prize was one of three awards bestowed by the Short Film Competition Jury, which included International Film Festival Rotterdam programmer Inge de Leeuw (chair), film critic Christoph Huber and independent film programmer Ricardo Matos Cabo.

The jury citation read: “The jury unanimously gives this prize for Best Short Film to a visually and rhythmically precise architectural study that doubles as a portrait of current social changes with the ghost of capitalism haunting the space of a popular landmark of communal recreation erected as a socialist utopia in Vienna.

Lotte Schreiber said: "I am very proud to receive this amazing award from this fantastic film festival, which is the most exciting one I’ve ever received! I’m proud of my little team and I want to thank them all for their precious contribution to this little movie: especially Johannes Hammel, who did the breathtaking camerawork and Michael Krassnitzer for his perfect low-key acting. This award makes me sure to keep on filmmaking, even under extremely tough economic circumstances, which will probably become even tougher for all of us independent filmmakers in the next years. But it’s worth carrying on! I want to express my sincere gratitude to the Festival Programme Committee who has selected the Film to be part of the International Competition at EIFF and likewise to the Short Film jury members, who have put their whole confidence into this little Viennese movie.

The Award for Creative Innovation in a Short Film, given for the first time this year, was awarded to DOLL PARTS by Muzi Quawson, as voted for by the Shorts Jury. The jury citation read: “The prize for creative innovation goes to a short that takes an unusual approach to documenting subculture and its protagonists, utilising paradoxical means. The film achieves a sense of drift by focusing on moments of stasis and capturing the energy of touring musicians through surprising ellipses and attention to incidental details.”

Another newly introduced award within the shorts category, The Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution to a Short Film, which celebrates imaginative and innovative work in short cinema, was awarded to Josh Gibson as Director of Photography of LIGHT PLATE, which he also directed.

The jury citation read: “The prize for outstanding contribution to a short film goes to the camerawork of a magical landscape study, capturing a day in the Tuscan countryside with a series of subtle, imaginative and mesmerizingly textured images forged with careful attention to the possibilities and beauty of 35mm films.

Josh Gibson said: "I am honoured and humbled to receive this award and to be recognized along with this small, personal film at such a prestigious international film festival, brimming with work by talented people that I have admired for a long time. Unlike feature films, short films are delicate creatures that owe much to the programming. In shorts programmes the individual films reverberate against one another, sometimes changing fundamentally depending upon the other pieces in the programme. I especially want to thank the EIFF programmers for finding a place for LIGHT PLATE where its particular point of view and visual preoccupations could be acknowledged and admired."

The jury also gave a special mention to three filmmakers whose work holds great promise for the future: Charlotte Rabate for LUCILLE IN THE SKY; Ivan Castineiras for THE BORDER; and Anna Frances Ewert for ENDLESS DAY.

As voted for by the audience, The McLaren Award for Best New British Animation, supported by the British Council, went to MARILYN MYLLER by director Mikey Please and co-animator Dan Ojari. Named after Scottish-born filmmaker Norman McLaren, the McLaren Award is the longest running award celebrating creativity amongst UK animation talent. The award was presented at the awards ceremony by Richard Williams, widely regarded as one of the world's greatest animators.

Mikey Please said: “The team and I are absolutely thrilled to receive the prestigious McLaren Award. We hope that our gonzo, the-rules-are-there-to-break-them approach to filmmaking was very much in a spirit that would have made Norman proud. This was Marilyn's World premiere, so naturally we were very nervous about how she'd be received. To have the warm welcome of an audience vote is wonderful, the best result we could have possibly hoped for.”

The Student Critics Jury Award, supported by Morag and James Anderson, was awarded to CELESTIAL WIVES OF THE MEADOW MARI by Alexey Fedorchenko. The award was determined by a jury of seven aspiring film critics, Lewis Camley, Ruth Swift-Wood, Kathryn Craigmyle, Phil Kennedy, Catarina Mourao, Rebecca Lily Bowen and Vivek Santayana, who took part in a workshop on film criticism at EIFF under the guidance of Kate Taylor (Independent Cinema Office), Gabe Klinger (independent film critic and programmer) and Nick James (editor, Sight & Sound).

The jury citation read: “Bearing in mind what the Artistic Director said, film is reality and also something more. A witty, perceptive and beautiful celebration of folk mythologies”.

22 January 2013

First Light has announced its nominees for the First Light Awards 2013.

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Now in their 11th successive year, First Light is proud to announce the nominees for the 2013 First Light Awards, which will take place at theOdeon Leicester Square on 19 March 2013. Known as the mini Oscars®, the ceremony is attended by a mix of film industry luminaries and celebrities who present the young people with awards across various categories, including Best Drama, Best Animation, Best Film by Under 12s, Best Film by Over 13s and FILMCLUB of the Year Award. The Awards is an uplifting celebration of young filmmakers from across the country which provides them with industry recognition and a platform to showcase their work.

Nominees hail from all over the UK, including Glasgow, Bradford, Sheffield, Nottingham, London, Liverpool and more, and their films explore a wide range of issues, such as bullying in school, mental health issues, young offenders revealing why they committed crimes, and a drug abuser getting back on track through music.

The young filmmakers come from a wide variety of social backgrounds and experiences – including those with learning difficulties, young offenders and those from deprived areas – with each filmmaker imparting a unique aspect of themselves into their films.

First Light helps young people from all backgrounds develop skills, talent, creativity and confidence by giving them opportunities to create their own short films with the help of industry professionals. The films the young people create cover many topics and genres, and make use of today’s accessible digital technologies to tell their stories with them in control. The roles of cast and crew would have been undertaken by various members of the young people in the group. Each would have had the opportunity to write, act, shoot, direct, light, edit, produce and screen their own film.

FLIC AWARD

Pig
Bracknell Forest Youth Offending Team
Two boys fall out and the only way they can resolve their differences is to play a game of Pig with their scooters. However the story nearly ends in tragedy when one scooter is sabotaged and their relationship is tested.
Aged 12-13
This film was a collaborative production between a group of four young people from Bracknell Forest Youth Offending Service and guided by professional filmmakers from Big Up Films. All of the participants are young offenders who had expressed an interest in making their own film. Through this project, the young people have developed their communication skills, had the chance to use professional filmmaking equipment and are more willing to work with others.

Transition Day
North Walsham High School
Starting High School can be a scary time. What if there are bullies? What about all the homework? What if you don't like the food? Transition tells the story of the Super Awesomeness Gang, as they work together to overcome their fears.
Aged 11-12
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 12 young people from North Walsham High School and guided by professional filmmakers from C Media. All of the participants had just finished primary school and had been selected as part of a government initiative to narrow the gap in disadvantaged during the transition to secondary school. Through this project, the young people have developed their literacy and communication skills, explored and addressed their fears for starting secondary school and made new friends.

Fork In The Road
Wrexham Youth Justice Service
Two friends get involved in a violent incident but when they get caught, will they choose to redeem themselves or dig their hole even deeper.
Aged 16-17
This film was a collaborative production between a group of three young people from Wrexham Youth Justice Service and guided by professional filmmaker, Dion Thorpe. All of the participants are young offenders and the film is inspired by their own experiences of the youth justice system. Through this project, the young people have developed their communication skills; have a greater understanding of their own abilities, which has led to them all continuing to engage in filmmaking activity.  

Watch Your Language
Fosse Way School
Has someone said anything that you found confusing? Sometimes words mean exactly what they say and sometimes words or phrases have a different meaning. These are called Figures or Speech or Idioms and can be mystifying. Watch You Language explores words and phrases we use every day that can lead to a misunderstanding.
Aged 11-14
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 32 young people from Fosse Way School and guided by professional filmmaker, Kari Nygård. All of the young people have learning difficulties and/or disabilities and teachers had previously found it difficult to engage such a large group in the same activity. Through this project, the young people have developed their communication and teamwork skills, they are more confident in their abilities and better behaved in group activities.


YOUNG VOICE AWARD

I’m Here
Film City Production Agency
Taking a cue from the Olympic and Paralympic values of friendship, courage and equality, young people living together in a children’s home introduce their “home”. They dispel stereotypes and misconceptions and discuss the highs and lows of their lives in care, the strong friendships that are built & the heart wrenching break up of those relationships.
Age 13-17
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 14 young people from Derby Children in Care Services and guided by professional filmmakers at the Film City Production Agency. All of the participants are in care and often had difficulty in maintaining attendance. Through this project, the young people have developed a clearer sense of focus and ambition which has led to increases in school attendance and willingness to listen to career advice and guidance.

Work Experience: It’s A Journey
Furze Down School
This film follows special needs students as they undertake work experience.
Joshua is having a taster day at a local theatre, Kieron is helping out in a local charity shops for a few weeks and Ellie has been working at the Dog’s Trust for over two years.
Aged 16-19
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 15 young people from Furze Down School and guided by professional filmmakers at Sixth Sense Media. All of this group have various special needs. Communication & interaction were the major issues for the group and this project gave them the opportunity to practice communicating with each other. This in turn developed their self-confidence and they demonstrated a greater ability to work as a team.

Dream Land
Medb Fiilms Ltd
With 68 different languages being spoken in Margate today, this documentary investigates the integration difficulties the Roma and local teenagers face. Looking at community violence, in particular the knife fights that started in Dalby Square, young teenagers discuss the myths surrounding immigration.             
Aged 12-24
This film was a collaborative production with a group of 46 young people from Kent Community Organisation and guided by professional filmmakers at Medb Fiilms. The documentary allowed the participants to openly discuss the racism in the area.  The project was designed to improve relations between the Eastern European migrants, Gypsies and local British residents, through the creative means of film production, this has been achieved.

Days That Made Us
Somerset Film
We all make choices. Some choices move us on, some move us back to places best left behind. In this frank and powerful documentary, a group of young offenders reveal the decisions they took that led them to committing crime.
Aged 16-19
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 15 young people from Somerset Youth Offending and Bridgwater YMCA and guided by professional filmmakers Somerset Film. The group were difficult to engage due their chaotic lives. Many of them had very low confidence, were depressed and disengaged. They said that getting up knowing that they were doing something constructive that day felt good.
The project gave them a focus and a chance to be creative and to be involved in something positive. 

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Charming Southwark
The Cuming Museum
What do charms mean to you?
Inspired by the Lovett Collection at Southward’s Cuming Museum, this mixed media documentary examines how the meanings of charms have changed for people over the years. In the past, they were used for protection and good luck but nowadays they are more often simply fashion accessories. Using interviews from people with different cultural backgrounds, the young people leant that some charms have personal significance.
Aged 13-17
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 16 young women from Cuming Museum Youth Panel and guided by professional filmmakers at Chocolate Films. All felt an enormous sense of achievement along with improved teamwork, confidence and self-esteem. They believed the project would have a positive impact on their school work especially ICT, media and photography.

Ghost Girl
Thomas Adams Media Arts Programme
The face of a young girl appears in the flames of a great fire. Is it the infamous Wem ghost?
This short film uses archive footage and animation to reveal the truth behind the notorious Wem Town Hall Ghost photograph. Are ghosts real? Spooky stories of ghost cats and scary anecdotes of strange goings on add to the mystery.
Aged 12-16
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 20 young people from Thomas Adams School & Sir John Talbots School and guided by professional filmmakers Thomas Adams Media Arts Programme. One participant had a significant stammer during script development but this disappeared after some coaching. He was determined to fix his stammer as he now wants to pursue a career in the media. All of those involved in the filmmaking elements are very keen to continue and are already working on new ideas for projects.

Echoes of Substance Abuse
Twin Vision
An insight into the effects of substance abuse.
Following Mike, aka Rapper Innuendo’s journey from drug abuse to musician, we learn how he turned his life around to develop a successful music career free from drugs.
Aged 15-25
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 17 young people from Sefton Youth Service and guided by professional filmmakers at Twin Vision.
At first, most of the group wished to stay behind the scenes but as their confidence grew so did their participation. Meeting inspiring professionals fully engaged those low achievers and those with low attention spans. All involved grown emotionally, dealing with challenging and sensitive issues with great care.  They learnt the professional language of film, and were able to deconstruct a visual narrative. Several are now pursuing careers in film and media studies.

Hopeless or Courageous?
The Lighthouse Group
Read the real label.
Some groups of young people can be typically viewed as growing up to be hopeless cases. An onlooker watches a group of young people and labels them mugger, vandal, shoplifter and drunk. However, a closer look reveals something altogether more courageous.
Aged 12-18
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 35 young people from TLG and Hanson School and guided by professional filmmakers at The Lighthouse Group. 
The group are from a variety of complex backgrounds. Through the project, all improved their team building skills as well as self-confidence, meeting new people and talking to adults. Challenging behaviours were replaced with enquiries about continuing filmmaking with diplomas and media studies at Bradford College. One young woman with a particularly difficult history grew enormously, finding her passion for filming, helping her concentration levels which had a positive impact in other areas of her life.

BEST ANIMATION

It Will Be Fine
Somerset Film
A busy life online might mean you miss what’s happening around you.
A young woman chats with her friends online failing to notice that her pet mouse is about to drown. Will she sacrifice social media to save her pet’s life?
Aged 13-14
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 14 young parents from Avonbourne School and guided by professional filmmakers Somerset Film. The group had great resistance to thinking and discussing climate change and the environment.  The project drew them into this topic and gave them a chance to explore why they don’t like to talk or think about it. By the last session the young people said that their attitude to the environment had changed and that they were now interested in being involved in issues around climate change.


High Above The Sky
S.P.I.D. Theatre Company
Little Leo loves sweeties but when he steals a whole jar, he soon regrets having to go on the run.
Little Leo helps himself to a jar of sweeties in the supermarket. His Dad tells him off so he goes on the run. However, when he finds himself heading for the moon, he starts to wish he’d never been naughty.
Age 5-19
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 58 young people from Kensal Youth and guided by professional filmmakers at Mew Lab and Twisted Noodle. This group came from very diverse backgrounds, young offenders, young refugees and care homes. All of them were inspired by the project feeling very proud of their first achievement in film. The young offenders said the project made them see learning in a different light. They were all far more technically adept than first thought, lending to a very professional animation.

Olympic Fortunes
Wind & Foster
Clairvoyant, Mystic Maggie, loses patience with her overly superstitious customers.
The year is 2012 and it is only a few days before the Games. Unfortunately for Britain, there is a crisis of confidence; Olympians everywhere are looking for more than lucky shorts.
Aged 10-19
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 23 young people from Northamptonshire Bangladeshi Association and Tag Youth and guided by professional filmmakers at Wind & Foster. The majority of participants are excluded or at risk from being excluded from school. Usually working in single sex groups, this project ran mixed sex workshops which boosted confidence in both sexes in talking to each other & in turn their creativity. Animation proved an incredible tool for working with young people with behaviour problems. The group spent lots of time working on the script.

Stargazer
GMAC
A bitter sweet tale of love and loss.
Matt stargazes, searching the sky every night looking for signs of his departed wife. Keeping him company is his plucky companion, Jockie the dog. Matt is planning a surprise for his Grandson Tony. Overnight something changes; Will Tony ever find out what his Grandfather had planned?
Aged 10-22
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 28 young people aged 10-22 from The Arches Youth Club, Solar Bear and HillheadHigh School and guided by professional filmmakers at GMAC. Working creatively together as a mixed ability group - some of the participants are deaf or hard of hearing - but all participants expressed an increase in confidence and made new friends both hearing & deaf. One participant is now studying product design at Glasgow School of Art.

BEST FILM BY UNDER 12S

Scales
West Ham United (WHU) Inspire Learning Centre
A somnambulist with a sea obsession sleepwalks through reality into a nightmare stop motion ocean.
Charlie, a young somnambulist with a sea obsession sleepwalks from his bedroom and falls into the darkness of a swimming pool. The pool becomes a nightmare ocean filled with talking fish and a deadly shark. When Charlie wakes up all seems well but it is really?
Aged 9-11
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 17 young people from Sandringham Primary School and guided by professional filmmakers at Beautness Animation.
Over half the group use English as their second language. The children felt working with professionals made them feel more confident whilst using the equipment. Several of them excelled in various aspects of the process, such as directing, acting and camerawork showing leadership, responsibility and determination. The school now runs its own film and animation club.


Time Report
Signals Media Arts Centre
 A futuristic news show set that explores the history of Earth’s ecological problems.
In a galaxy far, far away, the Time report is broadcast live from a battered old space station. The roving Time Reporter jumps through space and time to bring viewers the latest information on Earth’s ecological problems, whilst the studio director struggles to keep the show going. Featuring interviews with a dinosaur, a Tudor farmer and an alien, this is a whimsical look at global warming.
Aged 7-10
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 61 young people from Perryfields Junior School and guided by professional filmmakers at Signals Media. The participants were made of those pupils with learning difficulties or seen as underachieving. All gained additional skills in literacy due to the extensive scriptwriting process. One participant with Downs Syndrome showed a remarkable increase in his vocabulary as well as socialising more with the group.

Strange Playground
Heymann Primary School
Who’s coming out to play?
On her first playtime at her new school, Sam imagines the worst as she wanders through footballers, nerds, cool kids and zombies, searching for a friend.
Aged 10-11
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 28 young people from Heymann Primary School and guided by professional filmmakers at Nottingham Trent University.
Working with professional equipment gave the participants a real sense of pride & achievement, even sacrificing playtime to continue filming. Each child blossomed differently at different stages of filming. One boy was able to see very quickly how the story could be told in meaningful scenes and shots. Two girls who didn’t engage with the scriptwriting were totally absorbed during rehearsals and filming.

The Spaghetti Tree
Stocksbridge Nursery Infant School
Spaghetti growing on trees? Don’t be ridiculous!
After insisting spaghetti grows on trees, a cheeky crow listens to the words of a wise scarecrow as he explains where spaghetti really comes from.
Aged 6-7
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 20 young people from Stocksbridge Nursery Infant School and guided by professional filmmakers at Big Voice Media. The high level of autonomy afforded the children has led to a real sense of achievement and a deep feeling of pride in the end product.

BEST DRAMA

Coins
Red Dog Film
Redemption takes time.
In Victorian England a young man learns a hard lesson when he steals from his friends. He still has to protect his mother and his brother. Can he manage or will he end trying to steal his way out of trouble?
Aged 13-19
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 16 young people from Lincoln and guided by professional filmmakers Red Dog Film. The participants showed a high level of commitment to this project. One person is now engaged on a media apprenticeship with Red Dog Film. Other members of the team said they have media ambitions too.

Mutiny
Fairbridge in Scotland
A group of young people board the Spirit of Fairbridge to crew for the week, setting sail to develop their skills and confidence as well as an adventure on the high seas. However it soon becomes clear to one of the crew that they are not alone. This ghostly sea voyage explores themes of dislocation and paranoia against a haunting soundtrack.
Aged 14-25
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 47 young people from Fairbridge in Scotland and guided by professional filmmakers at The Forest of Black. All participants have reported an increase in confidence and self esteem and staff noticed an improvement in team work and behaviour as the project progressed. They are mostly young people disengaged from education and include some young offenders from around the UK.


The Woodland
Blind Ditch
A grieving girl is helped to find a new sense of perspective after a transformative experience.
Rachel is running away from her problems in the woodland. Suffering a bump to the head, she has an extraordinary experience in which she sees the world from a different perspective.
Aged 6-17
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 17 young people from Devon Integration Support Services and guided by professional filmmakers Blind Ditch. The young people showed a great deal of attention to detail, extraordinary listening skills, the ability to review and critique what they had recorded as well as really enjoying the opportunity to listen so closely to the sounds around them.  Pride in the final film was evident at screenings where at one time, the film was played six times.

Crystal Clear
GMAC
Three generations of witches in a modern day world.
Crystal is a very curious thirteen year old girl. Her enquiring mind turns to that around her. She becomes increasingly aware of her Grandmother and Mother’s special powers. One bright day Crystal’s inquisitiveness gets the better of her. Crystal decides to do a little more investigation, against her Mother’s will. What will Crystal discover?
Aged 10-19
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 38 young people from The Get Into Media Youth Group and guided by professional filmmakers at GMAC.
Many young people were directly inspired by working with industry professionals. One participant has aspirations to become a First AD, another to become a camera assistant, whilst 2 others have applied to the BBC Scotland Apprenticeship. None of which were previously in education or employment.

BEST FILM BY 13S & OVER

Cat In The Box
Evil Twin Artworks
One crazy lady, one weird cat, one strange day.
A lady who lives alone painting cats receives a mysterious package and her life is never the same again...
Aged 13-17
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 16 young women from Swindon Borough Council’s Integrated Youth Support and guided by professional filmmakers at Evil Twin Artworks. Nearly half this group are excluded from school. Confidence was an issue and some of the girls took quite a while to allow themselves to try the camera or work on the computer. However by post production their sense of self esteem and confidence had noticeably grown! They have all expressed an interest in taking the animation side of things further.

Your Future Home
Chocolate Films
A home so perfect you’ll never want to leave.
A chilling drama where David thinks he is being offered a new home but instead ends up somewhere much less homely.
Aged 16-19
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 12 young people from St Basil’s and guided by professional filmmakers at Chocolate Films.
All the participants are young homeless residents at St Basils & at risk of offending. One young man was crucial to the development stage and as an actor. He is now an intern at Prince’s Trust & has attended several First Light workshops and master-classes. One young woman who really took to editing, is studying media at college. Another young woman who has a history of violence and was finishing her parole at the time, wanted to use the project as a platform to educate others at risk of offending. All the participants came from difficult backgrounds but have benefited greatly from the experience, growing in confidence, team building and self-esteem.


The Envelope
FACT
A comic strip comedy surrounding a very sought after envelope...
The protagonist is given an envelope that appears to be sought after in many circles. Follow our girl to find out what exactly is in that envelop and solve the mystery.
Aged 13-18
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 12 young people from Liverpool Youth Service and guided by professional filmmakers at FACT.
Trust was an issue to start with but soon the participants felt confident talking to & working with adults. This meant they had a longer attention span and less disruptive behaviour. One normally aggressive girl has become more attentive and calm whilst a boy with Downs Syndrome has shown a marked improvement at school. Parents have reported improved behaviour and a thirst for a career in the film industry.

Not Just A Diagnosis
Ideal Films Ltd
For some people, this nightmare is real
A young woman finds herself in a nightmare world where her feelings of being branded because of her mental health issues are made very real. Can she find the strength to break the cycle?
Aged 13-19
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 30 young people from Swindon Youth Forum and guided by professional filmmakers at Ideal Films. Most of the participants have mental health issues ranging from Aspergers to self-harming. Everyone felt the set design was a real triumph so the group decided to create their own soundtrack too. One person said “Working with all the pro equipment makes me feel more creative.”

BEST COMEDY

H.B.
My Pockets
A pencil sharpener tries to seduce a shy pencil but will he shape up 2B like her much harder boyfriends?
Aged 15
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 12 young people from Tiverton High School and guided by professional filmmakers My Pockets. All the skills, including recording sound, camera skills, puppet making and Final Cut Pro were learnt because the young people were enjoying themselves. The project enabled a difficult subject to be tackled through humour and the transferable skills came from the laughter and enjoyment from frank discussions about sex and relationships. 

Accidently in Daventry
Cobblers Study Centre
The quest for intelligent life.
Three aliens are sent on a mission to Earth to determine whether there is indeed human intelligence and if not, blow it up!
Aged 11-16
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 16 young men from Danetre Secondary School and guided by professional filmmakers at the same organisation. Most of the participants are on the ASD spectrum so their level of perfection was very high. Since completing their film, many have gone to further their filmmaking skills: Two have enquired about studying film production at University,
three are planning on taking media at GCSE level and one student has been making detailed plans for taking a gap year to make a feature film of his own.

RoboCarer
CTVC
A young carer finds an ingenious way of releasing his caring duties, but is this what he really wants?
Joe is a young carer. He loves his mum but wishes he had more time to play with his friends. He comes up with an inventive plan that he thinks will give him the best of both worlds...
Aged 6-15
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 12 young people from Blackpool Young Carers and guided by professional filmmakers at CTVC.
All of the participants involved are young carers who often lead chaotic lives, leading to tiredness and missed sessions due to commitments at home. Filmmaking focussed their attention and they flourished exceeding in costume and set design. This film was a very personal story to its creators.


Justin The Party Animal
Arpeggio Films
The adventures of Justin the Bellboy at Hotel Talk To The Hand!
Justin has NOT been invited to the party but undeterred he tries several creative techniques to sneak in unnoticed....
Aged 16-19
This film was a collaborative production between a group of 19 young people from Beacon Hill Sixth Form and guided by professional filmmakers at Arpeggio Films. All participants have learning difficulties and complex needs so conventional communication such as writing and speaking is challenging. Filmmaking frees their creativity engaging them in devising characters, locations and props. Two young women spent a day at a professional edit studio & showed such competencies that they were left alone for a time. Another two members with a fantastic flare for filmmaking are now working alongside an Employment Support Mentor learning about locations, budgeting and exhibition.

You can watch the nominated films at First Lights website here (just click on the films image to watch).