One of the most uplifting films in years 'A Boy Called Sailboat' available on digital download May 6th

A charming story that will have you smiling from ear to ear. From writer/director Cameron Nugent comes this enchanting tale of a young boy who with the discovery of a little guitar embarks on a magical and emotional journey with his loving but often off the wall family.

Nugents story packs an emotional punch and is smartly set out to allow for audience interpretation allowing them to follow Sailboat but keeping the story on an almost fantasy like edge. It can be easy with films like this to over rely on predictably attractive aspects like the cuteness of the kids but Nugent maintains the narratives integrity while being encouraging to the kids and their performances. With a refreshingly uplifting musical undertone to this story it becomes an emotional rollercoaster that is smart and compelling but most importantly original, something which cinema has lacked in the last few years.

Starring JK Simmons, who is as reliable as ever, and Jake Busey the film has a cast of actors you will recognize but might not know their name such as Noel Gugliemi who has been in films like The Fast and the furious and Training Day, but as you can guess it is the kids who shine here lead by a star turn from Julian Atocani  Sanchez as Sailboat. His perfectly measured performance will have you gripped but also emotionally drained. His performance has shades of Abigail Breslin's award worthy performance in indie hit 'Little Miss Sunshine', he is both note worthy but also on a professional level very competent.

A Boy Called Sailboat does have it flaws and might not be for everyone because it is at times slow burning but does have enough character to maintain both attraction and thought provoking elements. It is a film that will just make you smile and puts life into perspective.

Available on digital downlaod May 6th this charming film deserves to be seen.

 

'A Boy Called Sailboat' available on digital download May 6th

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles set to offer free admission to under 18s thanks to a grant from George Lucas Family foundation

The George Lucas Family Foundation committed a grant to the Academy Museum in honour of Sid Ganis, former president and current VP of the Academy’s board of governors and chair of its Museum committee. 

The transformative grant will go towards enhancing the educational aims of the museum and create an atmosphere for the filmmakers and visual artists of the future to grow and learn. A key aspect will be to use the funds to create and endowment underwriting free admission for visitors aged 17 and under. This is aimed at developing both opportunities and inspiring the younger generation and showcasing the magic of cinema. The funds also allow the museum to open financial barriers to experience the museum and everything it has to offer.

Opening up the doors to the younger generation creates further opportunities for engagement inspiring them to be confident to tell their own stories and create their own visual magic. The educational goal of the museum is to inspire the visitors and open them up to cultural inspiration but while not all who visit may choose to go into filmmaking, the cultural and artistic incentives when utilized right can open up a person’s individual confidence.

Sid Ganis said “I could not be more honoured and humbled by George’s gift to young movie lovers around the world. Education has always been a primary goal of George’s storytelling. Now through his incredible generosity young people from everywhere can experience and learn about the arts and techniques of filmmaking. With the impending openings of the Academy Museum and the Lucas Museum of narrative art, Los Angeles will soon have two major new resources for cultural and education with a shared focus on the art of storytelling and a dedication to the next generation. We are proud and grateful that the George Lucas Family Foundation is making this tremendous commitment to serving the young people of LA.”

As the museum looks to expand its educational reach Amy Homma has joined as the first director of education and public engagement. Homma will oversee the museums K-12 programming which includes the Shirley Temple Education Studio initiatives as well as implementing public programmes which includes things such as lectures, talks and online offerings. Homma will carry the museums educational offering developing links with local schools and communities creating a space for youngsters to develop a critical approach to the media and how it works and develop both the confidence and skillset to make their own film and digital content.

Homma said “movies and the magic that surrounds them, offer limitless opportunities to delight, challenge and educate both children and adults. The Academy museum’s programming will offer something for everyone. I am delighted to be joining the team and especially grateful to the George Lucas Family Foundation for ensuring a barrier free experience for our next generation of movie makers and movie lovers.”

Family favourites retain top billing at the UK box office 18/04/19

The experts at Applaudience see the Easter holiday warmth hitting the UK box office but Dumbo and Shazam still holding strong. Alongside Dumbo and Shazam!, other family films including Wonder Park and Missing Link remain in the top ten. Wild Rose is expected to keep its place in the top 10 and set to earn an additional £400,000 in Box Office sales with new stalker drama Greta forecast to reach £450,000.

1 - Dumbo - £1,600,000 - £1,700,000 (-32%)

2 - Shazam! - £1,450,000 - £1,550,000 (-44%)

3 - Red Joan - £730,000 - £830,000 (New Entry)

4 - Captain Marvel - £680,000 - £880,000 (-12%)

5 - Wonder Park - £610,000 - £810,000 (-14%)

6 - Hellboy - £450,000 - £550,000 (-62%)

7 - Greta - £400,000 - £500,000 (New Entry)

8 - Missing Link - £360,000 - £460,000 (-23%)

9 - Wild Rose - £350,000 - £450,000 (-51%)

10 - Pet Sematary - £320,000 - £420,000 (-56%)

Red Joan starring british legend Dame Judi Dench is a strong entry this week in a period wherethe box office is gearing up for AVENGERS Endgame next week. While Endgame is predicted to dominate the box office for a long period the pre sales at the box office are maintaining a steady pace:

Advance ticket sales as of 11am 18th April 2019

Dumbo - 11,437 Advanced Ticket Sales from 6,671 Showtimes

Shazam! - 5,645 Advanced Ticket Sales from 6,598 Showtimes

Red Joan - 6,576 Advanced Ticket Sales from 3,741 Showtimes

Captain Marvel - 4,266 Advanced Ticket Sales from 4074 Showtimes

Wonder Park - 3,788 Advanced Ticket Sales from 4,118 Showtimes

Hellboy - 2,225 Advanced Ticket Sales from 2,926 Showtimes

Greta - 3,073 Advanced Ticket Sales from 2,841 Showtimes

Missing Link - 2,434 Advanced Ticket Sales from 2,841 Showtimes

Wild Rose - 2,281 Advanced Ticket Sales from 2,007 Showtimes

Pet Sematary - 1,599 Advanced Ticket Sales from 2,382 Showtimes

Showtimes are the number of individual screenings across all cinemas

Avengers Endgame is set for release next week and with pre sales soaring it could become the biggest film of the decade and secure Marvel's dominance of the UK box office. As we reach the final week before Avengers: Endgame launches across the globe and culminates ten years of films in the MCU, the incredible figures are starting to stack up. Audiences will need to start pre-booking their tickets very soon or miss out, with an estimated 180 UK screenings already fully booked and over 900 screenings listed as Selling Out*. With a staggering 1,258,144 tickets sold as of 11am today, Avengers: Endgame has already made £13,150,171 in Box Office sales already. This means Endgame has already beaten Captain Marvel's opening weekend and a staggering 1.9% of the British population already have bought tickets!  

About Applaudience

Applaudience combines data mining, data brokerage, and data analysis with strategic communication during the theatrical movie release processes. They own real-time showtime, occupancy, ticket price and film marketing performance data for all major exhibitors in Europe and North America. The supply revenue-driving insights about the industry’s performance and identify marketing opportunities with the highest ROI. Their goal is to increase attendance of the existing audiences by enabling data-rich collaboration between exhibitors and distributors.

https://applaudience.com/

For more data from Applaudience, please contact saulius@applaudience.com

*Selling Out is considered in this instance to be a screening with 71% or over tickets sold.

How Applaudience work their magic

Using data mining software and sales analysis from the top 10 cinemas chains, Applaudience calculates the remaining seats available per screening, thus providing a reliable forecast of the numbers of tickets sold. Once the advanced ticket sales are calculated, Applaudience can accurately forecast weekend box office revenues.

As the Endgame for the Avengers approaches audiences pack cinemas

Thanks to the team at Applaudience you are able to see in real-time which screenings in the UK are already selling out. As of 10.30am today, 188 screenings across the UK are already sold out with another 675 are listed as 'Selling Out’ (71% of tickets sold) which means Endgame is on course to dominate at the Box Office.

As it stands, Endgame has sold over 865k tickets so far (for an approx £9.3m pre-sales box office), meaning that 1.3% of the UK population have already bought tickets, despite the film still another two weeks away from release. akes in tickets sold on cinema websites all over the country. Updated by the second it is now possible to track the best performing films from here they can create a model to predict a particular films performance over any given weekend.

Applaudience’s data and insights are beneficial for both distributors and exhibitors, who can adjust their marketing accordingly and work to tackle the 21st century challenge posed by streaming services. As streaming services grow cinemas need to become more attractive again and Applaudience is a can be a key asset to starting this.

Their predicted box office breakdown is below. This weeks top ten is:

1 - Shazam! - £2,700,000 - 2,900,000 (-30%)

2 - Dumbo - £2,400,000 - £2,600,000 (-28%)

3 - Hellboy - £1,300,000 - £1,500,000 (New Entry)

4 - Captain Marvel - £840,000 - £940,000 (-23%)

5 - Pet Sematary - £790,000 - £890,000 (-46%)

6 - Wonder Park - £775,000 - £875,000 (New Entry)

7 - Wild Rose - £760,000 - £860,000 (New Entry)

8 - Us - £510,000 - £610,000 (-40%)

9 - Peppa Pig: Festival of Fun - £490,000 - £590,000 (-45%)

10 - Missing Link - £480,000 - £580,000 (-18%)

 

Welcome to ChewBoy Productions

"ChewBoy creates surrealist comedy work which aims to give you something to chew on long after you’ve experienced it; and each piece is left open enough for audience interpretation, so that no two people come away with the same experience."

ChewBoy Productions is a company born of both passion and drive to create and entertain. The brain child of two friends Georgie and Hal who both have strong back grounds within the creative industries, particularly theatre. Their backgrounds feed into their artistic approach to stoytelling "ChewBoy Productions was established in February 2018, when we had to create a company to enter the Camden Fringe with our play EUAN that we’d been knocking around ideas with for a few months. We spent many a night around a kitchen or pub table working through ideas of what we wanted to do with the company and what name would surmise it".

The pair have a particular approach to how and where they want their company to progress "We are a multi-arts company specialising in theatre, film and working with emerging artists. Each project is unique in that we work with brand new creatives each time around who have expertise in different areas; blending the mix of art forms through digital, visual arts, performance and film.  Our main aim is to work with as many different emerging artists as possible, and to eventually blend different art forms e.g. digital into theatre."

Audiences appreciation and entertainment is central to the aims of this budding company and as they grow so does the confidence in what they are doing which impacts positivly on the audiences watching "On the whole, we want people to enjoy themselves and forget about the world outside and everything that’s happening. Simultaneously, we want to give people self-reflection time, and time to mull over the work they’ve just seen; realising the relevancy to their own lives. Ultimately, across all our work, we want people to be invested in our stories and characters by seeing something of themselves within them. And, as always, we want no two people to come away with the same idea of what they’ve witnessed – making each experience entirely unique". Their passion shines through positivly through their work and it reflects well as it becomes a staple in creating an escape for audiences making them more willing to buy into what they are watching.

One of the most admirable thing the company has going for them is their bravery. Often artists can lack the confidence to persue certain avenues for their work and it can create missed opportunities "Our inspirations change depending on what art form we’re working in for each project, and we draw our plans up based on who we admire the work of in that particular area. For film, and particularly for this trilogy, we’re definitely mostly inspired by the surrealist styles of David Lynch and Steve Pemberton/Reece Shearsmith – bordering on the line between comedy and darkly abstract. We’d also have to say that for TPT we’ve taken a great deal of tips from The Mighty Boosh in our thinking and planning; conjuring up something, debating whether it should go in, then putting it in anyway to experiment".

Passion is the key driving force behind succeeding in any industry and with passion comes enjoyment too. ChewBoy is driven by the bond of the people behind it "For us, the process of creating films from idea conception right through to the viewing experience is incredibly enjoyable to us. We absolutely love planning ideas from one little spark and then fleshing them out to full and whole stories and characters. Filming days are also incredible, as we have a relaxed and informal approach to our work, taking pressures of our actors an creatives to allow them the room to explore and be free to experiment; meaning we all get the most out of their time and the best possible performance on the day. As a pair, we also love playing around with how audiences interact with films, and, as you’ll see with this trilogy, we’ve had a lot of fun with deciding how they’ll engage with the work."

On the verge of their latest work 'The Process Trilogy' ChewBoy Productions are a company growing in both stature and confidence. You have to respect the team behind it as they were driven by a love for the arts and a passion to entertain.

ChewBoy Productions present 'The Process Trilogy'

ChewBoy Productions upcoming project book tickets now https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/chewboyproductions-the-process-trilogy

Eaten By Lions in cinemas now. Director Jason Wingard talks about the film and the long journey from page to screen

Interview with Co-writer and director Jason Wingard

Interview with Eaten By Lions star Antonio Aakeel

Antonio Aakeel disscusses his role as Omar in Eaten By Lions

'Eaten By Lions' in cinemas March 29th

British comedy gem 'Eaten By Lions' arrives in cinemas March 29th

With an all star cast including Jack Carroll, Antonio Aakeel, Asim Chaudhry, Johnny Vegas and Hayley Tamaddon 'Eaten By Lions' is the heartwarming feel good film that has everything.

Director, co-writer Jason Wingard has crafted an emotionally driven story about family and togetherness. While the cast pull off well thought out performances, alot of credit has to go to Wingard. His beautifully laid out script lays out a narrative that will have you belly laughing but at times crying. Wingard creates beautiful visuals with an eye pleasing colour pallet that seems to smartly brighten as the story plays out. He uses the seaside location of Blackpool as an almost supporting actor as it provides an extra dimension to the journey the characters find themselves on. There is a smartness and grittyness to the story which Wingard fine tunes with his natural comedic instincts. Like a blend of Spike Jonze, Wes Anderson and Michel Gondry Wingard has a unique style which is eye catching and at times eccentric but always visually appealing.

The core strength of the story is the chemistry between Omar and Pete (Antonio Aakeel, and Jack Carroll), both play off each other perfectly and they feed off of each other and as the film plays out they become clearly more confident. One particular scene involving Tarot cards is particularly well played out with the pairs timing absolutley spot on. Aakeel gives a mature performance in the central role seemlessly adapting from comedy situations to more downplayed emotional scenes and he seems born to play this role. Jack Carroll just seems to enjoy everything he does. His comedy instincts are faultless and it just seems at times effortless.  With Comedy greats Johnny Vegas and Asim Chaudhry offering their support in smaller but perfectly measured roles the films comedy appeal is both vast and appeals to a wide audience. By the end of the film you will feel both fulfilled but also that you want more as you will be in love with these charcters by the time it reaches its climax. With any film the cast are the ones that pull in the audiences as they are the visual reference and the 'Eaten By Lions' ensemble are perfect they are the backbone to the films overall mass appeal. If a cast look like they are having fun then audiences are more willing to join them on the ride.

A particular highlight for me is the quirky use of music and mixing it with visual stylings. A perfect example of this being the visually beautiful title sequence.

'Eaten By Lions' is a gem of a film that has a feel good factor. If you need to escape the crazy world for a few hours  this is the perfect film.

Congratulations to the cast and crew on a beautful film.

#EatenByLions

Q&A with writer and director Jason Wingard

Q -How did Eaten ByLions become a feature film?

A: The idea for the film started back in 2011. I’d won Virgin Media Shorts and myself and David Isaac wereworking on a comedy short with Chris Collins from the BFI at the time. We were shortlisted on that years iFEATURES with a comedy road trip idea called (at the time) ‘Going To Mecca’. Chris Collinssuggested to me that we make our iFeatures pitch into a short rather than the other short -which was about a middle-classriot -it was called ‘Looters’. He said it could be a precursor to a feature film, so ‘Going To Mecca’ it was ...Mike Elliott at EMU films produced it. Sadly Chris Collins passed away not long after we completed the short, so for a while we put the film to bed. Then in 2014 the filmwas resurrected by Matt Carroll who introduced me to executive Chris Bouckley. There seemed to be an infectiousenthusiasm for the project from Matt and with the investors help a script was commissioned in 2015/16. Soon after thatwe started filling key positions and Hannah Stevenson (who had also worked with me on the short) was lined up toproduce. After years of hardwork and persistence we managed to go into production in May 2017.The film was written with Jack Carroll and Asim Chaudhry in mind. Both are fantastic comic performers and we knew rightaway we wanted them in the film. Many of the cast I had worked with before such as Jack Carroll, Johnny Vegas, PeterSlater and Tom Binns -who are all a joy to work with and supremely talented. We added Nitin Ganatra, Vicki Pepperdineand Kevin Eldon to the cast and for me it was like working with your comedy heroes. I’m so delighted this film has beenmade. It very much feels like we’ve formed a close knit group of cast and crew and hopefully we will all get to collaborate again.

Q -This is your second feature film –Your first film was very different wasn’t it?

A: Yes, very different. Almost a polar opposite. ‘In Another Life’ was a zero-budget drama we shot in the Calais Jungle andwas largely improvised using refugees as actors and mixing them with actors we had with us. Our reasons for making itwere driven by an emotional response to what we had seen on TV. We had a good start on the festival circuit andrecently won Best UK Feature at Raindance 2017 and then went on to win theBIFA discoveryaward. ‘Eaten By Lions’ has been like returning to my comedy roots in many ways, not thatI see myself only making comedies in the future it’s just that it feels like a natural home. I met many of the people workingon or in the film whilst gigging on the stand-up comedy circuit inManchester in thelate nineties. It was around that time Istarted making comedy shorts with comedians I knew. These films resulted in me making content for BBC ComedyNorth. Tom Binns and I made loads of shorts together during that time. I think we really thrived on that freedomand the shorts we made became the basis for Tom’s BBC series -“Hospital People’. I think when you work withcomedians on films they really respond if you create a safe environment for them to try things. I’ve always wanted to takethe pressure away and just let them have fun with the material. You get some unexpected and often very funny results.

Q -What is the film about?

A: I always wanted to make a progressive comedy. The film follows Pete and Omar (half brothers) who have been raised by their granafter their parents (Pete’s mother and father) pass away after a bizarre accident. The story is essentially about the importance of familyand we wanted to draw attention away from stuff like Jack’s disability. I wanted the viewer to forget about it and just treat him as acharacter. It’s an attitude we applied to everyone in the film really. The story deals with big contemporary issues (class, diversity,disability, inter-racial relations, foster and adoption, sexuality, love, life and death) in a sharp and often irreverent way. But it is not aboutthose big issues it is about people and relationships. It is a very modern relevant comedy that will hopefully will be viewed for years to come.

Q -What would you like an audience to take away from the film and were there any inspirations for it?

A: Well first and foremost it is a comedy so we want to entertain and make people laugh. I think the film also has a lot of emotionalheart. I think this is important for a comedy too. If you think about your favourite comedy moments they are usually situations ratherthan jokes or one liners that people remember. I think in order for a viewer to really relate and engage with the film you need that heartwithin the characters. I’d like to think it’s relatable and that viewers will enjoy going on the journey of discovery with the young boys inthe film. Essentially they are smart kids surrounded by stupid adults. There are plenty of comic appearances in the film and this tookthe pressure off the young performers. I suppose the biggest inspiration would be the documentary film maker and photographerMartin Parr. I love his satirical look at life in the UK and his take on class, culture etc. His photographs were possibly the films biggest influence.

Top 5 'fanatic' ways to celebrate the legendary film ALIEN on its 40th Anniversary

1. It’s long been enjoyed to get constant reminders of happiness and hope tattooed, however these people took that in a different direction. It can’t be denied that they are horrifyingly good portraits. (https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/qkqeg7/these-alien-fans-have-the-most-hardcore-tattoos-in-sc

2. You’d have to have no emotions to not enjoy a good photo of a baby dressed up but we will completely understand if you’d never been tempted to add one of the top loved horrific moments of cinema onto your baby’s chest (we kind of love it). (https://rdbl.co/2Em9BfQ)

3. On what is meant to be the greatest day of your life, how else would you want to celebrate than to remind people of a relentless monster that wants to destroy humanity…each to their own we guess but we approve of this one. (https://geekologie.com/2016/10/different-strokes-for-different-folks-an.

4. Admittedly, having seen the film and knowing the fate of the characters it’s hard to imagine much else than the carnage that ensues but it’s an interesting idea with a strange result. (https://gendrong.myportfolio.com/alien-1979-trailer-edit)

5. It has become a special event to publicly announce a pregnancy and people have come up with very inventive ways but did you ever think to use a Chestburster? Probably not but the results are amazing, although we’d hope raising this little one wasn’t as dangerous as the film! (https://www.columbi

Witness ALIEN in an all new 4k restoration on its 40th Anniversary from March 1st

ALIEN is arguably Ridley Scott's best film ever. From his haunting use of sound, choosing to show the films central monsters very sparingly instead building tension by allowing the audiences to create their own anticipation, to the infamous chest burster scene ALIEN has become a landmark film in both horror and cinema as a whole. Restored in all new 4k to celebrate the 40th anniversary revisit ALIEN and witness a film like no other. 

 

The film was restored in 4K in 2018 by 20th Century Fox at Company 3/Deluxe Entertainment Services Group, supervised by Ridley Scott and Pam Dery. The 4K scans were done at EFilm and the audio restoration was done by Audio Mechanics.

 

Winner of the 1979 Academy Award® for Visual Effects (H.R. Giger, Carlo Rambaldi, Brian Johnson, Nick Allder, Denys Ayling), and the film which spawned a vast media franchise of films, novels, comic books, video games, and toys, Alien remains a visceral, captivating and poetic blend of sci-fi and horror – and what better way to mark its 40th anniversary than to experience it back on the big screen, where it truly belongs.

 

Following a special screening at Glasgow Film Festival on February 28 2019, Alien will open at BFI Southbank on 1 March 2019 for a two-week run, before screening at cinemas across the UK and selected international territories.

 

ALIEN by numbers:

 

273 Cinemas – That’s how many cinemas will be showing Alien’s 4K restoration and re-release in cinemas from 1st March

 

the number of words it took to sell the script: “Jaws in space”

 

3 hours 12 minutes the length of the original cut of the film

 

the number of cats playing Jonesy in the film

 

4 minutes the screen time of the Xenomorph

 

the number of directors considered before Ridley Scott

 

7 foot 2 The height of Bolaji Badejo in his one and only role playing the titular monster

 

26 the number in feet of the height of the Space Jockey prop

 

130 The number of prop Alien eggs made

 

$ 38,461 The average made per cinema by Alien on opening weekend in 1979, totalling $3.5 million

 

$ 4.2 million The original budget of the film, which was doubled after Ridley Scott storyboarded his ideas

 

26 - Alien is a member of the exclusive club of only 26 horror films that have ever won an Oscar

ALIEN 4K restoration in cinemas from March 1st

Landmark film ALIEN returns to cinemas in an all new 4K restoration on its 40th anniversary

ALIEN still stands as a landmark film even as it approaches its 40th anniversary. From March 1st an all new 4K restoration of the classic sci-fi horror will hit selected cinemas throughout the UK.

From legendary director Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Blade Runner) and starring Sigourney Weaver the film spawned five sequels and two crossover films as well as a number of comic books and games etc but nothing came close to matching Scott's original. Central to the film are the Alien creatures created by HR Giger, nothing had ever been seen like this before and the team of Giger and Scott created a film that has stood the test of time and to this day is considered among the best films ever made. With elements of horror and sci-fi and with the tension of a Hitchcock film it stands as Scott's best film to date.

John Hurt is the man to watch here as he plays out in the films most pivotal scenes.

4k is the best visual clarity and adds new depth to the legendary film and whether your a first time viewer or a returning viewer this is an experience you will not want to miss.

 

ALIEN returns to cinemas from March 1st at selected cinemas (see local listings)

ALIEN returns to selected cinemas in an all new 4k restoration from March 1st

ALIEN returns to cinema on its 40th anniversary in a new 4K restoration

Ridley Scott's landmark film returns to the big screen for its 40th anniversary

EATEN BY LIONS will be released in UK cinemas 29th March 2019 www.eatenbylions.com #EatenbyLions

AWARD-WINNING BRITISH COMEDY ‘EATEN BY LIONS’ TO CELEBRATE ITS UK RELEASE ON 29TH MARCH

EATEN BY LIONS In UK Cinemas 29th March 

Winner of the Lebara Play Audience Choice Award at theLondon Indian Film Festival 2018

Starring: Jack Carroll (Trollied), Antonio Aakeel (Tomb Raider), Johnny Vegas (Still Open All Hours), Asim Chaudhry (Black Mirror), Kevin Eldon (Hot Fuzz), Vicki Pepperdine (Getting On), Nitin Ganatra (Bride & Prejudice), Hayley Tamaddon (Coronation Street)

 

Director Jason Wingard said: “The story is essentially about the importance of family. I wanted the viewer to forget about incidentals such as race or disability and focus on the characters. It’s an attitude we applied to everyone in the film really. The story deals with big contemporary issues (class, diversity, disability, inter-racial relations, foster and adoption, sexuality, love, life and death) in a sharp and often irreverent way. A comedy with heart without skimping on laughs.”

Johnny Vegas said: “It’s a very relatable story about searching for something...like we all do, and the realisation that what you think you’re looking is often right in front of you.”

Jack Carroll said: "I loved the warm, yet still cutting-edge nature of the comedy, the expertly drawn characters and the positive message at the heart of the story. I'm playing a sarcastic, semi-annoying disabled teenager. This role was a huge stretch for me."

 

Q&A with writer and director Jason Wingard

 

Q -How did Eaten By Lions become a feature film?

A: The idea for the film started back in 2011. I’d won Virgin Media Shorts and myself and David Isaac wereworking on a comedy short with Chris Collins from the BFI at the time. We were shortlisted on that years iFEATURES with a comedy road trip idea called (at the time) ‘Going To Mecca’. Chris Collinssuggested to me that we make our iFeatures pitch into a short rather than the other short -which was about a middle-classriot -it was called ‘Looters’. He said it could be a precursor to a feature film, so ‘Going To Mecca’ it was ...Mike Elliott at EMU films produced it. Sadly Chris Collins passed away not long after we completed the short, so for a while we put the film to bed. Then in 2014 the filmwas resurrected by Matt Carroll who introduced me to executive Chris Bouckley. There seemed to be an infectiousenthusiasm for the project from Matt and with the investors help a script was commissioned in 2015/16. Soon after thatwe started filling key positions and Hannah Stevenson (who had also worked with me on the short) was lined up to produce. After years of hardwork and persistence we managed to go into production in May 2017.The film was written with Jack Carroll and Asim Chaudhry in mind. Both are fantastic comic performers and we knew rightaway we wanted them in the film. Many of the cast I had worked with before such as Jack Carroll, Johnny Vegas, Peter Slater and Tom Binns, who are all a joy to work with and supremely talented. We added Nitin Ganatra, Vicki Pepperdine and Kevin Eldon to the cast and for me it was like working with your comedy heroes. I’m so delighted this film has beenmade. It very much feels like we’ve formed a close knit group of cast and crew and hopefully we will all get to collaborate again.

Q -This is your second feature film –Your first film was very different wasn’t it?

A: Yes, very different. Almost a polar opposite. ‘In Another Life’ was a zero-budget drama we shot in the Calais Jungle andwas largely improvised using refugees as actors and mixing them with actors we had with us. Our reasons for making itwere driven by an emotional response to what we had seen on TV. We had a good start on the festival circuit andrecently won Best UK Feature at Raindance 2017 and then went on to win theBIFA discoveryaward. ‘Eaten By Lions’ has been like returning to my comedy roots in many ways, not thatI see myself only making comedies in the future it’s just that it feels like a natural home. I met many of the people workingon or in the film whilst gigging on the stand-up comedy circuit inManchester in thelate nineties. It was around that time Istarted making comedy shorts with comedians I knew. These films resulted in me making content for BBC ComedyNorth. Tom Binns and I made loads of shorts together during that time. I think we really thrived on that freedomand the shorts we made became the basis for Tom’s BBC series -“Hospital People’. I think when you work withcomedians on films they really respond if you create a safe environment for them to try things. I’ve always wanted to takethe pressure away and just let them have fun with the material. You get some unexpected and often very funny results.

Q -What is the film about?

A: I always wanted to make a progressive comedy. The film follows Pete and Omar (half brothers) who have been raised by their granafter their parents (Pete’s mother and father) pass away after a bizarre accident. The story is essentially about the importance of familyand we wanted to draw attention away from stuff like Jack’s disability. I wanted the viewer to forget about it and just treat him as acharacter. It’s an attitude we applied to everyone in the film really. The story deals with big 9contemporary issues (class, diversity,disability, inter-racial relations, foster and adoption, sexuality, love, life and death) in a sharp and often irreverent way. But it is not aboutthose big issues it is about people and relationships. It is a very modern relevant comedy that will hopefully will be viewed for years to come.

Q -What would you like an audience to take away from the film and were there any inspirations for it?

A: Well first and foremost it is a comedy so we want to entertain and make people laugh. I think the film also has a lot of emotionalheart. I think this is important for a comedy too. If you think about your favourite comedy moments they are usually situations ratherthan jokes or one liners that people remember. I think in order for a viewer to really relate and engage with the film you need that heartwithin the characters. I’d like to think it’s relatable and that viewers will enjoy going on the journey of discovery with the young boys inthe film. Essentially they are smart kids surrounded by stupid adults. There are plenty of comic appearances in the film and this tookthe pressure off the young performers. I suppose the biggest inspiration would be the documentary film maker and photographerMartin Parr. I love his satirical look at life in the UK and his take on class, culture etc. His photographs were possibly the films biggest influence.

 

 

 

AWARD-WINNING BRITISH COMEDY ‘EATEN BY LIONS’ TO CELEBRATE ITS UK RELEASE ON 29TH MARCH

AWARD-WINNING FILM ‘THE SONG OF SWAY LAKE’ TO BE RELEASED ON DEMAND IN THE UK & IRELAND FROM 21ST JANUARY

AWARD-WINNING FILM ‘THE SONG OF SWAY LAKE’ TO BE RELEASED ON DEMAND IN THE UK & IRELAND FROM 21ST JANUARY

Director Ari Gold said: "I wanted to make a movie about America's secret class struggle, and how our nostalgia for the past can be both intoxicating and toxic. There's nothing more potent than music to trigger longing - for our own past, as well as for the seemingly perfect lives of others. I was thrilled to work with performers and musicians from both side of the pond, who understood that we have to taste the romantic dream - at least once! - in order to wake into the sway of real life."

 

From director Ari Gold (Adventures of Power) comes the award winning 'The Song of Sway Lake' starring Rory Culkin and Robert Sheehan. The story takes place one summer on Sway Lake, former playground of the jazz-age New York aristocracy. Young music collector Ollie Sway (Rory Culkin) recruits his only friend, a homeless Russian drifter (Robert Sheehan), to help him steal a one-of-a-kind vintage record from his own family's glamorous estate. Ollie believes the secret recording of the WW2-era hit, "Sway Lake," will redeem his father, who committed suicide there. But the arrival of Ollie's aristocratic grandmother, Charlie Sway (Mary Beth Peil), changes everything. The matriarch transfixes the class-conscious young Russian, while she sees in him the glory of her youth. And the mysterious song, which hasn’t been heard in half a century, may answer the deepest riddles about love and death, for whichever lost soul is first to find it.

Endearing and often disturbing the film explores the dynamic of a mismatched family torn by loss and tragedy but driven by a passion of music. Culkin is a smart lead who carries the films emotional narrative with grace. Key to the films appeal is the relatable nature they have and Culkin carries an emotional balance in a film that at times can be slow but is saved by the endearing nature the musical element brings. Culkin has become somewhat of an indie darling starring in films like 'Mean Creek' (2004) but also mixing it in bigger films like 'Scream 4' (2011), but he is in some ways underrated and not appreciated for what he can bring to a film.

Robert Sheehan gives an off the wall performance and plays well with Culkin as the two show good chemistry and play off each other. Playing a sort of emotional anchor in the narrative, Sheehan connects the characters on all levels but also offering a comedic element as well as being the trigger for the narrative twists and turns. 

Director Ari Gold paints cinematic tapestrys with his films and always maintains an emotional connection through music. A far cry from his first feature 'Adventures of Power' (2008), Sway Lake feels like Gold is maturing as a film maker handling this emotionally driven story with care and consideration while also maintaing his continually evolving visual artistry. 

 Featuring a sparkling soundtrack of classic and original songs, THE SONG OF SWAY LAKE also stars Tony-nominated Mary Beth Peil (The Good Wife, Collateral Beauty), Isabelle McNally (Bates Motel, Flirting with Love), Elizabeth Peña (Rush Hour, The Incredibles) and Jack Falahee (How to Get Away with Murder, Mercy Street). The New York Times called THE SONG OF SWAY LAKE “Offbeat, continually intriguing.”

 

Directed by ARI GOLD Written by ARI GOLD & ELIZABETH BULL Produced by MICHAEL BEDERMAN, ZAK KILBERG, ALLISON ROSE CARTER, ARI GOLD Executive Producers ANNE BERNSTEIN, GARRETT FENNELLY Co-Producers ELIZABETH BULL, BRAD PAYNE Cinematography by ERIC LIN Original Music and Songs by ETHAN GOLD Production Designer ADA SMITH Costume Designer STACEY BERMAN Edited by TODD HOLMES, GABRIEL WRYE Sound Design ELI COHN Casting JESSICA KELLY, SUZANNE SMITH CROWLEY

 

THE SONG OF SWAY LAKE will be released on the following platforms on Monday January 21st in UK and Ireland: iTunes, Xbox, Sony PlayStation, Google Play, YouTube Movies, Amazon, BT Store, Sky Store, Virgin Movies & Chili TV

2018 has been a strong year for documentaries

Documentaries are rapidly becoming a staple in the cinematic landscape. Where they were once restricted to the small screen they have rapidy evolved to carry a larger scope. From 'Going Clear: Scientology and the prison of belief' to 'Beware the Slenderman they are developing narratives as a way to inform. At times the larger scopes have also been used to change social issues in the world like  Gabriela Cowperthwaite's 'Blackfish' which had a major impact on Seaworld and their handling of killer whales.

2018 has been a good year for documentaries with a number of them begining to find a more mainstream audience.

To celebrate the release of Jonathan Hacker's 'Path of Blood', available on DVD from the 10th of December I look at other documentary highlights from the past year.

PATH OF BLOOD Director- Jonathan Hacker

A vicious look at the inner workings of Al Qaeda. Young "thrill seekers" attending a Jihadi boot camp deep in the Saudi desert as they develop a violent plan to overthrow the Saudi government.

NAE PASARAN Director-  Felipe Bustos Sierra

The unlikely story of a group of scottish pensioners who during the 70's took a stand against the repressive Chilean regime under General Pinochet and all from a Rolls Royce factory in East Kilbride which is gripping as years later they come to the realisation of the concequences of their actions.

McQUEEN Director-  Ian Bonhôte, Peter Ettedgui

A look at the life and times of designer  Lee Alexander McQueen from his start as a tailor to his rise to fame and his untimely death.

FREE SOLO Director-  Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

Alex Honnold attempts to fulfill a lifelong ambition of free climbing El Capitan, a 3000 foot rock in Yosemite national park, a feet of both daring and endurance.

THE ISLANDS AND THE WHALES Director-  Mike Day

A local professor makes an unprecidented discovery which looks to change the landscape of the fishing heritage which is seen as a way of life on the islands and has a major impact on the residents.

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS Director-  Tim Wardle

In 1980 New York, three young men who were all adopted meet each other and find out they're triplets who were separated at birth. Then they discover why.

MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. Director-  Steve Loveridge

An intamate look at the inner workings of artist M.I.A. Pulled together from over 700 hours of her personal home videos.

EVELYN Director- Orlando von Einsiedel

Director Von Einsiedel named the documentary after his brother who at 22 commited suicide after an intense state of depression and a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Einsiedel and his family retrace walks in the british countryside his brother loved as a way of handling the loss.

WHITNEY Director-  Kevin Macdonald

An eye opening insight into the life of Whitney Houston. Beautiful but at times disturbing.

SHIRKERS Director-  Sandi Tan

 In 1992, teenager Sandi Tan, an admitted cinephile, shot Singapore's first road movie with her  American mentor, Georges, who then left with all of the footage. The 16 mm film is recovered 20 years later which offers Tan the opportunity to revisit the film she made when she was seventeen, but never got to see – and to try to understand the man behind its theft.

Documentaries 2018

From the Producer of 'Zero Dark Thirty' and 'The Hurt Locker' comes 'Path of Blood' available on DVD December 10th

From acclaimed director Jonathan Hacker comes 'Path of Blood', depicting Islamist terrorism as it has never been seen before. Pieced together from various forms of video footage. The Jihadi footage, captured by Saudi security services, tells the story of Muslim terrorists targeting Muslim civilians. Muslim security agents eventually bringing the terrorists to justice.

'Path of Blood' is a cinematic portrayal of youth and idealism how it can become a powder keg when given incentive. The footage is untouched and offers some deeply disturbing forms of expression while at times testing the audiences belief system and their own viewpoint of the world. Possibly one of the most disturbing elements in this is the viewpoint from a Jihadi boot camp where young thrll seekers agree to over throw the Saudi Government and by any means necessary. A dangerous game plays out as they plan to detonante car bombs in the middle of Riyadh but as government forces close in their tactics turn more brutal as their insious agenda becomes real. 

This is a documentary unlike anything you have ever seen before. Gripping in every sense yet at times unwatchable and is based upon the novel 'Path of Blood' by Jonathan Hacker and Thomas Small.

The film is somewhat of a passion project for Director Jonathan Hacker: 

How did PATH OF BLOOD come about?

Six years ago, our executive producers Adel Alabdulkarim and Abdulrahman Alrashed heard of several hundred hours of captured footage from the Saudi campaign against Al Qaeda. They spent a long time negotiating access to the footage using their contacts with Prince Muhammad bin Nayef who was head of thesecurity services at the time.All together we received around 500 hours of footage, both seized Al Qaeda material and footage the security services had shot themselves. We felt this was an important story that should be shared with a wider audience and the film progressed from there.

PATH OF BLOOD covers Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia from 2003 to 2009. How relevant is the film to current events?

Terrorism has not gone away. It has a potent ideology, and there are always going to be young, vulnerable people who are prone to these kinds of ideas.Just when you think you’ve defeated it in one place, it has an uncanny habit of reappearing in another.We’ve seen this most spectacularly in recent years in the meteoric riseand fall of Isis in Iraq and Syria—which, people should remember, began life as an Al Qaeda franchise, just like AQAP, and in terms of ideology differs only very slightly from the parent organization.At the same time, the temptation is still to de-humanize the phenomenon of Islamist terrorism, to make ill-informed sweeping generalizations, whichcan have a devastating impact on communities both in the West and in the Middle East. This film presents a nuanced, wholly humanizing portrait of both terrorists and the Muslims who are fighting them—a much-needed addition to an increasingly polarizing discussion.

What were your first impressions of the footage you received?

For a few minutes I was concerned about the amateur nature of the footage I was looking at, but then as I watched the footage unfold I saw how astonishingthe imagery was, how fresh itwas, and how intimate it was. We had access behind the scenes with Al Qaeda, with an intimacy that you would never ever have dreamed of seeing.

What was your approach to making the film?

The first challenge was identifying the dramatic tone. That was the first thing –scary, edgy, and intimate. Then it was about creating a clear narrative drive, a kind of cat-and-mouse chase between the security forces and the terrorist cells, with the terrorists trying to cause as much death and destruction as they could,and the security services trying to stop them before they killed any more innocent people. Finally, and most importantly, we wanted to use that narrative to create a nuanced understanding of the ordinary foot soldier in Al Qaeda. We’ve got some funny scenes and then we’ve got scenes of unspeakable cruelty, Al Qaeda killing and shooting innocent people. It’s importantto see that those two things can coexist in the same individual, and I think that’s part of what we were trying to do, to capture that complexity and see the terrorists as ordinary but corrupted human beings. 

Al Qaeda is an emotive subject, how did you tackle this?

One of the other decisions we made relatively early on was to avoid over-editorialising, to let the audience try to understand these men for themselves. This is a difficult and controversial subject and so we made a decision that no commentary would be placed over the footage and in fact to have as little commentary as possible, allowing the scenes to unfold on their own and let youjust be engrossed in the film. We wanted the audience to experience each scene from the point of view of its source, whether that was Al Qaeda, the Saudi security forces or ordinary Saudi citizens, and try to offer the audience that privileged access. By doing this we are able to encourage the audience to have their own personal insights into what Al Qaeda really is.

What is your take on Al Qaeda?

They are a kind of death cult; in fact, that is part of their appeal. They revel in killing and even in their own deaths. The tragicimplications of that are what we are exploring in the film. The huge waste of life –their victims’and their own.

How do you think Muslims will react to the film?

I think that the vast majority of Muslims who see the film will really appreciate it. They’ll point to this film and say, ‘Look, we told you, Muslims are victims of terrorismas much as non-Muslims.’They’ll point out just how simple-minded and ignorant these terroristsare and say, ‘How can you say these peoplerepresent our religion?’What is more, the film makes clear that, in the Middle East –where, the worst and most frequent acts of terrorism occur–the people on the front lines combatting the terrorists are in fact Muslims. Not only their victims, but the people tracking them, fighting them, trying to stop them: they’re all Muslims.We in the West forget this. We know about 9/11, the LondonBombings, the Madrid bombings, and more recently, rogue attacks in Europe and America inspired by Isis–but we don’t really know about the way Middle Easterners themselves are suffering from terrorism.

What were the challenges in making PATH OF BLOOD?

The major practical challenge was that we had 500 hours of footage all in a foreign language, not just in Arabic, but in Saudi Arabian regional dialects, which presented enormous logistical problems –just logging the footage and translating it was a major undertaking. It took a huge amount of work and expertise, and we had a big team of talented guys working on the translation for a very long time.And that was all before we started editing the film –that’s when the real work began. Luckily I was working with a brilliant editor, Peter Haddon.

Why did you choose to narrate extracts of the Al Qaeda magazine ‘Voice of Jihad’?

We were trying to make a film that gives you intimacy with AQ, so that you feel you’re with them in the cells, you’re with them in the safe houses, you’re withthem in the gunfights, and you’re reading what they read. This sense of directness was quite important to us, and with an actor’s voice it becomes invisible, just like a voice in your head.We used Tom Hollander to re-voice Al Qaeda’s propaganda as he’s got a sort of warm yet slightly brittle texture to his voice which makes it engaging and dangerous at the same time.

This film contains some very graphic, gruesome scenes. Why did you choose to include them?

We spent a lot of time discussing where the boundaries should be. Some extremely graphic material was left on the cutting room floor. Also,we were careful to avoid showing the faces of victims murdered by Al Qaeda, although we don’t show that respect to the terrorists themselves.But I decided very early on not to pull any punches. Because these events are all seen in context, I felt that we were duty bound to be honest, even if it meant includingsome unpleasant scenes. It would be irresponsible to turn what Al Qaeda does into some kind of sanitised ‘entertainment.’ The result of their activities is endless bloodshed. Real human beings are being killed including children, and it is incredibly sad and tragic. They’re not a statistic in a news report, they’re not a cut away on the 10 o’clock news, this is something that we let people look at in the film andlet people think about.Those scenes are there to be understood, to show the very real consequences of the actions of Al Qaeda. 

Why do you think the Saudi Arabian government agreed to release this footage?

The Saudi government didn’t tell me why they chose to release it. But I suppose it was because it’s actually one of their great success stories. 9/11 caused a great deal of shame and embarrassment to Saudi Arabia; so many of its citizens had been involved in that act and they were in denial about it for quite a long time.Even more, as we all know, Saudi Arabia has played a large role in the propagation of Islamic fundamentalism around the world—the government recently went public about this, acknowledging their record and signalling a policy shift away from funding extremist madrasas and so on. But really, our film is anobjective andimmersive humanstory of a terrorist campaign at a specific time and place. For Saudis, it came asa hugeshock for them when Al Qaeda declared war on their government and targeted Saudi citizens.I certainly believe that experience jump-started a lot of soul searching in the Kingdom—perhaps we’re seeing the fruit of that now.Much to our surprise, the Saudi security services never asked for or had any input on the final cut of the film. We were only asked to blur the names on a couple offorged passports, plus the faces of certainindividuals for legal reasons.

PATH OFBLOOD features many characters. Who was the most interesting?

There are a lot of interesting characters. You’ve got the larger-than-life sheikh, Abdullah al-Rashoud, who is straight out of central casting. He’s so extreme, he’s so outlandish, that if you created him as a fictionalcharacter, you’d think that he was a cliché but when you see him for real, it’s just incredible –andquite funnytoo,in a dark way. Then you’ve got a guy called Abdulaziz who we openthe film with;‘Ali’was his nom de guerre. He’s a partly sympatheticcharacter in the sense that you can see he is like the class fool:he’s a little bit dim, but cracks all the jokes, and is constantly in trouble with the teacher. But at the same time there’s something very sad about him, it really draws you in when you see his dawning realisation that he is about to die. I think the opening scene, in a sense, represents one of the themes of the film. These really are ordinary guys; they’re not all like the stereotypical image of a thuggish Al Qaeda terrorist. Ali is a clown, yet he’s involved with this organisation, and he’s going to blow up himself and a lot of innocent people. I think that’s very important for people to think about and understand.

What have you learnt about Al Qaeda through making the film?

One of the things that really came across in the footage is the degree of naivety and incompetence that is prevalent among the young Saudi kids in Al Qaeda. There are lots of characters and moments in the film that would not be out of place in a farce. Many of them are relatively incompetent, relatively ignorant, and that was quite a revelation to me. Having said that, this kind of organisation also attracts individuals who are thrilled by the idea of killing and by the power of being a member of a terrorist organisation. So one should be careful of making generalizations.

 

'Path of Blood' is a must see but is not for the faint hearted.

 

 

Path Of Blood is available on DVD December 10th

 

 

'Path of Blood' on DVD December 10th

As engrossing as it is disturbing 'Path of Blood' arrives of DVD December 10th

'Gloves Off' star Brad Moore names the sporting comedies that he cant get enough of

With the release of 'Gloves Off' on DVD and on demand co-writer and star Brad Moore discusses his favourite sporting comedies.

Starting with his passion project, Brad takes a look back at the classic sports films over the years that have brought the family together for big laughs and a tug on the heart strings. With Hollywood heavyweights like Bill Murray and John Candy to a star turn from an orangutan From screw ball comedies to heart warming scenes, Moores choices are as varied as they could be.

 

1. Gloves Off Directed by Steven Nesbit 

“GLOVES OFF is a piece of entertainment but it also represents to me what people can achieve when they pull together and pride kicks in.”

 

2. Slap Shot Directed by George Roy Hill

“Unlike some, Paul Newman’s performances just got better and better as his career evolved. He again teams up with George Roy Hill in this crazy ice hockey romp. I loved watching this quirky film in my teens and the ‘goons’ unprovoked scraps. Tickled my Dad and I pink!”

 

3. Every which way but loose Directed by James Fargo

“What a gem of a film with Clint showing he’s more than capable in a dustup. A beautiful backdrop in the San Fernando Valley and with his Mrs Sandra Locke and a huge Orangutan in tow they must have had a blast. Right turn Clyde!”

 

4. Mike Bassett: England Manager Directed by  Steve Barron

“Our very own Ricky Tomlinson in full swing as the doomed England Manager. It’s not coming home sadly....”

 

5. Kingpin Directed by  Bobby Farrelly & Peter Farrelly

“The Farrelly brothers at their very best here in this screwball comedy. A fallen hero, a beautiful lady, a road trip, a strange hair do, a final show down (this sound familiar? Oh yeah Gloves Off, the film that I wrote!) Woody Harrelson’s performance takes his career to another level and the hair on Bill Murray should have at least won a BAFTA of its own...”

 

6. The Mean Machine (a.k.a The Longest Yard) Directed by Robert Aldrich

“Another film worshipped at the church of our family living room. Robert Aldrich of Dirty Dozen and Baby Jane fame directs this priceless prison break American football comedy. The British remake does its best but falls short of the charisma this cracker carries. RIP Burt Reynolds, we owe you one.”

 

7. Caddyshack Directed by Harold Ramis

“This crazy offbeat golfing extravaganza shouldn't work but it does and then some! It’s directed by none other than Harold Ramis of Ghostbusters and written by Bill Murray’s brother Brian Doyle-Murray, which may go some way to explain the absurdity of the magic!! Bill Murray’s scenes were reportedly all improvised and worth watching just to witness Chevy Chase on the piano "I was born to love you…I was born to lick your face..." genius.”

 

8. Cool Runnings Directed by Jon Turteltaub

“Based on a true story and with a gloriously high concept! This excellent film starring the late John Candy has you laughing while tugging at the heart strings.”

 

9. Jerry Maguire Directed by Cameron Crowe

“Cameron Crowe's riches to rags masterpiece featuring, in my opinion, Tom Cruise’s most well-rounded performance worthy of his Oscar nomination. Comedy, romance, drama, sport and our protagonist searching for a deeper purpose in life. What’s not to like! An almost cautionary tale of making sure you don't lose focus of what’s truly important in life, the film works on all levels. Supporting breakthrough roles from both Renée Zellweger and Cuba Gooding Jr and the birth of a worldwide catchphrase...’Show me the money!’”

 

10. There's Only One Jimmy Grimble Directed by John Hay

"A lovely example of British football fantasy comedy drama that us Brits do so brilliantly. Robert Carlisle, Ray Winstone, Gina McKee and a killer cameo by Ben Miller”

 

 GLOVES OFF is available On Demand & DVD now

GLOVES OFF is available On Demand & DVD now

“GLOVES OFF is a piece of entertainment but it also represents to me what people can achieve when th

GLOVES OFF is available On Demand & DVD now

Uk Jewish film festival 2018 closes with thrilling gala night award ceremony

At the core of UK Jewish Film’s values is the notion that film is universal. It crosses cultures and divides and has the ability to unite, engage and educate diverse audiences through the telling of cinematic stories that provide varied perspectives on Jewish and Israeli life and culture. UK Jewish Film aims to develop a culture where Jewish film is recognised and enjoyed by the widest possible audience, and to bring Jewish related film to the heart of British cinema culture.

 

Chief Executive of UK Jewish Film, Michael Etherton said: “Innovative approaches to filmmaking were among the stand-out themes of the awards made by this year’s juries at the UK Jewish Film Festival. We were privileged to host these outstanding jurors from across the UK film industry and they were particularly impressed by the quality of the films in competition this year. ‘Three Identical Strangers’ is the extraordinary true story that is already making waves, brilliantly told and expertly crafted; ‘Driver’ takes a gentle and surprising look at a little-known Orthodox community, and ‘Death of a Poetess’ mixes documentary and drama techniques to highly original and disturbing effect.”

 

With 85 films from 16 countries including 51 premieres the Uk Jewish film festival came to a close on Thursday 22nd November with the closing night gala award ceremony at London's Curzon Mayfair. 

Spread over 21 cinemas ranging from London to Glasgow the festival had everything from highly acclaimed documentary 'John Simons- A modernist' to a restoration of silent classic 'The Cohens and Kellys', the festival catered for all tastes.

 

 

The Winners and nominees were:

 

Dorfman best film award- Supported by the Dorfman Foundation

 

Three Identical Strangers: Dir. Tim Wardle (WINNER)

The account of Auschwitz: Dir Matthew Shoychet

Foxtrot: Dir. Samuel Maoz

Promise At Dawn: Dir. Eric Barbier

The Waldheim Waltz: Dir. Ruth Beckermann

Working Woman: Dir. Michal Aviad

 

“Three Identical Strangers is a joy to watch and, like an onion, reveals itself layer upon layer. Both terrific entertainment and a serious and very moving story, the film is cleverly constructed as an unusual mixture of documentary, drama and thriller. The jury was delighted to award the prize to this impressive film.”

Michael Kuhn, Head of Jury, Dorfman Best Film Award 2018, UK Jewish Film Festival

 

Best Debut Feature Award

 

Driver: Dir. Yehonatan Indursky (WINNER)

Closeness: Dir. Kantemir Balagov

Doubtful: Dir. Eliran Elya

Outdoors: Dir. Asaf Saban

Red Cow: Dir. Tsivia Barkai

Winter Hunt: Dir. Astrid Schult

 

"The jury were delighted and impressed by ‘Driver', a beautiful, moving and funny exploration of a father and his daughter and of the moral grey areas he navigates within an orthodox religious community. Powerful and surprising this is the unusual and often raw tale of a man whose job is coaching people to tell their stories but is unable to tell his own.”

Claudia Rosencrantz, Head of Jury, Best Debut Feature Award 2018, UK Jewish Film Festival

 

Best Screenplay Award

 

Death of a Poetess by Dana Goldberg and Efrat Mishori (WINNER)

Budapest Noir by Éva Gárdos

Foxtrot by Samuel Maoz

Promise at Dawn by Eric Barbier

To Dust by Shawn Snyder

Winter Hunt by Astrid Schult

 

“This provocative and intriguing drama, with its naturalistic, quasi-documentary style, hugely impressed the jury. An elliptical portrayal of a deeply troubling story that stays with you long after the film has ended.”

Nik Powell, Head of Jury, Best Screenplay Award, UK Jewish Film Festival

 

Audience choice Award

 

Forgotten Soldier: Dir.  Lucile Smith and Paul Goldin

 

 

For more information on the festival and future events visit:  http://ukjewishfilm.org/

 

 

 

 

 

Uk Jewish Film Festival 2018

British entertainment at its most original in Steven Nesbit's 'Gloves Off'

“Gloves Off is entertainment but it represents what people can achieve when they pull together and pride kicks in.”

Brad Moore (co-writer/star)

 

British actor Brad Moore arrived on the acting stage late on in life, "I started acting very late in life at 40 and I had spent my youth addicted to all films”, but he has gone on to carve out a very respectable career working with some highly respected people along the way.

 

His latest offering is Gloves Off where he re-teams with director Steven Nesbit, the pair had previously collaborated on North Vs South. Gloves Off also marks Moore's first time as a writer, co-writing the script with Nesbit. Speaking about how the project was born and how he came to be co-writer Moore said “We had so much fun making North vs South and the film release was a success so Steve and I became good friends. If it had flopped I’m sure he would have moved on to someone more talented! Steve then came down to London to discuss future projects he was writing with me in mind. We had a few beers and I pitched him the only script idea I have had about a boxer who inherits a debt-ridden gym from his coach and Steve suggested we write the script together”. Moore as a first time writer had his own way of contributing his own ideas “We spent several months meeting up when we could for writing sessions and we would work shop the scenes together. I would act out the different characters as best I could and I think he enjoyed having his very own performing monkey! Steve would then write up the work we had done and we would polish the scenes together. It’s an enjoyable way to write as opposed to slaving over a keyboard and ideas spring from the interaction”.

 

In Gloves Off Moore plays Doug, a once highly regarded boxer, who inherits a debt riddled gym after the death of his beloved trainer. With his life on the rocks, his family broken, Doug's only happiness is the gym he has and the rag tag loveable misfits that inhabit it. But as debt collectors circle Doug looks for a miracle to save his beloved gym. Moore drew on some of his own personal experiences from his own past the story has both heart mixed with comedic sharpness very much in the vein of Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock films, “ The film is fictional and not biographical in any way, however many of the story elements are very close to my own experiences and deep in my heart. For instance my own boxing coach and mentor "Taffy" died when a group of young boxers and I were still in our prime. I’ve also experienced the pain of being separated from my son and felt the pressure of being totally broke and about to fail miserably...again”.

 

Alongside Moore is a strong ensemble cast starring some the some of the best known talent Britain has to offer from Paul Barber (Only Fools and Horses/One Night In Istanbul) and Denise Van Outen (Love, Honour and Obey) to British TV legend Ricky Tomlinson (The Royle Family, Mike Bassett: England Manager) but a stand out in this film is comedy great Alexei Sayle. The film has carries the quirkiness of The Full Monty but has the comic sharpness of Snatch but you could also say its Britain's answer to Vince Vaughn/Ben Stiller vehicle Dodgeball (2004). The film is typically British, a comedy with an emotional core with varying characters that represent different aspects of a well written story. Sayle acts as a guardian angel like character to Doug helping him through his emotional struggles, in his own special way. Paul Barber's Albert is a grounding force in Doug's life in an almost father figure like way, inspiring him when he needs it and giving him the confidence boost when he is down, his interactions with Nosher too are particularly heart warming and beautifully acted, Barber works as an emotional anchor to the stories overall narrative. The stories characters are both anarchic as well as relatable harking back to the old school ensemble comedies but never strays from its British roots, Moore added “I love wacky road trip comedies like 'The Cannon Ball Run' and 'Every Which Way but Lose'. These were big influences on the story. I had always dreamt of making something that harked back to these great comedies but with a British heart at its core in the vein of British classics like The Full Monty, Brassed Off and Waking Ned”. There are some stand out scenes in this film like Doug's bar room fight scene, very physical and simply but effectively shot with Moore looking more than comfortable with the demands of the scene. One stand out has to be Tomlinson freestyling folk songs which is something everybody should see.

 

The film has some beautiful visuals, in particular the flashback fight scenes which are stunning to watch and expertly put together by Nesbit, the film also has a soundtrack which plays well with the narrative acting as an almost extra character in the film. This film is pure entertainment start to finish and you feel that from in front and behind the camera. Far too many films today lack originality and characters you can relate to but Nesbit is a great story teller and alongside Moore has created one of the most entertaining British films of the last few years and it definitely deserves its place alongside British greats like Love Honour and Obey and Full Monty. Central to all of the success of this film is the budding friendship between director and his star and Moore has nothing but praise for Nesbit “Steve is a terrific director. He is ex-military and capable of mobilising an army! He has a universal focus on all elements of the film and he makes actors feel very safe and supported which helps you be courageous with your choices. If I go to big or too heavy he will reel me in. Steve was the first director to believe in me really when he cast me in North vs South. He stuck with me when other well-known actors who joined the project were all keen on my role as Gary Little. The press loved that character as he a proper nut-job much like myself so hopefully I didn’t let him down!”.

 

Brad Moore leads and all star cast in Gloves Off and has gained experiences he will keep for life “I know it’s a cliché but I just can’t help saying that the fun we had on set was easily the best thing about making this movie. Ricky and Denise kept everyone constantly entertained. They are proper wind up merchants. Denise is always trying to get a rise out of you and Ricky never stops telling funny stories which are incredibly entertaining but I had to avoid him before any of the more dramatic scenes otherwise I would turn up giggling! I’ve loved boxing all my life so working on the boxing and fight scenes were a dream come true! Especially as the stunt men are not actually allowed to hit me back…that’s perfect!”.

Steven Nesbit's 'Gloves Off' starring Brad Moore

Brad Moore leads an all star cast in Steven Nesbit's 'Gloves Off'. You will laugh, cry and feel about every other emotion in this roller coaster of a feel good film

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