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

With John Carpenter and Jason Blum behind it and The original stars in front of the camera Halloween is the sequel we have waited forty years for. Credit to director David Gordon Green for a smart and worthy sequel to the classic original.

Now on Twitter

According to him now on Twitter. Chat on film and TV reviews and any and all opinions and contributions are welcome.

 

@AccordingTHim

As cinema grows so does the technology in it. But is technology a good thing for film? While some films can in ways benefit from tech such as 3D and 4D it bares a better resemblance to a theme park novelty rather than an evolution for film. If a film requires added dimensions to enhance its appeal then you have to consider the story may be lacking. IMAX carries more appeal as it widens the scope for viewing allowing for a larger experience.

A must see film that will grip you start to finish. 'Compliance' is a terrifying story based on true events

Rockwell is a class act. Smart composed performances on screen and a grounded off screen personality. Constantly overlooked as not being a typical A lister but ever reliable.

Much like Rockwell Toni Collette gives constant ever reliable performances and always manages to slip under the radar. With buzz from her latest offering Hereditary Collette is finally getting the well deserved recognition she deserves.

a forgotten classic

Peter Weir directed 'Picnic at hanging rock' a hidden gem and a must for any and all film fans

Free form fight scene

Bourne is what Bond should be

stylish historical film

One of the best films ever made. Stylish, innovative and masterful story telling with under stated powerful performances.

Gorgeous cinematography

A single scene that carries so much.