Tuesday, 23 August 2016

In a dark cinema everyone can hear you scream!

My Father Die
Summer in London can be scary, a good way. The annual FrightFest celebrates horror and fantasy movies over August Bank Holiday. This year it will take over all 12 screens at the Vue Shepherd’s Bush between 25-29 August.

The 17th edition of FrightFest will feature 19 world premieres and 35 UK and European premieres. The opening film is the European premiere of Sean Brosnan’s revenge thriller My Father Die, while the UK premiere of Sang-ho Yeon’s Cannes title Train To Busan closes this year’s festival.

In total, the 62-strong feature line-up includes 19 world premieres and 35 UK and European premieres. The world premieres include Ivan Silvestrini’s Monolith, Tricia Lee’s Blood Hunters and Nick Jongerius’ The Windmill Massacre.

Meanwhile, Adam Wingard’s The Woods will receive its European premiere in the Main Screen strand, playing alongside the likes of Stephen King adaptation Cell, Italian box office hit They Call Me Jeeg Robot and Cody Calahan’s Let Her Out.

Other Main Screen titles include Rob Zombie’s 31, Darren Lynn Bousman’s Abbatoir, Jackson Stewart’s Beyond The Gates, Simon Rumley’s Johnny Frank Garrett’s Last Word and Craig Anderson’s Red Christmas.

FrightFest will showcase 12 world premieres of British genre films, five of which make up the festival’s ‘First Blood’ strand focused on the debut features of home-based directors. Titles include: Shaun Robert Smith’s Broken; Wyndham Price’s Crow; Kate Shenton’s Egomaniac; Ben Parker’s The Chamber; Lawrie Brewster’s The Unkindness Of Ravens; Stewart Spark’s The Creature Below; and Andy Edwards’ Ibiza Undead.

FrightFest will also be showing seven films from South America, including: Daniel de la Vega’s White Coffin; Patricio Valladares’ Downhill; Isaac Ezban’s 1960s sci-fi homage The Similars; and Emiliano Rocha Minter’s Cannes title We Are The Flesh.

Anna Biller’s The Love Witch, Tim Reis’ Bad Blood: The Movie, Steven DeGennaro’s Found Footage 3D, Ali Abbasi’s Berlin hit Shelley and Shelden Renan’s documentary The Killing Of America are screening in the Discovery Screen strand.

FrightFest has signed a two-year deal with Vue Entertainment that gives the event option to return to the Vue Leicester Square in 2017, following the completion of maintenance work the venue. FrightFest co-director Ian Rattray said: “After much consideration, and in consultation with the Vue Management, we decided the 12-auditoria establishment in Shepherd’s Bush would not only fit our demanding bill, but give us a whole new raft of exciting opportunities to expand all the core FrightFest entertainment values. Our continuing, collaborative partnership with Vue means that FrightFest can grow and continue to offer film-goers a unique cinematic experience”.

Daniel Goodwin, events manager for Vue Entertainment added: “We are delighted to see the return of FrightFest and proud to host this sought after and iconic event for another frighteningly brilliant film festival.”

Dubbed “The Woodstock of Gore” by director Guillermo Del Toro, FrightFest was created in 2000 by film producer Paul McEvoy, journalist and broadcaster Alan Jones and film distributor-booker Ian Rattray. Greg Day, the festival’s long standing PR, became a joint director in 2007. From its roots at the Prince Charles Cinema, FrighFest has grown to become one of the genre’s most recognisable brands. It has helped to launch the careers of directors such as Simon Rumley, Christopher Smith, Eli Roth, Neil Marshall and Simon Hunter.

Apart from the annual 5-day event in London, FrightFest has a regular strand at the Glasgow Film Festival, hosts a nationwide Halloween ‘horrorthon’ and showcases special screenings throughout the year. It recently teamed up with Icon Films Distribution to release FrightFest curated films under the banner ‘FrightFest Presents’.

Festival and day passes are only available to buy online.

Ben Wheatley's Free Fire to close LFF

Free Fire
Ben Wheatley’s new action thriller Free Fire will be the closing night gala of the BFI London Film Festival. The film, which stars Cillian Murphy, Brie Larson and Armie Hammer, will receive its European premiere on Sunday 16 October at the Odeon Leicester Square.

Free Fire is the third of Wheatley’s films to be presented at the LFF, following High-Rise, which screened as last year’s Festival Gala and Sightseers that screened as Laugh Gala in 2012.

Free Fire is set in Massachusetts during the late ’70s. It recounts how Justine (Brie Larson) has brokered a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two Irishmen (Cillian Murphy, Michael Smiley) and a gang led by Vernon (Sharlto Copley) and Ord (Armie Hammer) who are selling them a stash of guns.  But when shots are fired in the handover, a heart stopping game of survival ensues.

BFI London Film Festival director, Clare Stewart says: “Ben Wheatley’s ascent as one of the UK’s most dazzling cinematic talents continues with this ballsy actioner. Dripping with blood, sweat and irony, Free Fire’s bravura filmmaking pays knowing tribute to the films of Sam Peckinpah and features a terrific cast who clearly relish bringing Wheatley and co-writer Amy Jump’s vivid characters to the screen. We are thrilled to be presenting the European Premiere as our Closing Night gala, ensuring that the 60th edition of the BFI London Film Festival goes out with a bang!”

The 60th edition of LFF will open on 5 October with the previously announced European premiere of Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom, which stars David Oyewolo and Rosamund Pike.

The full programme of the 60th BFI London Film Festival will be revealed on 1 September. However, the BFI has been providing hints of what the programme will contain.

The BFI has revealed that Lion will be this year’s American Express Gala – the credit card company is the LFF’s main sponsor. The film, which stars Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, David Wenham and Nicole Kidman, will receive its UK premiere on Wednesday 12 October at London’s Odeon Leicester Square, with Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman expected to attend.

Directed by Garth Davis, and adapted from Saroo Brierley’s memoir “A Long Way Home”, Lion tells the true story of how a wrong train takes a five-year-old Indian boy hundreds of miles from home; he survives many challenges before being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, haunted by memories of his childhood, he learns of a new technology called Google Earth, and sets out to find his lost family.

Clare Stewart says: “This sweeping adaptation is a rousing tribute to the tenacity of the human spirit, and is more intricate in its texture, and more astounding in its narrative twists than most works of fiction.”

The BFI has also revealed that the LFF will be presenting the European Premiere of Mira Nair’s Queen of Katwe on Sunday 9 October at the Odeon Leicester Square. The film stars David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o and Madina Nalwanga, who will attend with Nair.

Queen of Katwe
Queen of Katwe is the true story of a young girl, Phiona Mutesi, selling corn on the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess by Robert Katende, a soccer player turned missionary. As a result of the support she receives from her mother Harriet, family and community, Phiona is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion.

CTBF's boss Richard Wilson passes away, aged 58

Richard Wilson
Richard Wilson, the chief executive of the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund (CTBF) has died aged 58 following a short illness. The CTBF provides support for people with a film and television background who face personal and career challenges due to illness, injury or unemployment.

Wilson’s background had been UK TV industry, beginning in 1984 at Granada Television, where he worked in human resources, production and property management before moving to London in 1998 to become general manager at London Weekend Television. He became operations director at The London Studios, LWT’s TV studio complex on the South Bank.

After the franchise merger of Granada and Carlton Television in 2004, Wilson set up his own media consulting business in 2005 working for European and US media companies such as Siemens IT Solutions and Services, where he was programme director for build and technology projects at the BBC.

Wilson joined the Board of Trustees of the CTBF. He became the charity’s CEO in 2012. His tenure focused on expanding the reach of the CTBF and providing help to those in need from the film and television industries. He was also an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee of the British Cinema & Television Veterans

“It’s surprising how many people that we support who hadn’t heard of us until they were in need,” Wilson told trade journal Screen International in 2014. “There is a view that all our focus is on care for the elderly but we do an awful lot more than that and want to support more people in the industries we cover.”

The CTBF exists to support creatives, production professionals, marketers and administration staff from script to screen, who find themselves in times of need for one reason or another.
The CTBF organizes annual Royal Film Performance to raise funds for  activities. In addition to one-off grants and regular payments to those in need, the Fund runs the Glebelands Care Home, providing residential care and full nursing. In addition it offers independent living in the adjacent Broccoli Cloister, a development of 27 flats.

Wilson is survived by wife Yvonne and children George and Francesca.