Monday, 20 April 2015

Free public screenings and debates showcase best of the Celtic Media Festival

Robot Overlords
The 36th Celtic Media Festival takes place in Inverness this week (22-24 April). The three-day celebration of filmmaking from the Celtic nations and regions features is primarily delegate based, but also features a programme of events and screenings which are free and open to members of the public. 

Eden Court’s Playhouse Cinema will host a series of public screenings and panel discussions, showcasing some of the feature length drama nominees shortlisted in this year’s Celtic Media Festival Torc Awards for Excellence, as well as offering a snapshot into the wider delegate programme.

On the afternoon of Wednesday 22 April, there will be a screening of the Irish film Patrick’s Day, which has been nominated for Feature Length Drama.

Wednesday evening sees a screening of Robot Overlords, a sci-fi drama which invades UK cinemas this month. Set in a world where robots rule the streets, and kids must save the world after adults lost the war. The film, which was shot on the Isle of Man, stars Callan McAuliffe, Ben Kingsley and Gillian Anderson.

On Thursday 23 April, there will be a morning screening of Feature Length Drama nominee, the Victorian circus drama Y Sycras.

At 1pm there will be a screening of Citizenfour - Laura Poitras’ film documenting Edward Snowden’s revelation of evidence of covert surveillance programmes run by the USA’s NSA in collaboration with other intelligence agencies, which picked up both the BAFTA and Academy Award for Best Documentary. The Celtic Media Festival delegate programme will bring together key players from The Guardian, who were responsible for breaking the story,

On Thursday evening there will be a special edition of the brand new comedy panel show for BBC Radio Scotland - The Good, the Bad and the Unexpected - where the audience help to decide who’s good, who’s bad and who’s unexpected. Members of the public are invited to join Julia Sutherland as she puts a panel of the UK’s top comedians through their paces.  

Friday 24 April sees a screening of After Bannockburn, a docudrama series which tells the untold story of how a Scottish army tried to drive the English out of Ulster.
Festival producer Catriona Logan said: “We’re hugely excited to present a programme of events which will enable film and TV fans to join the celebrations as the Celtic Media Festival returns to Inverness.”

Films are free, but ticketed.

Into Film Awards recognising young talent from across UK

Schools and pupils from across the UK attended the inaugural Into Film Awards in London, which recognise 5-19 year olds who have demonstrated exceptional achievements in filmmaking or film reviewing. The competition also saw Disney’s Maleficent, a reinterpretation of Sleeping Beauty starring Angelina Jolie, as voted children’s film of the year.

Into Film is a charity focussed on putting film at the heart of children and young people’s learning. It has a membership of over 11,000 school and colleges and reaches a million young people each year.

Schools, organisations and individuals were invited to enter the awards, with the successful entrants receiving a award, encouraging them towards the development of their learning and future film careers. Foutreen awards were made this year by industry panel including filmmakers Peter Kosminsky, Sir Alan Parker, Manjinder Virk and David Yates.

The winners were revealed during a ceremony held at Empire Leicester Square last week. The event was attended by actors Naomie Harris, Jeremy Irvine, Jamie Blackley and Sophie Thompson.

Aardman Animations presented
a Golden Morph award
Into Film is a charity that uses film as a tool for contributing to young people’s educational, cultural, creative and personal development. Its ‘film clubs’ are available free to all state-funded schools and colleges. It also provides access to a catalogue of over 4,000 films, curriculum linked resources, guidance for filmmaking and film reviewing, one-to-one club support and training and CPD for teachers.

Into Film, supported by the BFI through Lottery funding, together with funding from Cinema First and a number of other sources, incorporates the legacy and staff of two leading film education charities, FILMCLUB and First Light, building on their experience and success in delivering programmes of significant scale and reach to children and young people across the UK.

Paul Reeve, chief executive of Into Film commented: “The levels of passion, thought, and ingenuity on show throughout the process was truly inspiring, and we can’t wait to see where their talent leads. The future of film appears to be in very safe hands indeed, and - who knows - this award could be the first of many for these young stars.”

Cinema First is a cross-industry group representing cinema exhibition and distribution, charged with promoting and protecting the cinema-going experience. Responsible for the allocation of funds generated by the Orange Wednesdays promotion, Cinema First has supported initiatives to improve children’s education about and understanding of film and cinema as well as raising public awareness about the importance of Intellectual Property and copyright protection. Representing the whole industry, Cinema First is now a significant benefactor of Into Film through cash and in-kind commitments.

The Board of Cinema First comprises senior executives from Odeon, Cineworld, Vue and Showcase Cinemas, the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association (CEA), Universal, 20th Century Fox, Sony, StudioCanal and the Film Distributors’ Association (FDA).

Into Film 2015 winners 

Best Film by 13s and Over
Fall – Cornerhouse BFI Film Academy 2 Group

Best Film by 12s and Under
Blindside – Keith Allot, Pauline Quirke Academy

Into Film Club of the Year: 12s and Under
Anson Primary School

Into Film Club of the Year: 13s and Over
Ashfield Girls School

Best Documentary sponsored by
First Days – Film City Production Agency Ltd

The Golden Morph Best Animation by 12s and Under in association with Aardman Animations
Monkey & Wombat – Thurstonland School

Best Animation by Over 13s 
The Boy Who Stayed In – Westfield Arts College

Ones to Watch (sponsored by Eon Productions) 
  • Hope Kemp
  • Ellesha Ballard
  • Kieran Howe
  • Luis Hindman
  • Sam Hartshorn

Most Inspirational Use of Film in the Classroom nominees
Claire Dunsire

Review of the Year
Mairi,  St. Ninians High School

Children’s Film of the Year (2014)


Friday, 17 April 2015

Mike Leigh turns sights on the Peterloo Massacre

The Peterloo Massacre
The massacre of peaceful protestors in Manchester during 1819 will be the subject of Mike Leigh’s next feature film, Peterloo.

On 16 August 1819 a crowd of 60,000 people gathered in St Peter’s Field in Manchester to hear a speech by the political reformer Henry Hunt. They were attacked by mounted soldiers of the Manchester and Cheshire Yeomanry Cavalry, who left an estimated 15 protestors dead and hundreds injured.

The Manchester-born filmmaker said: “There has never been a feature film about the Peterloo Massacre,” Leigh said. “Apart from the universal political significance of this historic event, the story has a particular personal resonance for me, as a native of Manchester and Salford.”

Most of Leigh’s movies have been contemporary dramas, but he has made several well regarded trips into history. Topsy-Turvey (1999) examined at the relationship between Victorian composers Gilbert and Sullivan, while last year’s Mr Turner explored the career of the painter JMW Turner. Mr Turner, with Timothy Spall in the title role, was Leigh’s highest grossing title to date, taking over £6.8m in the UK.

Peterloo will be made during 2017 and photographed by Dick Pope, who was Oscar-nominated for his work on Mr Turner. The film is being developed with Film4 and will be produced by Leigh regular Georgina Lowe and Mr Turner executive producer Gail Egan. Mr Turner’s assistant producer Helen Grearson  will serve as associate producer.