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Festivals on Festivals

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May was a month full of wonderful cinema screenings, workshops, and awards.

FLATPACK FESTIVAL

Flatpack Festival took place over 16th – 21st May across Birmingham, celebrating not only festival no. 17, but also twenty years as an organisation. The festival programme was split into 10 sections, ranging from their Colour Box films for children to their Time Machine archive films. The events were in over 13 locations through the city, including the iconic Moseley Road Baths and the beautiful Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

The festival’s 2023 winners were The Shimmering Extraordinary for the Screendance Award, Birdsong for the Optical Sound Short Film Award, Hardly Working for the WTF Award, Princess Aubergine for the Colour Box Award, and Green Space for the Short Film Award.

WOLVERHAMPTON FILM FESTIVAL

Wolverhampton Film Festival, co-founded by local talents Gurjant Singh and Arun Kapur, was 3 days of magic. From the 26th – 28th May there were fantastic screenings, panel discussions, and networking events in the Newhampton Arts Centre. The awards ceremony at the Molineux Stadium, home of the Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C, was a brilliant atmosphere, with many winners taking home their glass trophies.

BIRMINGHAM PRIDE FESTIVAL

Pride month has now begun, with Birmingham celebrating early with our Pride Festival kicking off on the 27th May. The celebrations continue through the city, with local community cinemas like Journey Film Club doing LGBT+ screenings. The BFIs new release Pretty Red Dress, debut feature from writer and director Dionne Edwards, will also be screening at The Mockingbird Cinema from 16th June.

UPCOMING FESTIVALS

There are many more festivals to come over June, with Fighting Spirit Film Festival staring off with their The Bruce Lee Marathon. The 7th Midlands Movies Awards red carpet ceremony will be on the 10th June at Y Theatre. The Windrush Caribbean Film Festival will continue celebrating the Windrush Generation at the Midlands Art Centre from 13th – 15th June.

Birmingham Indian Film Festival will also be at the MAC and The Electric from 23rd June – 2nd July, screening international festival successes alongside the ever-popular Too Desi Too Queer and new Brit-Asian Shorts programmes. The SAFAR Film Festival is the largest festival in the UK dedicated to cinema from the Arab world, which will be screening at the MAC from 5th – 9th July.

For more industry information, visit Film Birmingham’s news page. Or add us on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

Lucky Birmingham

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Birmingham has been named the luckiest place to live in the UK by the National Lottery.

It said 205 millionaires had been created in the city since the lottery began in 1994, an equivalent of one every seven weeks.

There have been 35 millionaires made in the city in the past three years – lucky Birmingham.

Kathy Garrett, who hands over prizes to the winners, said the distribution across the nation was “quite even”, but Birmingham just came out on top.

One of the most recent Birmingham winners, Celeste Coles, said she had taken her family to Barbados after receiving £3.6m in the summer.

The National Lottery’s announcement took place at The Library of Birmingham, which had received a £675,200 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2020 to revive the city’s almost-forgotten Birmingham Shakespeare Memorial Library.

The filming of The National Lottery’s announcement was facilitated by Film Birmingham, as The Library of Birmingham is one of Birmingham City Council’s many sites across the region. If you’re interesting in booking a Birmingham City Council location for your film shoot, then please enquire via our website.

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

For more industry information, visit Film Birmingham’s news page. Or add us on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

West Midland Winners at British Soap Awards 2023

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The British Soap Awards highlighted the best and brightest in the soap industry.

The British Soap Awards returned last night as stars of the UK’s biggest soap operas took to the red carpet. The guest list included stars from Birmingham’s Doctors and many more.

The event is seen as one of, if not the, biggest night for British soaps and is highly-anticipated by fans and cast alike. The night gives fans a chance to relive the most exciting and emotional moments to happen throughout the past year.

The ceremony took place last night (June 4) at The Lowry in Salford. Viewers will be able to watch the proceedings on TV this Tuesday (June 6) at 8pm on ITV1 and stream on ITVX .

The Villain Of The Year award went to Wolverhampton-born and Birmingham-raised Aaron Thiara, for his role as Ravi in EastEnders. Amongst the nominees for Villain Of The Year was Laura White as Princess Buchanan from Doctors.

Chris Walker and Jan Pearson took home the award for Best On-Screen Partnership, for their roles as Rob and Karen Hollins in Birmingham’s BBC Doctors.

There were many nominations from the BBC soap Doctors, filmed in Birmingham. Their nominations were Best Soap, The Millars for Best Family, Chris Walker as Rob Hollins for Best Dramatic Performance, Ian Midlane as Al Haskey for Best Comedy Performance, Kia Pegg as Scarlett Kiernan for Best Newcomer, Hell Is Empty for Scene Of The Year, Valerie And The Forged Prescription for Best Storyline, and Anything But Magnolia and If Wishes Were Horses for Best Single Episode,

For more industry information, visit Film Birmingham’s news page. Or add us on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

Man Like Mobeen Season 4 Premiere

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Man Like Mobeen S4 premiered at The Bond in Digbeth, on 23rd May.

Hit BBC Three comedy Man Like Mobeen welcomed season four at a glitzy green carpet preview event in Birmingham. The BAFTA nominated series starring comedian Guz Khan follows reformed drug-dealer Mobeen, as he attempts to live as a good Muslim providing for his little sister, whilst trying to escape his troubled past.

Despite Khan’s Coventry roots, filming for the series took place in locations around the West Midlands including Small Heath. Taking place at The Bond in Digbeth on 23rd May, Birmingham fans were able to grab tickets for the premiere event on the BBC Shows and Tours website.

Tanya Qureshi, BBC Head of Comedy said: “I’m delighted that after being busy making movies in Hollywood, Guz found time to return to Small Heath and deliver a truly fantastic new series for Mobeen fans on the BBC.”

Stuart Thomas, senior head of content production for the Midlands added: “It’s been three years since we’ve seen Man Like Mobeen on the screen and it’s brilliant that the show will be back on iPlayer and BBC Three. With Silent Witness and Masterchef coming to the West Midlands soon, our commitment to the region continues to grow”.

Cast members including Guz Khan, Dúaa Karim, Tolu Ogunmefun and co-creator Andy Milligan travelled to the exclusive red-carpet screening in Birmingham, with hundreds of fans attending to watch the first two episodes at The Bond in Digbeth. Other castmates who visited Digbeth included Mark Silcox, Hussina Raja, Salman Akhtar and Perry Fitzpatrick.

Speaking at the premiere, Guz Khan previously said: “What we love most is when people tell us they love the show because we do justice to the characters. Even if someone is a drug dealer or criminal on paper there is a humanity to them, for this season we did research themes of mental health in prison”.

Co-creator Andy Milligan discussed the season’s prison setting and tough talking points, saying “its not just about crime and punishment as you also have adult illiteracy, faith, class and sexuality under one roof. It is a great pressure cooker to explore those issues”.

At the fun-filled premiere in Digbeth, the cast announced that the comedy drama will return to screens on 8th June on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer following a shocking season three finale.

Source: birminghammail.co.uk

For more industry information, visit Film Birmingham’s news page. Or add us on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

Secret Cinema is coming to Birmingham

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Grease is the word!

The extraordinary global phenomenon that is Secret Cinema is coming to Brum for the first time ever, July 26 to August 13 and they are not doing things by halves, creating a rich Rydell High world for you to enter and be apart of.

As you can see from their trailer, Secret Cinema is the global pioneer of immersive storytelling including live actors and enormous set-piece spectacles. Since 2007 they’ve been inviting movie fans to step into the story of their favourite film for an unforgettable experience. These lot are the masters of mesmeric movie magic.

Calling all T-Birds and Pink Ladies: it’s time to immerse yourself in the world of Grease like never before at (and outside) the NEC Birmingham for a limited run of just three weeks.

For a full three and half hours, step back to the 1950s and experience those summer nights… in real life. Take part in the ultimate rock n’ roll party where you can belt out those iconic numbers and show off your silky (or not so silky) moves on the dancefloor alongside Danny, Sandy, Rizzo and the gang.

Get ready to attend Rydell High where it all began. Grab a bite to eat with the Pink Ladies, hang out with the T-Birds and avoid getting in trouble with Principal McGee. But choose your crew wisely — the biggest night in Rydell High history will be hosted by Vince Fontaine and the dance contest of a lifetime will be broadcast live across the nation! This has all the hallmarks of your best night out of your year.

Book your tickets here. Open from 26th July – 13th August 2023 at NEC, Birmingham.

Source: ichoosebirmingham.com

For more industry information, visit Film Birmingham’s news page. Or add us on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

UK on track to double film production space by 2025

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The UK government’s target is to grow the country’s production sector by £50bn and create one million new jobs. 

The creative sector continues to be one of the healthiest areas of the UK economy, even during the rockier times we are currently enduring. Studios for film and TV production continue to spring up regularly with new ones either appearing or set to appear in Glasgow, Birmingham, Hertfordshire and beyond.

The new UK culture secretary, Lucy Frazer, has stated that the sector is on target to double its studio capacity by 2025, allowing for even more investment to the tune of £50bn, whilst also creating a million new jobs.

Whilst the figures are undoubtedly impressive and nobody’s going to be complaining about more jobs being created, there are a couple of things to be wary of, that the culture secretary isn’t talking about. UK independent features are proving increasingly difficult to get off the ground with both studio space and crew proving harder and harder to obtain, although an increase in production space and trained professionals could potentially ease this issue over the next decade.

However, the other potential issue is that of rising international competition and the potential end of the ‘golden age of TV’. Lots of streamers are cutting back on their output and it is proving exceedingly difficult to see what a profitable streaming landscape looks like five years from now and crucially, how much production capacity that will require.

Still, offering world-class facilities at competitive pricing is the best way to come out of that potential dogfight intact, and the UK is undoubtedly well-placed to do so. The government is planning to detail its wider vision in more detail over the next couple of months and we’ll keep you posted as that happens.

Source: www.filmstories.co.uk

For more industry information, visit Film Birmingham’s news page. Or add us on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

Meera Syal and Adrian Lester

West-Midlanders Win Big at BAFTA TV Awards

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2023’s BAFTA TV Awards was a memorable night with lots of representation from West-Midlands talent.

Black Country actress, writer, and comedy legend Meera Syal CBE received the prestigious BAFTA Fellowship Award, presented by Birmingham actor Adrian Lester, who called her ‘lightning in a bottle magic’. Syal’s moving speech calls for more diversity as ‘we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors and giants’. She closes her speech with the powerful statement ‘the untold stories are the ones that change us and sometimes change the world’. After Syal took to the stage to accept the coveted honour, she placed a Bindi on her Bafta Fellowship award. Upon receiving the award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Sherwood, Adeel Akhtar said looking around the ceremony at ‘all the different types of people telling different types of stories’ and honouring Meera Syal with a BAFTA Fellowship said it ‘feels a little bit like a miracle’.

Joe Lycett Vs Beckham: Got Your Back At Xmas won the TV Features award. The Channel 4 special of his show featured a stunt in which he threatened to destroy £10,000 of his own money unless David Beckham pulled out of his deal with World Cup hosts Qatar, where homosexuality is still illegal. Lycett later revealed he had not destroyed the cash through a shredder. A statement from Lycett was read out on stage which said: ‘I’m sorry to not be there, but according to my PR team I have shingles.’ The reference to the conditions appeared to be about presenter Holly Willoughby who revealed she had shingles before taking time off from This Morning due to the illness. Comedian Lycett then thanked his team before ‘dedicating’ the award to ‘people still being oppressed in Qatar’.

The Daytime award was given to The Repair Shop: A Royal Visit which saw the King, then Prince of Wales, take part. Arriving on stage, Wolverhampton resident Jay Blades said: ‘Wow, just give me two seconds, I have to take a picture, it’s quite special. We started as a daytime show on BBC Two, I’m so glad we’ve got an (award).’ Blades added that it was the ‘first time’ that a ‘six-foot black guy, from Hackney, (with a) gold tooth, (from a) single parent’ was presented with an award for daytime TV’.

Brummie comedy legend Sir Lenny Henry presented the award for Best Female Performance in a Comedy Programme to Irish actress Siobhán McSweeney for her role in Derry Girls. He jokes that ‘once again (women in comedy’s) skill and talent proves that the only thing standing in their way is men who don’t know when to shut up, and yeah I’ve just realised I’m doing that now’.

The multitalented Birmingham actor, director, and author David Harewood OBE presented the BAFTA Special Award for outstanding contribution to television to historian and broadcaster Professor David Olusoga OBE. Harewood said ‘over a three decade career straddling academia, award winning books, and groundbreaking documentaries, David has always been a trailblazer’.

View the full list of winners from 2023 BAFTA TV Awards here.

 

Source: www.dailymail.co.uk

 

For more industry information, visit Film Birmingham’s news page. Or add us on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

Film Birmingham Closes for Christmas Break

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The offices at Film Birmingham will be closed from 22nd December – 4th January (inclusive) for the festive period. No filming applications will be processed during this time.

Filming request forms can still be submitted online here. We will process your request as soon as we return on January 5th.

Resources

If you are searching for filming locations, view our online location database here. You can also register your property as a filming location.

To search for local crew, visit our crew database, or register yourself as crew here.

To view current industry opportunities, view our news page.

Warmest wishes to you and yours this holiday season, and a prosperous and productive 2023!

For industry information, visit our news page, or add us on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

a scene from my name is leon, prize winner at c21 international awards

My Name is Leon Wins at C21 International Drama Awards

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Birmingham-based TV series My Name is Leon brought home the gold for BBC Two at the C21 International Drama Awards.

The C21 International Drama Awards recognize the best in global scripted creativity through one of the most highly regarded awards shows in the business. The awards are judged by more than 100 of the world’s leading drama commissioners and buyers

Winners: C21 International Drama Awards

My Name is Leon (Douglas Road Productions, Tiger Aspect, Ringside Studios, Vicarious Productions)  brought BBC Two the Best TV Movie award. BBC Two also won for Best Returning Comedy-Drama Series with Inside No 9 (BBC Studios).

Pachinko, Apple TV+’s series based on the New York Times bestseller that chronicles the hopes and dreams of a Korean immigrant family across four generations, won Best Non-English-Language Drama Series. It is produced by Media Res and Blue Marble Pictures. Apple TV+ also took home Best English-Language Drama Series for Slow Horses, the spy thriller based on Mick Herron’s Slough House series of novels and produced by See-Saw Films.

Elsewhere, Sort Of, produced by Sphere Media for HBO Max in the US and CBC in Canada, was named Best Comedy-Drama Series, while HBO’s Succession followed up its success in Monday’s Rose d’Or Awards by taking the prize for Best Returning Drama.

The two talent awards went the way of Olivia Colman, who claimed Best Individual Performance in a Drama Series for her role in Sky Atlantic’s Landscapers, and Sarah Kendall who picked up Best Individual Performance in a Comedy-Drama Series for her work on Sky Max’s Frayed.

Welsh-language series Pigeon (Triongl, Cwmni Da, S4C) won the C21 International Drama Series Pitch Competition, while there were joint winners of the Studio21 Drama Series Script Competition: I Am Burd Girl from writer Laurence Turnbull and Clitorati from Jess Edwards.

Finally, the DQ Craft Award went to Maryland, Lucy Kirkwood’s one-off BBC drama starring Zawe Ashton and Hayley Squires.

View the full list of winners here.

Source: www.c21media.net

 

For more industry information, visit Film Birmingham’s news page. Or add us on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

DI Ray Season 2 Confirmed for ITV

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DI Ray season 2 was confirmed at ITV with star Parminder Nagra. The crime thriller is created by Line of Duty alum Maya Sondhi and executive produced by Jed Mercurio.

ITV has renewed police thriller DI Ray for a second season, which will see Parminder Nagra’s titular detective thrown into another sensitive and high-profile case. The show premiered back in May, introducing viewers to Detective Rachita Ray (Nagra), as she works to unravel a complex homicide case while battling prejudice every step of the way.

DI Ray season 2 will return to Birmingham, where this time she’ll be investigating the murder of an infamous criminal, whose death ignites racial tensions in the city, which risk an all-out turf war taking over the streets. Once again, the show will explore deep personal conflicts for DI Ray as both a British Asian woman and a police officer, with filming due to begin on the new episodes next year in the Midlands.

Nagra commented: “How lovely to have got the response that we did for series one. Thanks to our audience and to ITV and our amazing talented producers Maya Sondhi, Jed Mercurio, Madonna Baptiste, Jimmy Mulville, we get to do it again. We look forward to taking you on another thrilling adventure!”

DI Ray is a production of Jed Mercurio’s HTM Television, which is written and created by Line of Duty alum Maya Sondhi, who viewers will remember for her compelling turn as Maneet Bindra in the BBC One thriller.

Sondhi said: “I am so excited to be able to work with Parminder again and all the team at HTM to bring back a series two that goes deeper, darker and twistier than Spaghetti Junction… Thank you so much to ITV1 and the viewers for making it happen.”

Ben Tagoe (Stan Lee’s Lucky Man) and Sarah Deane (Compulsion) will co-write with Sondhi, while Nirpal Bhogal (Endeavour) has been announced as lead director on season 2.

Executive producer Madonna Baptiste added: “We’re so pleased DI Ray’s unique blend of propulsive crime drama, while tackling racial issues, was embraced by ITV1 audiences and achieved high viewing figures. We’re absolutely thrilled to be making a second series with our brilliant cast and crew and thank ITV1 and viewers for their support.”

DI Ray is available to stream on ITVX and on BritBox – sign up for a 7-day free BritBox trial here. Season 2 is coming soon.

 

Source: www.radiotimes.com

 

For more industry information, visit Film Birmingham’s news page. Or add us on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.