Archive | Film

New “INDI” Festival Geared at Young Film-makers & Fans


Independent Directions (the INDIs) is a brand new film festival taking place 14-16 July across venues in Leeds. The festival will include specialist screenings of films, including independent British and International cinema, industry sessions, panel discussions and other installations entirely curated for an audience of 16-30 year olds.




From a panel talk with professionals across the industry on how to get your foot in the door or advance your career, to UK premieres and previews of the best upcoming films such as provocative Australian LGBT* film Pulse, and Brakes, an improv bittersweet comedy starring Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding. The prestigious INDIs Awards takes centre-stage on Saturday 15 July at Headrow House, which champions up and coming filmmakers who are in with a chance of winning up to £750 worth of prizes.



Full programme:

Friday 14 July

Workshop: Studio12 Drop-In Studio 12 – 13:00-16:00 – Free

Networking: Meet + Greet The Reliance – 16:00-late – Free

Film: The Beguiled (cert. 15) Hyde Park Picture House – 17:30 + 20:30 –  £7.50 /£6 conc. / £5 (16-19)

Film: Spaceship Headrow House – 20:00 – £5 / £3


Saturday 15 July

Film: Random Acts Programme (cert. 15) Headrow House – 11:00-12:30 – Free

Exhibition: Viral Video TBA – 11:00-late – Free

Panel: A Career in the Film Industry Headrow House – 13:30-15:00 – Free

Film Preview: Queerama (cert. 15) Hyde Park Picture House – 14:00 – £6.50 / £5

INDIs Awards Headrow House – 16:00-19:00 – Free

Networking: Post-Awards Headrow House – 19:00-late – Free

Film Preview: Brakes (cert. 15 TBC) Headrow House – 20:00 – £6.50 / £5


Sunday 16 July

Workshop: Screenwriting The Reliance – 13:30-16:00 – Free

Film UK Premiere: Pulse (cert. 15 TBC) Hyde Park Picture House – 14:00 – £5 / £3


For further information on the INDIs check out their Facebook and Twitter.

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Dead Rat Orchestra Brings Hanging Back to Leeds



The Dead Rat Orchestra brings its acclaimed live film score to James Holcombe’s film Tyburnia to HEART in Headingley on 14th July.

It will be joined by singer Lisa Knapp, and Holcombe, who will perform the film live. Using multiple projectors and screens, locally sourced footage and stories, he will create a new ‘Directors Cut’ at each location – which will be staged as close to a place of execution as possible.

Shot on 8mm and 16mm film Tyburnia is both visually and thematically engrossing, demonstrating how, despite the gallows having long since vanished, we still stand in the shadow of its punitive ideology.


For over 700 years there was a site of execution at Tyburn in London. Those who fell foul of political, religious and judicial reforms were executed for public entertainment and instruction. These executions chart a history illustrating the twists and turns of monarchical and political whimsy, church and state, and the birth of capitalism. In the current climate of enforced austerity and social reform, Tyburnia explores the parallels between contemporary and historical notions of crime in relation to business and property, the spectacular nature of punishment, and the state’s use of the body as a site for political control.

Dead Rat Orchestra has created an evocative soundtrack using peculiar and rare folk songs. With its gritty, rough hewn interpretations and dextrous multi-instrumentalism, the three-piece performs songs composed by, or for, those condemned to ‘dance the Tyburn jig’. Many of these broadside ballads have become a staple of folk music, but here their power and resonance can be appreciated in a new light. DRO has also crafted contemporary versions of long forgotten songs in the luridly descriptive ‘thieves cant’ (a secret language used by thieves, beggars and hustlers of various disciplines).

Lisa Knapp

“Tyburnia is one of the most challenging and important projects we have undertaken”, said DRO’s Daniel Merrill. “We’ve been working on it for three years, and it keeps getting more intense. The addition of Lisa’s voice opens up new avenues of song, enabling us to really do justice to James’ extraordinary film.”

The band releases a special edition of its score featuring the original album packaged with new text and cuttings of the film stock used in the creation of Tyburnia (Antigen Records) on 13th July.

See a short sample video of Tyburnia from the Spill Festival is available here

Tickets from HEART (£10) on 0113 275 4548,      





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Green Film Festival Screening at Hyde Park This Week

This Thursday, May 4th, as part of the UK Green Film Festival, Hyde Park Picture House is screening ‘How To Let Go of the World and Love All The Things Climate Can’t Change’, the new film from Josh Fox.

Best known as the Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning writer/director of Gasland, Josh Fox is internationally recognized as a spokesperson and leader on the issue of fracking and extreme energy development.

‘How To Let Go of the World’… follows Josh to 12 countries to investigate the greatest threat our world has ever known in his deeply personal style. Traveling to six different continents, the film acknowledges that it may be too late to stop some of the worst consequences, but asks what is so deep within us that climate change can’t destroy?





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Found Footage Festival Returns to Hyde Park Picture House


Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher are bringing their Found Footage Festival back to the Hyde Park Picture House on Saturday 25th March, starting at 9pm.

Volume 8 of their latest live show, features newly unearthed VHS gems found at thrift stores, warehouses and dumpsters across the US.

Nick and Joe, whose credits include The Onion and The Late Show with David Letterman, began collecting found videotapes in 1991 after stumbling across a training video entitled, ‘Inside and Outside Custodial Duties’ at a McDonald’s in Wisconsin. Since then, they have compiled an impressive collection of strange, outrageous and profoundly stupid videos.

This year’s highlights include a collection of satanic panic videos from the 80s including ‘The Law Enforcement Guide to Satanic Cults’, outtakes and on-air bloopers from North Dakota local news, and a star-studded Desert Storm parade sponsored by Taco Bell. There will also be highlights from David Letterman’s Video Collection, inherited by the Found Footage Festival when he retired.

“Some of the funniest events we’ve ever held here are thanks to the brilliant Found Footage Festival”, says Wendy Cook, General Manager at the Hyde Park Picture House. “So we’re so excited to welcome Joe and Nick back to Leeds and cannot wait to see what hilarious gems they’ve unearthed for us this time around!”

Tickets are £12 and booking is advisable via 0113 275 2045 or



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Over-60s Film Project Premiers at Hyde Park Picture House


Still from ‘Do Not Disturb’

A series of original short films made by teams of over-60s in collaboration with filmmaking students at Leeds Beckett University will be premiered at the Hyde Park Picture House on Sunday 11 December.

Created as part of the 2016 CINAGE: Filmmaking for Active Ageing project, the four short films will be shown from 1–2.30pm followed by a question and answer session with the participants.

The films, which incorporate drama, animation and documentary, were produced over the course of 10 months. A total of 18 people over the age of 60 with no previous filmmaking experience took part in an immersive programme of specialist workshops in scriptwriting, directing, producing and editing at the Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett.


Still from ‘Papiyon Vole!’

With access to state-of-the-art equipment and learning environments, participants were asked to reflect on their own personal experiences through activities including performance and creative writing. Each participant used their reflections and life memories as a platform to develop and write short film screenplays. Four scripts were then selected by the group to move forward into film production with the films being shot at locations across West Yorkshire and, for the first time in the project, using green screen technology.

The four films to be screened are: Stormy Weather, a real-life drama set inside a hospice, capturing the connection between two daughters coming to terms with loss and grief; Do Not Disturb, a comedy set inside a fictitious retirement home, following the antics of three elderly residents and their relationship with the site manager who has eyes for the aerobics instructor; the drama Swans Are Not The Only Birds, which follows George, a retired widower as he attempts to get used to his newly-installed hearing aids whilst establishing a new life for himself in a different-sounding world; and Papiyon Vole!, a fantasy drama/animation which follows the story of Theo and a surprise magical journey of discovery in Martinique. A short documentary about the making of the CINAGE 2016 films will follow.


Still from ‘Stormy Weather’

Jennifer Granville, Principal Lecturer in the Northern Film School and CINAGE Project Leader, commented: “CINAGE started life as an EU-funded, later life learning project, between partners in Slovenia, Italy, the UK and Portugal. The original research was concerned with exploring the competencies consistent with a healthier, more active, later life. The project used film as a driver for the discussion of ageing themes and as a platform to empower senior individuals to tell their own stories of ageing through short film. That project was a huge success, with the films made by seniors being screened internationally and seeing members of the course embarking of MAs and PhDs in Filmmaking!


Still from ‘Swans are not the Only Birds’


“Now in its second year, we are delighted to present four original short films written and produced by over 60s with no previous filmmaking experience. Our group have received support by academics from across the School of Film, Music and Performing Arts and our Northern Film School students and alumni have been integral in the production of the four short films, as well as professional animation studio SHERBET, making CINAGE a truly intergenerational and collaborative learning experience. We are very excited about screening the films at the beautiful Hyde Park Picture House.”

Applications are now being accepted for two new cohorts of CINAGE for 2017: one in filmmaking and one in contemporary performance. For more information about both the screening and how to get involved with CINAGE 2017, please contact David Turner on 0113 812 3330 or email

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Memories of the 1984-5 Miners’ Strike Brought to Life at Leeds International Film Festival

Blacker Than Black

Still from ‘Blacker Than Black’, by Merissa Moss and Sue Barber

A series of short films made by South Yorkshire residents who experienced the miners’ strike of 1984 – 1985, in collaboration with the Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett University, will be premiered at the Leeds International Film Festival this month.

Eight short films, collectively named Mining the Memories, will be screened for the first time on Monday 14 November in the Albert Room at Leeds Town Hall from 8.15pm. The evening’s programme will include drama, documentary and animation, as well as live poetry and music and a question and answer session with the filmmakers and writers.

Using the latest technology available at the Northern Film School, the participants worked closely with students, graduates and staff on the University’s Filmmaking degrees to produce the films, which were shot on location in and around South and West Yorkshire.


Still from Sam Morgan’s film, ‘Respect’

, , wrote the film, Respect. “After some tuition by the Leeds Beckett team on how to change my writing preferences from songs, poems and full-length fictional works into a film script, I, along with several similar writers, submitted a script for a short story which I named Respect”, said Sam Morgan, an ex-coal miner with 33 years’ experience. “The inspiration behind the film is the connection between the mining and the military over the years. Set in a mining village in 1968 (a time when there was far more respect than today), it features an old World War One miner-come-soldier named Jesse.  He is an ex King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) soldier whose last link with his dead comrades on the Somme and other theatres of war is to march around his village in remembrance of the fallen, whilst proudly wearing an old trench cap.

“It meant so much to me to be invited to make the film; especially as the Leeds Becket team allowed me to be hands-on in several aspects of the creation of the film, even allowing me to make a small cameo appearance dressed as a coal miner on his way to inspect an old airshaft.

“It has been a fantastic experience from start to finish; especially as the mining industry has been finally laid to rest by the establishment. I now eagerly await the finished product when it is cast onto the big screen at the Leeds International Film Festival later this month.”

“Mining the Memories started off as a research project where we aimed to work with a group of people from mining communities and see if we could develop a script, written by them, to produce”, said Jennifer Granville, Principal Lecturer in the Northern Film School of CINAGE Project Leader. “The work that they wrote, during our workshops, was so powerful, that we ended up making all six dramas and two documentaries. Distinguished actors were approached to be in the films and, without exception, were so moved by the material that they agreed to take part. Our students worked on the films and learned inestimable amounts, not just about filmmaking, but about the industrial history of the area that their University is based in and the meaning of community.”

Coke Not Coal

Still from ‘Coke Not Coal’, by Tony Goodwin

Before filmmaking began, the participants were led through a series of workshops by screenwriting lecturers from the Northern Film School, exploring what the strike meant to them and the long-term consequences for themselves and their communities. They then worked on shaping these ideas into scripts.

The workshops resulted in five short dramas – Blacker than BlackA Piece of CoalRespectShe Had a Dream and Coke Not Coal. The films’ casts include Barrie Rutter, Finetime Fontaine and Kate Rutter. Two documentaries were also made: one based on the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign and another made with the Goldthorpe Community Shop. A final film, an animation, was created entitled, ‘The Enemy Within?’  All pieces were written by either ex-miners, miners’ wives or their daughters.

The Mining the Memories series forms part of the CINAGE project, which began in 2013 with the aim of exploring the EU’s recommendations for healthy, active ageing and increasing the reflection of the needs and concerns of older people in contemporary cinema.

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No Gloss – Independent Film Festival Returns to Canal Mills


The independent film festival for Leeds returns 22nd/ 23rd October with a specially curated selection of independent films from the UK and around the world. With No Gloss (NGFF) diversity is key: short films, documentaries, art house, feature lengths, animations, music videos, international and local films, student films or experimental films, films created using non-traditional formats – all are accepted for submission.

This year’s festival looks set to be the biggest and best yet, with No Gloss going back to its industrial roots at Canal Mills and teaming up The Art Hostel Leeds and Northern Monk Brewery.


The stripped back aesthetic of Canal Mills makes it the perfect venue to host the DIY film festival known for its true festival atmosphere, indoor street food tents, great beer and NGFF’s friendly, welcoming experience – no red carpets, no celebrities, just a great gathering of film-makers and film-lovers alike with incredible, thought provoking films, panels and workshops.

The fest combines international scope with a local focus, supporting Leeds’ homegrown industry and enterprise by serving beer from local breweries, food from the fantastic Manjit’s Kitchen as well as locally produced merch.


In keeping with the No Gloss ethos of affordability and accessibility for all, the weekend festival wristband costs only £24 and includes access to the after party, hosted by Northern Monk Brewery.

To give you a taste of what’s to come take a look at these trailers:

For more info and tickets visit



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Ex-Guantanamo Bay Detainee Subject of Powerful New Film to Screen in Leeds With Live Q&A



New documentary film The Confession, which chronicles the rise of modern jihad, is to screen at the Hyde Park Picture House alongside a Q&A with the film’s director Ashish Ghadiali and the subject of the film Moazzam Begg.

Begg, a former British detainee at Guantanamo Bay, confessed in 2002 to being a member of Al Qaeda. He has however never been convicted of any crime. The film is based around a detailed interview with Begg, which captures the entirety of his story, from his forced confession and testimony as a free man, to his experience as a British Muslim and living the ‘War on Terror’.

THE CONFESSION (2) ©  Dogwoof

Commissioned by BBC Storyville and the BFI, The Confession premiered at Sheffield Doc Fest in June and was nominated for the festival’s Grand Jury prize. The film is the first feature from director Ashish Ghadiali, who has previously worked as screenwriter for producers including Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth) and Josef Aichholzer (The Counterfeiters).

After a screening of the film, writer and political activist Hilary Wainwright will host a Q&A with Begg and Ghadiali, providing an opportunity for the audience to put questions to the pair and the issues they explore in the film, from the rebel training camps in Syria to the prison cells of Belmarsh.

“We’re really excited to be facilitating this event” says Wendy Cook, General Manager at the Hyde Park Picture House. “This brilliant documentary deals with some very complex and relevant real-world issues, so the chance to hear directly from the filmmakers and discuss these topics in more detail through question and conversation is a really fantastic opportunity.”

THE CONFESSION + Q&A WITH MOAZZAM BEGG AND DIRECTOR ASHISH GHADIALI will be at the Hyde Park Picture House on Tuesday 16th August, at 6pm. Tickets are now on sale and priced between £5 – £7.50. For more information or to book in advance visit:



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Get Interactive With Leeds Beckett Students at the Digital Festival

Students and staff at Leeds Beckett University are set to showcase their digital creativity and innovation in the fields of art, music and healthcare as they take part in the Leeds Digital Festival, a multi-venue, city-wide festival celebrating digital culture in all its forms, from Monday 25 to Friday 29 April.

On Tuesday 26 April, from 3.30pm to 8pm in Millennium Square, students from a range of courses across the School of Computing, Creative Technologies and Engineering, and the School of Art, Architecture and Design, will present Test Tube, a live, interactive performance of visuals and music projected onto the Big Screen.

The students will create experimental and abstract visuals using everyday objects, light reflections and filters alongside music, which will be produced live on a laptop. Members of the public can interact with the workshop, by creating their own visuals or stepping into an effect camera feed to see an altered image of themselves on the Big Screen in Millennium Square. The event is free and open to all. For more information please contact Gemma Povey at

Test Tube is an extra-curricular outlet for students interested in experimental film-making, electronic music, and live collaborative performance”, said Ashley Dean, Senior Lecturer in Broadcast Media Technologies. “Through a series of diverse workshops throughout 2016, the group have been producing innovative imagery to be projected and recreated live on Millennium Square as the first public event; Test Tube #1. We will be joined by a diverse range of electronic musicians who will collaborate to form brand new and original Audio / Visual work.”

On Friday 29 April, from 5pm to 8pm, the Project Something exhibition will launch at an event, open to all, at Leeds Beckett’s Broadcasting Place on Woodhouse Lane. This is a collaboration between Benjamin Hall and Jonathan Briggs, Senior Lecturers in Graphic Arts and Design, and current Masters by Leeds Beckett Research students.

The exhibition, open to the public from Monday 2 to Thursday 5 May, 9am to 5pm, explores location, chance and storytelling within a post-digital landscape.

Benjamin explained: “Our exhibition brings together work that is at odds: global and local, digital and analogue, virtual and actual, static and dynamic, overlapping to recreate what is neither here (nor there). It features a series of engines that aim to generate stories dynamically, harvesting data from what’s expired. Jonathan and I share an interest in the narrative and narrative-less-ness of post-digital data and in presenting this in a new, visually interpretable format. Project Something will be a wholly interactive work allowing for contributions by the public which will inform and influence an on-going, non-linear narrative.” For more information, visit:

Additionally, on Wednesday 27 April, Leeds Beckett University will host the Digital Innovation in Healthcare Showcase in collaboration with industry partners from 4.30pm to 6.30pm in its Clinical Skills Suite in the City Campus Portland Building.

The showcase brings together speakers from a variety of digital innovation for healthcare perspectives, including IBM Watson and Current Care, and will see the University’s Clinical Skills Suite transformed into a ‘smart house’ to demonstrate the latest technology being used to promote independence in the home.

Chris Hudson, Associate Dean, Research and Enterprise in the Faculty of Health and Social Science at Leeds Beckett, said: “Digital technologies are transforming healthcare, and Leeds Beckett University is actively working in this area with exciting research and partnerships taking place across all areas of health, computing technology and enterprise.  Events such as this one are an excellent opportunity to hear about some of the innovative ideas emerging, and to network between academic innovation and industry enterprise. The event will be held in our state-of-the-art Clinical Skills Suite so is a chance to see how this is used to aid innovative practice in healthcare.”

The event is free to attend. Please register your place in advance at

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Northern Film School Lecturer Shortlisted for Oscar


Phil Robertson, Cinematographer and MA Film Production graduate from Leeds Beckett University, who recently took up a post as Senior Lecturer in the University’s Northern Film School, has been shortlisted for an Oscar for the film ‘Shok’.

‘Shok’ (Albanian for friend) is a 21 minute short film which tells the real-life story of two boys whose friendship is tested to its limits as they battle for survival during the Kosovo war in 1998.

The film is one of five shortlisted films in the category of ‘Best Short Film (Live Action)’. The winner will be revealed at the ceremony on Sunday 28 February.

Phil Robertson

Phil is an internationally-renowned, BAFTA winning Cinematographer for film and TV, with credits that include Werewolf: The Beast Among Us, Frozen, Larkrise to Candleford, Holby City and Tess of the D’Urbervilles. He has studied in Russia and the UK and holds an MA in Film Production from the Northern Film School, as well as qualifications in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

“I loved the script for ‘Shok’, this was a story that had to be told”, said Phil. “Director Jamie Donoughue, a lovely man who was living in Kosovo but who is originally from Leeds, had written the script from true life incidents/reports and in particular the experience of Eshref Durmishi (the producer in Kosovo and one of the actors).

“To date the film has won 15 festival awards, including Aspen Shortsfest 2015 Audience Award – Special Recognition Jury Award; Berlin Interfilm Festival 2015 Best Short Film; and SWIKOS Film festival (Basel) Best Film and Best Cinematography.

“I am personally excited and humbled to have contributed to this film which gives a snap shot of ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ (Robert Burns), witnessed all over Kosovo at the time. ‘Shok’ tells of recent European history that perhaps not everyone knew about, portraying real events. It is heartening and exciting to see it being viewed by a worldwide festival audience. Making the Oscar shortlist should afford the film more publicity and reach an even wider audience.”

For more information about ‘Shok’ see IMDB, Facebook and Twitter. The trailer can be viewed here:

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