A report of the Producers' Forum day at the Birmingham Film Festival

On Sunday 25th November the Producers’ Forum was delighted to host an entire day at this year’s Birmingham Film Festival. A great day was had by all. We started the day with a session from forum board member Mark Pressdee who told us all the tricks of the trade when it comes to getting your short film selected by festivals. Mark admitted to learning it the hard way after he made Titanic Love and was delighted to have the opportunity to share his insights with us. This session was followed by Ian Kennedy, Chair, WM Screenwriters’ Forum who gave us some insight into writing for short film. After that it was a special instalment of Forum Bytes on the Big Screen at Millennium Point. We were delighted to welcome films from both longstanding members of the forum and new members.

01. Holy Ground Creative Corporate/Vermillion Films – Filmmaker Lee Kemp - Dur: 2m 48s

We were given a completely open brief to create a film that reflects the incredible heritage behind this building and its future on behalf of Javelin Block, a property development company. Winner of RTS Midlands Best Promotional Programme. 

02. Eva’s God – Experimental – Filmmaker Lorhen – Rose Jospeh - Dur:5:17

Recent graduate of the UoB Masters in Film and Television. A dark comedy about a young woman experiencing a rude awakening when God’s voice starts emanating from her vagina.

03. In Toni's Footsteps (and new trailer Off Grid) Filmmakers Carl Timms and Jon Hickman - Dur: 4m 30s

Clip from a WW2 feature length documentary and an exclusive look at Carl’s new film trailer for Off Grid starring James Cosmo and Alison Steadman!

04. Getting into Character Creative Corporate – University of Birmingham - Directed by Gary Tanner - Dur:5.00

Made by a talented team of local industry peers. Making corporate briefs into creative interpretations.

05. A Scribbled Memory Educational animation – Filmmaker Bhulla Beghal Dur: 1m 10

A 60 second educational animation cleverly exploring domestic abuse. 

06. The Scrapman – Thriller – Filmmaker Jack Norris – Dur: 8:10

A compelling new & exclusive screening of a Forum Byte! One actor, one location made by friends and family.

07. My Daddy's Stinky Dancing Pants comedy/animation Filmmaker Drew Rope – Dur: 1m 10s Animation

A BAFTA winning story competition entry for Citv's Share A Story Campaign in the five to six age-category and brought to life by Drews animation company Yamination. It has entered into several festivals around the globe and been nominated for a Royal Television Society Award for Best Children's Category last week!

08. Shining Tor Drama/Sci-fi – Produced by Kate Horlor – Dur: 5m 27s

A young couple out on a country walk argue about their lives and unexpectedly stumble into the unknown.

09. Gypsy Boy Nostalgia/Drama Directed by Surjit Simplay Dur: 10m

Exclusive screening! A gentle, lyrical film set in the Black Patch Park Smethwick. It is believed this was the birthplace of Charlie Chaplin and is the inspiration for this short homage to the great silent screen legend, the film also stars his son Michael Chaplin.

10. Benjamin Cooke’s The Longitude – Historical – performed by Liverpool Chamber Choir Dur: 7.44

Commissioned by Dr Greg Lynall from University of Liverpool and filmed by Mark Pressdee.

Dr Lynall after extensive research has commissioned the first performance of this piece of work in possibly 200 years, and exclusive screening for Birmingham! 

11.Cosmos – Sci-fi – Filmmakers Elliot and Zander Weaver – Dur: 8.00

An exclusive screening of a scene, the trailer and behind the scenes clip of this awesome no budget feature film that has been five years in production!


Local director Rebekah Fortune masterminded the afternoon and evening of the day. Starting off with her BFI supported panel discussion about the challenges facing Directors as they try to make their second feature film. A lively conversation was had by all, hosted by Rebekah and joined by Producers Clare Pearce (The Rizen) and Jack Tarling (Gods Own Country) as well as Casting Director Alison Solomon

 The final event of the day was a screening of Rebekah’s film Just Charlie followed by a Q&A.

Just Charlie is the story of a boy, a promising football star of his hometown Tamworth and of England, making his father proud and happy. But not everything is as nice as it seems. Charlie looks like a boy, but he is not a boy inside. He actually feels like a girl and is surprised twice by his football coach and his father wearing female clothes and make-up. Despite all the tragedy and drama, the film has a happy ending, where Charlie is finally expressing herself as she really is and her sister Eve is getting married. The film is a promise of hope that Rebekah wanted to donate to the viewers, some of whom might feel close to this story. Depicting the Trans community with all the problems but also the nice moments, is the aim of this film and is certainly worth every tear.