Sam Barks starts work on The Christmas Candle

Filming commenced last week on The Christmas Candle, due to arrive on the Isle of Man in late March. The Christmas Candle is a charming festive story about miracles both ordinary and extraordinary, set in rural England 1890.

A lead role had been landed by Samantha Barks, the talented young Manx woman who shared the stage at this year’s Oscars with the rest of the Les Miserables cast, including Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe. Other cast in The Christmas Candle are Susan Boyle, John Hannah, Hans Matheson, Lesley Manville and Sylvester McCoy (Doctor Who). The film will be directed by John Stephenson, who visited the Island in 2003 to make Five Children and IT starring Eddie Izzard and Kenneth Branagh. Samantha’s profile has been on a steady rise since making her name on BBC’s I’d Do Anything.

Samantha said: “Having just landed from the Academy Awards I had an hour to unpack and repack and get to set. I’m very excited to be part of The Christmas Candle and I’m loving every second.” The Christmas Candle is a timeless and inspirational story based on the novel by bestselling author, Max Lucado. Nothing out of the ordinary ever happens in the small village of Gladbury — except at Christmas. Legend has it that every twenty-five years an angel visits the village candlemaker and touches a single candle. Whoever lights the Christmas Candle receives a miracle on Christmas Eve. But in 1890, at the dawn of the modern age, all that is about to change. With the arrival of David Richmond, a skeptical, young minister, Gladbury’s humble candlemaker, Edward Haddington must fight to preserve his family’s legacy. When the Christmas Candle goes missing, the miraculous and the human collide in the most astonishing Christmas the town of Gladbury has ever seen.

Laurence Skelly MHK, Member for Department of Economic Development with responsibility for Film and Media said: “I’m pleased our recent partnership with Pinewood Shepperton continues to deliver quality productions to the Island. We all know that every film made here uses our local talent and skills, but on this occasion we are extremely proud that the Manx talent will be on-screen as well as off-screen! More importantly, it offers local businesses another opportunity to benefit from local spend – accommodation, retail, transport, facilities – towards the end of the off-peak tourist season.”

Isle of Man Film’s Hilary Dugdale added: “The Christmas Candle marks our 102nd production made since 1995. It is a truly uplifting story which has the makings of a seasonal classic and we hope it will be ready for December 2013.”

 

UK Government announces extension of film tax relief to 2015

The Prime Minister has today announced the extension of film tax relief, the Government’s targeted tax break for the British film industry, until the end of December 2015. The film tax relief scheme promotes the sustainable production of culturally British films and in 2009/10 provided around £95 million of support to the British film industry, supporting over £1 billion of investment in 208 films.

Recent productions certified as British under the cultural test include films such as Brighton Rock, Attack the Block, StreetDance3D, Gnomeo & Juliet, Clash of the Titans, Horrid Henry 3D, Coriolanus and Harry Potter Deathly Hallows (Parts 1 and 2).

Prime Minister, David Cameron said: “I am delighted to announce the extension of film tax relief to the end of 2015, guaranteeing millions of pounds of support for the British film industry. The last year has seen massive success, both at home and abroad, for a whole host of UK films. I look forward to seeing the UK film industry continue to thrive over the coming years, supported by the Government’s film tax relief.”

 

‘Rocket’s Island’ Screening on CBBC

A children’s drama series filmed on the Island in August this year will be broadcast on CBBC on December 4th, 5th and 6th screening at 6.15pm each evening with repeats on BBC1 At 4pm on December 18th, 19th and 20th. Rocket’s Island, previously known as ‘The Knot’ features a host of well-known faces including Debra Stephenson, Mark Moraghan and Kelle Bryan as well as some break through talent.

With a story set in the heart of the Isle of Man, Rocket’s Island centres on a farm called The Knot, a special place where raw and rugged nature plays host to a stream of kids with complex lives, all fostered by Peter (Anthony Flanagan) and Sarah Boulsworth (Debra Stephenson) and their kids, Rocket aged 11 (Joseph Gallucci) and Alli aged 14 (Helen Smith). Filmed largely in the west of the Island, Rocket’s Island showcases the beauty of the Island perfectly and involved a considerable number of local people, both in front of and behind the camera, during production.

Laurence Skelly, political member of the Isle of Man Government with responsibility for the continuing development of the Island’s film industry said, “It’s was a genuine pleasure working with the BBC (again) and with Lime Pictures onRocket’s Island during the Summer. It’s a wonderful story, set on the Isle of Man, and it gives us an excellent opportunity to show the off the unique beauty of the Island on television screens all across the UK and beyond. I’m sure the series will be something that all of us here on the Island will be proud of.”

 

Dom Hemingway and Film Number 100 Rolls into Town

The landmark 100th Isle of Man film arrives on the Island this week. Starring Jude Law and Richard E. Grant, along with a host of other great acting talent, Dom Hemingway promises to be a timely boost for the Island.

Helmed by British producer Jeremy Thomas and his Recorded Picture Company along with partners BBC Films, Pinewood Films and Lionsgate, Dom Hemingway commenced shooting last month on location in the South of France and at various locations around London and will be completing production on the Island throughout this month, based mostly at Island Studios, Ramsey.

Written and directed by Richard Shepard (The Matador) and described as a London set black comedy of revenge sweet and regrets deep, the film also stars Demian Bichir (Che, A Better Life), Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Jumayn Hunter (Quartet, Eden Lake) and newcomer Madalina Ghenea. Jude Law plays the title role of Dom Hemingway, a larger-than-life safecracker with a loose fuse, funny, profane, and dangerous. Back on the streets of London after twelve years in prison, it’s time to collect what he’s owed for keeping his mouth shut. Travelling with his devoted best friend (Grant), Dom visits his crime boss (Bichir) in the south of France to claim his reward. But Dom’s drink and drug-fuelled ego decides that what he’s lost can’t be replaced. One car accident and a femme fatale later (Ghenea), Dom realizes that his priority must be to reconnect with his long-lost daughter (Clarke). But Dom does what Dom does best. He screws things up for everyone…

Jeremy Thomas said: “With these great players in addition to Jude Law and Richard E. Grant, the cast promises acting fireworks. I am so pleased that I have the honour to be producing the Island’s milestone 100th film. The Isle of Man has been an important and integral part of the British Film Industry over the past 17 years and has uncovered some unique talent over that time. We are delighted to be here and look forward to making Dom Hemingway a huge success”.

Laurence Skelly, Department of Economic Development member with responsibility for Isle of Man Film said, “To say we’re thrilled to have Dom Hemingway with us as our 100th film would be something of an understatement. Oscar winning producer Jeremy Thomas (The Last Emperor) and the cast and crew of the production are the crème de la crème of the British film industry. We have worked very hard over the last seventeen years to ensure that the quality and standards of the productions that work on the Island are the very best in the industry and Jeremy and his team are exemplary practitioners to partner Isle of Man Film.”

“The 100th production is certainly something for everyone on the Island to be very proud of. To mark this remarkable milestone, Isle of Man Film will be staging an exhibition of images of some of our past 100 productions in the Strand Shopping Centre in Douglas, commencing on the 20th November. We will also be contributing to the Douglas Christmas lights extravaganza by mounting a ‘100 Manx-made Movies light-show’ in Strand Street, running for four nights beginning on November 29th. We hope everyone will enjoy the classic clips and images that tell the remarkable story of the Isle of Man’s 17 year journey in the world’s film production industry.”

 

That’s a wrap for “Belle”

Lavish period feature Belle has completed its Isle of Man portion of filming which commenced 24th September. Following a three-week shoot on the Isle of Man, the crew has now moved to Oxford and London to complete production. Producer Damian Jones said he discovered several “perfect” locations for the movie. Shooting for the film, which stars Gugu Mbatha, Tom Wilkinson, Tom Felton and Miranda Richardson, is due to finish around the middle of October.

 

Q&A and Screening with top UK Film Producer to open MannIN Shorts Isle of Man Film Festival 2012

MannIN Shorts have recently taken over the organisation of the Isle of Man Film Ffestival. This year there will be a wealth of screenings, competitions and workshops over the weekend, all listed in the attached document. In addition MannIN Shorts have invited Isle of Man Film to host the Friday evening, which will be a screening of modern classic The Heart of Me starring Paul Bettany and Helena Bonham-Carter followed by a Q&A with the film’s producer Martin Pope and screenwriter Lucinda Coxon.

Hilary Dugdale, manager of Isle of Man Film said: “I am delighted that Martin is able to join us at this year’s festival and share some of his experience and advice with aspiring filmmakers in the Isle of Man. Martin’s skill as a producer is second-to-none and it was a hard choice as to which of his films to revisit at this year’s festival. The Heart of Me is a great study in what can be achieved on the Island in terms of exterior locations, set-build and quality production design.

For further information about the festival, with regular updates visit www.iomff2012.wordpress.com or contact Christy DeHaven at [email protected] To purchase tickets for the event, contact the Villa Marina Box office on 01624 600555 or visit the IOM Welcome Centre at Douglas Sea Terminal. Tickets cost £5 for the Friday 14th screening, or £12 for all weekend screenings.

 

CinemaNX and Isle of Man Film Tied Up With “The Knot”

BAFTA award winning indie Lime Pictures has been commissioned to produce original children’s drama The Knot for CBBC. The three part drama is currently filming in the Isle of Man and will transmit on CBBC later in the year. The series features a host of well-known faces including Debra Stephenson, Mark Moraghan and Kelle Bryan as well as some break through talent.

Set in the heart of the Isle of Man and surrounded by the Irish sea, The Knot is a special place – where raw and rugged nature plays host to a stream of kids with complex lives, all fostered by Peter (Anthony Flanagan) and Sarah Boulsworth (Debra Stephenson) and their kids, Rocket aged 11 (Joseph Gallucci) and Alli aged 14 (Helen Smith).

The Knot is an original drama from Lime Pictures and will be executive produced by Creative Director Tony Wood. The three part series was commissioned and will be executive produced by Sue Knott for CBBC.

The Knot is being filmed in association with the Island’s well established indigenous film production and finance company CinemaNX (NX) and with the support of Isle of Man Film. Laurence Skelly, political member of the Isle of Man Government with responsibility for film and media said, “It’s a genuine pleasure working with the BBC (again) and Lime Pictures on The Knot. It’s a wonderful script, set on the Isle of Man, and it offers many opportunities to showcase the unique beauty of the Island. I’m really looking forward to watching the series when it airs on CBBC in the autumn. I’m sure it will be something that all of us here on the Island will be proud of.”

Lesley Douglas, Chief Executive for Lime Pictures comments, “The location for The Knot is at the heart of the whole story, and the Isle of Man has provided the perfect setting, combining beauty and an aura of mystery. The relationship with Cinema NX and Isle of Man Film has been an important factor in helping us to bring this production to television. We are delighted to be working with them on such an exciting BBC project”.

 

Director Hugo Blick wins BAFTA for The Shadow Line

Yet another Isle of Man production claimed a prestigious media award over the weekend. Hugo Blick received the Best Fiction Director award for crime drama series The Shadow Line. The British Academy Television Craft Awards honour the very best behind-the-scenes talent working in TV over the past year. This year’s ceremony was held on Sunday 13 May 2012 at The Brewery in East London.

The other nominees in the Best Fiction Director category were Julian Jarrold for Appropriate Adult, John Alexander for Exile and Yann Demange for Top Boy.

See the full list of 2012 winners here: http://www.bafta.org/television/craft-awards/nominees-winners-2012,3236,BA.html

 

FILMCLUB visits Isle of Man Schools

This academic year saw the launch of FILMCLUB across eighteen participating schools in the Isle of Man. Supported by Department of Education and Children, Isle of Man Film and CinemaNX, FILMCLUB is a fun and educational in-school club scheme which seeks to educate, engage and develop schoolchildren through the study and enjoyment of films. From March 5th to Friday 9th March, nine Island schools will play host to FILMCLUB on the Road, a mobile interactive cinema experience.

FILMCLUB on the Road brings together over 1000 young members to watch films such as Time Bandits, ET The Extra Terrestrial, Whistle Down the Wind and Big Fish amongst other amazing films. Children from participating schools will be given the chance to win prizes and, after much healthy debate about the stories, will be given a chance to be film critics for the day when they post a review on the FILMCLUB website!

During the week the youngsters will also enjoy two CLOSE ENCOUNTER sessions with special industry guest Steve Christian, Chairman of CinemaNX. Steve has produced many Manx films including box-office smash TT3D: Closer to the Edge and the Oscar-nominated Chico & Rita.

At the hosting schools FILMCLUB will install a state-of-the-art cinema-sized screen and speaker system, bean bags, popcorn and giant cut-outs of famous filmstars to make the experience unforgettable. Each screening will be followed by an interactive discussion hosted by a FILMCLUB presenter, and a review writing session.

John Gill, Head of Legal and Administrative Support Services at the Department of Education and Children, said:

“I’m delighted that so many schools have got on board with FILMCLUB. It is important that children are given an opportunity to reflect on issues, develop opinions and learn about matters outside of their experience. We look forward to an action-packed week of films and debate about the issues raised.”

Hilary Dugdale, Manager at Isle of Man Film, said: “Isle of Man Film and CinemaNX are very proud to support this scheme. FILMCLUB is valuable as it provides schoolchildren with a fun, social and accessible learning experience, regardless of academic background.”

Children are invited to help decide their own individual film programmes, and to debate/review the films and issues they raise. Schools interested in participating during the next academic year can find out more at www.filmclub.org.