Kiah Simpson in Film & TV


Creative England in Film – Spring/Summer 2017

We have an array of Creative England supported features and film companies which have all had a great deal of critical success, announcements and key updates recently. See below for a list of what’s going on within film for Creative England and go out there and watch more film!


GOD’S OWN COUNTRY is the debut feature by CE50 Francis Lee, which tells the story of Johnny Saxby, a sheep farmer in Yorkshire whose life is turned upside down by the arrival of a migrant worker, detailing that love is for all.

Whilst premiering at Sundance Film Festival 2017, director Francis Lee received the best international director award, which was a springboard for industry notoriety, with Little White Lies and The Hollywood Reporter describing it as “the UK’s answer to Brokeback Mountain”. 

GODs’ OWN COUNTRY will take it’s UK premiere by opening Edinburgh International Film Festival 21st June which is fantastic news. Please find more information here

The team took their Canadian premiere by opening at Inside Out festival on the 25th of May.

GOD’s OWN COUNTRY will release in USA by Goldwyn and Orion in September.


Creative England has announced its support in funding DAWN OF THE DARK FOX – a feature film project directed by Bristol based director Michael Smith and collaborator Tom Stubbs, with 104 films - the world leaders in disability cinema. Michael, who has autism spectrum disorder, has channelled his unique vision into this exciting project.

DAWN OF THE DARK FOX film builds on 104 films' multi-award winning short LIGHT & DARK which took the audience prize at Encounters and is a comedy about autism, friendship and the filmmaking process combining documentary, fiction & fantasy.

104 films producer Alex Usborne said: “We are delighted that Creative England has supported this project. It sends a strong message about their commitment to diversity and disability in the UK film industry.”

Dawn Of The Dark Fox will seek further finance at Sheffield DocFest.


The debut documentary from south west based director/producer team Rubika Shah and Ed Gibbs. Set against the backdrop of British punk, the film is about music, politics and fanzine culture in the late 1970s. Three outsiders come together to create a counter-culture movement from scratch, culminating with the biggest civil rights carnivals Britain has ever seen. Among their supporters: The Clash, The Specials, Steel Pulse, Buzzcocks and Elvis Costello. 

The film is executive produced by Bafta-nominated Natasha Dack-Ojumu, producer of the Creative England-backed Sundance doc The Lovers And The Despot. Shah’s companion-piece documentary short premiered at Sundance in January before going on to Berlin, Tribeca and Sheffield Doc/Fest. White Riot is seeking further finance in the Cannes.


Produced by east midlands outfit North of Watford Films. An alternative take on the John Lennon story which imagines him having walked out on The Beatles before their first single was released. The project is based on the popular Sky Playhouse Presents short, which aired in 2013, in a feature length screenplay by David Quantick whose television work includes multi-Emmy winning Veep. Snodgrass is reunited with Liverpuddlian actor Ian Hart who played the lead role in the Sky version, and who now plays Lennon for the fourth time in his career.


‘The Marker’ follows a criminal on the search for redemption as he tries to track down the daughter of the woman he killed. Throughout his journey, he’s haunted by the woman’s ghost and the guilt he can never escape. Supporting talent includes Struan Rodger (‘Kill List’), Andrew Shimm (‘This is England 90’) and Cathy Tyson (‘Mona Lisa’). 

Additional funding for ‘The Marker’ comes from Met Film Post and Achilles Entertainments with Creative England’s Senior Film Executive Richard Holmes joining Met Film Post’s Cavan Ash as Executive Producer. Ian Sharpe and Rebecca Joerin-Sharp from Achilles Entertainments will produce the film alongside Alex Usborne and director Justin Edgar from 104 Films. 

104 Films co-produced last year’s Emmy award winning disability documentary ‘Notes on Blindness’ which also received Creative England support. The film had its debut at Sundance Film Festival this year. 

“We’ve been tracking Justin’s script for a long time now - it’s a radically different film for him and that’s what excited us - it’s powerful, original and atmospheric,” said Richard Holmes, Senior Film Executive at Creative England. “The cast and crew they’ve assembled is a testament to the quality of his work and the great affection we all have for him as a filmmaker.”


We are excited to announce the release of SPACESHIP 19/05! 

 “It takes its cast of exotic adolescent outsiders, with their talk of unicorns and aliens, black holes and rainbows, at face value, with no ironic distance or metaphorical raised eyebrows.” Screen Daily

Now that SPACESHIP has been released you can catch this in your local cinema, please let us know your thoughts on our Twitter page here and be sure to use the hashtag #SPACESHIPFilm

Better yet, you can catch a screening with director; Alex Taylor and on screen talent at the following locations here. You can also catch the premiere of  Lily Goes to Kissland, Alex Taylor’s short, on our website which premiered on the 18th May. 

You can catch SPACESHIP in cinemas across the country now


Our very  first iFeatures period drama has been going from strength to strength since it’s release date on the 28th April, with 5* reviews in the Guardian, described as ‘a brilliantly chilling subversion of a classic’ and 4*s in Timeout, described as ‘an extraordinary film’.

LADY MACBETH came to fruition through a fantastic ensemble of filmmakers on our iFeatures programme in the form of Director; William Oldroyd (award winning short film, Best, CE50), Writer; Alice Birch (George Devine Most Promising Playwright Award, 2014) & Producer; Fodhla Cronin (Cartoon d’Or for her animated film Head Over Heels, 2013).

Although a period drama; it has a deeply modern feel; will leave the audience chilled to the core whilst simultaneously rooting for characters, regardless of their dark actions. LADY MACBETH represents the period in a much more representative light than in similar features and portrays intersectional structures just as relevant to today’s society.

You can catch LADY MACBETH in local cinemas now


THE LEVELLING is the debut feature of CE50 writer/director Hope Dickson Leach, developed and brought to screen through our iFeatures programme. This is the tale of a young woman returning to her Somerset home with the news of her brother’s suicide and the subsequent interaction between her family and their Farm.

Writer-director Hope received the first ever IWC Filmmaker 50K Bursary Award in Association with the BFI at London Film Festival in 2016 presented by Cate Blanchett, as a result of THE LEVELLING’s critical success.

Hope has been on THE LEVELLING’s Q&A tour, which you can read about on her blog here and she recently took over our Instagram, which you can see here

Along the way, THE LEVELLING has received 5* in the Guardian, described as ‘a tremendous debut and 4* in the Times, with lead actress, Ellie Kendrick, described as having a ‘magnetic performance’.

You can catch THE LEVELLING in local cinemas now


Creative England supported feature B&B has been picked up by Peccadillo!

“Peccadillo is very excited to be working with Jayne Chard and Joe Ahearne on his first feature film project and to have the opportunity to bring this unique thriller with such amazing performances to the UK and Ireland,” commented Peccadillo MD Tom Abell.

Synopsis: “Marc and Fred went to war when they were refused a double bed at a remote Christian guest house. They won in court and now they’re back to claim their conjugal rights. Triumph turns to terror when a Russian neo-Nazi checks in. A different kind of gay film and a smart brutally and dark thriller.”

Learn more about B&B here:


JAWBONE tells the story of a former youth boxing champion. Jimmy McCabe (Johnny Harris) is a man in search of hope but looking in all the wrong places. When he hits rock bottom, he turns to his childhood boxing club and the only family he has left: gym owner Bill (Ray Winstone), cornerman Eddie (Michael Smiley) and promoter Joe (Ian McShane). Back in training, years after anyone thought he was a contender, he will risk his life to stand tall and to regain his place in the world.

The feature was produced by CE50 Emu Films’ Mike Elliott, who were selected as 2015 CE50. Revolutions Films’ served as executive producer. Emu Films previously produced iFeature The Goob (2014), along with Catch Me Daddy (2014) This was developed by BBCFilms and financed by Creative England.

Debut director of JAWBONE; Thomas Napper described the feature as a love story between the boxing club and the attendees in a Q&A at HOME Manchester.

JAWBONE producer, Mike Elliot stated that the original script had strong musical themes, which they updated with a 7-song soundtrack recorded by Paul Weller, from the punk rock/new wave/mod revival band The Jam. The sound track is now available to buy now.

You can catch JAWBONE in cinemas across the country now


Excited to announce that REAL GOD’s REQUIRE BLOOD will compete at the 56th Critics Week (Semaine de la Critique) at Cannes Film Festival 2017.

Synopsis: On a troubled estate in Manchester 1990, Alice is roped into babysitting for her neighbour, whose children claim to feed a nightly visitor from Hell.

We are proud that this developed on our iWrite programme, which allows filmmakers from an array of disciplines, be they theatre, writer or work within music or commercials to create a short film.

Written by Tom Benn; recipient of the 2009 Malcolm Bradbury bursary, directed by Moin Hussain; first short titled ‘HOLY THURSDAY’ and produced by Michelle Eastwood / Escape Films who was recently made CE50 by Creative England at CELive in 2017.  

To find out more about REAL GODS REQUIRE BLOOD competing at Critics Week (Semaine de la Critique) at Cannes please click the link here


Excited to announce that FremantleMedia will be investing in Duck Soup Films Ltd with a 25% stake in the flourishing scripted TV and film business.

Established in 2015, Duck Soup Films is a collaboration between BAFTA and International EMMY award winning producer Bekki Wray-Rogers, ex Warp Films producer Libby Durdy and Line Producer Jessica Holyland. The organisation’s eclectic development slate includes feature films, TV Drama series and digital projects with international range. The team is working with some of the very best established names but is also committed to nurturing innovative projects from emerging talent across the cultural industries.

Duck Soup, were responsible for producing and line-producing some of the UK’s best TV dramas including the multi-BAFTA Award winning THIS IS ENGLAND and the International Emmy Award winning UTOPIA

Duck Soup films were made CE50 Future Leaders in 2016. Learn more here

To learn more about our activity, visit our film & TV page here

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