Skip to main content
A Magazine for
Filmreel

Backlot

Manchester's budding filmmaking talents shared the fruits of their labour at The Yard on 5 April.

Cheetham Hill's The Yard hosted the first Backlot film night to a packed audience this month. The premise is to showcase Manchester's budding filmmaking talents by sharing the fruits of their labour with a wider crowd, then providing opportunity to pose questions to the creators and enable networking between locally based directors, writers, actors and other interested parties.

Opening up the programme was The Clown, a largely dialogue-less deliberation on the metaphorical masks we wear, the emotions we hide and the ways we see and are seen. Being overly critical, there's a continuity flaw in the cab scenes, but that's forgivable on learning during the Q&A that these were done in one take.

JD Investigates is a mini-series posted on YouTube that sees its protagonist, a self-described David Brent-a-like, conduct tongue-in-cheek interviews interspersed with slapstick montages. The Backlot audience was treated to his second serving of socially awkward satire, The SAS.

The night's compere, John Tueart, then appears as the co-lead, Karl, in a psychological thriller, Confinement, alongside Nicole Evans (Lilly). His character's confused and erratic questions may take a little while to find answers, but this only serves to heighten the viewer's intrigue in preparation of a finale that remains open to interpretation, but wouldn't look out of place on a speed awareness course.

The longest of the four shorts, Maid of Stars, also boasts accomplished production and by far the largest cast, who combine to depict the telephone conversations experienced by a tarot reader. From humour to heartache, the story becomes a journey evoking a range of emotive responses.

While all four films were self-funded passion projects, between them they displayed the breadth of the promising big screen projects bubbling in Greater Manchester at the moment and whet the appetite for future editions of Backlot.

More Film

Licorice Pizza

For what might seem a self-centred genre, the best coming-of-age stories have always included a profound social element. After all,…

The Card Counter

Paul Schrader makes good movies. He also makes movies that are almost invariably about the bad feelings of damaged men, from Taxi Driver…

Dune

Frank Herbert’s psychedelic sci-fi novel Dune has a long history with adaptation. The first attempt to put it on film was in 1975, when the…

Pig

The synopsis makes it sound like an arthouse parody of John Wick – but Pig is also a serious and meditative film about our relation to food, grief and each other.

Another Round

Mads Mikkelsen's latest film serves up an alcohol-fuelled experiment, but should he be popping the corks about the resulting storyline?

More Film