Arts Update

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FOUR Lions, the controversial film about an inept terrorist cell in Sheffield, was this week nominated at the British Academy Film Awards among Outstanding British films.

Made by Sheffield independent production company Warp and filmed at locations which included the city centre, Meersbrook, Attercliffe and Meadowhall, the film also earned a BAFTA nomination for director and writer Chris Morris in the Outstanding Debut by a British writer, director or producer category.

Film agency threat

THE future of Screen Yorkshire is under threat and this week the Leeds-based regional film agency began a consultation process with staff about their jobs as part of a review of the future of the organisation.

Last year Culture Minister Ed Vaizey announced the country’s eight regional film agencies would be replaced by three bodies under the Creative England umbrella which presented the prospect of Screen Yorkshire being absorbed into the new Creative North based in Manchester.

Its £10.2m contract to promote and support the regional film industry ends in March and will not continue.

However, the regional screen agency, which works to support and promote the film, television, games and interactive media sectors in Yorkshire and Humber, has a number of ongoing contracts that it will continue to deliver over the next 12 months and is hoping it can pursue other opportunities for the future.

All this comes at a busy and successful period for Screen Yorkshire which says it handles more than 500 filming inquiries every year from across the world.

The King’s Speech used locations in the region and it has also helped Sheffield-based Warp with productions including Four Lions and This is England ’86.’

Doc/Fest deadline

DEADLINE for films to be submitted for selection for Sheffield Doc/Fest 2011 is Thursday, January 27.

Film-makers can complete the entry form at www.sheffdocfest.com.

Organisers point out that several Doc/Fest 2010 prize-winners such as The Battle for Barking, No Easy Time and Rainmakers were selected from among submissions. This year’s festival is being held in the summer for the first time, on June 8-12.

Musical comedy date

TWO preview performances of Captain Murderer and the Morecambe Mermaid, a pitch-black musical comedy exploring the hard lives of historical fairground freaks, is taking place at Dempsey’s ahead of a national tour beginning in the autumn.

The show, which uses puppets, masks, illusions, projections and Burlesque, is created by long-time collaborators John Barber and Lisa Howard in association with The Dukes, Lancaster, with original songs by John Newman-Holden, supported by the Arts Council of England.

The show next Friday and Saturday starts a new season of fringe theatre at Moorfoot. It will also include two pieces of new writing, Flood and Missing People by Sheffield playwrights Alice Collins and Gill Buttery, the classic Waiting for Godot, the psychological drama about false memory syndrome, Anna Weiss, a reprise of hostage play Someone Who’ll Watch over Me and Cat & Mouse and One Night With You by Yorkshire playwright Bernie Crosthwaite.