VIDEO: Former Sheffield Cineworld worker directs his first movie

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Joe Stephenson used to sell popcorn at Sheffield’s Cineworld - now he’s popping back to serve up a preview screening of his first feature film.

And it’s a case of move over Spielberg and Tarantino.

Chicken movie director Joe Stephenson returns to Sheffield Cineworld - where he used to serve up popcorn and will now preview his first feature film.

Chicken movie director Joe Stephenson returns to Sheffield Cineworld - where he used to serve up popcorn and will now preview his first feature film.

The Sheffield born director’s quaint film Chicken is already getting plaudits from some of the biggest names in the business.

VIDEO: Press the play button to watch th trailer for Chicken and our video of Joe’s return to Sheffield Cineworld.

WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS TO THE PREVIEW AND A SIGNED POSTER - SEE BELOW

Sir Ian McKellen, who plays Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, says Joe’s film is ‘an astonishing debut; intriguing, enchanting, moving’.

Former employee of Cineworld, Joe Stephenson, returns to the cinema where he use to serve popcorn but now a film he has directed, called Chicken, is being shown there.

Former employee of Cineworld, Joe Stephenson, returns to the cinema where he use to serve popcorn but now a film he has directed, called Chicken, is being shown there.

The legendary actor has even signed up to appear alongside Vanessa Redgrave and Jonathan Pryce in his next film, a biopic about the young Noel Coward, to be played by Glee star Chris Colfer.

Oscar nominated British director Stephen Frears, whose films include My Beautiful Laundrette, The Queen, and Philomena, has described Joe as ‘a striking young director’.

Chicken, the story of two brothers who live in a caravan with a pet chicken, doesn’t go on general release until the end of next year but Joe is giving family, friends and local film fans the chance to see a special preview, followed by a question and answer session, at Sheffield Cineworld on Thursday, December 18, at 6.30pm.

The now London based director, who grew up in the Meersbrook area before moving to Rotherham, got his first taste of the film industry working at the cinema at Valley Centertainment 10-years ago.

Former employee of Cineworld, Joe Stephenson, returns to the cinema where he use to serve popcorn but now a film he has directed, called Chicken, is being shown there.

Former employee of Cineworld, Joe Stephenson, returns to the cinema where he use to serve popcorn but now a film he has directed, called Chicken, is being shown there.

After working as an advertising rep at The Star, he went on to pursue his dreams as an intern at the famous Ealing Studios in West London.

He made short films and TV programmes, leading to this first feature from his own independent film and television production company, called B Good Picture Company.

Joe said: “It’s surreal to be back at the cinema where I worked and bumping into old work colleagues. Seeing my poster up here with all the current releases makes it real, a film that’s being shown - not just something in my head.

“My next film, about the early life of Noel Coward, shoots next spring. It’s before he created the image of the cigarette holder and smoking jacket, which everyone knows. But Chicken has got me that job.

Former employee of Cineworld, Joe Stephenson, returns to the cinema where he use to serve popcorn but now a film he has directed, called Chicken, is being shown there.

Former employee of Cineworld, Joe Stephenson, returns to the cinema where he use to serve popcorn but now a film he has directed, called Chicken, is being shown there.

“It’s a very difficult industry. I’ve several other scripts and plans. By the time Chicken comes out I will have shot my second film. But yes of course, I’d love to go on and win an Oscar. And if I do I promise I will bring it back here to Cineworld.”

Andy Meakin, the Sheffield Cineworld’s Operations Manager, said: “We are very excited to have the preview screening here of a film made by a local lad, who used to work for us. We’re very proud of him.

“This is way in advance of him taking the film round the festival circuit next year.”

Tickets to see the preview of Chicken, a 15-certificate film, are available now from Sheffield Cineworld in person or online at www.cineworld.co.uk.

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WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS TO THE PREVIEW SCREENING OF CHICKEN AND A FILM POSTER SIGNED BY DIRECTOR JOE STEPHENSON

Former employee of Cineworld, Joe Stephenson, returns to the cinema where he use to serve popcorn but now a film he has directed, called Chicken, is being shown there.

Former employee of Cineworld, Joe Stephenson, returns to the cinema where he use to serve popcorn but now a film he has directed, called Chicken, is being shown there.

For a chance to win a pair of tickets to the preview screening of Chicken and a film poster signed by Joe, enter our free draw by email or Twitter.

Email your details, with StarCompCHICKEN in the subject field, to staronline@sheffieldnewspapers.co.uk.

Or follow Digital Editor Graham Walker on Twitter @GW1962 and tweet him with #StarCompCHICKEN.

Deadline for entries is Monday, December 15, 12 noon. Usual SNL rules and data terms see below.

SNL TERMS AND CONDITIONS

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Former employee of Cineworld, Joe Stephenson, returns to the cinema where he use to serve popcorn but now a film he has directed, called Chicken, is being shown there. Pictured talking to members of staff

Former employee of Cineworld, Joe Stephenson, returns to the cinema where he use to serve popcorn but now a film he has directed, called Chicken, is being shown there. Pictured talking to members of staff