BAFTA Highlights – April/May

BAFTA continues its run of creative events, entertainment and networking from London headquarters and across the UK. Covering a wide range of media from TV, film, videos games and even children’s animation. Open to the public and held in London Headquarters or varied venues across the country, all information regarding their impressive list of events can be found through their website and social media channels. Here we go over what is happening this April and early May.


BAFTA Kids TV Preview: LEGO Ninjago + Q&A

Saturday 1 April 2017 – 11.00, BAFTA 195 Piccadilly, London

Before LEGO Ninjago joins the likes of The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie on the big screen, young audiences have been enjoying the adventures on the small screen. The Cartoon Network hit series will preview episodes from series seven about the Ninja’s sworn to protect Ninjago. Followed by Q&A with LEGO Ninjago Senior Creative Director, Simon Lucas.

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In Conversation with Brendan O’Carroll

Sunday 2 April 2017 – 19.30, Oran Mor, Glasgow

Star and creator of Mrs. Brown’s Boys Brendan O’Carroll, will talk about his career, inspirations and his hit TV show in conversation. Special event held in Glasgow Scotland.

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Breakfast with…..TV controllers – Ben Frow, Channel 5

Monday 3 April 2017 – 08.40, BAFTA 195 Piccadilly, London

Ben Frow, Director of Programmes at Channel 5, will discuss his long tern vision and plan at the channel. Delivering reputable programming and rebranding the channel. He will also discuss the opportunities for producers across a wide range of work.

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BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Showcase: TV Drama

Tuesday 4 April 2017 – 19.00, BAFTA 195 Piccadilly, London

The writing showcase allows audiences to preview extracts from up and coming writers, specially selected. The event will be chaired by Chris Lang (Unforgotten) and James Dormer (Strike Back).

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International Games Panel: Achieving Excellence in Games

Friday 7 April 2017 – 19.00, BAFTA 195 Piccadilly, London

For those who work or just enjoy games this is a chance to preview nominees from this year’s Games Awards. Gain insight into what it takes to create a BAFTA-Nominated title.

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TV Preview: Taskmaster + Q&A

Tuesday 11 April 2017 – 18.45, BAFTA 195 Piccadilly, London

A preview of the new series of Dave’s hit comedy gameshow Taskmaster. Originally created by comedian Alex Horne at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The show transferred to network Dave in 2015 and has been a big hit since. Followed by a Q&A with Alex Horne, Greg Davies, Mel Giedroyc, Joe Lycett and Lolly Adefope.


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TV Preview: Born to Kill + Q&A

Wednesday 12 April, 18.00, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff

An exclusive preview of the first episode of Born to Kill – a World Productions for Channel 4 thriller. A Q&A will follow the screening (names to be announced at a later date).

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TV Preview: Little Boy Blue + Q&A

Tuesday 18 April  – 18.45, BAFTA 195 Piccadilly, London

The shooting of 11-year-old Rhys Jones shocked the nation back in 2007. His families public appeal for information led to the arrest and trail of local gang members. This new ITV Drama follows his death and the case in Liverpool. Followed by a Q&A with writer and executive producer Jeff Pope, producer Kwadjo Dajan, director Paul Whittington and actors Stephen Graham and Sinead Keenan.

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Games Writing: The Philosophy of Interactive Horror

Monday 24 April – 19.00, Cineworld, Cardiff

Cardiff-based story-for-games company Talespinners will discuss using interactivity to evoke horror and other emotions.



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TV Preview: King Charles III + Q&A

Wednesday 3 May 2017 – 18.45, BAFTA 195 Piccadilly, London

The chance to preview new TV movie King Charles III. Starring Charlotte Riley and Tim Pigott-Smith, the story follows Charles accession to the throne after the Queens death. Followed by a Q&A with screenwriter Mike Bartlett, director Rupert Goold and cast.

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Guru Live

Saturday 6 – Sunday 7 May 2017, BAFTA 195 Piccadilly, London

Two inspirational days of masterclasses, panels and Q&As with BAFTA nominees in film, TV and games.

Guru Live Scotland

Saturday 6 May – 14.00-18.45, CCA, Glasgow

An inspirational day of masterclasses, panels and Q+As with BAFTA nominees in film, TV and games this time in Scotland.

Find out more 

Don’t Knock Twice – Review

by Ren Zelen

Caradog W. James, the Welsh director of sci-fi cult hit The Machine recently showcased his latest movie, a supernatural horror called Don’t Knock Twice at the 24th Raindance Film Festival in London.

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Genre favourite Katee Sackhoff (Oculus, Riddick, Battlestar Galactica) plays Jess, an American sculptor who returns to the UK where she spent much of her youth. Jess is a guilt-ridden mother who is desperate to reconnect with her estranged teen daughter Chloe (Lucy Boynton) who she was forced to place into care many years ago while she recovered from drug addiction problems.

Cold and resentful, Chloe initially rejects her birth-mother’s conciliatory pleas. However, having nowhere else to go, she hurriedly changes her mind and agrees to move in and stay with Jess and her new husband (Javier Botet) after she fears that she may have initiated the operation of a legendary curse.

Chloe is now convinced that she is being hunted by a murderous witch who was behind several child abductions in the past and is responsible for the recent disappearance of her boyfriend Danny (Jordan Bolger) after he dared to fulfil the conditions inherent in prompting the curse.

However, because of Chloe’s troubled past and her mother Jess’s medical history of addiction, no-one will believe their story of being pursued by a supernatural entity bent on vengeance.  Determined to save her estranged daughter, Jess has to rely on her own resources and courage to uncover the terrifying truth behind the urban legend of the demonic witch. But, is the urban legend real, or are Jess and Chloe being manipulated by another individual with their own agenda?

Urban legends spread like psychological viruses because they tap into some our deepest fears, one of which involves the call for help that is disbelieved, laughed at, or ignored by others. Another dread is of the vengeance of the wrongly accused. Just as urban legends are based on our innermost fears, so certain locations are traditional triggers which embody unease– such as the empty and derelict house after dark, or the underground lair that holds secret horrors.

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Don’t Knock Twice does not balk from utilizing all these prompts to construct a twisted urban legend which is a combination of old Eastern European fairy stories and urban myths in the vein of Candyman. Urban myths themselves may be seen as the modern counterpart of ancient folk tales – they spread in the same way and depend on how many people are intrigued enough to pass them on.

In Don’t Knock Twice Katee Sackhoff again has another stab (if you’ll excuse the expression) at playing the distraught mother as she did in Oculus, but this time fixated on protecting her only child from harm. Luckily she has rather more to work with here and makes the most of what she has.  Director Caradog James worked from a script by Emmy-nominated writing duo Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler (who also penned Paul Hyett’s stylish werewolf romp Howl).

Just as in all urban legends, elements of the movie’s plot may not always hold up too convincingly. However, Don’t Knock Twice remains a suitably chilling supernatural thriller with some high concept scares and a sinister final twist.

Don’t Knock Twice is out in cinemas now! 

Free Fire – Brand New Clips!

Have you ever wanted to shove a film in your eyeholes so badly that you are worried about going blind before you see the film? Like at that moment, nothing else matters bar watching the trailer over and over and over again?

You want to snort lines, shoot yourself up, and drown in a trailer and the film that’ll surely follow?

Yeah. That’s how you’ll feel with Free Fire.

The directors upcoming film stars Academy Award winner Brie Larson and whilst we haven’t much news on the film yet, the film revolves around Justine who gets involved in gun warfare and a heart stopping game of survival ensues.

Also starring Michael Smiley and Cillian Murphy, this is a hotly anticipated crime romp!

What do you think?


Watch it at The Ritzy with Ben Wheatley! 

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power – Brand New Trailer & Clips!

When An Inconvenient Truth came out in 2006, a lot of people believed that we had just witnessed the death knell for Global Warming. Slowly, but surely, we would see a healed Earth before our grandchildren came along.

Now, nearly a decade later, we appear to have stalled on our way to realising the grand dream. We’ve made some good progress, but we’re also seeing stories of London exceeding its annual emissions limit within three days of the New Year, and Trump’s rescinding of Obama’s Clean Air Act is another nail in the coffin for addressing one of the biggest problems known to man.

Fortunately, Former Vice-President and Eco-Warrior Supreme Al Gore is back to once again shine a light on the problems facing us and our children.

An important thing to remember is that it’s not all doom and gloom. The trailers and clips for this new documentary takes plenty of time to show all the advancements we have made in green energy technology. But it’s also intercut with scenes that show the devastation wrought by extreme weather conditions to show how much further there is to go.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power is coming

An Adult’s Guide to Animation

Seoul Station – a thrilling tale of a zombie outbreak in South Korea – isn’t your typical animated fare – it features gut-munching zombies, brutal violence and white knuckle tension. Definitely not one for the kids, but why should kids have all the fun? Putting the Disneys, Pixars and Ghiblis of the world to one side for a moment, here are a selection of animated films that run the gamut from outrageous and erotic to surreal and irreverent; you should perhaps watch when the little ones are tucked in bed!

Fritz The Cat (1972)

Ralph Bakshi’s legendary countercultural comedy, based on Robert Crumb’s character, was the first cartoon to get an X-certificate in the US. And little wonder. The story of an amorous cat raising hell on his 1960s college campus, it features all manner of ‘adult themes’ – including explicit sex scenes. Audiences lapped it up, with the film making over $90 million dollars worldwide, on a budget of less than one million. Move over Top Cat.


Heavy Metal (1981)

This adventure fantasy epic is based on the hugely popular American comic book of the same name, famous for its scantily clad warrior women on the cover, and cartoon strips that mix sci-fi and fantasy with erotica. The film had nine directors helming different segments (including drive-in B-movie king Jimmy T Murakami), and among its seven writers, Alien scripter Dan O’Bannon. It’s a wild ride, filled with buxom heroines, muscle-bound men, monkeys with ray guns, and a pounding rock soundtrack. The Little Mermaid it ain’t.

Akira (1988)

One of the greatest and most astounding animated films of all time happens to also be one aimed at adults. Katsuhito Otomo’s manga masterpiece, about a biker turned into a psychic psychopath, features mind-blowing visuals, including a motorbike chase the equal of any live action counterpart, and some unsettling imagery that means that Akira is off limits to the My Little Pony crowd.

Cool World (1992)

This could be considered an adult version of 1988 live action and animation hit Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, famous for the sexy Jessica Rabbit character. Cool World, directed by the king of adult cartoons Ralph Bakshi, features the delectable Holli Would (voiced by Kim Basinger), as a scantily clad cartoon character attempting to cross over into the real world. The film stars Gabriel Byrne and Brad Pitt, in roles they probably don’t put right at the top of their CVs.

Ghost in the Shell (1995)

This classic Japanese manga animation (remade this year by Hollywood as a live action film starring Scarlett Johansson) is very definitely an adult thriller (with plenty of nudity and violence), about a cyborg policewoman on the hunt for a superhacker called the Puppet Master. Brilliantly exciting and innovative, the film showed that cartoons could not only be aimed at grown-ups, but could also address existential issues about the terrifying implications of technology taking over.


South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)

The TV series South Park looked and sounded like a kids show, but couldn’t be more unsuitable for youngsters if it tried. If anything, this film version is even more offensive and taboo busting than the TV show, with rude songs, crude language and Satan in bed with Saddam Hussein. And that’s not all folks… watch it and prepare your jaw to drop to the floor.

Anomalisa (2015)

An extraordinary film, directed by Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman (the mind behind Being John Malkovich and Adaptation), it features stop-motion animated puppets halfway between human and Sesame Street, and a plot that deals with the mundanity of life. The film contains sex, swearing and nihilism, and is truly unlike anything you’ve ever seen before: moving, thought-provoking and haunting.


Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)

Based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore (purveyor of some very adult-oriented comic strips), this sees Batman in a showdown with a truly chilling incarnation of the Joker, and was the first Batman film to get an adults only rating in the US. It’s scary and disturbing, and about a million miles away from the “kapow!” Adam West TV series of the Sixties.


Seoul Station (15) is released on DVD and Blu-ray from StudioCanal on 3 April. Out now on Digital Download.

The Void – Review

by Ren Zelen

Canadian writer-director team Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie are part of the Astron-6 collective, whose work includes the playful retro horrors The Editor and Manborg, but their mainstream credits are in the VFX and art and makeup departments of larger projects like Suicide Squad and Pacific Rim.

In their feature The Void, they tone down the humour and opt for suspense and full-on Lovecraftian horror. They draw their influences from a number of sources, including Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, Anderson’s Event Horizon, Cronenberg’s The Fly, Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond and Carpenter’s The Thing and Prince of Darkness. They also make full use of their expertise in the realm of strikingly macabre physical effects and choose to largely eschew the use of CGI.

The movie begins one night, as small-town policeman Dan Carter (Aaron Poole) is warned about an incident on his patch, and while patrolling nearby he happens upon local druggie, James (Evan Stern) stumbling wounded across a deserted woodland road.

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Deciding the blood-stained and delirious James needs medical attention, he radios in to say that he is taking him to a hospital. Although still nominally open, the nearest hospital is in the process of relocating after a fire, and is operating on a skeleton medical staff of four people.

To complicate matters, policeman Dan’s wife, Allison (Kathleen Munroe) is a doctor at the hospital and the pair have become estranged after the stillbirth of their baby. Allison’s mentor, senior doctor Powell (Kenneth Welsh), sympathises with them both, because he is also still in deep mourning for a young daughter that he lost some time ago to an incurable illness.

In the hospital waiting room we find a pregnant teenager (Grace Munro) and her kind grandfather (James Millington), while the sole remaining patient in a bed is being watched by Kim, a keen but inexperienced and lackadaisical intern (Ellen Wong). A crusty old State Trooper (Art Hindle) arrives and insists on taking over the proceedings.

However, when patrolman Dan tries to leave the hospital, he is confronted by a horde of white-robed, knife-wielding cultists, who have silently amassed around the building, wearing hoods painted with black triangles. They force him back inside.

Before Dan can discover the purpose of the creepy crowd who have surrounded the building, or explain the situation to the State Trooper, father-and-son vigilantes (Daniel Fathers and My Byskov) burst in and threaten all assembled with shotguns. They declare their intention to kill James, the lowlife kid that Dan brought in for treatment, a course of action they insist is non-negotiable.

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Meanwhile, a seasoned nurse inexplicably starts to behave violently and brutally murders the remaining patient in his bed. When she is shot dead by the shocked State Trooper, her corpse begins to messily metamorphose into a thrashing, tentacled creature.

As the body count rises and all the corpses sprout hideous extrusions, transforming into bizarre lumbering creatures, the increasingly bemused and horrified inmates realize that they are dealing with things beyond the pale. It becomes clear that the cultists outside are less interested in attacking the hospital, than in keeping something confined inside.

As the puzzle intensifies, Dan finds that he must lead a motley crew on an expedition down into the bowels of the burned-out hospital basement and into a nightmarish, otherworldly realm. Meanwhile, his wife Alison is kidnapped and the pregnant teen goes into labour…

The Void avoids jump scares, but instead suffuses the film with dread, heightened by grotesque monster effects which are clearly a labour of love for Kostanski and Gillespie. Their array of abominations become pretty gross to look at, but you can’t help but admire the skill and craftsmanship involved.

The Void is out on DVD now!