“MannIN Shorts” is a brand new initiative to provide a platform for hopeful filmmakers on the Isle of Man.
The project was conceived by Dave Armstrong of DAM Productions, alongwith his producing partner Phil Gates of Sonic Pictures. Having finally finished their own narrative short this year (‘Ghostgirl‘), writer/director Dave has thrown himself into the genre all guns blazing. “We worked with a mainly Manx based team on ‘Ghostgirl’, and yet again I was stunned by the level of talent and enthusiasm for the medium here on the Island.”
Dave, Phil and Dave’s partner Christy DeHaven worked with a crew who’s previous credits include Ridley Scott and Matthew Vaughn films, not to mention ‘Harry Potter’ – but all of whom started out honing their talents on the Isle of Man.
“We also worked with some brand new local talent” said Christy. “Our lead actress, Chelsea Gowland, was just 17 at the time of filming ‘Ghostgirl’ and had never done anything like this before, but she’s utterly brilliant. Her performance is so natural & believable, and she’s a perfect example of some of the incredible untapped talent we have over here. We want to help actors like Chelsea & budding new writers and crews to progress in the industry, give them a bit of a leg-up, if you will”.
The experience inspired Dave & Phil to approach the Arts Council again, following their support for ’Ghostgirl’. “We couldn’t have made the film without their assistance. So we went back to Emma (Callin) to see if she’d be interested in developing an ongoing short film project with us.”
Dave explains: “The idea is to create a platform for hopeful filmmakers – young or old – to be able to build their skills, develop their ideas and actually make their films, right here on the Isle of Man. With ‘Ghostgirl’ we’ve proved it can be done – admittedly with a lot of help from some very patient and supportive friends in the industry!”
The Arts Council agreed – and so ‘MannIN Shorts’ was born.
Christy continued: “The launch night will be a great opportunity to introduce the idea to interested parties, but also to show what can be achieved by screening ‘Ghostgirl’ and the award winning international shorts we’re bringing over.”
“There’ll be a panel style Q&A session with our invited guests during the evening, and a chance for the audience to meet, greet and chat with them before and after the event” said Dave.
The evening – Thursday, September 9th – will be the opening night of this year’s Isle of Man Film Festival supported by Barclays Wealth, and will be a night of conversation and screenings from the cream of the short film crop.
The venue, the Broadway Cinema, will host a panel style Q&A with the likes of Chris Jones (author of the Guerilla Film Maker handbooks), Fabien Riggall (Future Shorts) and Danny Lacey (innovative new filmmaker and twitter sensation), followed by special screenings of several shorts – including the Island premiere of heavily anticipated Manx made film ‘Ghostgirl’.
The night also presents a unique opportunity to see Chris Jones’ multi award winning, Oscar Shortlisted “Gone Fishing” on the big screen, and includes contributions from actor Lee Boardman (Timon in HBO’s ‘Rome’, Murray in ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’). Lee has been producing, writing and performing in low to micro-budget indie films his entire career. Alongside award winning Director Lesley Manning (Ghostwatch, Telepathy, BBC Films “My Sister Wife”) he is attempting to produce a feature film per year. Meanwhile Lesley’s latest project, psychological thriller “LEILA”, was made in association with the Met Film School – and the students became part of the crew.
At the Isle of Man’s acting workshops last year, Lee & Lesley made an instant connection with the Isle of Man and its acting and film-making community; there are plans to hold a further workshop the weekend of the film festival while they are both on the Island.
Dave, Christy and Phil all hope this event will provide great inspiration, networking, advice and information for budding film makers on the Isle of Man.
Tickets for the launch night are priced at just £6.50 and are available now, in person from the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal, or on the ticket hotline: 01624 600555. Please note, numbers are limited & they’re selling fast already!
“MannIN Shorts” artwork by Juan Moore