UK VOD Release: The Last Thing Mary Saw

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Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror, thrillers and the supernatural, will release their upcoming Shudder Original The Last Thing Mary Saw, premiering exclusively on the platform, on Thursday, January 20th.

The film stars Rory Culkin (WacoHalston), Stefanie Scott (Insidious: Chapter 3) and Isabelle Fuhrman (Orphan), and is written and directed by Edoardo Vitaletti, making his feature length film debut.

Southold, New York, 1843: Young Mary (Scott), blood trickling from behind the blindfold tied around her eyes, is interrogated about the events surrounding her grandmother’s death. As the story jumps back in time, we witness Mary, raised in a repressively religious household, finding fleeting happiness in the arms of Eleanor (Fuhrman), the home’s maid. Her family, who believe they are seeing, speaking, and acting on God’s behalf, view the girls’ relationship as an abomination, to be dealt with as severely as possible. The couple attempt to carry on in secret, but someone is always watching, or listening, and the wages of perceived sin threaten to become death, with the tension only heightened by the arrival of an enigmatic stranger (Culkin) and the revelation of greater forces at work.

The Last Thing Mary Saw was produced by Isen Robbins and Aimee Schoof of Intrinsic Value Films, Harrison Allen and Madeleine Schumacher of Arachnid Films, Stephen Tedeschi and executive produced by Scoop Wasserstein.
 
The Last Thing Mary Saw will be available on Shudder from 20th January 2022

UK VOD Release: In The Strange Pursuit of Laura Durand

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Smart Dog Productions will release In The Strange Pursuit of Laura Durand for Digital Download on January 31st.

Antonis and Christos are down on their luck, disconnected from modern society and surviving mainly on Christos’ unemployment benefit. Their only escape in life is their passion for music and their 8-bit band, Speed_28. 

The two friends are united by their common, platonic love interest, Laura Durand, a porn star of the ’90s who disappeared mysteriously years before. As the friends’ lives go from bad to worse, they decide that the time has come to start the quest for Laura Durand. 
An award winning and hilarious road movie, loaded with an amazing and eclectic soundtrack, In the Strange Pursuit of Laura Durand is a feelgood, touching and very original story, that stays with you long after watching. 

The film has been a hit on the international festival circuit being Officially Selected at Tallinn Black Nights, Mons International, Sarajevo Film Festival, Athens International, Monte Carlo Comedy Film Festival, Red Rock Film Festival, Sunscreen, Cannes World Film Festival and more. 

In the Strange Pursuit of Laura Durand will be available on Digital Download from 31st January

UK VOD Release: American Night

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The Movie Partnership have shared a new poster and images for their upcoming Neo-Noir, American Night, which will be available on Digital Download from 7th February.  

The film includes a star-studded cast of Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors / Vikings), Emile Hirsch (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood), Jeremy Piven (Mr Selfridge / Entourage), Hollywood hard-man Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs / Kill Bill) and Paz Vega (Rambo: Last Blood / The OA). 

American Night is neo-noir set in New York City’s corrupt contemporary art world. After the theft of Warhol’s ‘Marilyn’, a series of unexpected events turns an art dealer’s life upside down as he fights with the ruthless head of the New York Mafia, Michael Rubino, for money, art and power. 

The film also marks the feature length directorial debut for Italian director, writer and producer, Alessio Della Valle. Pop music fans will also be able to spot singer Anastacia, who appears in the film as well as writing and performing the film’s lead song. 

American Night will be available on Digital Download from 7th February 

Thunderbirds-style series filmed during UK lockdown scores release in Japan

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Century 21 Films lockdown phenomenon Nebula-75 is due to air early next year in Japan and via cinemas too.  To celebrate, the Century 21 Films team have made a free preview episode available on Youtube that you can watch HERE

However, without the coronavirus situation of the past 20 months the series may never have been. 

Intended to evoke a 1960s Supermarionation series that never actually existed, Nebula-75 began its life during the UK Coronavirus lockdown of 2020. When the team at Century 21 Films found their planned projects cancelled as a result of the global pandemic, they made the decision to attempt to produce something worthwhile using the resources they had to hand in the London flat where a number of them lived. Fortunately, thanks to their work on productions such as Thunderbirds: The Anniversary Episodes, Endeavour, and UK television advertisements, they had numerous puppets, props and models to hand. 

Nebula-75 was filmed by a crew of three who happened to already live together during a time when travel was made impossible, with other members of the Century 21 Films team lending their talents remotely. It was originally intended as a one-off production and premiered as a ten minute short, but the resulting film was received so warmly and passionately by online viewers that plans for further instalments were soon made. A full length series of half hour episodes were produced throughout the course of 2020, introducing new vehicles and guest characters. 

Following the easing of lockdown restrictions, the team have also been able to leave their flat in order to continue production in more suitable studio premises. The result has been a second series of episodes that expand upon the scope and ambition of the original run. Transcending its lockdown origins, Nebula-75 has evolved into a fully fledged Supermarionation production in its own right. 

You can watch Season 1 of Neubula-75 on Amazon now and watch the first episode of Season 2 via Amazon Prime.
Nebula-75 Trivia

– Nebula-75 was created during the first UK lockdown and is intended to nostalgically evoke a 1960s series that never actually existed. It takes inspiration from the Gerry and Sylvia Anderson “Supermarionation” series of that era (Thunderbirds, Stingray, Fireball XL5, Captain Scarlet etc), while remaining its own unique entity.

– The series was created by Stephen La Rivière and Andrew T. Smith.

– Stephen and his two flatmates (his girlfriend Géraldine Donaldson and colleague Elliot Pavelin) filmed and puppeteered the first short film themselves in their small living room and used existing puppets from previous Century 21 Films Supermarionation productions.

– A couple of friends helped from outside – such as making the model of the Nebula-75 remotely and posting it to the flat.

– The voices of Commander Neptune and Lieutenant Solstice were delivered remotely from Canada. The rest were recorded in the UK.

– The sets were initially built onto the back of bookcases and dressed in vinyl and ordinary objects the team had laying around.

– The initial short film went live on YouTube and Facebook in May 2020 and received a huge response – at least a million views across different platforms – The team produced a second episode due to viewer demand and in response received an enquiry about buying from the Tohokushinsha Film Corporation in Japan. TFC have controlled Japanese rights to Thunderbirds and other Supermarionation shows for 50 years.

– BBC Front Row interviewed the team within the first three weeks which increased the series’ following. The team then turned Samira Ahmed into a puppet and she did the voice for the series’ Christmas episode. She later promoted the series on Channel 4’s Countdown.

– In a year Century 21 Films produced 8 episodes in the flat (by the second lockdown, Andrew was able to come to stay so the crew expanded to four). – The initial 8, plus a further 4 episodes produced recently outside of the flat, have been bought by Tohokushinsha Film Corporation to broadcast on Star Channel in Japan in Q1 of 2022.

– This is part of an overall campaign in Japan that showcases all of Century 21 Films’ new Supermarionation work including a theatrical release of Thunderbirds: The Anniversary Episodes, and a broadcast of the documentary Century 21 Slough.

– The first episode of Nebula-75 will be shown at the cinema, along with three new 50th anniversary episodes of Thunderbirds that Century 21 Films produced in 2015.

 – One of the four recently produced episodes has been directed by 90-year-old David Elliott, who directed on the original Thunderbirds series.

– David Graham – the 96-year-old voice of Parker in Thunderbirds – also provided a voice for Nebula-75. He played a character modelled on Thunderbirds director David Elliott to celebrate his 90th birthday.

– The series has spurned merchandise, including a DVD and Blu-Ray of the first series, and “Solar Smacks” badges.
     
NEBULA-75 CHARACTER PROFILES

COMMANDER NEPTUNE
A lone man in uniform responsible for a crew of lively civilian recruits, Commander Neptune’s overriding desire is to get his shipmates home. In a vast and isolated patch of space, he grapples with the loneliness of command at the same time wondering if his destiny might actually lie amongst the stars. 

DOCTOR ASTEROID
Fastidious and knowledgeable, German Doctor Asteroid can sometimes care a little too much about the well-being of his patients. Even when distracted by his favourite snack, Solar Supremes, the Doctor’s heart is in the right place and whenever the situation calls for it, he bravely rises to the occasion. 

ATHENA
A mysterious telepath from a race known as the Space Maidens, Athena is an unexpected arrival aboard the Nebula-75 and a guiding light in a dark corner of the universe. Kindly and enigmatic in nature, she uses her extraordinary powers to assist the crew when she can. 

CIRCUIT
Ramshackle, rusty, and feisty, Circuit is nevertheless a valuable member of the Nebula-75 crew. Always at the ready, he is an all purpose robot capable of piloting the ship, combatting intruders and making the tea. 

LIEUTENANT SOLSTICE
Organized, positive, and a little playful, Lt. Solstice multi-tasks to keep the ship running. A calming influence, she uses her knowledge of the crew to bring out the best in them whenever she is able. 

LIEUTENANT MERCURY
Whatever the job, the crew of the Nebula-75 know they can turn to the dutiful Lieutenant Mercury for help. Wide eyed and enthusiastic, Mercury is equally at home on the bridge or in engineering and he aspires to some day be as capable an astronaut as his Commander. 
     
FILMMAKER PROFILES: Stephen La Rivière (Co-Creator, Writer, Director, Voice Actor), Andrew T. Smith (Co-Creator, Writer, Producer), Geraldine Donaldson (Voice Actor, Writer), Elliot Pavelin (Editor, Post Production Supervisor) 

STEPHEN LA RIVIERE
Stephen La Rivière is a co-founder of Century 21 Films Ltd and the co-creator and co-writer of Nebula-75. He serves as the series’ lead director and co-producer in addition to providing the English language voices of Doctor Asteroid, Lieutenant Mercury and other guest characters. He has written numerous publications both for England and Japan, including his book Filmed in Supermarionation, which offers a comprehensive history of the puppet productions of the team led by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. This in turn led to his 2014 feature documentary of the same name. In 2015, he oversaw Thunderbirds: The Anniversary Episodes – creating three new episodes of classic-style Thunderbirds using the techniques employed during the 1960s. 

ANDREW T. SMITH
Andrew is a co-founder of Century 21 Films and the co-creator and co-writer of Nebula-75. Andrew has acted as co-producer for the series in addition to overseeing the recording and editing of the English language dialogue tracks. His most recent documentary film, Cartoon Carnival, was released in 2021 and outside of production he has authored and co-authored books on film and television history. 

GERALDINE DONALDSON
A puppeteer, script-writer, actress and costume designer, Swiss-born Géraldine Donaldson moved to England to join the crew of Thunderbirds: The Anniversary Episodes. For Nebula-75 Géraldine was responsible for the dressing, stringing and styling of the puppets, as well as lip-sync operating. She also oversaw all elements of the set design. In addition to puppet-wrangling and set-design, she performs the English language voice of Athena. 

ELLIOT PAVELIN
A puppeteer and post-production supervisor, Elliot Pavelin’s first job with Century 21 Films was on Thunderbirds: The Anniversary Episodes and he has since worked on all their subsequent Supermarionation productions, including a Thunderbirds advert for the Halifax bank and the Endeavour TV series. He has turned his hand to many roles and for Nebula-75 he multi-tasked as the lead puppeteer, picture and sound editor as well as finding time to do visual effects work. 
WEBSITE: www.nebula-75.com
CENTURY 21 FILMS WEBSITE: www.century21films.co.uk
TWITTER: www.twitter.com/nebula_75
FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/nebula75series
INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/century21films

UK VOD Release: Stay Pretty, No Pity

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Tokyo Bay Films is excited to present Stay Pretty, No Pity, which is available to watch on YouTube

If a ghost shows herself to you in the mirror and asks: “Do you want to stay pretty?” What would your answer be? 

Stay Pretty, No Pity is a short film that tells the story of Lucy (Maria Ozawa) who fled an abusive relationship and took refuge with her new roommate. Things take a turn for the worst when a ghost appears and shows her seemingly random images. Lucy has three days to decipher the clues of these visions and discover the ghost’s intentions. 

Stay Pretty, No Pity is a spooky extension of the ancient Japanese folklore tale of Oiwa Yotsuya (Yotsuya Kaidan). The original tale followed a samurai who after murdering his wife after she became deformed was haunted by her spirit until he became insane and killed himself. 

Now hundreds of years later, Yotsuya is back! She is punishing ugly characters by recruiting the pretty, starting with Lucy.  

Stay Pretty, No Pity is available to watch on YouTube now here: https://bit.ly/3Eh653b

Experience12 tests your pop-culture knowledge this Christmas!

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 Featuring the best of TV, Gaming and Film from the past year 
 To view the full image & take part in the challenge please visit: www.experience12.com/xmas  
We have finally made it to the end of the year and if there is something we can all agree on, it’s that we have had some amazing entertainment to help us get through it! As is tradition, the incredible team at Experience12 are back at it again with their pop-culture Christmas challenge, and this year it is back bigger & better than before!

As the world opened up following the pandemic, 2021 proved itself to be a bumper year for entertainment. October alone saw 16.4 million cinema admissions – the biggest October since 2012. Consumers are watching nearly 4 hours of TV a day, which although down on 2020 during lockdown, it’s still 50% more than 2019. Also now 93% of 16-24-year-olds are playing video games, which is also up from 73% in 2020.

To celebrate our love for pop culture Experience12 have created their largest pop culture Christmas challenge yet. Hidden in their IP isometric illustration is a total of 47 references across film, TV and video games – some more overt than others, but a true pop culture aficionado will spot them all. We’ve included a tease of the full image above, but head to www.experience12.com/xmas for the full experience! 

POSTERSPY TO LAUNCH NEW COMMUNITY ART SHOW IN LONDON THIS MONTH

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PosterSpy have confirmed that they will be hosting a community art show between 26th – 28th November at Gallery Different in Fitzrovia. The event will see the online platform display some of their finest examples of alternative poster artwork, showcasing amazing pieces from the PosterSpy community & beyond. 

The two primary exhibitions across the weekend will be Terror Twos and The Most Amazing Destination

Terror Twos is a community art project led by Si Heard and Cherie Chapman which sees 31 artists creating pieces of artwork based on sequels from horror/sci-fi franchises including BladeGremlinsScream and Final Destination. All 31 pieces will be on display throughout the weekend. 

Artists featured: Jack Foster, Ciarán O Donovan, Alex Schlitz, Christopher Robertson, Kevin Tiernan, Lon Chan, Cherie Chapman, Beth Morris, Neil Fraser, Zoltan Kovacs “Genzo”, Jorge Teles, Ryan Button, Brett Elvidge, Ramunas Strakauskas, Si Heard, Mark Levy, Royalston, Hannah Gillingham, Ben Turner, Estella Budd, Nuno Sarnadas, Lucas Tetrault, Nick Prinzing, Matthew Gallagher, Edgar Ascensão, Steven Key, Erik Kreffel, Heather Vaughan, Sarah Atwa, Neil Davies, Liza Shumskaya. A handful of whom will be in attendance. 
    
 Examples of Terror Twos submissions on display 
PosterSpy will also be exhibiting 15 submissions from their The Most Amazing Destination art challenge. The challenge invited artists to create travel style posters for the one place they would go to after travel lockdowns and bans have concluded. The place could be real or fictional, opening up lots of possibilities for artists. Examples include Star WarsAlien and Casablanca
    
 Examples of The Most Amazing Destination submissions on display 
From 1pm on Saturday 27th November, PosterSpy will also host industry talks and presentations from creative professionals Sam Gilbey, Murugiah, Godmachine and writer/editor duo Jeremy Arblaster & Blaise Radley. 

There will also be a special screening on Sunday (3pm) 28th November of the instant cult classic from Panos Cosmatos, Mandy, starring Nicolas Cage. Tickets include a free snack bag. Mandy attendees are welcome to bring their own snacks, cushions, blankets, to get comfortable for the film and guests will also be treated to a special reveal about an exciting new project PosterSpy are working on. 

For general admission, a physical ticket is not required and walk-ins are welcome. However, in order for PosterSpy to remain safe and minimise large numbers they are recommending guests order the FREE tickets for the days they want to come via this link: https://posterspy.com/posterspy-community-event-book-your-free-tickets

UK VOD Release: Ted Bundy – American Boogeyman

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The Movie Partnership have today confirmed that the upcoming crime thriller Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman will be released in the UK from 6th December across iTunes, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Sky. 

Chad Michael Murray, best known for his roles in One Tree Hill and more recently Riverdale & Marvel’s Agent Carter will play the notorious serial killer alongside horror icon Lin Shaye (CrittersInsidous film series) playing Bundy’s mother, as well as Holland Roden (Teen Wolf) and Jake Hays who makes his feature length film debut. 

Notorious killer, Ted Bundy (Chad Michael Murray), stalks the highways of gritty 1970s America looking for his next victim. Hunting him are FBI agents Kathleen McChesney and (Roden) Robert Ressler (Hays) as they lead the largest manhunt in history to apprehend America’s most infamous serial killer. 

Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman will be available on Digital Download from 6th December and can be pre-ordered here

UK VOD Release: Slumber Party Massacre

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 Starring: Hannah Gonera, Frances Sholto-Douglas, Alex McGregor 
Lightbulb Film Distribution are delighted to share the poster and trailer for new horror feature, Slumber Party Massacre. Featuring an all-female principle cast, this feminist reimagining of Roger Corman’s 1982 cult-classic is smashing the glass ceiling. Slumber Party Massacre will be released on Digital Download on 13th December and  DVD from 10th January. The film had its UK Premiere at Abertoir Horror Festival in November and has also been selected as the closing film of Soho Horror Festival. 

Written by Suzanne Keilly (Warrior Nun, Ash vs Evil Dead) and directed by Danishka Esterhazy (The Banana Splits Movie), the film stars Hannah Gonera (Spell, Jamillah and Aladdin), Frances Sholto-Douglas (The Kissing Booth, Black Mirror), and Alex McGregor (Searchers, Blood Drive).  

A slumber party turns into a bloodbath when a psychopath wielding a power-drill disrupts the fun. There really is no rest for the wicked at this slumber party… 

Commenting on the release, Peter Thompson, Sales & Acquisitions Director at Lightbulb Film Distribution, said: “We are thrilled to be bringing this iconic slasher remake to audiences in the UK and Ireland. Esterhazy manages to bring a fresh perspective to this horror sub-genre, whilst capturing the essence of the much-loved original. She is an exceptional filmmaker. Gore, jumps and laughs – Slumber Party Massacre has it all.”
Slumber Party Massacre will be released on Digital Download on 13th December and on DVD from 10th January 2022 

#SlumberPartyMassacre

Icelandic psychological mystery Quake to have World Premiere at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

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Ursus Parvus have released the poster and trailer for Icelandic haunting mystery title Quake, which will have its World Premiere (November 20th) at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF).

Based on the best-selling novel, Grand Mal/ Quake: A Novel, by Audur Jonsdóttir, which was nominated for the Icelandic Literary prize and picked out by Toronto International Film Festival as one of their 2021 Industry Selects, Quake stars Anita Briem (Journey to the Centre of the Earth, The Minister), Edda Björgvinsdóttir (Under the tree, The Valhalla Murders) and is written and directed by Tinna Hrafnsdóttir (Margrete – Queen of the North, Valhalla Murders, The Minister), and produced by Hlín Jóhannesdóttir of Ursus Parvus.

Quake follows Saga (Briem), a single mother in her late thirties, who gets hit by a fierce epileptic attack walking in a public park with her six-year-old son resulting in a total memory loss. Afraid of being considered unable to take care of her son, Saga attempts to hide her state from others and occupies herself digging for the answers she needs. As she struggles to gather bits and pieces from her forgotten life, repressed memories that Saga unconsciously blocked as a child suddenly start to come back, revealing a painful truth about herself and the past. 

Quake is a shocking and revelatory exploration of the blurred lines between fact and fiction, reality and imagination, and where mother ends and child begins.

Quake will have its World Premiere at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival on November 20th and be released in Iceland in January 2022.