Running Naked prepares to welcome first live audience at film festival

A film, produced by film lecturers and shot on location in and around Stoke-on-Trent, is to get its first live screening at Stoked Film Festival.

A screenshot from the film Running Naked of two characters enjoying a gondola ride

Running Naked was shot on location in and around Stoke-on-Trent.

The project is an amazing example of how the University’s resources can be used to create a professional feature film which is now being distributed across the world – something that is invaluable to our students as they forge their careers in the industry.

Andy Paton, Senior Lecturer in Film Production

Running Naked, is a movie about Mark and Ben, friends since meeting as teenage cancer patients. After showing at Beijing and Portland International Film festivals, the film by North of Watford Films premiered online in February during World Cancer Week.

The film, which launches the Stoked Film Festival at the Mitchell Arts Centre on Monday 23rd August at 7pm, was made in conjunction with the MA in Feature Film Production at Staffordshire University and successfully brought together a crew of industry professionals who mentored students throughout the shoot.

It rejoins Mark and Ben twenty years after their friendship develops. After receiving a dramatic piece of news, the film charts the friends as they embark on an adventure that will change both their lives.

Course Leaders Andy Paton and Mike Knowles produced the film which is directed by Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Victor Buhler. Written by Victor with Mike and his wife Jennifer Knowles, the heartfelt story draws on Jennifer’s personal experience as a cancer survivor.

Andy Paton, Senior Lecturer in Film Production, explained: “We believe that it is incredibly important for students to get hands-on experience working on a professional film shoot.

“We wanted to make an independent British film with a heart and hope that Running Naked brings a positive and hopeful message to anyone whose life has been touched by the cancer.

“The project is an amazing example of how the University’s resources can be used to create a professional feature film which is now being distributed across the world – something that is invaluable to our students as they forge their careers in the industry.”

The film stars Matthew McNulty (Domino), Andrew Gower (Carnival Row), Rakhee Thakrar (Sex Education), Tamzin Merchant (Carnival Row) and features a score by Craig Potter of Elbow.

Funding came from private equity and more than 60 postgraduate and undergraduate students worked on Running Naked which was shot over 20 days in summer 2018. However, the film’s release was delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Recognisable Staffordshire locations in the film include Staffordshire University, Baby Russets restaurant, Stoke Town Centre and Stafford Hospital.

Head of Department of Media and Performance Dr Rob Marsden said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Mitchell Arts Centre on Stoked Film Festival which we hope will become an annual event in our cultural calendar and an opportunity to screen both the professional and graduate work coming out of the city.”

“It’s a big night for Running Naked as it’s the first time is has screened out of lockdown and shows off the talent we have here at Staffordshire University as well as showcasing our city as a fabulous location for contemporary film. We hope people will feel confident to come out and celebrate the return of cinema to our city.”

Tickets for Running Naked (15) are £7 which includes a free drink and a free screening of Student Short Films will also be taking place on Wednesday 25th August at the earlier time of 6pm. For full programme and booking visit Stoked Film Festival.

Interested in studying a course in Film? Find out if you are eligible for an offer through Clearing by using our offer calculator, have a ‘live chat’ with Clearing experts at http://www.staffs.ac.uk/clearing/ or call our Clearing hotline on 0800 590 830.

 

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