BREAKING NEWS: WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY 2017: ‘LAST CHANCE’ SCREENINGS ANNOUNCED

Tuesday 21 March 2017 marks the 12th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. On this day events take place around the world to celebrate individuals with Down Syndrome (DS).

To commemorate World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), on March 21st the Down Syndrome Research Foundation UK (DSRF UK)* and the Don’t Screen Us Out (DSUO)* campaign are proudly presenting over fifty last-chance screenings of our “poignant and beautifully acted” (The Observer) film.

Steven Brandon, is of course an actor who has Down Syndrome and despite this perceived ‘disability’ received two BIFA nominations, a National Film Awards nomination, and universal praise from film critics for his central performance as Luke. BBC Film Critic, Mark Kermode called his portrayal of Luke ‘absolutely terrific’.

Lynn Murray, the spokesperson for the Don’t Screen Us Out campaign, said “My Feral Heart illustrates how we all face challenges regardless of our background, and genetic make-up. Its success as a film about ‘ability’ not ‘disability’ has meant that the international DS community, and especially DSUO’s thousands of supporters, have connected passionately with the film”.

£1 from every ticket sold for WDSD screenings will be donated to DSRF UK in support of DSUO.

*Down Syndrome Research Foundation UK is the only UK charity seeking to carry out therapeutic research for people with Down syndrome to help improve the quality of their lives.

*Don’t Screen Us Out is an umbrella campaign aiming to stop prenatal discrimination and ensure that the rights of people living with Down’s syndrome are respected by everyone.

LAST CHANCE TO MAKE SCREENINGS HAPPEN AT A CINEMA NEAR YOU!

In partnership with ourscreen, the cinema-on-demand website: Vue, Picturehouses, and ODEON are amongst the venues making screenings available nationwide. As with all ourscreen events the screenings will only go ahead if sufficient presales of tickets are met. Cinemagoers will have until March 12 to make these charitable screenings happen.

BOOK ONLINE TO MAKE SCREENINGS HAPPEN

We have chosen March 21 (WDSD) as a fitting finale to My Feral Heart’s breakout big-screen success story. So these fundraising screenings will be the last chance to see the film on the big screen in the UK for the time-being.

Due to public demand, over 100 screenings will have taken place before it leaves our cinemas though, a swell of support that prompted ourscreen to dub it “a runaway train”. The film won hearts and minds from Cornwall to The Shetlands as it smashed all previous ourscreen records to become the ‘people powered cinema’ site’s top performing film of all-time.

WHAT THE CRITICS HAVE BEEN SAYING SINCE MY FERAL HEART WAS RELEASED LAST YEAR

‘A RICHLY REWARDING FILM… SEEK IT OUT’ BBC Film Critic Mark Kermode
‘★★★★ – POIGNANT & BEAUTIFULLY ACTED’ The Observer
‘A LACY WORK OF DELICACY’ Guardian Online
‘COOLY ACCOMPLISHED’ Screen International
‘SWASH & RASTALL ARE FIRST RATE’ Variety
‘POETIC CINEMATOGRAPHY’ Sight & Sound
‘WONDROUSLY NATURAL & INSIGHTFUL’ Radio Times
‘★★★★ -BRANDON IS UTTERLY CAPTIVATING’ Cine Vue
‘★★★★ -A REVELATION IN INDIE FILMMAKING’ Movie Review World
‘REFRESHINGLY POSITIVE’ Total Film
‘A SPELLBINDING FILM’ Shooting People

 

BACKGROUND TO WDSD, DSUO, DSRF UK, and OURSCREEN

WHY MARCH 21?
The date for World Down Syndrome Day being the 21st day of the 3rd month, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.

#MyVoiceMyCommunity #WDSD17
WDSD 2017 focuses on enabling people with Down syndrome (and those who advocate for them) to speak up, be heard and influence government policy and action, to ensure that they can be included, on a full and equal basis with others, in all aspects of society. This mirrors the intentions of DSUO.

DSUO & DSRF UK
Don’t Screen Us Out (DSUO) is a campaign supported by the Down Syndrome Research Foundation UK (DSRF UK). The campaign lobbies Parliament in the UK to think again about introducing a new cfDNA antenatal test. Current law allows a pregnancy for a baby tested to have DS to be terminated up to full-term. The UK government’s proposed cfDNA screening implementation is projected to result in a profound increase in the number of children with Down syndrome screened out by termination. The DSUO campaign calls for MPs to sign the Early Day Motion calling for a delay to the implementation before it’s too late. This has already happened in Iceland where 100% of unborn babies tested to have DS are terminated.

The Don’t Screen Us Out campaign has proudly supported My Feral Heart since its UK premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival last June. “The film demonstrates the issues faced by people with Down syndrome in a society that continues to hold institutionalised, and outdated views about learning disability” says DSUO spokesperson Lynn Murray “and in the portrayal of Luke’s story, shows exactly why DSUO advocates equality for people with Down syndrome in a world where antenatal screening has fostered discrimination for those living with the condition”.

Antenatal screening technologies have led to a dearth of Down syndrome research, and the Down Syndrome Research Foundation (DSRF UK) are continually challenged to fund therapeutic research to help improve the outlook. “We were delighted to be asked by My Feral Heart producer James Rumsey to collaborate with his company Rum Jam Films, and ‘people powered cinema’ service ourscreen on fundraising screenings to celebrate WDSD this year. Please come and see this heart-warming film, celebrate World Down syndrome Day, and consider how we can improve the future for people like Luke” urges spokesperson for DSRF UK, Elizabeth Corcoran.

For more info on the DSUO campaign: http://dontscreenusout.org/
DSUO Contact: Lynn Murray | dontscreenusout@gmail.com

For more info or to donate to Down Syndrome Reasearch Foundation: http://www.dsrf-uk.org/
DSRF UK Contact: Elizabeth Corcoran | elizabeth.corcoran@dsrf-uk.org

OURSCREEN
ourscreen enables film fans to take control of their local cinema. In three easy steps (pick a film –
decide where and when – share your screening), we’re all able to create film screenings, for either
just our friends, or anybody who wants to come. ourscreen is available in over 65 cinemas across the country and has access to over 10,000 titles. If enough people book tickets the screening happens.

Contact: Yoel Noorali | yoel.noorali@ourscreen.com | Website: www.ourscreen.com

NEW YEAR REVIEW: 2016 IN PICTURES | 2017 IN FRONT

As we welcome in 2017 it is with enormous pride and gratitude that we look back on what ‘My Feral Heart’ has acheived in the short 10 months since it’s award winning World Premiere at Cinequest in March to the BIFAs in December.

First, we want to look forward to what we hope will be an even better year…

2017 – A RECORD BREAKING YEAR?

‘My Feral Heart’ has been in UK cinemas since November 1, 2016. A modest stab at 10 screenings spread over one month has now topped 60 screenings and is still taking bookings for as late as April 2017.

screenshot-2017-01-01-20-19-16

50% of screenings, and our key partner in this success is Our Screen, the cinema-on-demand platform.

As we say farewell to 2016 we can announce that while ‘My Feral Heart’  is already the most successful Our Screen film of 2016, just 4 additional screenings via Our Screen’s site will make it their most successful film. That’s #1 out of over 400 films available on their site to date.

Record breaking screenings across the UK from Southampton to Edinburgh can be booked in advance here:

https://www.ourscreen.com/film/My-Feral-Heart

2017: AWARDS, BROADCAST & DISTRIBUTION

With the BAFTAs still to announce their shortlists this month, and sales interest from China, USA, and the UK we are very excited about what audiences ‘My Feral Heart’ will have reached by this time next year and what 2017 achievements we will have to look back on.

On which note, 2016 was no slouch…

2016 – THE YEAR IN PICTURES

Pictures and captions to summarise the year at a glance below, but a good place to kick-off is to put ‘My Feral Heart’ in context with the rest of the year’s releases. Who better to do that than the BBC’s Mark Kermode who included ‘My Feral Heart’ amongst his homespun indie highlights of 2016 in his half hour Film Review: A Year in Film.

For those that may have missed the programme – on the BBC News Channel and BBC Breakfast on The Beeb’s flagship channel, BBC One – it can be seen via BBC iPlayer here:

BBC FILM REVIEW 2016: A YEAR IN FILM by Mark Kermode
screenshot-2017-01-01-20-51-36
Dr Kermode has been a tremendous champion for ‘My Feral Heart’ and we are all speechless with gratitude.

His review on BBC Radio 5’s Wittertainment Show was one of our highlights, along with the numerous other kind words from the likes of The Observer, The Radio Times, Total Film, Screen International, Sight & Sound, Shooting People as well as some of the leading film review blogs: Movie Review World, Cine Vue, and Filmuforia. All of which made it onto our poster design at one stage or another…

Lobby poster for UK Cinema release using quotes from largely mainstream press critical notices received during first week of release.

Lobby poster for UK Cinema release using quotes from largely mainstream press critical notices received during first week of release.

15 more highlights were the film festivals that ‘My Feral Heart’ was lucky enough to be selected for. A full list of the 15 festivals can be found on the SCREENINGS page of our website but special thanks to those festivals that awarded the film with gongs:

book-online-banner-my-feral-heart_postcard

Online promotional graphic using festival review quotes.

 

1. March: Audience Award winning World Premiere at Cinequest, USA

Jane Gull (Director), Steven Brandon (Luke), Pixie Le Knot (The Girl), and Will Rastall (Pete) get ready to light up the media world on the red carpet.

Jane Gull (Director), Steven Brandon (Luke), Pixie Le Knot (The Girl), and Will Rastall (Pete) get ready to light up the media world on the red carpet. The team flew out en mass to celebrate this milestone and were delighted to scoop the Audience Award for Best Dramatic Feature at the he festival that USA Today readers had voted the #1 Film Festival in America in 2015. It kick-started a festival run and clutch of awards that introduced our film to an international and, in June, a domestic audience.

2. March: ‘My Feral Heart’ closes Fargo Film Festival to standing ovation

James Rumsey (Producer) and Steven Brandon (Luke) at Fargo Film Festival Closing Night Gala. where 'My Feral Heart' was awarded Honourable Mention Best Dramatic Feature.

James Rumsey (Producer) and Steven Brandon (Luke) at Fargo Film Festival Closing Night Gala. where ‘My Feral Heart’ was awarded Honourable Mention Best Dramatic Feature.

 

3.YES WE CANNES! EUROPEAN PREMIERE, ENTR’2 MARCHES

In 2014 Jane Gull won the Grand Prix du Jury for her short film 'Sunny Boy' at Entr'2 Marches - an international short film festival for films upon the theme of disability. This year she was invited back as President of the Jury. As an introduction to Jane and a celebration of her work. 'My Feral Heart' was screened 'off-croisette' in Cannes during the main festival's fortnight.

In 2014 Jane Gull won the Grand Prix du Jury for her short film ‘Sunny Boy’ at Entr’2 Marches – an international short film festival for films upon the theme of disability. This year she was invited back as President of the Jury. As an introduction to Jane and a celebration of her work. ‘My Feral Heart’ was screened ‘off-croisette’ in Cannes during the main festival’s fortnight. Above, Jane and Steven Brandon (Luke) outside the Palais Du Festival, home of the 69th Cannes Film Festival.

4. June: ‘Best of British’ selection for UK Premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival

Opening night gala at EIFF: Luis Sanchez (Exec Producer), Duncan Paveling (Writer), Steven Brandon (Luke), James Rumsey (Producer)

In June ‘My Feral Heart’ was unveiled to UK audiences. It’s fair to say that for British Indie films, recognition by Edinburgh International Film Festival is always going to be top of the wish list. Opening night gala at EIFF: Luis Sanchez (Exec Producer), Duncan Paveling (Writer), Steven Brandon (Luke), James Rumsey (Producer)

5. June: UK Premiere Announced on ITV’s Lorraine Show

Steven Brandon and his parents on ITV's Lorraine Show, with Lorraine Kelly.

Steven Brandon and his parents on ITV’s Lorraine Show, with Lorraine Kelly.

6. June: SOLD OUT – London Premiere at East End Film Festival

SOLD OUT! 'My Feral Heart' plays to 2 packed screens simultaneoulsy. An EEFF first.

SOLD OUT! Just ten days after ‘My Feral Heart’ premiered at Edinburgh it took London’s East End Film Festival by storm. ‘My Feral Heart’ made EEFF history by playing to 2 packed screens simultaneoulsy, an East End Film Festival first.

7. July: ‘My Feral Heart’ Opening Night Gala for MINDS Film Festival Singapore

'My Feral Heart' Director Jane Gull was the special guest at the inaugural MINDS Film Festival in Singapore. Here she is with the unstoppable, and delightful Kenneth Tan, Chairman of the Singapore Film Society. In addition to the two scheduled screenings at the festival, a third screening was put on two weeks after due to popular demand.

‘My Feral Heart’ Director Jane Gull was the special guest at the inaugural MINDS Film Festival in Singapore. Here she is with the unstoppable, and delightful Kenneth Tan, Chairman of the Singapore Film Society. In addition to the two scheduled screenings at the festival, a third screening was put on two weeks after due to popular demand.

8. USA Take 2: LA Lift-Off and Editing Honours at Woodstock, NY

Producer, James Rumsey and star of 'American Horror Story' Jamie Brewer at the LA Lift-Off screening of 'My Feral Heart'. Jan 6 sees the Lift-Off Global Network End of Season Awards at Pinewood Studios, UK. 'My Feral Heart' is nominated for 3 awards: Best Actor (Steven Brandon), Best Director, and Best Feature Film. Fingers-crossed!!

Producer, James Rumsey and star of ‘American Horror Story’ Jamie Brewer at the LA Lift-Off screening of ‘My Feral Heart’. Jan 6, 2017 sees the Lift-Off Global Network End of Season Awards at Pinewood Studios, UK. ‘My Feral Heart’ is nominated for 3 awards: Best Actor (Steven Brandon), Best Director, and Best Feature Film. Fingers-crossed!!

Duncan Paveling (Writer) and Gareth Stanley (Exec Producer) at Woodstock, the 'Fiercely Independent' Film Festival where 'My Feral Heart' editor Benjamin Gerstein earned an Honourable Mention.

Duncan Paveling (Writer) and Gareth Stanley (Exec Producer) at Woodstock, the ‘Fiercely Independent’ Film Festival where ‘My Feral Heart’ editor Benjamin Gerstein earned an Honourable Mention.

9. Nov-Date: UK Cinema Release via Our Screen and Independent Screens

The success of the release that Our Screen called ‘a runaway train’ is documented with poster art and review links in the introductory paragraphs above. At the risk of making Dr Mark Kermode blush, his review was certainly the most talked about and influential – along with BBC 4’s ‘TODAY’ programme’s interview with Jane Gull and Steven Brandon the day before.

Jane Gull and Steven Brandon prepare for their live interview on BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Jane Gull and Steven Brandon prepare for their live interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Perhaps the finest hour for our independent release was the homecoming screening that we brokered with Odeon for a screening in Southend, the cinema closest to the locations and community that are the making of ‘My Feral Heart’. The first screening sold out and a second was booked due to popular demand.

10. Nov: Festival Awards from Russia (and Albania) with Love

Jane Gull and Steven Brandon were special guests at the Breaking Down Barriers Film Festival in Moscow where 'My Feral Heart' scooped Best Feature Film and Best Actor awards.

Jane Gull and Steven Brandon were special guests at the Breaking Down Barriers Film Festival in Moscow where ‘My Feral Heart’ scooped Best Feature Film and Best Actor awards.

11. Oct-Dec: The BIFAs – 10 longlist and 3 shortlist nominations

Shana Swash (Best Supporting Actress) and Steven Brandon (Best Actor and Most Promising Newcomer) were both recognised by BIFA with shortlist nominations.

Shana Swash (Best Supporting Actress) and Steven Brandon (Best Actor and Most Promising Newcomer) were both recognised by BIFA with shortlist nominations.

Steven Brandon (back to us) and Shana Swash shine on the 'black' carpet at this year's BIFAs.

Steven Brandon (back to us) and Shana Swash shine on the ‘black’ carpet at this year’s BIFAs.

Team 'Feral' were out in force at the BIFAs: James Rumsey (Producer), Pixie Le Knot (The Girl), Will Rastall (Pete), Gareth Stanley (Exec Producer), Gavin Thain (Exec Producer), and pictured L-R: Duncan Paveling (writer), Shana Swash (Eve), Steven Brandon (Luke), Jane Gull (director), Georgina Paveling (Assoc. Producer)

Team ‘Feral’ were out in force at the BIFAs: James Rumsey (Producer), Pixie Le Knot (The Girl), Will Rastall (Pete), Gareth Stanley (Exec Producer), Gavin Thain (Exec Producer), and pictured L-R: Duncan Paveling (writer), Shana Swash (Eve), Steven Brandon (Luke), Jane Gull (director), Georgina Paveling (Assoc. Producer)

 

 

 

BREAKING NEWS: UK CINEMA RELEASE ANNOUNCED

In the face of a brutally competitive era for the independent film where distributors want all ancillary rights as well as ‘star’ names to commit to a distribution deal, we have scheduled an independent release.

It will be run largely via the cinema-on-demand platform Our Screen (www.ourscreen.com) and take the form of a tour of key UK cities across the month of November 2016.

Screenings will only go ahead if sufficient presales of tickets are reached and so we are calling for champions to support this fresh and original release strategy of an equally fresh and original film!

Releasing through Our Screen’s cinema-on-demand platform empowers the public to make a screening happen in their area if one has not been scheduled. All they have to do is go to the Our Screen site, select our film, and select from the dates at a venue near them to allow bookings to be taken. Once the threshold is reached in any venue the event is accepted by the venue.

PLEASE NOTE:
PRE-SALES ARE ESSENTIAL FOR SCHEDULED SCREENINGS TO GO AHEAD. ONLINE TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE OUR SCREEN ‘MY FERAL HEART’ BOOKINGS PAGE:

https://www.ourscreen.com/film/My-Feral-Heart

OTHER CONFIRMED DATES & VENUES AT INDEPENDENT SCREENS IN THE UK TO FOLLOW – KEEP AN EYE ON ‘THE SCREENINGS’ SECTION OF OUR SITE & FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA TO KEEP UP-TO-DATE.

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For press opportunities please contact Susie Tullet PR: Susie.tullett@gmail.com +44(0)7775 657733

BREAKING NEWS: WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL

We are delighted & honoured to announce our selection in the ‘Narrative Feature’ section at this years Woodstock Film Festival (13th-16th October). Our selection sees us alongside and ‘in competition’ with some terrific films including the already ‘Oscar’ tipped ‘Loving’ (Dir: Jeff Nichols – starting Joel Egderton) and ‘Blind’ (starring Alec Baldwin & Demi Moore). The festival also boasts the attendance of Catherine Hardwicke (Dir: Twilight, Miss You Already) and the 2 time Oscar winner Alejandro G. Inarritu (The Revenant, Birdman) to name just a few.

Tickets go on sale 21st September.

For more information:
https://wffpress.squarespace.com/lineupannouncement-2016

SCREENING NEWS: LOS ANGELES PREMIERE – L.A. Lift-Off Film Festival

It is with huge pride that MY FERAL HEART will have it’s Los Angeles premiere at the ambitious, industry focused, film festival LA Lift -Off.

Lift-Off is a global festival network that supports filmmakers and their films by reaching out to, and championing their films to sales agents, press, distributors, and broadcasters.

MY FERAL HEART screens September 7, 6.30pm at Raleigh Studios (West Hollywood).

James Rumsey (Producer) will be present for a Q&A at the event and to meet all parties interested in MY FERAL HEART.

All the details here:
http://www.lift-off-festivals.com/los-angeles-lift-off-film-festival-2016/los-angeles-lift-off-2016-my-feral-heart/

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