The ICE team having their image taken at Cannes film festival

News Story

Film supported by Edge Hill University graduates premieres at Cannes

Publish date: May 25, 2022

Aspiring filmmakers who were given a helping hand to kickstart their careers by Edge Hill University have worked on a feature film that premiered at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

The group worked with 21 Media, which was established by the University’s Institute for Creative Enterprise (ICE) and funded by the Government’s Kickstart scheme to create new jobs for 16- to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

They helped work on Ken McMullen’s Hamlet Within, starring Ian McKellan, which was shown for the first time at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday 21 May.

Senior Fellow in Filmmaking for ICE, Carl Hunter, said: “This is an amazing achievement for this group of talented young people who worked with us for six months at 21 Media.

“The majority of young people who have come through the programme are from working class backgrounds, which are typically underrepresented in the film and TV industry.

“Traditionally it’s very difficult for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to get a foothold in creative industries.

“We’re proud to be able to play our part in giving people a helping hand to start their career.”

Edge Hill graduates and Kickstart trainees worked on Hamlet Within as 21 Media crew.

21-year-old Euan Barton-Jones worked closely on the production with cinematographer Oliver Curtis, whose career stretches back more than 30 years and includes work on films like Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho and Frank Oz’s Death at a Funeral.

Euan, an Edge Hill University BA (Hons) Film and Television Production graduate, said: “I want to specialise in the cinematography side of production so working on the film was a really great experience for me.

“I was so excited when I heard the film we worked on was going to be shown at Cannes – it’s definitely going on my IMDB page.”

“21 Media was a great place for meeting likeminded people and forming relationships that allowed us to develop our skills and create projects of our own.”

The production company is based in the Institute for Creative Enterprise (ICE) at Edge Hill University.  

Its mission is to create quality film and media productions while providing employment opportunities and social capital to those from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds who may find barriers to entry to the film industry.  It is led by Martin McQuillan, Director of ICE and a long-term collaborator and producer of films with Ken McMullen.

The release of Hamlet Within was marked with a launch event at Cannes on 21 May. The film was also available at the Marche du film (distribution by Screenbound International Pictures Ltd), screening scheduled on Saturday 21 May.

The film is a co-production between Art Cinema, Scape Films and 21 Media.

To discover more about courses at Edge Hill, please visit ehu.ac.uk/study.

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