Saturday, August 19, 2017
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Urban Echo Exclusive: Bradford International Film Associates are on the lookout for extras to appear in a new feature film starring Om Puri, Gina McKee and Samina Peerzada as well as other big name actors from across the globe.

KEE-300_1613272aThe film will be extensively shot in and around Bradford and Leeds from September to November this year.

Puri, who has been a part of the Indian film industry for over four decades, is best known to the western audience for his roles in Roland Joffe’s City of Joy, Udayan Prasad’s My Son the Fanatic and Damien O’Donnell’s East is East opposite actress Linda Bassett.

ompuri_4419_2British actress Gina McKee is best known for In the Loop (2009), Notting Hill (1999) and Atonement (2007). In 2010, she appeared as Goneril in the Donmar Warehouse revival of King Lear, directed by Michael Grandage and starring Derek Jacobi. She received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.

Pakistani actress Samina Peerzada is widely regarded as one of the biggest stars in South Asia. After making her big screen debut in Jamil Dehlavi’s critically acclaimed Blood of Hussain in Samina-Peerzada21980, Peerzada has since created an acting career spanning almost four decades and appearing in some of the biggest hits of Pakistani cinema.

If you are interested in appearing in the film, extras are required for a wedding scene that is scheduled to be filmed on 27 – 28 October in Bradford. The scene will feature Om Puri, Samina Peerzada and other household names that can’t be announced yet.

To apply, please send your CV (if you have one) by email to:

By James Oddy

The boxing film has had a long and varied career. From the highs of raging bull, the fighter and Rocky to, well, all the other Rocky’s, the genre is having a revival after being down for a long count.

MV5BMjA5MjA4NzE3M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODA5MzUzNjE@._V1__SX1092_SY482_Southpaw is the at the vanguard of a series of new films which will also involve a Roberto Duran biopic and a Rocky reboot, Creed, as well as a follow up to The fighter, the film which kick started this revival.

Jake Gyllenhaal stars as the ludicrously named Billy ‘the great’ Hope, a former New York orphan who has risen to untold riches via his wild, brawling style. Alongside his is his wife, Maureen, played by the luminous Rachel McAdams and his daughter, Leila played feistily by Oona Laurence.

Billy’s life however unravels due to his lack of self-control in and out of the ring and he finds himself having to figuratively, and literally, pull himself off the canvas to get his life back on track via the help of Titus Wills, played by Forest Whitaker.

MV5BMjEwMDQ4ODYwNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDA5MzUzNjE@._V1__SX1092_SY482_The film is a curious one. The performances are uniformly excellent. Whitaker adds a great deal of gravitas and depth to what could easily be a walking cliché and Gyllenhaal and McAdams are surprisingly convincing as street kids made good. Laurence also excels in another role, which, if played incorrectly, could capsize the film.

Another major plus are the boxing scenes, which, whilst fairly absurd in the early going as Hope exhibits a style which would make a drunk at kicking out time blush, actually begin to resemble real boxing matches. It’s refreshing to see a sports film portray boxing styles accurately and use them as an indicator, or lack of, of its main characters personal development and flaws. The fight builds up themselves are also accurate and have an almost documentary feel, and director Antoine Fuqua adds lots of little touches which will appeal to fans of the sport.

MV5BNjU0NjMzNDE5M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzk4MzUzNjE@._V1__SX1092_SY482_There are flaws however. The film hints at dome deeper ideas and themes that are barely fleshed out. The role of Whitakers gym in the community, where it seems to be a refuge from the poverty and deprivation like so many real life gyms, is examined, but only briefly. A sub plot involving one of the kids in the gym is dismissed so briefly and without consequence as to be borderline insulting for the strata of society he’s presumably meant to represent.

Similarly, 50 Cent, convincing in his role as a promoter (probably not too big a stretch for a real life promoter) is teased as being a Don King like figure, yet that too fizzles out and is dropped before the end of the film.

The film does pack an emotional punch (sorry) and should keep boxing fans and non-fans alike entertained, mainly due to the strength of the casts work. It’s hard not to feel however that the film has missed a trick by taking some more interesting turns.


Dwayne Douglas Johnson was born in Hayward, California on May 2nd 1972 to Ata Johnson (née Maivia) and Canadian-born professional wrestler Rocky Johnson.

DwayneHis father is of Black Nova Scotian descent, and his mother is of Samoan background (her own father was Peter Fanene Maivia, also a professional wrestler). While growing up, Dwayne travelled around a lot with his parents and watched his father perform in the ring. During his high school years, Dwayne began playing football and he soon received a full scholarship from the University of Miami where he had tremendous success as a football player. In 1995, Dwayne suffered a back injury which cost him a place in the NFL. He then signed a 3 year deal with the Canadian League but left after a year to pursue a career in wrestling. He made his wrestling debut in the USWA under the name Flex Kavanah where he won the tag team championship with Brett Sawyer. His $5.5-million pay check for The Scorpion King (2002) earned him a listing in the Guinness Book of World Records, as his salary was the highest for any actor receiving top billing for the first time.

Selected filmography

2001 The Mummy Returns

2002 The Scorpion King

2005 Be Cool

2010 The Other Guys

2010 Faster

2013 Fast & Furious 6


Leeds – Leeds Young Film Festival celebrates its 16th edition with a spectacular, nationally unique new film event this Easter with support from British Film Institute and using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

From 3-6 April 2015 Leeds Town Hall is being transformed into The Film House, a brand new attraction for families to discover the magic of cinema. The Film House offers a whole day out for all the family that’s filled with activities, events and exciting things for young people to do and learn about, where they can meet their favourite film characters in person, including The Gruffalo, Shaun the Sheep, Paddington, The Easter Bunny, Batman, Spiderman and Lego’s Emmett.

You’ll also have the chance to see Shaun the Sheep Movie, Paddington, Despicable Me and The Lego Movie on our big screen, and you needn’t be classically trained to join in with Frozen, where the words will be on-screen for you to sing along to. Bigger kids will be thrilled by our film car display, with a real life DeLorean from Back to the Future on show to celebrate the film’s 30th Anniversary!

The famous DeLorean car, which featured in the popular 'Back to the Future' film trilogy, will be on display
The famous DeLorean car, which featured in the popular ‘Back to the Future’ film trilogy, will be on display

Magic Light Pictures present a special screening of The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child, followed by a talk about adapting a beloved children’s book for screen, and The Gruffalo will be there for you to meet in person each day.

BAFTA Kids: Behind the Scenes with CBBC leads a unique and high profile range of workshops which give young people the opportunity to work towards an Arts Award. Animator David Bunting’s Masterclass shows the magic behind his work on Shaun the Sheep, Chuggington and Bob the Builder. You can work on your own How to Train Your Dragon, Frozen and Lego animations in our dedicated Animation Zone, and take part in a giant, living Minions comic book or learn skills in Documentary and Soundtrack making too.

The Film House also gives you the chance to explore secret parts of Leeds Town Hall that aren’t normally open to the public. You can journey back through history on the Clock Tower Time Travel Tour with storyteller Matthew Bellwood, who will show you how movies were first invented, or join the Easter Bunny on an Easter Egg hunt in the magical forest below The Film House and discover a hidden world of wonder.

You’ll find something to do in every part of The Film House all throughout the day, from challenging yourself to make the best Minecraft build to re-creating your favourite films in The Pop Up Booth, taking part in the biggest Movie Karaoke there is and watching the best film-themed video hits on the largest screen you’ve ever seen them on with the YouTube Jukebox.

Delicious food and snacks are available from a range of Street Food Stalls at the front of the Town Hall and in The Film House café, and facilities for parents with young children include a Buggy Zone and Baby Changing.

All-inclusive* Day Passes for The Film House are incredible value, beginning at just £6.50 per person. A limited supply of Early Bird Passes are available for £25, giving access for up to four people (including up to two adults). Entry is free for Under 3s.

For all this and much more, please visit to view the full programme and to purchase tickets. You can also purchase tickets by visiting City Centre Box Office on Millenium Square in person (The Carriageworks, Millenium Square, Leeds, LS2 3AD) or calling 0113 224 3801.

*Day Passes do not include the Clock Tower Time Travel Tour or Easter Bunny Adventure, which must be booked separately once you have purchased your Film House Pass. Programme is correct at time of printing, but is subject to change.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills said:

“The Leeds Young Film Festival is a fantastic annual event in our city, which provides a unique platform for young people to enjoy the magic of cinema and also learn new skills to improve their own individual work and projects.

“As always an action-packed and diverse programme will feature in this year’s event, which is guaranteed to both captivate and entertain young people of all ages.”

Debbie Maturi, Director of Leeds Young Film Festival said:

“We’re really excited to add The Film House to Leeds Young Film Festival’s programme. It’s such a unique and interactive day out for families – in one of the city’s favourite buildings. And with so much to see and experience, it’s really great value too.”

The Oscars are back for another year! The style stakes hit an all high as our anticipated celebs made it on to the red carpet, striking a pose stars stunned in designer label such Valentino to Tom Ford, Chanel and many more.

image7There were many hits and just as many misses when it came to fashion on the red carpet. It seems not everyone was looking their best. known for her rather bizarre fashion choices, Lady Gaga appeared in an unusual custom made ensemble by Azzedine Alaïa, This wasn’t very flattering to say the least. Another miss on the red carpet was Solange Knowles, the 28 year old was pictured in a very unappealing crimson colour by Christian Siriano .

image5However upping their game and making their mark was the ever so elegant Anna Wintour (Who never fails to impress!) Actress Keira Knightly stunned in a beautiful Valentino gown, whereas Rosamund Pike showed off her slim figure in a flower red Givenchy dress. One of my favourites of the night was what Cate Blanchette wore. The star oozed beauty and sophistication is a long black dress by John Galliano. From hair to makeup, the whole look was on point!

image3It wasn’t only the women…but the men also seemed to be looking competing the style stake this year. Going for a casual but slick look was Jared Leto. This you either love or hate…I personally love it! I think it is such a cool look & I must say, he does look very good in lilac! Oscar winning actor Eddie Redmayne looked dapper as ever in his suit. It was perfection and indeed very award winning!

To see the list of award winners, click here

It was an eventful night at the Oscar’s last night with a few surprising winners. Birdman took the big gongs, winning both Best Picture and Best Director, while Best Actor and Actress, went to the very deserving Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore respectively.

Check out all the winners below:

Best Picture – Birdman

Best Director – Alejandro G Inarritu, Birdman

Best Actor – Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Best Actress – Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Best Supporting Actor – JK Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress – Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Best Adapted Screenplay – The Imitation Game

Best Original Screenplay – Birdman

Best Animated Feature – Big Hero 6

Best Animated Short – Feast

Best Cinematography – Birdman

Best Costume Design – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Documentary Feature – CitezanFour

Best Documentary Short – Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Best Film Editing – Whiplash

Best Foreign Language Film – Ida (Poland)

Best Live Action Short – The Phone Call

Best Make-up & Hairstyling – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Original Score – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Production Design – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Song – Glory, Selma

Best Sound Editing – American Sniper

Best Sound Mixing – Whiplash

Best Visual Effects – Interstellar

Cineworld Cinemas Limited have been fined £9500 with £2573.29 costs and £120 victims of crime surcharge after two members of staff received an electric shock from a faulty popcorn machine.

JS33348365The faulty appliance delivered electric shocks to two employees of Cineworld Cinema, Parrs Wood, Didsbury.

The case was brought as a result of an investigation by Manchester City Council after a member of staff received an electric shock turning on the machine on 4 December 2013.

Despite the incident being reported, managers failed to take the appliance out of use and did not place any warning notices on the appliance to ensure it was not used by staff.

Later that evening a second employee received an electric shock when turning off the machine.

Although neither employee suffered serious injury, the consequences of both accidents could have been much more severe or even fatal.

At the Manchester Magistrates’ Court hearing yesterday, Cineworld Cinemas Limited pleaded guilty to two charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Councillor Kate Chappell, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Environment, said: “We take the safety of employees extremely seriously- people have a right to work in a safe environment and this company potentially put lives at risk.

“It is imperative that businesses follow health and safety guidelines. On this occasion both employees were lucky not to have suffered serious injury but the outcome could have been much worse.”

Willard Carroll Smith, Jr. was born in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the second of four children. He grew up in the middle class area of West Philadelphia and attended the Will Smith 3Overbrook High School located in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He got the nickname “Prince” because of the way he could charm his way out of trouble.

Pursuing music, he met Jeffrey A. Townes at a party and they soon began performing together as ‘D.J. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince’. When the duo took off in popularity, Smith made and spent a lot of money on a house, cars and jewellery, leading to his near-bankruptcy in his early twenties.

Luckily, in 1989, he met Benny Medina, who had an idea for a sitcom based on his life in Beverly Hills. Smith loved the idea as did N.B.C. which put on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990).

The series lasted six years and during that time, Smith ventured into movies where the critics took note of him in Six Degrees of Separation (1993). With the success that came with the action picture Bad Boys (1995), Smith’s movie career was set. He had a huge Blockbuster hit with Independence Day (1996), where he plays the alien-battling Marine Corps Captain Steven Hiller and continues to entertain the masses to this day.

Selected Filmography

1993 Six Degrees of Separation

1997 Men in Black

2001 Ali

2005 I, Robot

2007 I am Legend

2008 Seven Pounds

2013 After Earth

Jupiter Ascending

Dir. Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski USA 2015

Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Eddie Redmayne

MV5BMTQyNzk2MjA2NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjEwNzk3MjE@._V1__SX966_SY423_Jupiter Jones was born under a night sky, with signs predicting that she was destined for great things. Now grown, Jupiter dreams of the stars but wakes up to the cold reality of a job cleaning toilets and an endless run of bad breaks. Only when Caine, a genetically engineered ex-military hunter, arrives on Earth to track her down does Jupiter begin to glimpse the fate that has been waiting for her all along – her genetic signature marks her as next in line for an extraordinary inheritance that could alter the balance of the cosmos.

Genre: Action/Adventure/Fantasy



Dir. Ava DuVernay UK/USA 2014

David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth

MV5BODMxNjAwODA2Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzc0NjgzMzE@._V1__SX966_SY423_The unforgettable true story chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director Ava DuVernay’s Selma tells the story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history.

Genre: Biography/Drama/History



MV5BMTUxMjQ2NjI4OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODc2NjUwNDE@._V1__SX966_SY423_Dir. Dean Israelite USA 2015

Amy Landecker, Sofia Black-D’Elia, Virginia Gardner

As a group of friends discover plans for a time machine, they build it and use it to fix their problems and personal gain. But as the future falls apart with disasters, and each of them disappear little by little, they must travel back to the past to make sure they never invent the machine or face the destruction of humanity.

Genre: Sci-Fi/Thriller


Fifty Shades of Grey

Dir. Sam Taylor-Johnson USA 2015

Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Jennifer Ehle

MV5BMjE1MTM4NDAzOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTMwNjI0MzE@._V1__SX966_SY423_When Anastasia Steele, a literature student, goes to interview the wealthy Christian Grey, as a favor to her roommate Kate Kavanagh, she encounters a beautiful, brilliant and intimidating man. The innocent and naive Ana started to realize she wants him, despite his enigmatic reserve and advice, she finds herself desperate to get close to him. Not able to resist Ana’s beauty and independent spirit, Christian Grey admits he wants her too, but in his own terms. Ana hesitates as she discovers the singular tastes of Christian Grey – despite of the embellishments of success, his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family – Grey is consumed by the need to control everything.

Genre: Drama/Romance



Dir. Daniel Barnz USA 2015

Jennifer Aniston, Lucy Punch, Felicity Huffman

MV5BMTc4NDYzNTcyM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjQ5NzQ0MzE@._V1__SX966_SY423_Claire Simmons (Aniston) is in pain. Her physical pain is evident in the scars that line her body and the way she carries herself, wincing with each tentative step. She’s no good at hiding her emotional pain either. Blunt to the point of searing insult, Claire’s anger seethes out of her with nearly every interaction. She has driven away her husband, her friends — even her chronic-pain support group has kicked her out. The only one left in Claire’s otherwise solitary existence is her housekeeper-cum-caretaker, Silvana, who barely tolerates her boss’ need for liquor and prescription pills. But the suicide of Nina, one of Claire’s fellow chronic-pain group members, prompts another fixation.

Genre: Drama



Dir. Glenn Ficarra, John Requa USA 2015

Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro

MV5BMTUwODg2OTA4OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTE5MTE4MzE@._V1__SX966_SY423_Will Smith stars as Nicky, a seasoned master of misdirection who becomes romantically involved with novice con artist Jess (Robbie). As he’s teaching her the tricks of the trade, she gets too close for comfort and he abruptly breaks it off. Three years later, the former flame – now an accomplished femme fatale – shows up in Buenos Aires in the middle of the high stakes race car circuit. In the midst of Nicky’s latest, very dangerous scheme, she throws his plans for a loop… and the consummate con man off his game.

Genre: Comedy/Crime/Drama



By Qainaat Aftab

On day to day bases I love to read motivational and funny quotes just to make my day that bit brighter. My obsession with reading quotes has gotten so far that my friends have recommended me writing a quote book!

Starting a new year, I thought why not look at some of the wisest and funniest things celebrities have said in 2014.

HarryFirst of all, we have Prince Harry talking about the news of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge expecting another child – “I can’t wait to see my brother suffer more, and with any luck if it’s a girl, then he’ll suffer even greater. I’d love to see him try and cope with that.”


RihannaRihanna tells Vogue the obvious in THAT outfit“If I’m wearing a top, I don’t wear a bra. If I’m wearing a bra, I just wear a bra.”




FallonJimmy Fallon shows he’s one joker as he comments on the alleged rows between Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber “Orlando Bloom apparently threw a punch at Justin Bieber last night during an argument at a nightclub. Orlando’s hand was pretty sore today, you know, from all the high fives he got.”


Gemma CollinsMiss Gemma Collins said a lot of hilarious things in her short time in the jungle, there was too much to choose from! But this dramatic statement must have to top them all “People that murder get treated better than this and that’s the truth. Even a murderer gets fed three times a day.”      



Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift shares her opinion on the views of her dating life – “I feel like watching my dating life has become a bit of a national pastime.”               

Suarez2014 crowned Germany winners of the World Cup, however that was not the only highlight of the competition. Uruguay’s player Luis Suarez found himself in the firing line after biting Italian player Giorgio Chiellni. This is what Suarez had to say about the incident“I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent. At that moment I hit my face against the player leaving a small bruise on my check and a strong pain in my teeth.” 


Miley CyrusMiley Cyrus put forward her views on the double standards of society – “I still don’t think we’re there 100 percent. I mean, guy rappers grab their crotch all f*cking day and have ho’s around them, but no one talks about it. But if I grab my crotch and I have hot model bitches around me, I’m degrading women? I’m a woman — I should be able to have girls around me! But I’m part of the evolution of that. I hope.”

untitled (5)We may have seen a bit too much of Kim Kardashian in 2014“As a role model I’m not saying anyone else should do that, but for me it was an art project and it taught me to do what you want to do.”        




JolieAngelina Jolie revealed the news of her double mastectomy I feel very, very close – much closer – to other women who are going through the same thing. Wherever I go, usually I run into women and we talk about health issues, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer.”         


CameronBritish Prime Minister David Cameron had to apologise to the Queen after he made remarks to The Queens reaction to the Scottish Referendum vote“Ringing the Queen and saying: “It’s alright, it’s OK.” That was something. She purred down the line.”     


Emma WatsonEmma Watson delivered an inspirational speech for her HeForShe campaign at the UN“I have realised that fighting for women’s right has too often become synonymous with man hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop.”



Russell Brand came in the limelight by sharing his views on British politics“Imagining the overthrow of the current political system is the only way I can be enthused about politics.”


BeckhamVictoria Beckham continues to show the world that she’s super woman – “I’m lucky that I do something I love, and I am proud as I think it’s a positive message to give to young women; if you want to have a career, and be married with children, and then you can. It’s full on, but it’s doable.”



These few quotes just go to show what a year it has been, only time will tell what 2015 will bring.