City filmmakers gear up to shoot next project after sealing cash grant from top international festival judges
A PAIR of filmmakers have been granted cash for their latest project after wowing judges from top festivals.
University of Portsmouth graduates Matthew Harrison and Summer Greenwood will begin filming their psychological thriller LEAL in Scotland this week.
It comes after the director-producer team sealed €1,500 from judges – including representatives from the world-renowned Sundance, Edinburgh and Seattle international film festivals – when they pitched the short at the British European Talent Screening in Berlin last year.
Now, with the cash boost behind them, they will unite with filmmakers from Germany to start shooting on Wednesday.
Mr Harrison, 29, said: ‘Pitching LEAL was quite nerve-racking, but it was an amazing experience.
‘Securing this money means the project can now get off the ground after about a year of preparation.
‘I’m proud to say we have a fantastic team in place and we are all incredibly excited to get started.’
Set in post-apocalyptic times, Mr Harrison says LEAL will ‘explore the human condition’ of its characters as they go about life after an epidemic.
It will feature stars Brian McCardie, who appeared alongside James McAvoy in the 2013 adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s Filth, and Jayne Wisener – who starred beside Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s 2007 take on Sweeney Todd.
Ahead of filming, Mr Harrison says he and his fiancée Summer – a producer – owe their craft to the University of Portsmouth, from where they graduated in 2016.
He said: ‘The university really pushed us forward and opened up opportunities.
‘Having the support of our former lecturer, Ben Thompson, has been really beneficial – he has always been a champion of our work.
‘I’m Portsmouth-born and bred, and the city is where we both learnt to do what we enjoy doing now.’
When they are not shooting short films, Harrison and Summer work in the locations department for top productions – including Jurassic World 2 and the recently-released fourth season of Black Mirror.
And as duty calls to create what the pair say could be their final short, they have their sights set on an exciting future. Mr Harrison said: ‘Our ultimate goal is to see our films up there on the big screen. So, naturally, we would love to start putting together a feature film.’