Picturehouse Cinemas, in partnership with McCann London, is putting fledgling film talent on the big screen as it announces the winner of its film competition for Picturehouse Cinema Members; a contest that gave all Members the opportunity to write a short film to run in the ‘super-gold’ spot before each full-length feature. The competition, which launched back in January, was devised by McCann London as part of a brief to promote the value of the cinema group’s Membership scheme. It had an overwhelmingly positive response, with over 400 original story treatments submitted on the theme of “Belonging.” The competition was a key part of McCann’s repositioning of the Picturehouse Cinemas brand under the motto “Our Members Make Us.”
The well-deserved winning film is “We Rise,” the brainchild of Rosie Baldwin, a Member of The Ritzy Cinema in Brixton. The film is a short documentary about a unique rock band from Eastbourne, East Sussex, called Delta Seven. It tells the uplifting story of how seven individuals with special needs came together to express themselves through music and challenge negative stereotypes. The Picturehouse Members’ Film Competition was judged by industry luminaries, including the award-winning director of Senna and Amy, Asif Kapadia; the legendary producer of Skyfall and Spectre, Barbara Broccoli; Ben Roberts, the director of the BFI Film Fund; Gurinder Chadha, the director of Bend It Like Beckham and Bride & Prejudice; and TV presenter Edith Bowman.
The prize for winning the competition was to have We Rise professionally produced and shown on all Picturehouse cinema screens to millions of people throughout the year. Rosie Baldwin said of her win: “It's been an amazing opportunity to make a film I'm very passionate about. For it to be shown in cinemas nationwide is an incredible platform, not only for me as a filmmaker but also for the band, who really deserve the chance to show everyone just how great they are.” Laurence Thomson, competition judge and McCann London Chief Creative Officer, said: “When we set out to give a filmmaker a platform, we had no idea where it would lead. So we’re delighted to have uncovered Rosie Baldwin and We Rise – and truly humbled to now be in a position to help some musicians overcome barriers and get their creative voices heard.” Mike Oughton, McCann Creative Director, added: “Having had the pleasure of reading all 400+ submissions, I can say that the standard was incredibly high. It was a huge honour to have helped inspire so much creativity.”
We Rise premiered at Picturehouse Central on Tuesday 27th September and, from Friday 30th September, will be shown in Picturehouse cinemas across the UK. The two-and-a-half-minute short was produced and shot by McCann London and Craft London and can be seen in full below. It's a genuinely inspiring piece of filmmaking that, as a musician myself, really struck a chord (no pun intended).
Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer and struggling musician from Kidderminster in the UK.