Film4 Productions

Dark Horse: Illustrated poster released

27 Mar, 2015 Productions Posted in:

Dark Horse

A new illustrated poster has been released for Louise Osmond’s award-winning inspirational documentary Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story Of Dream Alliance, designed by Brighton-based artist Richard Wilkinson.

Dark Horse is the inspirational true story of a group of friends from a Welsh working men’s club who take on the elite ‘sport of kings’ and breed themselves a racehorse. It will receive a special satellite premiere across Wales on April 14th, before a nationwide release on April 17th.

Click here for more information about Dark Horse


Dark Horse: Welsh Premiere Announced

26 Mar, 2015 Productions Posted in:
Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance

Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance

Sundance Award winner Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story Of Dream Alliance will be launching in cinemas across Wales with a special live satellite premiere event from Blackwood, where the film is set and was primarily shot, on Tuesday 14th April, and will then go on general release from 17th April. Tickets for participating cinemas are now available for pre-booking.

After the premiere, key characters from the film, Jan Vokes, Brian Vokes and Howard Davies, will be joined on stage by director Louise Osmond and producer Judith Dawson, to answer questions from the audience and panel host Lisa Rogers. This unique event will be beamed by satellite to cinemas across Wales.

Dark Horse tells the larger than life true story of how a barmaid in a former mining village in South Wales bred a racehorse, Dream Alliance,  on her allotment that went on to become a champion. Jan had successfully bred dogs and birds and believed she could do the same with a different animal – though she knew nothing about racing and had never been on a horse. Convincing a handful of locals to part with £10 a week for her scheme, she found a thoroughbred mare with a terrible racing record for £300, a stallion past his best, put them together and – against all the odds – bred a winner.

An inspirational and life affirming true story, Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story Of Dream Alliance won the Audience Award in the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the Sundance Film Festival this year. Directed by Louise Osmond, the film will be released in the UK and Ireland on 17th April 2015 through Picturehouse Entertainment. The film is co-financed by Film4, the BFI Film Fund and Ffilm Cymru Wales.

For further information on tickets and participating cinemas, visit

Editor Chris Wyatt on ’71

09 Mar, 2015 Productions Posted in: DVDs, Guest blog

Editor Chris Wyatt has worked on modern classics of film and TV including  Dead Man’s Shoes, Dreams Of A Life and Dead Set. Here, he talks about his work with Yann Demange on ’71, out now on DVD and Blu-Ray.

71 jack o connell

Yann Demange and I have had a close working relationship over the last nine years or so. We first met when I’d just finished on This Is England and a mutual friend suggested that we should get together. It was one of those extraordinary things: there I was, overweight in my ill-fitting blazer, with the script in a Sainsbury’s bag, and then into the room swans this uber-trendy 25 year-old, and naturally it was love at first sight. We hit up an extraordinarily close working relationship very early on.

Charlie Brooker’s E4 series Dead Set was the project that really crystallised the way in which we work, and I always think of Dead Set as Yann’s first film. When we did come to do ’71, there was never any of that first film pressure, because to me I felt that we had done it all already.

Even when I saw his film school shorts before we met, it was clear to me that he is a cinematic talent. There was never any question in my mind whether he would be making films for the big screen – that’s where he belongs. He is a cinematic director, that has always been clear, and it has been evident in everything that he’s done, but particularly on Dead Set, and I think moments of Top Boy as well.

“It’s always about what you leave out, it’s about paring it right back.”

He is very visceral, very muscular, adrenaline-fuelled, but when one steps back and you look at the work that he’s done, it’s actually the quiet moments, those moments of pausing and reflection which make him such a great cinematic talent. It’s almost unheard of to get these passages of time in television where nobody says anything; everybody’s so desperate to fill the air time with people saying the bleeding obvious.

Yann’s always been very good at being very bullish about keeping those quiet moments. A picture really is worth 1000 words, and that has always been his great strength I think. When the ’71 script came in and we were looking at it, I was amazed how little dialogue there was. It seemed to make absolute sense to me that this would be the sort of thing that would attract Yann. It’s always about what you leave out, it’s about paring it right back.

To me the audience is the final collaborator, so if you give them 95% of the whole picture, they will happily give you the extra 5%. If you engage with them they will absolutely run with you and go on that journey. And I think that’s one of the successes of ’71 – we left out everything that might have been tedious and boring and would give too much away.

For me the riot scene in ’71 is the culmination of everything we’ve done. That, for me, represents absolutely the essence of the work that we’ve done. I can die happily thinking that that’s been left and really does for me signify everything that we’ve stood for these last nine years.

The apartment in Berlin where Chris and Yann edited the director’s cut of ’71.

The Berlin apartment in which Chris and Yann edited the director’s cut of ’71.

Buy ’71 on DVD and Blu-Ray now.





To celebrate International Women’s Day, a portrait of the women behind Suffragette

06 Mar, 2015 Productions Posted in: Uncategorized

suffragette resized

Back Row, Left to Right:
Sarah Gavron (Director), Helen Pankhurst (Great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst), Laura Pankhurst (Great-great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst), Alison Owen (Producer).

Front Row, Left to Right:
Abi Morgan (Screenwriter), Anne-Marie Duff (Actor), Meryl Streep (Actor), Carey Mulligan (Actor), Helena Bonham Carter (Actor), Faye Ward (Producer).

To celebrate International Women’s Day on Sunday 8th March 2015, we are proud to release this portrait of the women behind Suffragette – the first feature film to tell the story of the ordinary British women at the turn of the last century who risked everything in the fight for equality and the right to vote.

Depicted in the photograph are the stars of the film Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne-Marie Duff and Meryl Streep; the director, Sarah Gavron; the screenwriter, Abi Morgan; and the producers, Faye Ward and Alison Owen. They are joined by Helen and Laura Pankhurst, great-grand-daughter and great-great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst, leader of the Suffragette movement. The photograph was taken by Brigitte Lacombe in London on 12th February 2015.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2015 is ‘Make it Happen’ – the filmmakers depicted in the photograph did just that. According to the BFI (British Film Institute), in the 7 years from 2007 to 2013, the average percentage of British films released each year that were directed by women was 12%; and for films written by women the percentage was little better at 14.8%. Perhaps the small number of female voices in the industry is why no feature film has ever been made about the women who 100 years ago fought for the right to vote. Their strategy of passive resistance inspired political leaders from Gandhi to Martin Luther King. It is a story that should not be forgotten.

Meryl Streep, who plays Emmeline Pankhurst in Suffragette, commented: “Every daughter should know this history, every son write it on his own heart.”

Sarah Gavron, director of Suffragette, stated: “International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women throughout the world and I am overjoyed that my film can be part of that celebration. The story of the ordinary British women who were willing to sacrifice everything in their fight for the right to vote is an inspiration to all of us in our ongoing fight for equality.”

Helen Pankhurst is a Special Advisor on Gender Equality for Care International. On International Women’s Day, a number of the filmmakers will be joining Helen and Laura Pankhurst for the CARE International “Walk In Her Shoes” event – a public walk to show solidarity with women and girls worldwide who still endure inequality and injustice. The public are invited to join the start of the walk at The Scoop outside London’s City Hall at 10am on 8th March 2015.