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A quick peep at things happening in the industry...

Danny Dyer has landed the lead role in Paul Wilkins’ upcoming production, SEVEN LIVES. The independently produced film is writer/director Wilkins’ feature debut, but has attracted some high-profile names and an impressive production team; Kate Ashfield (Shaun of the Dead) will star alongside Dyer, while Jon de Borman (The Full Monty, Hideous Kinky) is Director of Photography and Nigel Galt (Eyes Wide Shut, The Ferryman) is Editor.
Dyer plays Tom, a man trapped in a family life that no longer excites him, and struggling in his sales job. He embarks on an affair with Cynthia (Ashfield), who promises a more adventurous life. But on his way home after a night with her, he is attacked by three hooded thugs and falls into a dreamy, semi-conscious state. In this state, he is pulled into six different identities, and the seven stories – his being the seventh – form the narrative of the film.
The unusual structure of the story has been reflected in the funding process for the film: the first chapter – Tom’s story – has been made, and is being used to raise the commercial interest to fund the further six chapters.
Dyer has the chance to enhance his critical and popular reputation in the challenging lead role, upon which this intriguing project may hinge. His adaptability will be pushed, playing the seven parts, from a hedonistic rock star, to a homeless man, to one of the men who attacked him. If he succeeds, it could redefine his career.
But perhaps the man who stands to gain most, is Wilkins. The film could announce a genuine new writing and directing talent on the UK scene, and with the experienced names he has attracted for his debut, and the ambition and scope of the project, the signs are positive. FilmExposed will be chatting with Wilkins soon, and following his and the production’s progress throughout.

For those of you disinclined to Howard Hughes scale reclusiveness, between 17th October and 1st November there is no better excuse to leave the warm bosom of the abode than The Times BFI 51st London Film Festival. The full programme, announced by Artistic Director Sandra Hebron, includes 184 features and 133 shorts as well as screen talks, masterclasses and live events. Like the Pavlovian film-buffs we are, here at FilmExposed we’re foaming at the mouth.
The 16-day festival has films from heavy-hitters down to first-timers, and will host 7 world, 29 European and 128 UK premieres, including the world premiere of Robert Redford’s Afghanistan war story, LIONS FOR LAMBS. Ang Lee’s recent Venice Film Festival Golden Lion winner, LUST, CAUTION, will be on show, along with Lee himself, and there’s also new work from Michael Haneke (FUNNY GAMES), Todd Haynes (I’M NOT THERE), and François Ozon (ANGEL), among many, many – well, 179, to be exact – more.
British filmmaking is well represented: there’s Penny Woolcock (EXODUS), Garth Jennings (SON OF RAMBOW: A HOME MOVIE), Nick Broomfield (BATTLE FOR HADITHA), Asif Kapadia (FAR NORTH), Richard Attenborough (CLOSING THE RING) as well as by newcomers Simon Welsford (JETSAM) and Joanna Hogg (UNRELATED), and a selection of documentaries and shorts.
But then, there’s few places unrepresented, with entries from 43 countries, including Israel, Lebanon, China, Spain, Hungary and Korea, and a special event entitled ROMANIAN CINEMA: THE NEXT NEW WAVE? Other events feature French cinema (THE FRENCH REVOLUTIONS), and film restorations (TREASURES FROM THE ARCHIVES – including the intriguing KILLER OF SHEEP).
Among the confirmed attendees are Wes Anderson, Laura Linney, Steve Buscemi, Paul Greengrass, Harmony Korine, Halle Berry, Jason Schwartzman and meryl Streep. There’s David Lynch and Donovan CATCHING THE BIG FISH, where they’ll talk about transcendental meditation and its influence on their work – not to be missed! David Cronenberg’s EASTERN PROMISE will kick-start festivities on the 17th, and Wes Anderson’s THE DARJEELING LIMITED should round thing off nicely on 1st November.
But really, all this is just a taste of what’s on offer, so check out the website, at, for more. And when the time comes, get yourself down there, and seclude yourself in a cinema…

The Birds Eye View Film Festival is looking for innovative and inspirational shorts, features and documentaries from women filmmakers from around the globe, to be part of their 2008 programme. The festival will be in its 4th year and will run for six days, from March 6th 2008, packed with special events, panels, parties, celebrity presenters, guest speakers and, of course, the films themselves.
Since its inception in 2005, the festival has made it its mission to celebrate the work of women in the film industry, and address the “crazy imbalance” where they make up only 7% of film directors and 12% of screenwriters. The festival has grown steadily, and prompted many positive critical mutterings, The Guardian calling it “hugely successful”, and Time Out saying this year “The Birds Eye View Film Festival has clearly hit its stride, with a selection of smart, intelligent features”.
The deadline for UK submissions is 3rd November, and 12th November for International submissions. For more information, the eye-pleasing website is at

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