Oldham film eligible for the Oscars

A SHORT film shot on location at spots across Oldham – including Diggle – has won best drama at the Out On Film festival in the US – making it eligible for the 2022 Academy Awards.

‘Inertia’, produced by Manchester-based Leapling Films, will also be available to watch on All4 later in the year after being nominated for Best of British at the BAFTA qualifying Iris Prize in Cardiff, Wales.

Inertia cast and crew

The film tells the story of school pupil Rabia (Payal Mistry) and teacher Maddie (Joanne Mitchell) who become friends after Maddie loses her wife, Leigh, due to an incredibly rare natural phenomenon.

It was shot over four days in four locations including Diggle, Rossendale Nature Reserve and Broadoak Community Centre and features a cast of 20 professional actors and extras.

Supported by Film Hub North as part of BFI NETWORK, the film is the second funded collaboration between Writer/Director Mat Johns and Chris Lane, Producer at Leapling Films.

Their first funded short film ‘A Father’s Day’ was previously selected for more than 160 film festivals and viewed four million times online.

Out of 7,000 film festivals worldwide, only 63 have Oscar-qualifying accreditation and the film will now be submitted for judging by members of the Academy for Best Live Action Short Film.

Mat said: “It’s amazing that the film is now eligible for the OSCARs and the BAFTAs. I’m so proud our team’s hard work and my hometown of Oldham will be seen in a film by members of the Academy.”

Chris added: “Mat and I are looking to shoot our first feature next year and based on the success of ‘Inertia’ and our previous short ‘A Father’s Day’, it shows we and the team can deliver consistent quality.”

Writer/Director Mat Johns and Producer Chris Lane

Chris and Mat are continuing to develop a slate of feature films across the genres set in the North of England, but for the foreseeable future, they will be looking to finance a low budget horror-drama via Leapling Films called ‘Amira’.

If anyone would like to know more about ‘Amira’ or opportunities to fund the film, further information can be found at www.leaplingfilms.com/amira

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