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Friday 21 August 2015

A movie destined to be shown at the world’s most famous festivals like Sundance was written and stars a former Bedford College performing arts staff member. Motherland comes from an original story by Jason Riddington. It is the latest in a growing back catalogue of movie connections for Bedford College.

Richard Jobson’s film Waylands Song was filmed with the support of Bedford College and led to the founding of the Bedford Film Festival being held for the third time this autumn. The festival involves exclusive workshops being held at Bedford College’s South Bank Arts Centre.

With the help TV friends involved in programmes like Mr Selfridge, Jason’s story became a script and then a movie. It was filmed in London and Bedford – mostly at the Eagle Book Shop in Castle Road.

The story links an Englishman Julian (Jason), who had travelled to Mali in Africa and left behind there a popular Malian folk singer he met and come to love, and a young Malian man who gains entry to the UK via people traffickers.

“When I had the idea for the story several years ago after hearing a Radio 4 report about artists being ill-treated an African state, the concept of people being smuggled in via shipping containers was little heard of. Now we see it on the TV news every evening,” said Jason when speaking to an audience of possible investors organised by Woodfines Solicitors at The Ent Shed, Castle Road.

Jason began his screen career playing in Wuthering Heights opposite Juliette Binoche and Ralph Fiennes. TV shows have included Inspector Morse, Luther and many more. Most recently he has appeared in Ben Kenwright’s 12 Angry Men in the West End.

More locally he worked teaching performing arts skills at Bedford College before becoming Head of Drama at Bedford Modern School.

“The asylum angle of this story is very relevant to Bedford as we have the national spotlight on the Borough because of the Yarlswood immigration detention centre. Many of those people held there may have stories similar to that which we tell in Motherland,” added Jason.

Motherland

Cast:

Moussa is played by Sope Dirisu of Channel 4’s The Mill, Utopia and The Casual Vacancy and AMC’s Humans. He has recently completed his first feature film Criminal.

Ramata is played by Naomi Ryan studied performing arts at college before winning a role in Coronation Street. She has been in various feature films including Honeytrap and also appears in Mr Selfridge on TV.

Producer is Dominic Barlow of Garrow’s Law and Mr Selfridge.

Screenwriter / Director is Jason Hreno is a multi-award winner. In his native Canada he directed several TV movies and shows including The Hunger for Ridley and Tony Scott.

Director of Photography Gareth Hughes joined the BBC in 1991 and has worked on the biggest name programmes. In 2012/13 he joined the VFX unit of Disney’s Maleficent.

www.motherlandtheshortfilm.com

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