Former Shameless star Jody Latham plots Manchester movie on bare knuckle boxing – funded by Kickstarter

Former Shameless star-turned director Jody Latham has turned to the crowd-funding website Kickstarter fund part of his new film set to a host of Mancunian talent.

Jody, who has starred in Shameless, Eastenders, The Fixer and Waterloo Road is now stepping behind the camera to produce and direct the film ‘Showground’.

Latham is holding an event at The Manchester Bangkok House this evening to launch his Kickstarter campaign to help fund for the project.

Kickstarter is a crowd funding platform where people who back projects are offered tangible rewards and special experiences in exchange for their pledges.

When discussing his reason to turn to Kickstarter Jody Told MM: “For me this project is also about promoting crowd funds and Kickstarter.

“I want this film to give people the confidence to go out and create their own stuff.

“With the help of crowd funding, people who may have only dreamed of doing something like this could make it a reality, and that’s an amazing thing.”

The film, which will be set, produced and shot in Manchester, follows teenager Nicky, who after years of abuse at the hands of his father finds escapism through a travelling fair, and falls into the world of bare knuckle fighting.

Talking about his directing debut Jody said: “I used to love the fair as a kid, I’d hear these stories about my uncle who used to work on a travelling fair himself.

“I started to develop this story in my teens, and I promised myself if got into the film industry, I’d produce and direct it myself.

“I’ve worked on with screen writer Chris Green on the story, which is partly based on true events, and as it’s so close to my heart, when it came to directing my first film, Showground just felt like the one.”

A really important element of this film for the Manc actor is the fresh talent involved both in front of and behind the camera.

Jody will be auditioning people for roles through the Showground Twitter page, and will be working alongside Futureworks media school based in Manchester, whose students will be heavily involved in the project.

Jody told MM: “It’s about getting local creatives involved, and giving as many people as possible a chance. 

“Getting young people involved in the film process won’t jeopardise the quality of this feature because they are so talented, and ready for the opportunity.

“I want to provide an environment where people can flourish, to engage the emerging generation of film makers – important to keep creativity in the local community thriving and more importantly introducing new talent.”

Richard Hellawell, Head of TV department at Futureworks, who will also working on the project said the project is a great opportunity for young talent.

He told MM: “Working with Jody is a brilliant platform for the students, working with real professionals in a feature film is an invaluable experience, and impossible to replicate, which is why projects like this are so important to the students of Manchester.”

Students from the school will be involved on the production, editing, and visual effects of the film.

“Jody is great,” Richard said. “He’s creative, putting in time and money, he’s taking a risk, but he’s doing it because he loves it and in the process he’s creating an exciting boost for the Manchester film industry.”

The Kickstarter event will be held at 7pm tonight at Manchester Bangkok Bar& Restaurant, 40-44 Princess Street, M1 6DE.

If you’d like to donate to the Showground project click here.

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