ArtsFest has been good to us. Last year our RTS Midlands Award nominee The Interviewee was screened during the film programme as part of the annual Birmingham arts festival (the largest of it’s kind in the UK). This year our latest project The Iron Lady was similarly rewarded. The short film, developed for the Film4 Scene Stealers competition to remake the company’s most famous films for their 30th Anniversary, was shown at one of Birmingham’s leading arts venues, mac Birmingham (formerly the Midlands Arts Centre). The strand, titled Next Gen Shorts, was programmed by mac and the good people at IdeasTap, with all thirteen films being made by filmmakers aged between 16 and 30. The films selected were extremely diverse, from beautiful, moving and meditative animations dealing with subjects such as grief and death, to hilarious cat-puppet fronted music videos, and, of course, our lampoon of the Oscar winning Margaret Thatcher biopic.
The Iron Lady was shown second in the strand, and after an initial silence greeting the opening minute or so (a young man dragged up to play an elderly woman must have been a jarring sight for the assembled audience, particularly divorced from context of what in blue blazes they were watching) the laughs began to flow soon afterwards. From the moment Mrs T donned the mantle of her ferrous namesake to deliver her unique brand of justice, giggles, titters and guffaws could all be heard. As such, all things considered it was clearly a successful big screen bow for our humorous tweaking of the Meryl Streep starrer.
The screening also gave us the chance to experience the heady heights of celebrity (sort of): we were recognised! On entry to mac before the show began, the organisers deduced who I was from my performance as Thatcher in the short. Even without the wig, pearls, suit, skirt, old lady make up and/or battle suit, we were spotted. Which is both very gratifying, and something of a concern. Hopefully we shall not have to take such drastic steps in the costume department to be noticed next time.
Thank you to mac, IdeasTap and ArtsFest for putting on the screening and for selecting The Iron Lady as part of its lineup, and thanks to those who came to support it. For those who couldn’t get down to Cannon Hill Park to see it, fear not! Watch the film below, or else on our dedicated film page: