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Charles Barker’s The Call Up To Close SciFi London Film Festival 2016 this May ahead of Cinema release

15 April 2016

Today Altitude Film Entertainment in association with Stigma Films and Red and Black Films is delighted to announce that their British SciFi thriller The Call Up has been chosen to close the SciFi London Film Festival on Friday 6th May ahead of its theatrical release on 20th May and DVD / On Demand release on 23rd May.

Written and Directed by Charles Barker, The Call Up is produced by Matthew James Wilkinson (Gateway 6, SLR, Kaleidoscope) of Stigma Films, John Giwa-Amu (The Machine, The Silent Storm, Little White Lies) of Red & Black Films and executive produced by Alan Martin (The Machine, Stone of Destiny, Darklands). Max Deacon (Into the Storm, Hatfields & McCoys) leads an ensemble cast, joined by exciting up-and-coming talent, including Morfydd Clark (Love & Friendship, Madame Bovary, A Poet in New York), Ali Cook (Kajaki, The Anomaly, The Messenger), Parker Sawyers (Zero Dark Thirty, Parkside With You, Monsters: Dark Continent), Tom Benedict Knight (Dracula Untold, Houdini), Boris Ler (Death in Sarajevo, In the Land of Blood and Honey), newcomer Douggie McMeekin and Adriana Randall.




Other executive producers include Richard Holmes (Eden Lake) and Marzipan Productions, Isabelle Georgeaux (Resistance, Jadoo and Keeping Rosy) of Pont Neuf Productions acts as Co-Producer and is part-funded through Creative England’s West Midlands Production Fund.

The Call Up follows a group of elite online gamers when they each receive a mysterious invitation to trial a state-of-the-art virtual reality video game. It’s a dream come true and impossible to resist.

Arriving at the test site, the group step into hi-tech gear and prepare for a revolutionary, next-level gaming experience that brings modern warfare to life with frightening realism. At first it’s a unique and exhilarating experience. But what starts out like a dream encounter with cutting edge technology quickly takes a turn for the sinister.




Writer/Director Charles Barker said “I've always been fascinated by the potential for technology to create worlds as real and powerful as our own. But as VR becomes ever more developed, more accessible I also have a fear. How dangerous could this be in the wrong hands?”

The Call Up is the debut feature film from director Charles Barker. His previous credits include award-winning campaigns for international brands such as Vodafone, Nokia and Wella as well as FX short, (Indecision), which was accepted into more than 60 film festivals all over the world.



He is also an award-winning genre screenwriter, specialising in action, science fiction and horror. The Call Up, topped the Brit List (British Black List) in 2011 as the best unproduced screenplay of that year, as voted for by industry peers. As a writer in the gaming industry, he recently had the opportunity of developing a new game for the Playstation 4.

Gamer suit design and build by Robert Allsop (X-MEN, DREDD, THE MARTIAN).

The Call Up Film Page





The Altitude Film Entertainment group comprises Altitude Film Production led by Will Clarke chairman and joint-CEO with Andy Mayson; Altitude Film Sales with Managing Director Mike Runagall; and Altitude Film Distribution with Head of Distribution Hamish Moseley.

Altitude Film Distribution has expanded its slate extensively over the two and half years since its launch. Last year it released the Oscar ® and BAFTA™ nominated and Evening Standard award-winning feature documentary Amy which has not only met with critical acclaim for the filmmakers but has also been a huge success for Altitude grossing over £3.76 million at the UK box office. AFD has also released two more of last year’s most highly regarded feature documentary titles in the UK, Palio and My Nazi Legacy, both of which were nominated alongside Amy for Best Documentary at the 2016 Evening Standard Awards. Other releases have included Nick Read’s Bolshoi Babylon, Ira Sachs’ Love is Strange, Bharut Nalluri’s Spooks: The Greater Good and Oren Moverman’s Time Out Of Mind.

Forthcoming releases include Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room, Ira Sachs’ Little Men, Race (Starring Stephan James, Jason Sudiekis and Jeremy Irons), Alone in Berlin (Starring Emma Thompson and Brendan Gleason) and Asif Kapadia’s Maradona.

Stigma Films launched in November 2011, and is a film & television production company run by producer Matthew James Wilkinson.

Matthew was a Development Executive at Working Title Films, where he worked on a number of high-profile features.

His company signed a 1st look deal in 2012 with Pathe UK to develop high concept, low budget genre movies for an international audience.

Stigma’s first production was the BFI-funded suburban thriller, SLR, for Screen Star of Tomorrow, writer/director Stephen Fingleton. The film won Best Short at the Foyle Film Festival and was nominated for an IFTA (Irish BAFTA). It was also short-listed for the Oscars in 2015.

Their first feature was sci-fi actioner, THE CALL UP, which topped the UK Brit List in 2011. Altitude Film Sales are selling the film internationally, having already closed a multi-territory deal with EOne. The film is slated for a UK release in May this year.

Matthew previously worked on a number of high-end shorts, most notably INSEPARABLE, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and WORM starring Tom Basden which aired on Channel 4.

His latest short, ERNESTINE&KIT, written and directed by actor Simon Bird, was part-funded by Creative England and premiered at this year’s SXSW Festival in Austin. It has also been nominated for an ITFA.

Stigma are developing a number of BFI and Creative England-backed feature projects, including actor Simon Bird’s feature debut and a body swap romantic comedy.

Their next feature, currently in prep, is contained thriller, KALEIDOSCOPE, starring Toby Jones and Anne Reid.

Producer Matthew James Wilkinson was named one of the ‘Creative England 50’, as one of a handful of most promising creative producers to watch.

Red and Black Films is a production and financing company run by Producer John Giwa-Amu and Writer/Director Caradog James.

Supernatural thriller DON'T KNOCK TWICE will be released in late 2016. The film stars Katee Sackhoff (Oculus, Riddick, Battlestar Galactica), Lucy Boynton (Sing Street, Rebel in the Rye, Miss Potter) and Nick Moran (Lock Stock) . The film was produced by John Giwa-Amu, directed by Caradog James, scripted by Emmy nominated writing duo Huckerby and Ostler and is coproduced with Seymour films.

Brit List winning Sci-Fi screenplay THE CALL UP will be released in cinemas 2016. The film is being Produced alongside Stigma Films and was directed by award winning commercials director, Charles Barker. It received a world premiere at BIFF and UK premier at Sci-Fi London.

John co-produced THE SILENT STORM starring Damian Lewis (Homeland) and Andrea Riseborough (Oblivion) with Neon Films, Barbara Broccoli's Eon Films, New Sparta, The British Film Company and Ffilm Cymru Wales. THE SILENT STORM was selected for its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival and is being distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures.

Sci-Fi Thriller, THE MACHINE, starring Toby Stephens (Die Another Day, Black Sails), Caity Lotz (The Pact, Arrow) and Denis Lawson (Star Wars). Red and Black produced and distributed with a cinema release in March 2014, hitting number 2 in the UK iTunes charts and number 5 in USA and Germany. The film had its’ world premiere in Tribeca, won a British Independent Film Award, Best Sci-Fi and Best Actress at Toronto After Dark, Three BAFTAs Cymru including Best Film and Best UK Feature of the Raindance Film Festival. Red and Black’s direct distribution campaign for the UK, partnered with Content, won the Screen Award 2014. The Machine has been acquired by Universal/SyFy to be developed as a US TV series.

The company’s first feature LITTLE WHITE LIES saw Caradog nominated as best New Director at BIFA, Official Selection at Moscow and won two BAFTA Cymru Awards. John’s been nominated for the Screen Nation Award twice and is an honouree of the BFI initiative, Breakthrough Brits. His short films have won The 48 Hour Film Challenge and the BBC New Filmmaker Award at Brief Encounters.

In 2014 Ffilm Cymru Wales selected Red and Black Films for a slate development award to further expand the business and they continue to develop a high-concept range of projects in film and television weighted towards elevated genre.

John sits on the board of BAFTA Cymru and Film Cymru Wales and was listed as a Future Leader by Screen International during Cannes 2015.

Over the past five years, producer Isabelle Georgeaux has co-produced the feature films Resistance, Jadoo and Keeping Rosy.

Resistance was released in 2011 and was based on the award-winning novel by Owen Sheers. It was Amit Gupta’s directorial debut on screen, starring Andrea Riseborough (Brighton Rock, W.E., Oblivion) and Michael Sheen. Resistance saw Sharon Morgan win Best Actress at the 2012 BAFTA Cymru Awards.

Isabelle then produced Jadoo, Amit Gupta’s second feature film, in 2012 - it stars Amara Karan (St Trinian’s, The Darjeeling Limited) and Harish Patel (Run Fatboy Run, Coronation Street). Director of Photography on the film was Oscar-nominated Roger Pratt BSC (two Harry Potter movies, 12 Monkeys, Batman, Troy, etc.), composer Oscar-winning Stephen Warbeck (Shakespeare in Love, Billy Elliot) and editor Eddie Hamilton (Kick Ass, X Men: First Class). Jadoo was released by Intandem in the UK in September 2013 and is represented by The Works internationally. Jadoo has been selected for multiple festivals including the Berlinale, San Sebastian and Mumbai.

Keeping Rosy is a tense psychological thriller featuring Maxine Peake (Silk, The Village) and Blake Harrison (The Inbetweeners). Joining the team were again Director of Photography Roger Pratt BSC and composer Stephen Warbeck. The film was released in 2014.

Isabelle has been a senior management consultant and business development executive with a focus on media and communications for much of her career. She is trilingual and has worked in France, the US and Latin America. She has extensive senior management experience setting up business units in areas such as web transactions and interactive TV.

In 2004 Isabelle focused her career on her passion – cinema. She studied in Berkeley, CA and London focusing on most areas of filmmaking and production.

Isabelle is a MBA graduate of Insead (France).

Formed originally in 2010 Marzipan, the experienced team of Stella Espinosa and Marc Davenport, assisted by Findlay Grabiner lead this vibrant young British outfit able to create opportunities, assemble and combine talent and source investment with a pipeline of innovative projects, in theatre, TV and cinema formats.

The Price of Desire (director Mary McGuckian, featuring Orla Brady, Vincent Perez) IN LAUNCH

The Librarian (in development, screenplay by Mike Poulton, Director James Dacre) IN WORKSHOPS

The Call-Up (in pre-production) is Marzipan's first foray into the dramatic virtual reality genre.

Creative England invests in and supports creative ideas, talent and businesses in film, TV, games and digital media. We aim to grow the brightest, the best, and those with the most promise so that individuals and businesses can achieve their full creative and commercial potential. We help identify future opportunities to grow the economy and generate jobs.

Our West Midlands Production Fund (WMPF) invests in the production of feature films and high-end TV drama from companies based in the West Midlands as well as from producers looking to establish a base to film in the region, with investments of between £100,000 - 500,000 per project.

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