Hollywood calls for Horsforth film-maker

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A Leeds film-maker is mixing with the Hollywood A-list after his movie was chosen to feature in a Los Angeles festival screening.

Chris Hallas’s low-budget project Fate will be shown as part of the Cinematic Arts Film Festival in the Californian showbiz enclave of Beverly Hills.

The 31-year-old, of Horsforth, wrote and directed the piece himself and it will now be included alongside films with larger budgets and professional backing.

He spent just £5,000 on the shoot and roped in friends and family to act as film crew.

“I was a little shocked when it was accepted! Film festivals have a crazy amount of entries and most of them have much larger budgets than ours did, so just to get accepted is a big deal.

“I called in a lot of favours from friends, most of the crew worked for free which was a massive help in keeping the costs down. Something like this is a huge joint effort and it can’t be done without lots and lots of help.”

Fate is a story about a chance meeting in a coffee queue that leads to an impromptu date, but the running time of just 15 minutes means Chris is keeping the remainder of the plot under wraps.

“It’s quite frustrating for me because the ending is a massive talking point that I hope people will debate for hours, but I can’t discuss it without ruining the film for people.”

The story is set in Leeds and filmed locally, with Bradford and Halifax also used for locations. Lead actress Claire Marlein, who stars alongside Tom Loone, is from York.

“I love Yorkshire but whenever it’s portrayed on screen it always seems to be flatcaps and ferrets. I wanted to show it for the thriving modern place that it is. The film looks very stylish.”

Locations include the Stanley and Audrey Burton Art Gallery at Leeds University and the Sociable Folk cafe-bar, near Wellington Street. Fate also features a track by Leeds band The Dunwells.

“I had to liaise with their record company in America to sort out the rights which felt a bit daunting, but they were great. Their track really really adds to the film.”

The Cinematic Arts Film Festival is in December and you can follow Fate’s progress on its Facebook page facebook.com/Fate2016shortfilm.