Film-maker who studied at Leeds Beckett university sees success on international festival circuit with latest production

A film-maker who honed his talents as a student at Leeds Beckett university is seeing his latest short movie - created under Covid-19 conditions - attract critical acclaim on the festival circuit.

By Joanna Wardill
Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 4:45 am

Lee Chambers, 50, now lives in his home country of Canada but over 20 years ago he upped sticks and moved to West Yorkshire to complete the post-graduate film production programme at what was then the Leeds Metropolitan University.

During his time in Leeds, he also wrote movie reviews for the Yorkshire Evening Post but has since seen his own film career go from strength to strength.

His impressive bio features achievements including working on numerous British sitcoms including The League of Gentlemen as well as major motion pictures in the UK and Australia and as both a screenwriter and director, he has gone on to win and be nominated for many awards for his shorts and feature films.

Film-maker Lee Chambers, who studied at Leeds Beckett university.

His latest short film, Hell in a Handbasket, has yet to be released publicly but Lee spoke to the YEP of his joy at winning ‘best short film’ at the ConCarolinas Short Film Festival in North Carolina earlier this month, which followed on from the screenplay netting an award at the Newark International Film Festival last year.

He said: “Winning in the launch weekend of our festival run for Hell in a Handbasket is awesome.

“Audiences really enjoy it and I'm sure it's going to have a good year ahead as we share the film around the world.”

The film imagines the world under a viral pandemic and was shot in Canada, featuring actor and model Hoyt Richards, who was one of the biggest names in modeling in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Hoyt Richards as Dr. Forester in Hell in a Handbasket.

Lee said: “When Covid hit and locked down the world, I just got busy screenwriting. I signed four feature writing deals and also crafted up four short scripts too.

“Hell in a Handbasket was just a crazy idea of imagining the world under a pandemic before I even knew the world would be locked down for so long.

“It’s tongue and cheek and timely a year later.

“It’s only five minutes and shot with one actor in snowy Canada and another actor from LA - Hoyt Richards - phoning in his performance on an iphone 12.

Covid-19 and 'Covid-21' test tubes are among the props in the sci-fi short by Lee Chambers, Hell in a Handbasket

“Made under the crazy Covid conditions we have all lived under.

“I met Hoyt in Leeds 25 years ago when he came from America to star in Distress Signals, a short comedy I made in Huddersfield.”

Lee said he has entered Hell in a Handbasket into the Leeds International Film Festival which takes place in November.

“I loved Leeds and my time there while I was at uni. It’s a fun city,” he said.

Actor Robert Bryn Mann plays Dale in Hell in a Handbasket.

For now, he hopes to see success continue for Hell in a Handbasket as well as working on a few “exciting” projects which are in the pipeline..

He said: “I have a number of TV and feature film scripts being considered for funding right now and exciting things are coming up.”

For more information, and details on the public release of Hell in a Handbasket, visit

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