Film, fantasy, & sci fi convention ‘Excalibur’ is coming to Torquay in March to fundraise for an amazing opportunity for local actors. Mordred is a new Arthurian drama feature film and stage show announced, being made, and performed, in Devon & Cornwall.
The fundraising for the film, Mordred, by its Torbay-based team, takes on a whole new angle with the announcement of the Excalibur Film & Fantasy Convention, taking place at the Red House Hotel on Rousdown Road, Torquay, on Saturday March 19.
Mordred is a drama, newly written and researched by members of the South Devon Players Theatre & Film Company, a team specialising in historical and mythological drama, based in Brixham, South Devon.
This convention will feature a fantastic variety of entertainment packed into this small hotel, which will be friendly for the whole family, by its team of volunteers from across Devon, coming to support this fundraiser.
The Torbay Troopers, and Jon Ian Dredge, local Star Wars re-enactors will be in attendance, along with professional costumier Natasha Fountain, as Disney’s ‘Cinderella’, and many others.
WyvernsTales from Exeter, will be running workshops in medieval combat, with Olly Roberts and his team putting on a full medieval re-enactment show.
There will also be talks, traders stands of collectables and costume -and you can even enter a costume competition with some great prizes! Every penny raised, goes into the production, the aim of which is to gain international exposure -and hopefully work â€“ for local actors and creative talent.
The South Devon Players specialises in historical and mythological drama. They are a group of local career-orientated actors and creatives, who make their careers in the South West.
For many years the Players have specialised in theatre, performing locally at the Palace Theatre in Paignton, and the Edge in Brixham, but now want to bring their work to the film circuit to publicise the fantastic skills of local southwest actors and ‘behind the scenes’ creatives across the world. The belief of the Players is that in order to find opportunities, they must first create their own.
Mordred, which is finishing casting later this month, and filming in June around Devon and Cornwall, is the team’s first feature film, and is already gathering international interest, with three articles in New Yorkâ€“based arts magazine NY Elite, and Hollywood-based film production magazine Max-It, as well as various online interviews and podcasts.
The film is also supported by the only non-South West England teammember, the award-winning up-and-coming film music composer Michael Klubertanz, from Germany.
Of course, all of this requires a budget -and so the team are fundraising as hard as they are rehearsing! With museum and social club talks, sponsored swims, cabaret performances, a talent show, and -the Excalibur film convention!
Set in the 6th century, across Devon and Cornwall, this two-and-a-half hour drama stars all-local unknown South West talent, bringing to life Arthurian legend, in a production researched and adapted from some of the earliest Arthurian legends, exploring some of the earliest tales of Mordred, who appears varyingly in Arthurian legends, as Arthur’s nephew or illegitimate son, and how two equally honourable men came to hate one another, and that hate to lead to a disastrous war.
Set against the backdrop of the post-Roman Celtic kingdom of Dumnonia, present day Devon and Cornwall, struggling to survive against the Saxon invaders, this is a dark, gritty drama, supported with an impressive team of performers, historical reenactors, historians, and a film crew ranging from students at Exeter College, through writing, research and direction, by Arthurian-afficiando, actress/director and Masters graduate from the University of Exeter, Laura Jury, and the ambitious Simon Knight, Director of Photography.
The team is supported by the sound track composer, Michael Klubertanz, who is composing the film sound-track using only instruments which would have been in use in 6th century Britain – and a few war-horns.
Rich Sandford, from Torquay, in his first starring role, is Mordred, and Gui Rivaud from North Cornwall, is King Arthur. The production is directed by a local female theatre/ film director, for whom ‘Mordred’ is the first feature film that she has directed.
Filming will take place in May and June 2016 around Devon and Cornwall, with the theatre performances taking place in September 2016.
The team was considered important to make sure that they were not making ‘just another King Arthur film’, and to find a unique adaptation.
While novels have been written from Mordred’s point of view, to the Players’ knowledge, this has never been transferred to film. That, coupled with spanning Devon and Cornwall, and delving into earlier and less known legends, has created an all new version of the legend.
Not that creating a production of this scale is easy. While grants are being applied for, and traditional crowdfunding sources are being applied, cast and crew members are involved in a wide range of fundraising activities, ranging from small amounts from tombolas and face painting at fetes, and selling on ebay, through to a film/ scifi/ fantasy convention, grant applications, cabaret shows, ebook publications and more.
For costumes and props, it is also a case of keeping one eye on the history book and the other on what reclaimed fabrics and items can be remade, and adapted.
This is an ambitious project, taking not just every ounce of creativity on screen, but also in the planning and logistics behind-the-scenes.
Casting for the supporting speaking roles on February 28, 2016, anyone interested in applying, should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(from a press release)