Mark’s movie set to pack a punch

Alfreton director Mark Ashmore at work.
Alfreton director Mark Ashmore at work.
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A film-maker from Alfreton revived the ‘punk’ ethos to produce a hard hitting sign-of-the-times feature length movie out next week.

Mark Ashmore grew up on Abbott Road in the town has seen his first two short films win plaudits at the prestigious Cannes film festival in France.

As of this week the 32-year-old’s crowd funded thriller The Lost Generation, described as ‘A Clockwork Orange for the Football Factory Generation’, is available to view online and soon on DVD and at cinemas.

Made on a shoestring of £25,000 with a production crew of 12 , director Mark said: “We are like a punk band.”

“We created our own film company and we created our own film which has got something to say about society - that’s punk really!”

The Lost Generation,set in an alternate Britain, sees lead character SJ ina reality TV show in which the competitors fight to the death for the chance to win £10 million.

Mark says the film was partly inspired by the riots of 2011, and though it features a corrupt propaganda peddling media at its centre - the Alfreton man insists any parallels to recent phone hacking scandals are coincidental.

“The film is about what happens when the media gets full control,” Mark said. “They can twist leaders, hack phones and control opinion like puppeteers.

“That (phone hacking scandal) actually happened while we were making the film.

“We wrote these scripts and then things started to come true,

“Just as the film was coming out there were the Edward Snowden NSA revelations, it was like we had predicted these things.”

The film, shot in Manchester, took three years to make, with a handful cast of around 30.

With no private investment, it was made through donations alone given through ‘crowd funding’ websites, which see people buy into a project they want to see made.

Some donors gave Mark and his Manchester based film company Future Artists up to £1,000 to produce it.

He said: “There were people and organisations helping us out all through the filming when we needed them. There were actors even getting there own costumes and make up.”

And while Mark says it was made with a ‘punk’ mentality, he intends to promote the film in the same way a band would too, touring the country to host question and answer session after its cinema showings.

The former Mortimer Wilson School pupil, may operate from Manchester now, but says his Alfreton upbringing inspired his filmmaking.

His first short feature Your Sate of Emergency, was shot near the town’s railway station and featured at Cannes Film festival.

His second short, Broken Britain, was also made locally and featured soldiers returning from Afghanistan, who were refused service in pubs.

“I make little films with a big punch,” he said.

To see The Lost Generation head to www.projectlostgeneration.co.uk.

To book a screening of the film and a question and answer session from Mark, email info@futureartists.co.uk.