A crime film starring an alumnus of Leeds Trinity University has been nominated for Best Feature Film at the Azurite International Film Festival and the Midlands Movie Awards.
Sustain is an independent feature film about a racially motivated attack which ends in tragedy, and the aftermath for a grieving family in their search for justice, with Leeds Trinity alumnus Greg Yates playing the character of DI Bridge.
In the last 30 years, Greg has appeared in many amateur music and theatre productions alongside his full-time role in teaching and more recently, media management. He has also taken on professional projects, including a production of Two by award-winning dramatist Jim Cartwright, and starred in a theatre production of Brassed Off, working alongside television actor Jeffery Holland.
Greg said: “I have always enjoyed the immediacy of live theatre and the spontaneous reaction of the audience. When I was asked to read for Sustain, I was flattered but it had been a long time since I had been in front of the camera and I questioned whether or not I would be good enough.
“I was amazed by the professionalism of the whole cast and crew and to see the film being acknowledged by its inclusion in two film festivals is testament hard work and professionalism of the cast and crew.”
The film’s budget was raised through crowdfunding and was produced with the aim of showcasing storytelling and talent emerging from the West Midlands. It was produced by award-winning British producers Troy Dennison and Keiran Bowers, alongside award-winning writer and director Dave Hastings.
Dave Hastings, Writer and Director of Sustain, said: “When Greg first walked in to read over the script and the story, I knew he would be fantastic as DI Bridge. He had ideas of how to play certain scenes and presenting Bridge with little characteristics, and I am fully in favour of that kind of collaboration with actors, because it helps makes the final scene stronger. Those little elements all worked their way on to screen and shows what an awesome actor Greg is!”
Greg studied Drama and Public Media, followed by a PGCE in English at Trinity and All Saints College, as it was then known, graduating in 1988. After pursuing a teaching career in secondary education, he now works in media management and has continued to keep up his interest in drama and performance.
Reflecting on his time at Leeds Trinity, Greg said: “I spent five wonderful years at TASC, making life-long friends with students, academics and staff. I was so drawn to the area and the wonderful people, but due to a firm job offer and a teaching post at a secondary school in Wolverhampton, I had a ‘sliding doors’ decision to make. I still hold very fond memories of Yorkshire and I like to think that I might qualify as an honorary Yorkshireman.”
The Azurite International Film Festival takes place in Leeds, with the date yet to be confirmed by event organisers.
The Midlands Movie Awards took place at Hansom Hall in Leicester on Saturday 14 March 2020.
The film has also been selected for the New Indie Film Festival, in London and Rome, with dates to be confirmed by event organisers.
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