Both of this week’s films at the Breckenridge Backstage Theatre are multi-award winners. “Lad: A Yorkshire Story” won 2013 Breckenridge Film Festival awards for Best Actor and Best Cinematography, as well as a dozen major awards from festivals stretching from Anchorage to Houston.
“Light Me Up” garnered awards for Best Animated Film from the Geneva and Da Vinci film festivals, along with a list of accolades longer than this short film. Both cinematic pieces will be shown at the theater on Thursday, May 15, and Friday, May 16.
‘Lad: A Yorkshire Story’
Based on a true story and easy on the eyes, “Lad: A Yorkshire Story” (96 minutes) is a literal travelogue through the Yorkshire Dales, which are used as more than a backdrop to this film, as the rocky landscape literally becomes the heart and soul of the lead character. Tom (Bretten Lord) is a young, impressionable child whose headstrong reactions often produce chaos, yet also tug at your heartstrings, as you know the kid has the best of intentions.
The story begins with a poor family living on the outskirts of town, far away from everything, yet their backyard is a panoramic vista as far as the eye can see of unspoiled natural landscape, a simply idyllic place to live. But for this family, with a truck-driving dad (Liam Thomas), a grocery-clerk mom (Nancy Clarkson) and two young boys, Tom and Nick (Robert Hayes), it’s all they know, and the boys are often seen playing in the splendor of the immense green plateaus.
While Tom is something of a whiny kid who tends to get on everybody’s nerves, he’s also well meaning and earnest, while remaining loyal to a fault. His world caves in, however, when his dad suffers a heart attack and dies, made even worse when they don’t have the income to maintain the mortgage payments, so they’re threatened with the loss of their home.
‘Light Me Up’
The short film “Light Me Up” centers on the conflict between Louie, an odd flame-shaped bulb, and his parents, when they ask him to take over the family business. Louie has dreams of his own, and he must decide whether to chase or abandon those dreams.
The film combines 3D animation, 2D animation and live-action elements. Facial animation was done in 2D in Flash. The character’s bodies were modeled, rigged, textured, animated and lit in Maya and rendered in V-Ray. Miniature models were used as backgrounds and were designed, built and photographed by the directors in their garage. Those images were then composited with the characters.
Up next: Wine tasting and a film
Up next is “Boom Varietal,” a documentary about the explosion in Argentine Malbec wines exported to the American market. A wine tasting with a short discussion with Antler’s Discount Liquor sommelier Trevor Johnson will be held before the film. Johnson will discuss two vastly different Malbec wines as a preview to the documentary.
The wine tastings are $7, in addition to the film admission fee. Film fans must be 21 or older to participate in the tasting, but all are welcome to see the films. Purchase tickets in advance at www.backstagetheatre.org.
These films are followed by three more sets of films from festivals past, scheduled every Thursday and Friday through early June (when Monty Python’s “Spamalot” takes over the Backstage Theatre before its Thursday, June 26, opening). All films start at 7 p.m. Concessions are available for all film screenings and include licorice, beer, wine and mixed drinks, which can be taken into the theater with you.
For more information about the film series or to purchase tickets, visit www.backstagetheatre.org or call the box office at (970) 453-0199.