European exposure for innovative Yorkshire feature film

Oct 23 2014

The Knife That Killed Me, which was made entirely using green screen technology, will screen at the Nantes British Film Festival (11-19 December). This follows its highly successful European debut at the Alice Nella Citta, a youth-orientated side bar competition held during the Rome Film Festival this month, where the film received a standing ovation.The film, which will be distributed by Universal Pictures UK on DVD and Video-On-Demand later this year, is part of a ground-breaking partnership between the University of York and commercial film producers Green Screen Productions, specialists in computer generated imagery (CGI).

The Knife That Killed Me was shot entirely at Green Screen Productions' studios near York with post-production work taking place at Heslington Studios, the commercial arm of the University of York’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television.

The partnership involved recent York graduates working alongside well-established industry professionals on the film. It grew out of an earlier collaboration between the University and some of Green Screen’s principals - Kit Monkman, Alan Latham and Thomas Mattinson - on the 2006 film The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, featuring Joely Richardson and Tom Berenger.

This unique relationship was arranged by John Mateer, Senior Lecturer in York’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television. He said: “After the success of The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey we all wanted to find a way to expand the collaborative model and work on a bigger, more ambitious project. The Knife That Killed Me fit the bill perfectly.”

The Knife That Killed Me is a journey through the memories of teenager Paul Varderman, played by actor Jack McMullen, (Waterloo Road, Brookside, Seamonsters) as he reflects on the events leading to the fatal moment his life is cut short. The film has a distinctive visual style to illustrate the story by using green screen and Visual Effect (VFX) filmmaking technology in an unconventional manner.

The film is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Anthony McGowan, adapted and directed by Marcus Romer and Kit Monkman.

Alan Latham, Producer and Managing Director of Green Screen Productions Ltd, said: “We are excited by the exposure The Knife that Killed Me is receiving at film festivals in Europe. The screenings are proving an effective way of showcasing UK creative talent to an international audience as well as securing distribution, with the film clearly demonstrating the effectiveness of the unique academic-industry partnership between Green Screen Productions and Heslington Studios.”

Earlier this year, the film was launched with a multiplatform premiere, screened simultaneously at the National Media Museum in Bradford, the Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester, and at Frank’s Cafe - in an auditorium built of straw on the seventh floor of a multi-storey car park in London. The premiere event followed a successful Kickstarter campaign which raised over £20,000.

Green Screen Productions and Heslington Studios have developed a strong relationship during the production of the film and are now working together on new projects.

John Mateer, who served as both an Executive Producer and the Visual Effects Producer for the film said: “The Knife That Killed Me is a unique undertaking. Although general industry collaborations in other disciplines are not uncommon at universities, they are rare in film and television. This kind of new business model lowers the cost of entry and the overall capital requirements of a production, as well as helping to generate the next cohort of film professionals. All of the visual effects work was undertaken by recent graduates of our MA in Postproduction with Visual Effects, which is remarkable given that nearly every shot involves computer-generated imagery.”

Watch a video of The Knife That Killed Me production team on the red carpet in Rome at

A trailer for The Knife That Killed Me film can be viewed at

See the film on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) at



Notes to editors:

  • To find out more about The Knife That Killed Me visit; Facebook:
  • The Nantes British Film Festival is designed to demonstrate to the public the creativity of British cinema - despite the difficulties of finance, distribution and marketing. The Alice Nella Citta (Alice in the City) Festival is an independent and parallel sidebar with its own organisation and regulations, directed by Gianluca Giannelli and Fabia Bettini. It presents a selection of youth-oriented films, awarded by a jury composed of youngsters between the age of 14 and 18.
  • More information on Green Screen Productions at
  • More information on Heslington Studios at
  • More information on the University of York’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television at


The latest news from Heslington Studios...

Other news

York convention showcases latest innovations in TV and film

Mar 14 2014

A new annual event at the University of York will bring the latest developments in television and feature film to the doorstep of people working in Yorkshire, the North East and beyond.

Click here to

Shooting for visual effects:

Feb 3 2014

Boot camp aims to improve skills

The University of York is hosting a hands-on visual effects course aimed at tutors delivering VFX teaching at UK institutions.

Based in the University’s superb £30m Department of Theatre, Film and Television, course participants will have access to world-class facilities and industry-standard equipment.

The VFX Tutor Boot Camp – Shooting for Visual Effects course on 24 and 25 March, is supported by Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, which is funded by the National Lottery via the BFI and the Skills Investment Fund (SIF).

Click here to

University of York Graduate showcased in BBC Music Video Festival

Nov 27 2013

Film director and TFTV graduate Nik Morris' video for Falling in Love, from singer/songwriter Jack Edwards, has been showcased in the 2013 BBC Music Video Festival alongside international artists including Sigur Ros and Roisin Murphy. The BBC Music Video Festival is an online celebration of new and emerging music acts, as well as the film making talents of directors working in the field.

Nik's gritty VFX-filled video collides sci-fi elements from Prometheus and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind to deliver a four-minute break up story for those who really want to forget. Described by the festival as 'beautifully filmed' with a 'cool idea', 'Falling in Love' is Nik's third music video as director, with previous promos made for Roundhouse Records' Tres B and independent musician James Harker. He's currently in pre-production on a new video for Jack Edwards next single, to be released by The Animal Farm label in 2014.

Since graduating from the Department of Theatre, Film and Television in January 2012, Nik has directed and produced animated and live-action online commercials for companies including TouchRight Software, Heslington Studios and the CARMEN Neuroscience platform, also educational films including the animated teenage health story 'Is the World Listening?' Nik's video is featured on the BBC Music Video Festival website from 1st November to 31st December 2013. You can watch 'Falling in Love' and read interviews with Nik and Jack here: Nik's website is

Click here to

Award winning feature film - Entity

Jul 4 2013

News Release

4 July 2013

Media Images and Information: Caron Lett 01904 322029

University of York supports region’s vibrant creative industry

An independent North Yorkshire film production company, currently celebrating the UK DVD release of its award-winning filmEntity, is one of a growing number of creative companies in the region benefitting from the skills and facilities on offer at the University of York.

Nexus DNA Films has enjoyed huge success with its paranormal thriller Entity, with distribution deals on both sides of the Atlantic and theatrical screenings at REEL cinemas across the UK.

The production company, which made the film entirely in the Selby area, is one of a growing number of local creative companies to use the superb post-production facilities at Heslington Studios, the commercial arm of the University’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television.

Entity follows a British film crew venturing into a remote Siberian forest, attempting to solve mysteries both past and present. The paranormal thriller won Best Horror Film at the London Independent Film Festival, and stars Dervla Kirwan (Ballykissangel, Goodnight Sweetheart) and Charlotte Riley (Easy Virtue, Wuthering Heights), who has just finished filming as co-star with Emily Blunt in a new Tom Cruise movie, All You Need is Kill. They are supported by Branko Tomovic, Rupert Hill, Oliver Jackson and Michael David Worden.

Nexus DNA Films also received support on the early development of the original script from the University, while the academic-business partnership enabled the film company to tap into support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The film production company is part of an increasingly vibrant creative industry developing in the North Yorkshire region, with around 320 small creative businesses now based in the area. Many of these are benefitting from the close proximity of Heslington Studios, which boasts two HD broadcast TV studios, a 140-seat preview cinema, a multi-purpose sound stage, as well as professional sound and picture post-production facilities.

Steve Stone, the Director of Entity, said: “The assistance we received from Heslington Studios in the post-production was invaluable both in terms of facilities and the technical back-up that we received there. As with any small indie like ours the budget for post-production was almost impossible to work with. But the help we gained under the ERDF scheme made it possible to finish our film and take it into distribution on both sides of the Atlantic with Metrodome in the UK and Arclight Films/ Fangoria Films in the US.”

Carole Dove, Commercial Director for Heslington Studios, said: “Our remit is to work in partnership with industry to enable out-of-London production companies such as Nexus DNA Films to deliver on a much more cost-effective basis. Creative businesses around the York region benefit from being situated near us and we benefit from having partnerships with them. Our income is gift-aided back to the University and ploughed back into developing new facilities for the future.”

In addition to Nexus DNA Films, Al Jazeera, The Other Planet Media, Digital Fiction Factory, Green Screen Productions and the BBC have all made use of the facilities on offer at the University of York.

Entityis now available on DVD from major outlets including Amazon UK, Sainsburys, Tesco and LOVEFiLM.


Notes to Editors:

Click here to

Heslington Studios sponsor "Most Promising Newcomer" for Royal Television Society Yorkshire awards

Jun 13 2012

Heslington Studios was proud to sponsor the “Most Promising Newcomer” award at the Yorkshire Royal Television Society ceremony on Monday June 11th.  The well-attended event at the Queens Hotel in Leeds celebrated the best television productions and people in the region, including 40 years of ITV's Emmerdale and 30 years of Channel 4’s Countdown. The photo shows Commercial Director, Carole Dove, presenting the award to Dan Johnson from the BBC's regional news programme Look North. Watching is the event host, actor Steve Huison who plays Eddie Windass in the popular TV soap Coronation Street. 

Mike Best, Chairman of the RTS Yorkshire Centre said: 

" Every year the standard of entries for the awards keeps rising and despite the huge changes our industry continues to face, it's clear that, from the point of view of creative talent and technical excellence, the future is bright.  Like everyone else in the country, the Yorkshire Centre of the RTS is finding that times are tight and I am particularly grateful for the sponsors who support this event." 

  • Further information on the Royal Television Society can be found at 




    FuYorkshire RT 

    Click here to

    York graduate secures role on BBC One drama series

    Mar 23 2012

    A recent University of York graduate has got his career off to a flying start by landing himself a behind-the-scenes role on the hotly anticipated flagship BBC One drama series The Syndicate.

    Click here to

    Academic-industry model offers template for future film-making

    Mar 9 2012

    A ground-breaking academic-film industry collaboration is providing a new model for independent feature film production. The innovative partnership between Heslington Studios - the commercial arm of the University of York’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television – and Green Screen Productions is lowering costs and opening the door to the internationally distributed films market. 

    Click here to

    Heslington Studios turns the spotlight on Yorkshire

    Feb 10 2012

    Heslington Studios will be flying the flag for Yorkshire at its official launch at the Broadcast Video Expo 2012 in London

    Click here to