By Stephanie Barnard
BBC Sheffield & South Yorkshire
All the best ideas happen in pubs, don't they? Whether it's a blast of inspiration of what to buy a loved one for their birthday or business collaboration with a friend. Imagine if both happened at once.
Sheffield independent film maker and director Marco van Belle and Alex Veitch sat in a pub one night over a few drinks and decided to create a low budget film together - Mr Bojagi. So where does the birthday fit in? The story is about one woman's plight to find the perfect gift for her granddaughter.
The script was created by first time writer Kat Wood. Kat had the actor Brian Blessed in mind when she wrote the part of Mr Bojagi and so the three decided to approach the Mexborough born actor with the script.
Brian Blessed with Director Marco van Belle
The actor Brian Blessed is the star of this 10 minute short film and plays the character title. The actor known for his hearty voice and big personality wanted to be part of this short film.
"It was much easier than you'd think to get Brian to be part of this film. I was polite and professional and did things the right way by going through his agent first, but above all else I sent him a great script." said Marco.
After seeing the script Brian's wife, Hildegard Neil jumped at the opportunity to be in the film too, who appears as the curious grandmother.
So what is the film about? Director and producer Marco explains, "On the surface it's a very simple story - which is what you want in a short film. It's about a mysterious man called Mr Bojagi who has an office full of gifts and a mind-reading machine that he uses to perform 'gift diagnosis'. In this film, the Woman visits because she doesn't know what gift to get her granddaughter.
"Mr. Bojagi uses his mind-reading machine to see that the woman is lying to herself and refusing to accept her granddaughter for who she is. So he has to force her to face the truth because only then will she be able to choose the right gift to give. It's a mix of fantasy, drama and comedy. Above all it's entertainment - but it does have a serious message at its heart. We have to accept the people we love for who they are."
The low budget film was shot at the Sheffield Workstation across two days and has already made big noises across the film industry. This year the film has been awarded many accolades, including Best Short Film at the London Independent Film Festival.
The film has featured across various film festivals, both in the UK and America including the Boston Sci-fi Film Festival and International Family Film Festival in Hollywood. The film was released for a limited period online in May 2010. Watch this space to see what happens next...
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