Aspiring young Small Heath director to showcase his latest films at Birmingham cinema
Rajab Mahmood, aged 20, is looking forward to showcasing his material at a special film event on Saturday 8 October at the Odeon Luxe cinema at the Broadway Plaza in Ladywood.
Mahmood, who was raised in Small Heath by devoted and hardworking Pakistani parents, is proud of his Birmingham background and is excited to share the fruits of his film passion when his material premieres at the Odeon cinema.
Speaking exclusively to I Am Birmingham, Mahmood talked about some of the inspirations which lead him to take up filmmaking.
“The thing that inspired me to take up filming in general was to shine a spotlight onto local themes of individuality, relationships, ambition, failures and success.
“Nowadays, when people go to the cinema the aim is always to watch a Superhero film on the big screen, which sometimes feels out of touch. But as filmmaking is such an expensive hustle at times, we used our limitations as an inspiration of orientating our stories towards Birmingham and the local stories within,” said Mahmood.
The special screening at the Odeon Luxe will showcase six short films and many of the West Midlands based cast and crew will be in attendance during the event.
Mahmood shared some details about the films: “In terms of our showcase on the 8th of October at the Odeon Luxe we’ve got 6 solid, unique short films which we’ll be showcasing on the big screen.
“Each film in the screening is different and tackles various themes. At a time when modern cinema is filled with films that are loud and breezy, with little emotional connection to to the characters, I hope our short movies will resonate with the audience.
“First up is Jadoo – a noir thriller starring Ray Jahan – in which a menial assassin from a distant dystopia who wants to retire and become a magician.”
Mahmood promises that all the films have a unique flavour with themes such as love, loss, laughter and humanity.
“The second film in the screening is Lady Macbeth – starring Amber Cox and executive produced by Birmingham comedian Joe Lycett,” explained Mahmood.
“The drama follows an aspiring film actress living rough and tough on the streets. The tale is about the actress testing for a role of Lady Macbeth in a contemporary version of Shakespeare’s Scottish Play.”
Mahmood was multitasking while working on his short movies and acted as director, producer, writer and editor for most of the films but the special cinema screening also features some short films directed by a couple of other filmmakers.
Mahmood provided some insight about the other films: “We will be screening a couple of episodic films from our web series Harvest.
“The Harvest series explores unexpected tales, some dark and some light, which are shared by the Housekeeper of an allotment in Birmingham.
“The first Harvest episode is called Shelter and is a local love story starring Lewis Wallace and Aila Swan. This beautiful film was directed by Toshiq Azam from the West Midlands.”
“The second Harvest episode is called Fathers, and I handled the directing chores. The heartbreaking story is about Abid who is recently divorced and submerged in sorrow and defeat as his wife wins custody over their child and plans to move to another country.
“To win her attention, Abid plans to shoot himself on an allotment bench. This short film stars the incredible Ray Jahan as the father and the brilliant Jayshree as the mother. And a first time child actor named Hadi Mansoor is the child torn between the divorcing parents.
“The last two short films are centred around the beautifully written Feel Good Poems by Laura Liptrot who directs and also performs in the films alongside her tremendously talented father Phillip Liptrot.”
Mahmood explained that filming the material was often challenging and as a newcomer with limited resources, he had to learn and adapt.
The challenges proved to be a valuable experience which he hopes to put into use on future film projects.
The young filmmaker cites his dad – Nassar Mahmood – as a major inspiration.
“The main support and daily encouragement comes from my dad,” said Mahmood.
“He is literally the reason why I aim to be successful in this field. And when I mention ‘success’ I don’t see that being defined by winning awards at film festivals. The definition of success in my field should always be about having random people emotionally connecting with the material that I produce.”
Mahmood is already looking beyond the film screening and is eager to start work on his new film project.
“My next film will be a charming crime thriller called Op Boy. The material is influenced by the films of Brian De Palma, Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible series, and Guy Ritchie’s Snatch.
“The story will have a Turkish, American, British and Pakistani backdrop and will be set in a snooker room.
“I’m planning on shooting all of it in Birmingham.”
The Film Premiere showcase will take place in Screen 01 at The Odeon Luxe, Broadway Plaza between 6pm – 8pm on Saturday 8 October.