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English film buffs bring Mönchengladbach to the big screen

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English film buffs bring Mönchengladbach to the big screen
A scene from 'The Receptionist'. Photo: Middle Name Productions
10:54 CET+01:00
Mönchengladbach doesn't exactly conjure up the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, but as Gwen Moores reports, that hasn't stopped some enterprising English filmmakers from making movies in the western German city.

Far away from Hollywood – or even where you'd expect films to be made in Germany – a tight-knit creative team has turned Mönchengladbach into their very own dream factory. And on Friday night, the independent production company Middle Name Productions is hoping the city's residents will turn out for a preview of their latest film “Room to Breathe.”

“This is a Mönchengladbach project,” the film's producer Billy Clark told The Local this week. “People get excited about it. The city...got interested in what we're doing and they're very keen for us to succeed.”

Clark now helps run the unusually located production company set up in 2007 by director Matt James, who had been living in nearby Düsseldorf until he heard Mönchengladbach was offering support for new creative businesses.

Enlisting help from both the nearby British military base and local Germans, Middle Name Productions made its first feature-length film “The Receptionist” last year. Premiered at the city's Comet cinema, it was shot just 10 days at a Mönchengladbach hotel on a budget of €8,000.

“It was really a massive undertaking,” Clark said.

Over the past year, the film buffs have made a second film, “Room to Breathe” and moved into offices in the city. The move was in part of the V16 project, in which the city provides space, because, as Clark put it, “they want the young, creative initiatives under one roof.”

The production company's British-German films have since become a matter of considerable civic pride in Mönchengladbach.

“Young people in school were recruited to help with the technical side of the crew,” Clark told The Local.

Once they got a taste of life on a film set, many of the younger crew members were hooked and went on to study film in the UK. “Something we´re very proud of,” Clark said.

Besides celebrating the DVD release of “The Receptionist” on Friday night, Middle Name Productions will also offer its fans a glimpse of the upcoming “Room to Breathe” during a special screening.

'The Receptionist' -DVD Launch Event

V16- Viersener Strasse 16 in Mönchengladbach

Friday at 7:30 pm

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