British Comedy EATEN BY LIONS Starring Johnny Vegas Celebrates its World Premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival
Also starring Antonio Aakeel, Asim Chaudhry, Jack Carroll
Today Mecca Film Developments Ltd. is thrilled to announce hilarious and contemporary comedy feature film EATEN BY LIONS, starring some of Britain’s best loved comedians and bright new British acting talent including, Antonio Aakeel (City of Tiny Lights, Tomb Raider, The Hungry, Skins), BAFTA and Emmy award-winning Asim Chaudhry (People Just Do Nothing, Hoff the Record), Jack Carroll (Trollied, Britain’s got Talent), actor and producer Johnny Vegas (Still Open All Hours, Benidorm), Kevin Eldon (Game of Thrones, Hot Fuzz) and Vicki Pepperdine (Getting On, Camping, Together). The film will celebrate its World Premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on 21st June 2018 and will also showcase at the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival from Monday 25th June.
Written by David Isaac (Coronation Street, Lunch Monkeys, Life of Riley) and Produced by the Award-winning Hannah Stevenson (In Another Life), EATEN BY LIONS is director Jason Wingard’s second feature film. His first feature ‘In Another Life’ (Hannah Stevenson also produced) won Best UK Feature at Raindance 2017 and picked up the BIFA Discovery award (British Independent Film Award).
EATEN BY LIONS tells the heart-warming story of half-brothers Omar (Antonio Aakeel) and Pete (Jack Carroll), who were raised by their Grandma after their parents were tragically killed by lions in a bizarre accident. When their beloved Gran passes away, they embark on a life-changing journey to find Omar's real father. What follows is a funny and touching journey of self-discovery for both boys...in Blackpool. The Choudray family represent a truly contemporary example of modern multicultural Britain, but what will the brothers make of their eccentric newfound family?
EATEN BY LIONS, is a charming tale of one boy’s (Antonio Aakeel) search for his biological father and his own sense of identity, and the unexpected ways in which friendships and a sense of belonging are formed in a multicultural society.
Director Jason Wingard said “The story is essentially about the importance of family. I wanted the viewer to forget about incidentals such as race or disability and focus on the characters. It’s an attitude we applied to everyone in the film really. The story deals with big contemporary issues (class, diversity, disability, inter-racial relations, foster and adoption, sexuality, love, life and death) in a sharp and often irreverent way. A comedy with heart without skimping on laughs.”
Jack Carroll said "I loved the warm, yet still cutting edge nature of the comedy, the expertly drawn characters and the positive message at the heart of the story."
Johnny Vegas said “It’s a very relatable story about searching for something... like we all do, and the realisation that what you think you’re looking for is often right in front of you.”
Mecca Film Developments Ltd.
Mecca Film Developments Ltd. is a fresh dynamic production company. Formed in 2013, the business prides itself on producing multi-genre original content, and spotting and nurturing exceptional talent. The company directors Matt Carroll and Sue Carroll, share a collective vision to bring modern exciting scripts to screen. Eaten By Lions is the first production to be completed however multiple further projects are currently in development.
JASON WINGARD - Director/Writer
Jason began making films whilst working as a stand up comic in 1998 making super 8 silent films. After this he enrolled on a film making course and won the Exposures student film festival best animated short in 2000 with his film a ‘Star is Born' and later won best drama and the audience award in 2002 ‘Where to Mate’ in the same competition. This cemented his love of film making and passion to pick up a camera. Working with stand up comedians as performers Jason quickly developed a style of shooting which allowed comedians the space to be creative in front of the camera.
Fast forward to 2018 and Eaten By Lions is Jason’s second feature film. His first feature ‘In Another Life’ won Best UK Feature at Raindance 2017 and picked up the BIFA Discovery award (British Independent Film Award).
Jason’s short film accolades have included, Grand Prize Virgin Media Shorts 2011, Virgin Media Shorts People’s Choice award 2010 best sitcom pilot COFILMIC 2014 and UNESCO Bradford City of film filmmaker of the year 2015. His BFI-funded short film ‘Going to Mecca’ played at Palm Springs, Rio and Berlin. He has also produced two short films for Creative England I-SHORTS.
Jason lives and works in Manchester in the UK. He has a passion for telling stories that have social issues at their heart. In Another Life was set in the Calais Jungle and used both actors and non actors (refugees) in the film. He is at home with improvisation as he is with scripted content. He has directed studio based sitcom pilots and pilots for the BBC including Hospital People made with long term collaborator Tom Binns, which went on to be a series on BBC 1 and shadowed Graham Linehan on Count Arthur.
HANNAH STEVENSON - Producer
Hannah Stevenson is a producer with over 20 years varied experience producing film, television programming, and commercials. Hannah successfully ran her own television production company for 6 years producing a number of documentary and lifestyle series for ITV.
Her primetime documentary ‘The Betty Driver Story’ was nominated for Best Factual Entertainment Programme at the RTS North Awards. Hannah and Jason started to work together in 2011 when she was line producer for the short film 'Going to Mecca' with EMU films funded by the BFI. Eaten By Lions is her second feature film. The first, ‘In Another Life’ won Best UK feature at Raindance 2017 and received the Discovery Award at the British Independent Film Awards BIFAs.