Homegrown movie boss’ team effort is a triumph

Billinge-born film-maker Chris Jones launching his latest feature film, 50 Kisses
Billinge-born film-maker Chris Jones launching his latest feature film, 50 Kisses
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A Billinge-born film-maker has completed his most daring project yet, bringing together hundreds of the world’s best writers and directors.

Chris Jones, who started directing short horror movies while a student at Winstanley College and wrote the internationally-acclaimed Guerilla Film-makers Handbook, has provided the creative direction behind the unusual new feature 50 Kisses, which premieres next week.

The project started as a script-writing competition which Chris organised through the London Screenwriters’ Festival, with thousands of people sending in two-page screenplays for a short film which had to be set on Valentine’s Day and feature at least one kiss.

Billinge-born Chris then whittled the scripts down to the best 50 and placed them online for film-makers to turn into short movies, with his favourite 50 of these, some drawn from as far afield as Australia and New Zealand, making up the final full-length feature.

The 46-year-old said: “It’s a quirky, fun, strange, interesting movie about love in the 21st century. We’ve got gay hitmen, lesbians, zombies, corpses and one film which features teddy bears instead of human beings.

“If you like films which surprise and delight you are hopefully going to enjoy it.”

Chris made the final choice of short movies which make up 50 Kisses after receiving 130 films which lasted between 90 seconds and 10 minutes. He says that assembling the full-length feature, which will get its first screening at a glitzy red carpet event in London, was a huge challenge and very different from the conventional film-making.

Chris began exploring the art of movie-making with short Super 8 productions.

which he showed at college during lunch breaks, before going on to make short films including The Runner and Gone Fishing. He said: “The great film-makers of the 21st century will not come from London, New York or Hollywood, they will come from unexpected places with a completely different world view. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be Billinge, so if there’s a 17-year-old film-maker aiming high, there is nothing to hold them back any more. The technology exists, the information exists and the collaborators are out there.”