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University of York supports region’s vibrant creative industry


Paranormal thriller Entity, produced by Nexus DNA Films, follows a British film crew venturing into a remote Siberian forest, attempting to solve mysteries both past and present.

An independent North Yorkshire film production company, currently celebrating the UK DVD release of its award-winning film Entity, is one of a growing number of creative companies in the region benefitting from the skills and facilities on offer at the University of York.

Nexus DNA Films has enjoyed huge success with its paranormal thriller Entity, with distribution deals on both sides of the Atlantic and theatrical screenings at REEL cinemas across the UK.

The production company, which made the film entirely in the Selby area, is one of a growing number of local creative companies to use the superb post-production facilities at Heslington Studios, the commercial arm of the University’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television.


The paranormal thriller stars Dervla Kirwan (Ballykissangel, Goodnight Sweetheart)
‌Entity follows a British film crew venturing into a remote Siberian forest, attempting to solve mysteries both past and present. The paranormal thriller won Best Horror Film at the London Independent Film Festival, and stars Dervla Kirwan (Ballykissangel, Goodnight Sweetheart) and Charlotte Riley (Easy Virtue, Wuthering Heights), who  has just finished filming as co-star with Emily Blunt in a new Tom Cruise movie, All You Need is Kill. They are supported by Branko Tomovic, Rupert Hill, Oliver Jackson and Michael David Worden.

Nexus DNA Films also received support on the early development of the original script from the University, while the academic-business partnership enabled the film company to tap into support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The film production company is part of an increasingly vibrant creative industry developing in the North Yorkshire region, with around 320 small creative businesses now based in the area. Many of these are benefitting from the close proximity of Heslington Studios, which boasts two HD broadcast TV studios, a 140-seat preview cinema, a multi-purpose sound stage, as well as professional sound and picture post-production facilities.

Creative businesses around the York region benefit from being situated near us and we benefit from having partnerships with them.

Carole Dove, Commercial Director for Heslington Studios

Steve Stone, the Director of Entity, said: “The assistance we received from Heslington Studios in the post-production was invaluable both in terms of facilities and the technical back-up that we received there. As with any small indie like ours the budget for post-production was almost impossible to work with. But the help we gained under the ERDF scheme made it possible to finish our film and take it into distribution on both sides of the Atlantic with Metrodome in the UK and Arclight Films/ Fangoria Films in the US.”

Carole Dove, Commercial Director for Heslington Studios, said: “Our remit is to work in partnership with industry to enable out-of-London production companies such as Nexus DNA Films to deliver on a much more cost-effective basis. Creative businesses around the York region benefit from being situated near us and we benefit from having partnerships with them. Our income is gift-aided back to the University and ploughed back into developing new facilities for the future.”

In addition to Nexus DNA Films, Al Jazeera, The Other Planet Media, Digital Fiction Factory, Green Screen Productions and the BBC have all made use of the facilities on offer at the University of York.

Entity is now available on DVD from major outlets including Amazon UK, Sainsburys, Tesco and LOVEFiLM.

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