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Monday, 14 July 2014

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£500 horror film made in Cumbria set for worldwide release

It cost just £500 to make, but a movie filmed in Cumbria is about to be distributed globally after securing backing from the US.

Maniac Project photo
Darren Horne and Andrew Elliot

The Maniac Project is a low-budget yet award-winning independent production by two Carlisle film makers.

After gaining recognition at a film festival in California, the horror-comedy has now been acquired by a Los Angeles distribution firm.

From Friday this week it will be available to buy online from major platforms, including iTunes and Netflix.

Described as a fun and gory parody of grindhouse slasher films, The Maniac Project is the work of Darren Horne and Andrew Elliot.

Director Andrew originates from Workington but now lives in Carlisle.

A graduate from the University of Cumbria, he also worked as an independent filmmaker for its Faculty of Health & Wellbeing.

He came up with the idea for the film, as well as taking on acting roles and editing it.

“I am absolutely thrilled that people across the world will be able to buy The Maniac Project,” he said.

“It started as a fun project with friends but has continued to grow in popularity. It has now achieved a cult status amongst students.”

The film is now being distributed by successful LA-based New World Distribution, which specialises in independent films and TV.

Producer Darren Horne, who lives in Carlisle, lectures in media production and manages Penrith Cinema – where a celebration screening will be held later this week.

He said he is over the moon that the film can be seen by a worldwide audience.

“I am very proud of The Maniac Project – it shows that you do not need a huge budget and connections to make a film people will enjoy,” he said.

“I am also a lecturer at Carlisle College and I hope the success we have achieved will inspire my students to make low budget films that they are passionate about. You never know what can happen.”

“I am delighted that New World has seen the potential and will make it available to fans across the world.”

The film started off as a 20-minute short, made in 2007. But internet viewing figures rose and its fan base grew.

Andrew explained where the idea came from: “Since my early teens I have been fascinated by slasher movies. However, I began to wonder what would happen if all these characters met?

“What if, whilst Norman Bates is dumping Marion Crane’s body into the lake in Psycho, he is suddenly confronted by Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th? With both these starting points in mind I began work on The Maniac Project, which is based upon the idea of far too many maniacs operating within the same place.”

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