Lanarkshire filmmaker’s debut movie selected for Glasgow Film Festival premiere

A fledgling Lanarkshire filmmaker is “living the dream” after his first full-length feature was selected to premiere at next month’s Glasgow Film Festival.

And Paul Morris’ dynamic debut success is all the more remarkable as he had “no budget” to put together flick Angry Young Men.

Paul wrote and directed the 84-minute long movie and managed to assemble a 70-strong cast to shoot the production on the streets of his former home town, Hamilton.

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Paul, 29, who now lives in Coatbridge with wife Nicola, found out Angry Young Men had been chosen for a prestigious world premiere slot at the Glasgow Film Festival, sharing billing at the event with work featuring or by Alan Cumming, Lulu and Robocop director Paul Verhoeven, during a special getaway.

He told Lanarkshire Live: “My wife and I went on a trip to St Andrews to celebrate being together for 10 years when I got the call to say the movie was going to be in the Glasgow Film Festival.

Fledgling filmmaker Paul was “absolutely stunned” to get the call saying his movie had been selected for the Glasgow Film Festival

“I was absolutely stunned and my wife was in tears. It was the best news a budding filmmaker could get.

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“The Glasgow Film Festival is huge, and the festival I most had in mind for Angry Young Men to be showcased at.

“This would be a real test of whether the film is any good and because it was a no-budget movie full of Scottish accents, it is something that many would overlook.

“So I was praying it would get selected for Glasgow – and I’m now able to live the dream.

“It will have its world premiere at the festival on March 9 and will be shown again the next day.

“To imagine my film showing in a packed cinema with 400 people watching is surreal and I cannot wait.”

Angry Young Men tells the story of a new gang moving into the fictional Scottish town of Mauchton and trying to take over the turf.

Paul, a former pupil at Holy Cross High School, said: “I wrote and directed the film, and play the role of Jimmy.

“It came about through my love of film and when I was younger my friend and I used to shoot short movies using our phones.

“Ever since I left school I wanted to make movies and I started working on Angry Young Men’s script in 2016.

“I finished the script a couple of years later and then shot the movie between 2018 and 2021.

“We filmed it in Hamilton and fortunately weren’t hampered too much by the Covid pandemic.

“We moved several interior scenes to the summer months, when restrictions were lifted a good bit, and moved some other scenes outdoors, which actually worked out well.”

A still from the ‘Angry Young Men’ production

Paul used his time during lockdown to polish and hone his script, as well as editing work.

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He continued: “The biggest problem was actually scheduling issues as we had 70 cast members who weren’t being paid – often having to use most of them in the one scene at the same time – and people would sometimes have to drop out.

“But it all worked out in the end. I really wanted to show off the Hamilton locations as I’ve always had a desire to film there and the film does that nicely.”

Paul admits he is delighted with the finished movie – and is already planning his next big screen outing.

I explained: ” Angry Young Men is the culmination of a lot of hard work by many people and it is so satisfying to get to the end of this journey.

“This is the best process a young filmmaker can go through to learn what it takes to put a movie together. Because of all of the pressures, and having no budget, you’re never going to work harder; it was a great learning experience .

“I am now working on a script for another feature-length film and the dream scenario is that people see Angry Young Men enjoy it, and offer to finance the next movie.”

Angry Young Men is screening at the Glasgow Film Festival on March 9 at 6pm and March 10 at 3.15pm; Tickets are still available for the latter screening online.

To find out more about the movie, visit its official website or Paul’s Twitter page.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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