Leicester-born filmmaker gets behind Phoenix 2020 cinema expansion
Phoenix is delighted to welcome its first honorary Patron – BAFTA-nominated writer and director for film, theatre and television, Amit Gupta. Born in Leicester and currently living in London, Amit has been a lifelong supporter of Phoenix.
As a Patron, Amit will be an advocate for Phoenix’s work, helping to raise the charity’s profile, and supporting fundraising for its Phoenix 2020 expansion plans to double in size and become a four screen cinema.
Amit Gupta has written and directed three feature films: Resistance, which starred Michael Sheen and Andrea Riseborough and was nominated for three BAFTAs; Jadoo which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival; and One Crazy Thing released theatrically in 2018.
Growing up in Leicester, Amit has first-hand experience of the value of an independent cinema like Phoenix. “Without Phoenix I know I would not be a filmmaker today. It opened my eyes to a world I did not know existed.
“It’s why independent cinemas like the Phoenix are so important. They allow people from diverse social backgrounds to dream and – perhaps more importantly – to find like-minded people who have similar dreams, because cinemas are about much more than the films themselves. They are about the community. They bring people together. They help build a more cohesive society.
“A world-class independent cinema is an essential part of a thriving city. Phoenix 2020 is an amazing opportunity for Phoenix and everybody in Leicester, and I’m really excited to be able to contribute to making it happen.”
As a Patron, Amit will work with the Phoenix film programming team to help develop and endorse a number of events in their cultural calendar. He will also become a seat sponsor – with his name on a cinema seat in one of the new screens – as part of Phoenix’s 2020 BE PART OF IT fundraising campaign.
About Amit Gupta
Amit Gupta is a director and writer for theatre, film and television. His recent directing work includes Sky One’s top-rated drama comedy, Delicious, starring Dawn French, Emilia Fox, Iain Glen and Sheila Hancock. His two part adaptation of Cecilia Ahearne’s bestselling novel Thanks for the Memories, which he wrote and directed for ZDF, is premiering in September 2019.
Amit’s first feature film, Resistance, starred Andrea Riseborough, Tom Wlaschiha and Michael Sheen and was nominated for three BAFTAs, the WGGB Best First Feature and the CineVision Award at Munich. His second film, Jadoo, a drama comedy adapted from his own Radio 4 play was the only UK narrative feature to premiere in Official Selection at the Berlin Film Festival in 2013 and has played at over 50 international festivals around the world. His latest feature, One Crazy Thing, was the Opening Gala at the East End Film Festival and was released theatrically in 2018 in the UK and US.
Amit’s stage plays include Touch (winner of the Royal Court Theatre Young Writers’ Competition), Option which premiered at London’s Tricycle Theatre and Campaign, which was nominated for an Olivier Award and won a Liberty Human Rights Award, as part of The Great Game.