Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Spooky ‘haunted’ house offer for film festival horror fans

Caption: Actress Tasha Connor as Sally Maynard in 'When the Lights Went Out'

Halloween may have passed but horror fans in Leeds can earn the chance to experience another extra special fright courtesy of the Leeds International Film Festival this week.

As part of the Fanomenon Yorkshire element of the festival which is currently ongoing, the horror film ‘When the Lights Went Out’ is being shown at Vue in The Light on Friday 9 November.

Set in Yorkshire in 1974 and based on a true story, the film impressed critics for its attention to period detail and offers arguably the scariest ghost story of the year.

The film’s producers are now offering members of the cinema audience the chance to experience the fear for real by spending a weekend in the actual ‘haunted’ house in Pontefract the story is based on.

Anyone attending the screening on Friday can enter a prize draw with the winners being selected at the end of the film. The house has a strong connection with the film as it was the home of director Pat Holden’s aunt when he was a child, and the property reportedly still has a ‘presence’ which resulted in the last visitors who attempted to spend the night leaving quickly.

The film itself has also enjoyed a spooky start, as it failed to play properly on its first two screenings at a cinema in London with an investigation into the equipment revealing no obvious explanation for the problems.

Director of Leeds International Film Festival Chris Fell said:

“We are delighted and very grateful to the producers of ‘When the Lights Went Out’ to be able to offer this fantastic prize which we know the horror fans in Leeds are going to love.

“The chance to spend the weekend in the reportedly haunted house this film is based on is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for film fans, so we look forward to finding out who is brave enough to give it a go!”

The Leeds International Film Festival runs until Sunday 18 November and features more than 150 feature films, over 130 short films and nearly 250 screening events.

Tickets and film festival passes can be purchased in person at City Centre Box Office (The Carriageworks, Millennium Square, Leeds, LS2 3AD), over the telephone (0113 224 3801) and online (

Presented by Leeds City Council, Leeds International Film Festival is supported by the MEDIA Programme of the European Union and the National Lottery through the British Film Institute and Creative England.

For more information about this year’s Leeds International Film Festival, visit the website at


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Leeds City Council press office,
Tel: 0113 247 5472, Email:

Adopt a child – change a life

People who are interested in finding out more about adopting a child in Leeds are being invited to an information hub this weekend.

As part of National Adoption Week (5 to 11 November) Leeds City Council is holding an information drop-in event at The Light on The Headrow on Saturday 10 November between 10am and 3pm to spread the word about adopting and help people find out what it is really like.

Here in Leeds, many children are in need of adoption. In particular, Leeds City Council needs adopters who can give a home to brothers and sisters, children of mixed heritage, children with disabilities, babies from birth and very young children who may have future development needs.

Anyone interested in finding out more is invited to the drop-in event to speak to members of the council’s adoption team. Also on hand will be people who have already adopted who will be able to talk about what adopting a child is really like.

Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council executive board member responsible for children’s services said:

“Adopting a child or children is a rewarding, challenging and unique experience and one that is open to all. What we want to underline is that anyone can adopt, there is often a misconception that only certain groups of people can apply. This couldn’t be further from the truth, what we need are people who have the commitment to make a real difference to a vulnerable child’s life.

“We need all kinds of people to be adopters, and are looking for people with a range of different skills and experience. Please don’t rule yourself out, come and talk to our adoption team – there might be a child in care who you would be the perfect adoptive parent for.”

You don’t have to be married or have a family to adopt - adopters can be single, married, divorced, remarried, without children of their own, or already have a family. The key necessity is that they provide a permanent, stable, secure and loving home. Adoptive parents are needed who reflect a wide range of backgrounds and circumstances.

People who adopt through Leeds City Council are offered ongoing training and support, from a whole team of adoption support workers. In Leeds a big emphasis is placed on finding the perfect ‘match’ by working closely with prospective adopters to combine their skills and experience and personalities to match children who need adopting.

Leeds City Council’s adoptive support has been rated as outstanding by Ofsted

As well as the drop-in session at The Light, there are also regular information evenings, held once a month at the South Leeds City Learning Centre, Gipsy Lane, LS11 5TT at 7:00pm - 8:30pm. The meetings will be held on the following dates:

20 November 2012

11 December

15 January 2013

19 February

5 March (this session is specifically aimed at gay/lesbian prospective adopters)

19 March

16 April

21 May

18 June

23 July

17 September

15 October

19 November

10 December

Visit now for more information or call our dedicated adoption recruitment line on: 0113 395 2072.


For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713