Mercury Studios and Interscope Films Announce
MARS SELECTED FOR TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL
An original film from Yungblud
April 25, 2023 – New York City, NY – MARS, a scripted short film inspired by UK alt-rock artist Yungblud’s similarly titled single, has been added to the stacked lineup of the 2023 Tribeca Festival today – the film’s North American Premiere.
Directed by acclaimed short filmmaker Abel Rubinstein and written by the award-winning writer Chris Bush, MARS follows a day in the life of a young girl in the north of England played by breakout actress Yasmin Finney (Netflix’s Heartstopper and BBC’s Doctor Who).
Taking place between June 7-18, the prestigious festival showcases both emerging talent and industry heavyweights across narrative, documentary, and animated films. This year’s lineup also promises to be one of the most diverse on record with 109 feature films from 36 countries. Moreover, 41% of features are directed by women and 36% by filmmakers from racial and ethnic minority groups. This is also reflected in the selection of short films with projects like MARS amplifying queer, trans and diverse talent in front of and behind the camera.
From the mind of Yungblud (aka Dominic Harrison), MARS was inspired by the rocker’s 2020 hit. Unflinching and hilarious, the short film follows Charlie Acaster (the extraordinary Yasmin Finney) as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Till now, Charlie has yearned for a normal teenage existence, but one extraordinary night changes her entire perspective. Shot in Blackpool, UK, in November 2021, MARS was longlisted for the Best Short BIFA in 2022 and has previously screened at the BFI London Film Festival, BFI Flare Film Festival, London Short Film Festival, Norwich Film Festival, Berlin British Shorts Film Festival and Leeds Queer Film Festival.
MARS was produced by Cat Marshall, Stefan Demetriou and Dominic Harrison (Yungblud), while Alice Webb, Marc Robinson, John Janick, Steve Berman, and Tommas Arnby served as executive producers. The short film was written by award winning writer Chris Bush. See screening details HERE Tribeca Film.
YUNGBLUD can’t remember a time before music: at the age of two, he picked up a guitar from his father’s instrument shop, and from that moment, his lifelong love affair began. Born in Yorkshire, Dominic Harrison began writing his own songs at 10 years old, enticed by the thrill of catharsis and self-expression he couldn’t find anywhere else. Since his self-titled debut EP in 2018, the 25-year-old’s lyrics have found universality in introspection, reckoning with sexuality, gender, class, gentrification and mental illness with disarming honesty in order to encapsulate the spirit of his generation. His fans are legion, and the numbers are reflective of this resonance: Harrison has 7.2 million Spotify Monthly Listeners, 5 million followers on TikTok and total YouTube views in nine figures. Harrison’s first creative statement was his 2018 debut album 21st Century Liability, which cemented his status as a fearlessly individual artist who thrived on breaking cultural taboos in his lyrics. This was succeeded by his 2019 EP, hope for the underrated youth, which debuted in the Top 10 of the UK Official Albums Chart. In its wake, the accolades started totting up: he was shortlisted for the BBC Sound of 2020 poll and subsequently crowned the MTV Push: Ones to Watch winner. Harrison more than fulfilled this promise with his second record, weird!, which topped the UK album chart and is now certified gold. After having performed headline tours across Asia, North America and Europe, the incredible success of weird! allowed Harrison to perform a sold-out, five night residency at London’s Kentish Town Forum and a date at the 10,000-cap Alexandra Palace to give his fans the live experience they sacrificed during the pandemic. In September 2022, Harrison released his hotly awaited third-studio self- album, which reached number One in the UK album chart on week of release, kickstarting his greatest era yet. In February this year, Harrison set off on his world tour, which began with arena dates across the UK, including a show at OVO Arena Wembley.
STARRING YASMIN FINNEY
Yasmin is 19 and fast becoming one of the most influential actresses within the Transgender community.
She can currently be seen playing a lead role in the first season Netflix’s hit LGBTQIA+ series HEARTSTOPPER, for which she was nominated for Best Supporting Actor and the inaugural Children and Family International Emmy’s. She will next be seen as a lead guest role in the 60th anniversary special of DOCTOR WHO and the second season of HEARTSTOPPER.
She was chosen as a 2022 Screen International Stars of Tomorrow and one of Variety’s Top 10 Brits to Watch 2023.
DIRECTED BY ABEL RUBINSTEIN
Writer-director Abel’s latest work includes the award-winning shortform mini-series LIFE IN LOVE, available on ITVX. LIFE IN LOVE had its own special screening at the London Film Festival, and Sapphic Nation named the series their favourite ‘shorts at the festival’. Abel’s past short films include DUNGAREES, FUCK THE BOXES and WINK, working variously with Creative England, BBC, ICA, and Roundhouse. Screening at festivals including Tampere, PÖFF, Edinburgh, Flare, Frameline, Outfest, and over 60 more. Abel is currently in funded development with Teen Club and the BFI with an original queer coming-of-age TV series. He is also developing his debut feature film, his most personal film yet. In the commercial space, his music video for “People Pleaser” by Cat Burns was called “a gorgeous portrait of queer life” by Pink News with another video for “Live More, Love More” on the way. Abel uses workshopping and improvisation to achieve realist performances that lead the narrative. Inspired by the work of Lukas Moodysson, Sean Baker, Richard Linklater and more, Abel is bringing character based storytelling to queer, British, coming of age narratives.
WRITTEN BY CHRIS BUSH
Chris Bush is an award-winning playwright, lyricist and theatre-maker. Her original stage musical Standing at the Sky’s Edge (with music from legendary singer-songwriter Richard Hawley) has just been named Best New Musical at the 2023 Olivier Awards, having previously won Best Musical at the UK Theatre Awards and Best Theatre at the South Bank Awards. Standing at the Sky’s Edge will transfer to the Gillian Lynne Theatre in the West End in spring 2024, and she is currently developing a TV adaptation of the same name with Red Production Company.
Other work includes Pericles, The Doncastrian Chalk Circle, The Odyssey (all National Theatre), Faustus: That Damned Woman (Headlong/Lyric Hammersmith), Nine Lessons and Carols (Almeida), Rock/Paper/Scissors (Sheffield Theatres) Hungry (Paines Plough), Kein Weltuntergang (Schaubuhne, Berlin) and Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World (Kenny Wax/UK tour). Chris has recently signed a TV development deal with Paramount and is working on a number of stage and screen commissions. In January 2023 she was named by The Stage as one of the one hundred most influential people in British theatre.
ABOUT MERCURY STUDIOS:
Mercury Studios is a full-service production studio originating, producing, selling, distributing, and investing in scripted, unscripted, and live content. Editorially independent, Mercury Studios is powered by Universal Music Group and represents the world’s leading catalogue of music-related content.
Current and recent projects include If These Walls Could Sing, the untold story of the world-famous Abbey Road Studios, directed by celebrated British photographer and filmmaker Mary McCartney for Disney+; This Town, a six-part series for the BBC from writer, creator and executive producer Steven Knight; Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop, a feature documentary from Oscar-winning director/producer Joseph Patel (Summer of Soul), adapted from Vikki Tobak’s best-selling book; “My Life as a Rolling Stone,” a four-part docuseries of intimate portraits of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts; Shania Twain: Not Just a Girl, a career documentary about the superstar that is available on Netflix; and Mars, a short film based on an original universe and characters created by Yungblud, starring Yasmin Finney, that premiered at the London Film Festival.
Mercury Studios’ Miles Davis: Birth of The Cool was recently honored with two Emmys for Outstanding Arts and Culture Documentary and Outstanding Sound. ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band from Texas also received a 2021 Grammy Award nomination for Best Music Film. The feature documentaries are part of the Mercury Studios library, consisting of over 5,000 hours of programming.
ABOUT INTERSCOPE FILMS:
Interscope Films, a division of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, was created to provide an avenue for artists and filmmakers to express their creativity and storytelling beyond the medium of music. We finance and produce content, pairing artists and others with award-winning storytellers to help bring their creative visions to life. Recent projects include the critically acclaimed BILLIE EILISH: THE WORLD’S A LITTLE BLURRY which premiered on Apple TV, BILLIE EILISH: A LOVE LETTER TO L.A. which debuted on Disney+ and OLIVIA RODRIGO: DRIVING HOME 2 U on Disney+, MGK: LIFE IN PINK, on HULU, Kacey Musgraves’ STAR CROSSED: THE FILM, on Paramount+, SELENA GOMEZ: MY MIND & ME which was released on Apple TV and DEAR MAMA: THE SAGA OF AFENI AND TUPAC SHAKUR which was released on FX Networks.