Shane Meadows' 'Le Donk' aims for lo-fi love

EDINBURGH — Can you shoot a proper film in five days? Shane Meadows thinks you can, and made his latest pic, “Le Donk,” over a long weekend to prove it.

With his producer, Mark Herbert of Warp Films, Meadows is using the Edinburgh Intl. Film Festival, where he won the Michael Powell award last year for “Somers Town,” to launch a new manifesto for lo-fi cinema, alongside the premiere of “Le Donk.”

Dubbed Five Day Features, it’s their version of Dogma 95, except there’s nothing dogmatic about it.

“There’s only one rule — you have to make it in five days,” Meadows explains. “I started to think about Dogma, but I didn’t want restrictions, like you couldn’t use lighting or music. If you want to make ‘Star Wars’ in five days, or just shoot something in one room, you can do it.”

Meadows and Herbert are hoping to inspire other filmmakers, whether rookies or veterans, to follow their example. They aren’t offering any money — not yet, at least — just the concept, and some tips about how to get it done. They are already getting inquiries from filmmakers as far afield as New York and Argentina.

“Our ultimate aim is to finance these films, but until then, you can send in your film, and if we like it, we’ll give it our stamp, maybe build a body of like-minded films and help release them,” Meadows says. “Hopefully we can raise a pot of £1 million, or see if Panasonic, Sony or Apple would give us equipment to become this titchy studio.”

“Le Donk,” which cost $50,000, stars Paddy Considine as a roadie who thinks he’s a mogul. It was improvised and shot backstage at an Arctic Monkeys/Amy Winehouse gig last summer. Warp will handle the distribution, and is planning an innovative combination of live event screenings, DVD release and web downloading.

The Edinburgh fest runs June 17-29.

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