UK film-makers shine with London-shot features at Cannes Film Festival
Date posted: 23.04.2014
In a strong showing for British talent, six UK-based directors have had their work selected for the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. London is to join them on the coveted screens, having acted as key location for three films screening in the Festival - including Mike Leigh's hotly anticipated Mr Turner and Directors' Fortnight closing film Pride.
East London-shot thriller Snow in Paradise is also part of the festival's official selection, showing in Un Certain Regard.
The full line up of the Directors' Fortnight was announced yesterday, with four of the 14 films showing made in Britain, including Frederick Wiseman's The National Gallery, a study of London's iconic museum. Meanwhile Mr Turner and Ken Loach's Ireland-set Jimmy's Hall are In Competition for the Palme D'or.
Southwark: Matthew Warchus' Pride
With the illustrious task of closing Directors' Fortnight, Matthew Warchus' first film since 1999 is set to take the Festival by storm. Telling the true story of LGBT activists who raised money to support the families of striking miners in the 1980s, Pride has a stellar cast including Bill Nighy, Paddy Considine, Imelda Staunton and Dominic West.
But it nearly didn't happen as planned. Warchus' ideal location for a key scene was the Aylesbury Estate, where productions had not been able to access for some time. With assistance from Film London and the CEO of the London Borough of Southwark, the production was able to use the location. As a result, the team behind Pride worked with the Southwark Film Office to secure work placements with a number of local people.
Hackney: Andrew Hulme's Snow in Paradise
The debut feature of editor-turned-director Andrew Hulme, Snow in Paradise is a thriller set on the streets of East London. It follows one man's journey from crime to religion and the human struggle to renounce violence.
Based on a true story, and made by a London local, setting was vital to getting the look of this film exactly right. It shot on Boundary Street in Tower Hamlets and did a day in Camden, but for the most part was based in Hackney where the Borough Film Office provided considerable support.
Thanks to Hackney's film office, the production was able to shoot on various street locations around the Dalston/Hoxton area and make use of vacant premises on the Woodberry Down Estate, which is undergoing a process of regeneration. In an empty block one flat was turned into a dilapidated living space while another became a welcoming home.
With a mosque as a central location in the film, the project's location scout approached the London Islamic Turkish Association Mosque on Shacklewell Lane. Not only were they granted much-needed permission to film there, the attached Islamic Community Centre became a base for the production office.
Film Officer Tom Krumins said: "We at Hackney Film Office are delighted to hear Snow in Paradise has been short listed at such a prestigious film festival as Cannes.
We worked closely with the Snow team as an accurate portrayal of Hackney, specifically the Dalston area, was crucial to their story."
Westminster in Mike Leigh's Mr Turner
Competing for the Palme D'or, Mike Leigh returns to Cannes with this long-awaited look at the life of British artist J.M.W Turner. Starring long-time Leigh collaborator Timothy Spall as the eccentric painter who died in 1851, aged 76.
While London's Royal Academy is re-created by Wentworth Woodhouse in Sussex, a bulk of other filming happened in the capital - including the historic Lord North Street in Westminster. A short street of Georgian terraced housing that sits between Smith Square and Great Peter Street in Westminster, the street provided a vital role in creating a convincing representation of London in the early 19th Century.