News Column

Film crew's visit turns back the clock 200 years

July 24, 2013


TOP hats and corsets were the height of fashion in Kingsand after the village was transported back to the 1800s to provide the setting for a bigtime movie.

Around 40 locals will feature as extras in the film, telling the life story of British painter Joseph Mallord William Turner and directed by seven-time Oscar nominee Mike Leigh.

Everyone's been dressed up in posh outfits and walking around in top hats, said Kingsand resident Jan Kerr, one of the extras. I was a fisherwoman so that's my claim to fame.

There was a fantastic atmosphere and it's been really great fun.

The film stars Harry Potter actor Timothy Spall as Turner and scenes were filmed in the village near Torpoint over a two-week period.

Mrs Kerr, who owns a gallery in Kingsand and is the secretary of the Rame Tourism and Business Association, said the film had caused quite a stir and lots of people had been heading down to see what all the fuss was about.

We've had quite a few visitors coming to look at the filming and see the set but unfortunately they're painting the cottages back to normal this week, she said. She said she hoped the movie, which has not yet been given a name, will inspire more people to visit the idyllic seaside beauty spot.

They also filmed a documentary about the making of the film showing all the action, she said.

We're hoping that'll be on the TV so people can see how it was made.

Creative England, the national agency that supports the film, TV, digital media and games industries, said the project would bring a significant boost to the economy of the local area.

A major film project will spend typically Pounds 32,000 a day locally, money that goes to local business, hotels and restaurants and paying extras, said spokesman Martin Booth. It's a great shop window for the region. When people see somewhere on the big screen it's certainly a massive draw for tourism.

Cornwall tourism chief Malcolm Bell said: Mike Leigh is an internationally renowned director, which will attract a varied audience and introduce them not only to the area but also to Cornwall's thriving art scene. Films have a considerable influence in shaping viewers' perceptions of an area and the benefits of film tourism can be significant.

Production company Focus Features said the film was due for release in winter 2014.

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