BUCKINGHAM’S independent cinema, The Film Place has a special treat in store on Saturday, when the director of Tortoise In Love will be attending the screening of his film at the newly improved venue.
The romantic comedy, written and directed by former Guardian columnist Guy Browning represents a mammoth community effort by almost 400 residents of the little Oxfordshire village of Kingston Bagpuize.
Villagers raised £180,000 to make the film happen, with additional funding coming from a DEFRA grant for promoting rural inclusion.
Props, driving, costumes, make-up and other logistical tasks were all undertaken by an army of villagers, while young mums helped with the sales and publicity.
The Women’s Institute organised catering on a vast scale and the entire cast and crew stayed with villagers,
Villagers also appear in the film.
In return for its efforts, the village owns a ‘Golden Share’ of the film, meaning that clubs, schools and societies will benefit from any future profits.
The film had its London premiere in May.
Mr Browning told the Advertiser: “I made this ridiculous promise to the village that we would take it all the way to Leicester Square – and we did!”
Tortoise In Love is showing tomorrow, Saturday, at 7.30pm.
It will be introduced by Mr Browning, who will then stay to give a talk afterwards, together with a question and answer session.
The Film Place has successfully completed phase one of its improvements, with a brand new projector and much-improved speakers, which have been very well received.
The University of Buckingham has also installed a new ‘soft’ lighting system which has greatly improved the ambience for cinemagoers.
Phase two, later this year, will see a larger screen incorporated into the back wall.