Filmmakers head to the city

A former Ken Stimpson and Peterborough Regional College student is calling for local people to help kickstart Peterborough's film industry.

Tuesday, 24th October 2017, 12:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 7:18 am

Julie Mayhew, who grew up in Werrington and is now an award-winning novelist and playwright, has written the film Elsie: Prince of Denmark, which is being shot in the city in early November with an award-winning cast and crew.

The film tells the touchingly comic tale of a teenage girl who uses Shakespeare’s play Hamlet to teach the domineering adults in her life a thing two about free will.

In keeping with the film’s message, local young people will benefit from the production - getting their first taste of a professional film set by joining the crew and performing supporting roles onscreen.

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The local young team will also have the opportunity to experience the post production process and see the film come to the big screen.

Professional film-making with youth opportunities is an area that the Elsie team want to take forward to future film projects. Their aim is to develop professional film work experience for young people starting out in their careers.

Julie and the film’s director Brek Taylor, who has worked for the BBC and Channel 4, have been running workshops with budding filmmakers and actors in the city and will hold auditions on Saturday (28th).

“This is exactly the sort of project I would have loved to have been part of when I was growing here, so it was very important to me that we filmed Elsie in Peterborough,” Julie explained.

But making films outside of London brings with it extra costs which is why Julie is asking local residents and businesses to help with the final push towards making Elsie a success.

“Funding is always a huge hurdle to leap when making any film and though we have the lion’s share of our budget covered, and we have some amazing support in place from Peterborough Regional College, we really need additional financial backers on board to make this project fly. Just a few thousand pounds would make the biggest difference.”

The film’s team have launched a Kickstarter campaign to help secure the remaining budget - www.kickstarter.com/projects/444732865/elsie-prince- of- denmark.

The producers also want to hear from anyone able to offer accommodation, transport and catering.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to help raise Peterborough’s profile as a place with its own unique stories to tell,” says Julie. “If the film is a success then other film-makers will look to the city for inspiration, creating yet more opportunities.”