Film crew in Harrogate church
A little bit of Hollywood came to Harrogate at the weekend when a film unit moved into one of the area's most impressive churches to film a funeral scene for a feature film about mental health.
Harrogate-based VPAC Productions are shooting Clouds across several locations in the UK, including scenes in London, but came home to capture a key scene featuring the film’s lead - National Theatre actor Rob Leach.And the exciting news is that, before the film has even been released, it has already won an award.Clouds this weekend won Best Screenplay at Birmingham International Film Festival for its writers David J Keogh and Velton Lishke, who is also this low budget independent movie's director. The dynamic Harrogate-based Velton said: "The people of St Mark’s have been very welcoming, and made what could have been a really challenging scene into a delight. We smashed it.“In the film the funeral doesn’t go entirely to plan but it’s a beautiful church – and perfect for our needs."An important part of the scene’s success was a hearse supplied by funeral director Haley Owen of York. Hayley’s restored vintage Daimler is no newcomer to filming, having previously featured in Johnny English, The Krays and an episode of Eastenders.The cast and crew were also blessed to have one of the region’s top chefs providing location catering. Award-winning South African chef Whaheed Rojan of The Round Table Dining set up a pop-up kitchen to offer fine food to the cast and crew.“We couldn’t have succeeded without the amazing generosity of so many people. "I think people connect with the subject matter – and it’s important we prompt or promote a discussion about men’s mental health."Clouds introduces audiences to Stuart, played by Rob Leach. as he struggles to cope with his mental health issues and life in the 21st century. The film also has appearances from George Newton of This is England fame and stand-up comic Charlie Chuck from The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer.Clouds is a heart-warming 90 minute comedy feature about how we let our emotional baggage define us - and how hope, fate and circumstance can turn things around - for better or for worse. It’s scheduled for release in spring 2018.