FILMING on a new production starring Gugu Mbatha Raw starts in the island later this month.
Lavish period drama Belle will start shooting at various locations around the island on Monday, September 24.
Directed by BAFTA award winner Amma Asante and produced by Damian Jones whose previous credits include the Academy Award winning ‘The Iron Lady’, Belle will star Gugu Mbatha Raw in the title role, alongside a cast which boasts an impressive ensemble of Britain’s finest actors including Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Matthew Goode, Penelope Wilton and Emily Watson.
Also starring will be some of the most exciting up and coming international stars, including Sarah Gadon, Sam Reid, Tom Felton and James Norton.
Belle is a tale of passion and romance in the face of overwhelming adversity.
Inspired by a 1779 painting of Dido Elizabeth Belle, and her life story, Belle tells the tale of a mixed–race girl raised as an aristocratic lady in 18th Century England. Battling social prejudice against the backdrop of a controversial slavery case, Belle brings to life the love story of Dido Belle (Gugu Mbatha Raw) and John Davinier (Sam Reid), in a world where one of England’s most powerful men stands between them.
Producer Damian Jones said: ‘This is an important story which still has great resonance today.
‘Amma has created a powerful tale inspired by true historical events and adds a fresh and unique twist to this Jane Austen-esque romance.’
Following the three-week shoot around the island, Belle will move to Pinewood Studios, Oxford and London to complete production.
Laurence Skelly MHK, Department of Economic Development member with responsibility for Isle of Man Film, said: ‘Belle is particularly significant as it is our first collaboration with Pinewood Studios, one which we expect to be the first of many, and heralds the start of a fruitful and exciting period for the island and its film industry.
‘In addition, the cast and crew will be leaving approximately £1million in the local economy, revenue that is always welcome, particularly outside the traditional tourist months of the year.’
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Weather for Isle of Man
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west