A short film in Manx – Solace – will be premiered at the Broadway Cinema, in Douglas, tomorrow (Saturday).
The project received significant funding from the Manx Heritage Foundation as part of the Year of Culture 2014.
The story is set in 1617 and is based around the true story of Margaret Quaine, a woman whose life changes when she is accused of witchcraft, after being seen engaging in ‘unnatural things’ by the Bishop of Sodor and Mann.
The production was a series of challenges for director/producer Andy North and his team.
‘First we had to find actors who either spoke Manx or who were willing to learn their parts in a new language, a daunting ask for any actor or actress,’ he said.
‘At the auditions we wanted to see powerful performances, especially from the woman who would play the lead part.
‘We therefore asked all the actresses for a blood curdling scream.
‘However, being a really hot day, we had all the windows open, only to find the building surrounded by police, who had been alerted by a concerned member of the public!’
Preparing for the filming began with a CD for non-Manx speakers with a recording of their lines repeated over and over for them to learn.
Andy said: ‘The Bishop, played by local acting legend Wayne Kelsall, made his 30 minute commute to work listening to the CD every day for three months before it started to make any sense.
‘It has been a long old process making a quality film, even a short one, with lots and lots of people giving up their time and talent for free, but we hope it is worth it with the film travelling the globe and giving exposure to the island and its unique cultural heritage.’
Andy said the team were lucky to have some of the island’s award winning artists, designers, editors, cinematographers and writers working on the film.
Manx language development officer Adrian Cain said: ‘Such a high profile and professional production illustrates what a vibrant position the language find itself in a present.
‘Manx Gaelic Medium education to apps and films in the language are all illustrative of just how far we have come over the last 20 years.’
He thanked Steve Christian at Gaslight Media and the Mannin Shorts scheme as well as Manx National Heritage for the use of all of its properties.
For further information about the film email Andy North at firstname.lastname@example.org
For information about the Manx language call Adrian Cain on 451098 or email email@example.com