Tuesday 10 July 2012

Tortoise in London

Two great things have come out of this film: Firstly, it's the way that a small village came together to help out a film that caused chaos in their little corner of England and second, to give the villagers the change to wall down the red carpet at the film's premiere.

Tom, gardener at the big house, is not a fast mover with women. In fact he's glacially slow. When beautiful Polish au pair Anya arrives for the summer, Tom falls for her catastrophically like the felling of one of the giant trees he cares for in the manicured grounds. Tom's adviser in matters of the heart is young Harry, abandoned by the rich owners of the house to run wild in the gardens. Harry's secret wish is for the Red Arrows to appear at the village fair: Tom's is to win the heart of Anya. Both seem impossible dreams until the whole village decides to lend a hand.

Thick snow covered the little Oxfordshire village of Kingston Bagpuize when local writer Guy Browning decided the village should make a film. Almost four hundred villagers volunteered to make the film happen and the village rapidly became the unlikely setting for one of the freshest and funniest films of the last few years.

The entire cast and crew stayed with villagers, the Women's Institute organised catering on a vast scale and props, driving, costumes, make-up and a thousand other logistical tasks were all undertaken by a highly organised and frighteningly motivated army of villagers.
Tortoise in Love is out in cinemas on July 13, 2012

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