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Penwith village and its residents to appear in film premiering in London

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: June 19, 2013

  • Leo Whetter and Will Hutchinson

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A SMALL west Penwith village and its residents will find themselves on the silver screen in a film premiering in London later this month.

Filmmakers from the capital travelled down to Pendeen, near St Just, to shoot a feature-length production in 2011 and enlisted members of the community – some whom had never acted before – to perform.

Two years on the film is finally set to premiere at Genesis cinema on June 27 as part of the East End Film Festival.

The movie – Overhill – is a dark, comedic horror which tells the story of a London novelist who seeks privacy and seclusion to finish writing her book, and decides Pendeen is the perfect place.

However, soon after she arrives, the writer finds things might not be as private and relaxed as previously thought.

Director Will Hutchinson said that he wanted to challenge preconceptions of rural life, and highlights both the sense of community often absent in cities as well as the eccentricities in remote areas.

"People in cities often think remote areas are a bit strange – we looked at that in a light-hearted, humorous way," he said.

Mr Hutchinson, who made the film with writer Leo Whetter on a budget of just £600, said Pendeen could not have been more welcoming.

"Everyone in the village was great – lots of people supported us and offered help," said the director.

"As people filled in for roles throughout, lots of the film is improvised, but it works really well."

Mr Hutchinson's brother, Oliver, owns the village Costcutter with his wife and family.

Dubbed the Cornish Fixer, the shop owner managed to recruit much of the cast by asking people who came in for groceries if they wanted a role in the flick.

"We managed to find lots of people who wanted to be in it," he said.

"It's a great film and it's so nice to see people from the community involved."

Alongside two actors from London, the cast includes Ashleigh Sendin, from Truro's Stagecoach theatre company, Mark Berryman, the mayor of Porthleven and many other Pendeen and west Cornwall locals.

Before securing a spot at the film festival, the feature previewed at the village's North Inn pub.

Mr Hutchinson said it was great to have the cast together to watch themselves in action, and it was a successful viewing.

The director hopes Overhill will be released across the country – including in his brother's village shop.

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