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Principal photography begins today on Flying Blind, the third film to be made in Bristol under iFeatures, South West Screen’s groundbreaking micro-budget filmmaking scheme.
An exciting cast of multinational talent includes Helen McCrory (recently announced in the new James Bond film Skyfall, also Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince as Narcissa Malfoy and Mrs Bean in Fantastic Mr Fox), Kenneth Cranham (Hot Fuzz, Valkyrie), French-Algerian Najib Oudghiri (Rendition) and Australian Tristan Gemmill (Casualty).
Flying Blind is headed up by young Polish director Kasia Klimkiewicz, whose short film, Hanoi Warsaw, won the 2010 European Film Award for Best Short. It is produced by Alison Sterling of Ignition Films, who co-produced the BAFTA-nominated short film Turning, which screened at over 20 other international festivals.
The screenplay credit is shared by Naomi Wallace (Lawn Dogs, The War Boys), Bruce McLeod (The War Boys), and Bristol-based writer Caroline Harrington (Radio 4 adaptation Beyond Black). Behind the camera is Polish Director of Photography Andrzej Wojciechowski, Kasia’s long time collaborator, and DoP on Hanoi-Warsaw.
Flying Blind is a passionate post 9/11 love story that confronts cultural, racial and sexual taboos. It tells the story of an impossible love: an older woman with a younger man, in a world where security is paramount and nothing is quite what it seems.
Frankie works for a major aerospace manufacturer, designing surveillance drones for the military. She’s at the top of her game and in total control of her life. When she meets Kahil, a French-Algerian student, much younger than her, she embarks on a passionate affair and for the first time in her life she utterly, thrillingly, loses control. One morning, when she arrives for work, she’s detained by security and told that Kahil may not be quite what he seems. She discovers that she has unwittingly crossed a line from control and security, into a nightmare world of suspicion and accusation. She now realises how little she knows of this man, yet her love for him proves stronger than her anger and mistrust, and she tries to find a way to protect her lover. Finally she discovers to her cost that betrayal always comes from those closest to us.
An Ignition Pictures/iFeatures production, Flying Blind is a South West Screen and BBC Films presentation in association with Matador Pictures, Cinema Six, Regent Capital and City of Bristol. Content Media Corporation plc is handling worldwide sales.
Producer Alison Sterling, of Ignition Films, said: “It’s been a long journey to get to where we are today and a steep learning curve, and I am so pleased that the project will now be realised. Our talented cast and crew are bringing Kasia’s cinematic vision to life, for this script which we hope has passion, tension and beauty.”
iFeatures Executive Producer Chris Moll said: “This shoot has a real international flavour, and demonstrates our commitment to forging collaborations between emerging talent from different countries. I look forward to seeing the team make their mark with this microbudget, which boasts a really exciting multinational cast.
“As with all the iFeatures movies, Bristol itself is also a leading character. The film will strongly feature the city’s glorious contrasts, from Georgian splendour to gritty inner-city suburbs bisected by a motorway, flyover all excitingly re-interpreted through Kasia and Andrzej’s lenses.”
Flying Blind commences principal photography today (7 November). It will be a heavily location-based shoot, utilising many different facets of Bristol including Clifton, the Downs, the Harbourside, Easton, Stokes Croft, and the city centre. The Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovilton will double for the Bristol Concorde museum and the manufacturing floor of the Airbus manufacturing plant at Filton where the lead character Frankie works.
South West Screen’s iFeatures scheme, backed by BBC Films, Matador Pictures and Bristol City Council, was launched in October 2009 with the aim of providing a pathway to features for the city’s most outstanding creative talent as well attracting some of the best emerging filmmakers from across the UK and Europe to the city of Bristol. Three films were greenlit in November 2010, and Flying Blind is the third feature to move into production. The first, In the Dark Half, received its world premiere at the Raindance Film Festival in London last month. The second film, Eight Minutes Idle, is currently in post-production