Double awards at Bootleg boost Cornish black comedy
Living Cornwall Editor
A Cornish feature film has increased its tally of major awards to four, following double success at the 2013 Bootleg Film Festival.
Weekend Retreat, produced by o-region, picked up the prize for best film and best actress.
Producer Simon Harvey said: "This latest recognition makes the hours and hours of work over the past four-and-a- half years absolutely worthwhile. Now we just need to make the film break even and get it seen by a larger audience."
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Filmed over 12 days at St Wenn, near Bodmin, Weekend Retreat was director Brett Harvey's feature-film debut. The creator of more than 30 short films, he was named best director at the 2012 London Independent Film Festival and the black comedy was also presented with the Golden Chough Award by Cornwall Film Festival.
Weekend Retreat used a crew of 22 and a cast of six, including well-known actress Esther Hall, who has appeared in Spooks and Queer As Folk, as well as playing the single mum in the long-running BT advertisements. Esther was joined by Dominic Coleman (Catherine Tate Show, Psychoville) and Dudley Sutton (Lovejoy, The Football Factory), along with well-known Cornish actors Dean Nolan, Dan Harvey and Simon Harvey.
Made by leading Cornish production company o-region – whose previous work included One Darke Night, Superstition Mountain and The Midnight Drives – Weekend Retreat follows the fortunes of Karen and Duncan Campbell, who are stuck in a loveless marriage. Trying in vain to patch up their fractured relationship, they escape for the weekend to a picturesque house in the Cornish countryside.
Meanwhile, Kevin and Gary Tregidger are estranged stepbrothers brought together by a family tragedy. Destitute, desperate and broke, they hatch a plan to change their fortunes by burgling a large isolated house in the Cornish countryside. There's just one snag: it's the same house.
As the weekend draws on, the Campbells find themselves held hostage and the Tregidgers get increasingly out of their depth. The stakes are raised as secrets are revealed and relationships are pushed to breaking point.
The film was made with grant funding from Feast and through a scheme with University College Falmouth, which allowed film students to work as part of the crew.
Weekend Retreat DVDs, priced £10 (plus £3 P&P), are available from www.weekend retreatmovie.com.