Suffolk film vies for Cannes award

A FILM shot entirely in Suffolk is in the running to scoop one of the world's most prestigious awards - a Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Laurence Cawley

A FILM shot entirely in Suffolk is in the running to scoop one of the world's most prestigious awards - a Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Written by Suffolk-based Emma Sullivan, After Tomorrow has made it onto the shortlist of the festival's short films selection.

The 15-minute film is a psychological suspense thriller in which a man called James, played by Joseph Mawle, returns to the village of his estranged wife when the sinister owner of his guest house refuses to let him leave.

It was filmed entirely in Newbourne and local residents helped in the production by putting up crew and cast and helping out.

The movie was commissioned as part of Screen East's Digital Shorts scheme, which aims to develop up and coming screenwriters and directors.

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Miss Sullivan, who lives near Woodbridge, said she was excited about showing her film at Cannes for its world premiere.

So far, she said, it had only been shown to cast, crew and a select group of family and friends. Although she is not nervous about showing the film itself, she has found herself worrying about something going wrong at the screening.

“You just want to make sure your film is shown in the best possible light.”

Miss Sullivan told how After Tomorrow was based on something that once happened to her father - though she was keen to point out he experienced it from the victim's perspective rather than that of the hostel owner.

She said plans were afoot to make a full-length feature film which could include some scenes shot in Suffolk.

The film's executive producer Sam Burton said: “Emma is a very talented filmmaker with a great instinct for storytelling.

“Cannes is the perfect place to showcase her work on an international level, and provides an opportunity for people to see the filmmaking talent that the region has to offer.”

When it is screened at Cannes later this month, Miss Sullivan's film will be pitted against a number of other short films for the Palme d'Or including the Kiwi-film The Six Dollar Fifty Man, the Danish film Larsog Peter and the French film L'Homme A La Gordin.

Laurie Hayward, Screen East chief executive, said: “To be chosen for the highest award to a short film given by the Cannes Film Festival is an amazing achievement for Emma, Wilder Films and Screen East.

“It's very difficult for new talent to break into the industry at this level and we are delighted to have helped put the East of England and its filmmaking talent on screen internationally with this beautifully crafted film at the world's most prestigious film festival.”

The film will have its world premiere with a blue carpet gala screening on May 23.

A quick guide to Cannes:

The Cannes Film Festival was launched in 1946 and has since become one of the world's most prestigious film festivals.

When the French Government first considered the idea of staging a film festival, they considered Algiers, Biarritz and Vichy before settling on Cannes.

The first festival - in 1939 - had to be scrapped because of the Second World War.