Tortoise in Love – Finders Keepers trip to the West End
Last night saw the world premiere of Tortoise in Love, a film set in the Oxfordshire village of Kingston Bagpuize, and made by the village of Kingston Bagpuize (and Southmoor). As one of the sponsors of the film, we were lucky enough to be invited along to the black tie event at Leicester Square…
We arrived at the Odeon in Leicester Square to see a Massey Ferguson parked outside, with a red carpet – bringing a bit of rural countryside to central London. We made our way in and saw a queue of women waiting to have their photo taken with the film’s romantic lead, Tom Mitchelson. There was a lot of excitement in the air as people milled around before heading in to ‘Screen 2’ – an enormous room!
We took our seats before Guy Browning, the director and writer, gave a speech to thank everyone who helped to make the film – which was a large portion of the audience – as most of the villagers attended the premiere. In fact, each seat had a small leaflet with all the attendees names on it
Guy recounted how he had stood up in Kingston Bagpuize’s village hall three years ago, and told local residents that they were going to make a film, and they were going to take it all the way to Leicester Square. “Where are we now?” he asked, to rapturous applause. Local MP, Ed Vaizey – who has a cameo in the film – then gave a short speech on stage before the film was shown.
The film tells the story of Tom, a gardener at the big house, who falls in love with beautiful Polish au pair, Anya. Tom is not a fast mover with women. In fact he’s glacially slow. After some far too subtle, and unsuccessful, attempts to woo Anya, he enlists the help of his village…
It was lovely to sit through the credits and hear ‘patches’ of whooping and applause as the audience’s names appeared on screen, and the whole thing ended with a standing ovation. In his speech, Guy did suggest a couple of options for sequels to the film, one of them being a film about a village who came together to make a film….that is certainly one we would watch!