CinemaNX and Isle of Man Film have confirmed support for the Island’s very first Manx language film, Solace in Wicca, with a view to acquiring commercial re-make rights and developing a full-length feature based around the concept, albeit the feature version will be in the English language.
The short film, written by local filmmaker Nathan Russell-Raby will be directed by local photographer and fellow film-maker Andy North, as part of the MannIN Shorts programme. ’Solace in Wicca is a gripping story based on the true events of 1617 when a mother and her child were burned at the stake for witchcraft. The locals although enthusiastic at first were so horrified by what they saw that this was the last witch burned on the Island. The story looks at how what we believe helps us cope with death, even in its most brutal form.’ explains Andy. ‘Filming starts on the all-local production on Saturday following a lengthy period of casting and pre-production.’
NX’s Steve Christian said, ‘I’m personally very excited about this local production as it allows us to explore the possibility of using the Island as a genuine setting and to tap into the world-wide interest in Halloween or Hop Tu Naa that some may claim has its origins in the Isle of Man. It creates a wonderful opportunity to support emerging local talent and at the same time turn the camera to focus on the Isle of Man as a setting.’
Local film-maker and co-founder of Mannin Shorts, Dave Armstrong said, ‘MannIN Shorts is an initiative which involves all strands of the Manx film industry. The screenplay for Solace in Wicca has been part of MannIN Shorts since the early stages of the film scheme, when it was one of 32 ideas submitted in Jan 2010 to our Screenplay Competition.
Two of the six screenplays selected from this number - I Do and Hide and Seek - have already been filmed, and a third, Closet, also goes into production this week. We're pleased Nathan's work was one of these six not just because the story is very powerful, but also because it has such a strong Manx focus - even to the point of being translated into the Manx language for the shoot. It's a brave and challenging piece, involving fire, period costume and the need to find actors who can speak or are willing to learn Manx! It's great that the factual elements and historical nature of the short have also earned the film incredibly generous support and backing from Manx Heritage Foundation, and that the commercial nature of it has attracted support from CinemaNX and Isle of Man Film. We now hope it will be ready in time to show at our MannIN Shorts Isle of Man Film Festival in September.’
Department of Economic Development member with responsibility for Film and Media, Laurence Skelly added, ‘Since the inception of Isle of Man Film back in 1995 the Island has developed a very healthy indigenous skill-base across all section of the production industry. Nathan’s talents as a film-maker have long been recognised as he is a regular contributor to and frequent winner of the Arts Council’s Young Film-maker of Mann competitions. It’s an absolute pleasure to see his passion and skills developing in this way. We very much look forward to seeing Solace in Wicca up on the big screen.’