Film-maker hoping for Cannes do attitude

actors David Jewell as Mr Curtis flanked by his "associates" David Metcalf (left) and Andrew Leckonby (right). Picture by Alan Helm.

actors David Jewell as Mr Curtis flanked by his "associates" David Metcalf (left) and Andrew Leckonby (right). Picture by Alan Helm.

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A CRAMLINGTON writer is mingling with the rich and famous at one of the world’s biggest and most glamorous film festivals in a bid to secure funding for a film.

Dawn Furness is at the Cannes Film Festival to talk to distributors and financiers about a movie she hopes to shoot in the north east.

The 32-year-old, also an opera singer, has already produced two feature films, both set in Northumberland, and has shot several scenes for a promotional trailer to showcase her latest project, given the working title of The New Jerusalem.

To be filmed using north east actors at various locations around the region, Dawn describes it as a dark thriller bringing fringe politics into conflict with a sinister underworld figure planning a multi-million-pound robbery.

The former Cramlington High School pupil said: “Everyone I have spoken to has been excited about the possibility of a major film bringing jobs to the area and has been generous with their time and assistance.

“We were granted access to film scenes at the Whitley Bay Ice Rink during an ice hockey game.

“This area has a wealth of talent, both actors and production crew, and is an exciting and beautiful place to film.

“I am hoping that by raising sufficient capital to make the film locally, it will bring some jobs to the area and maybe even awaken other film companies to the benefits of locating projects in the north east.”

If she is able to secure funding in France, Dawn hopes to begin production on the film in the summer of 2012.

Celebrities attending this year’s festival, the 64th, include Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Uma Thurman and Cheryl Cole.