One of the biggest independent movies to be made in North Wales is going into production in Denbighshire this Spring.
The movie will be shot over the summer and will be set for release in 2016.
Womble is a feature film about a man living with Asperger’s Syndrome in a typical seaside resort town.
There are over 100 people working on the production from actors, film crew, artist, songwriters, makeup and hair stylist as well as people working with social media, working in research, the list goes on. The production is also providing professional standard training opportunities for some local students.
Director Lee Howard established Best Pictures Productions last year to provide established local talent with large scale opportunities in their own community. Lee wrote the screenplay and original script along with local actors Gemma Lawman and Paul Penlington,the team have already had interest from a number of major networks.
Nadine Davies, a recent graduate, is supporting the director with continuity and scenography.
The movie will feature songs from the Beautiful South’s former lead singer Briana Corrigan, American Pie star Thomas Nicholas as well as a string of original songs written by their own songwriters.
The story centres on a man in his 30s called Aloysius Rupert Womble with Asperger’s Syndrome. His dream is to become a stand up comedian.
We see a week long snapshot of his life as he goes through the trials of living whilst dealing with injustices forced upon him by society and parts of his community. Over the seven day period, he prepares for the biggest night of his life, a talent show in his local pub.
Central cast members include Gemma Lawman (Myra Hindley untold story) playing landlady Donna Hughes, Paul Penlington (Rockets Island, Magic Granddad) playing local drunk Jibber Jones. Pawn Stars UK’s Mark Holland “Little Mark” makes his acting debut as Rob Skinner.
There is a wonderful supporting cast list Including Rachel Lunn as Lexi Skinner, Georgina Ford as Becky Wilde, Chris Detton as Jason Reed, Jade Cullen as C.C, and Steven Williams as Todd Hughes along with many local extras.
The film introduces local actor Tom Spencer not only in his first film role but also as the star.
Gemma explained: “Tom actually has Asperger’s Syndrome and certainly brings a lot to the character, he is both funny and empathetic and his timing as an actor is excellent”.
Paul Penlington said: “Creative opportunities are limited in North Wales, we’ve made sure our whole cast, crew, design team, director and producers are all from and based here in North Wales. A lot of big film companies use the area so we thought it was high time a local company was formed that have made a commitment to use local people to make our own great cinema here”.
Lee said: “Womble is a funny yet dark story that will leave you crying with laughter and empathy for an extraordinary man. As well as creating high quality original drama we are all committed to showing the reality of daily life for people with Autism or Asperger’s so it was of course important that we cast the main part with an actor with Asperger’s Syndrome. I think we’ve found a great actor with Tom”.
Nadine said: “This is a fantastic chance to work at a professional level to develop my skills and build a pretty impressive CV. I’m still new to this business but the rest of the team treat me with total respect and value my opinion just as much as anyone’s”.
The team have self-funded the whole movie and have had some amazing help from local businesses and people. Prestatyn’s Constitutional Club, Bastion Rd Camp Shop, Russell Paul Hairdressers on the high street and the Central Beach club are all locations given to the production free of charge.
The community have been just amazing and many people are also helping to raise funds too.
Iceland in Prestatyn are holding a bag packing day and The Constitutional Club have an Easter family night on March 28 at 7pm providing a packed out night of entertainment including Disney princesses, face painting, food, live singers, plus a massive raffle with some wonderful prizes.
There will also be a few surprise special guest appearances in the film, faces from film and TV that you will recognise but you will need to watch the film to see who they are.