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Shooting begins on Chris Crow’s psychological thriller The Lighthouse


18 November 2014

Production has commenced on The Lighthouse, a psychological thriller from writer/director Chris Crow (Panic Button). The Lighthouse tells the story of two men trapped in an isolated lighthouse cut off from the outside world.

As the storms rage and relief seems impossible a terrible tragedy befalls one of the keepers leaving the survivor fighting to stay sane in a nightmarish situation. Michael Jibson (The Riot Club), the script’s co-writer, will star alongside Mark Lewis Jones (Stella). Soda Pictures have distribution for the UK and Ireland.

The Lighthouse is the second film to go in to production from Ffilm Cymru Wales’ emerging talent scheme Cinematic. Cinematic was devised and developed in partnership with the BFI Film Fund, BBC Films, Creative Skillset, S4C, and Soda Pictures to support emerging filmmaking talent from Wales in making contemporary, dynamic and distinctive feature films. The Lighthouse is produced by Crow’s long time collaborator and business partner David Lloyd (Devil’s Bridge) of Dogs of Annwn. It will shoot on location near Cardiff Bay and Llantwit Major and on set near Cardiff city centre over 4 weeks.

Chris Crow has developed an increasing reputation as an exciting new director who combines a highly visual style with fully fledged characters to craft gripping cinematic experiences. His first film, the brutal survival tale Devil’s Bridge, was dubbed ‘A British Deliverance’ by critics. His follow up feature Panic Button premiered at Frightfest in 2011 and was described by Film4 as ‘The Social Network of shocks. A chiller so timely, gripping and smart.’ The Lighthouse is his fourth feature.

The Lighthouse is based on the ‘Smalls Island incident of 1801’, one of the most infamous episodes in Welsh maritime history. The film joins the story at the turn of the 19th Century, following two lighthouse keepers, Thomas Howell (Jibson) and Thomas Griffith (Lewis Jones). When one dies in a freak accident, the other fears he will be accused of murder without the body for evidence. The surviving keeper fights to keep his sanity but as help fails to materialise, the whole fabric of the keeper’s world is torn to breaking point.

Yorkshire actor Michael Jibson has earned great acclaim working with many of the best theatre companies in Britain, playing London’s West End and touring the world. He has received numerous stage award nominations, most notably the Laurence Olivier for Best Actor, for his performance in the Tim Firth/Madness musical Our House. TV appearances include TV movies The Thirteenth Tale and Burton & Taylor and the EMMY award-winning series Hatfields & McCoys. In film Jibson has worked with Chris Crow previously in Devil’s Bridge, Panic Button and The Darkest Day. His other recent film works includes The Riot Club, Good People, The Fifth Estate and Les Misérables. As well as acting Jibson is also developing his writing career, The Lighthouse being his first co-written project to go in to production.

Mark Lewis Jones is a well-known Welsh actor with a television career spanning thirty years. TV credits include the acclaimed BBC dramas Silent Witness, Being Human, Torchwood, Waking the Dead, Merlin, Casualty, The Passion, This Life, Baker Boys, Murder Prevention, 55 Degrees North, ITV’s The Knock, S4C’s A Mind to Kill and Y Pris, the award-winning HBO series Game of Thrones, and more recently the Sky One series Stella. His film credits include Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Troy, The Other Boleyn Girl and Robin Hood.

About Soda Pictures
Founded in 2002 by Edward Fletcher and Eve Gabereau, Soda Pictures is a UK-based film distribution company that specialises in World Cinema, Documentary, American and British Independents and Children’s films. Soda Pictures releases 20+ films theatrically a year and have a library of over 200 titles from all corners of the world. 2014 releases include Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, the Oscar-nominated Omar and the documentary Finding Vivian Maier. Soda Pictures also hosts NBCQ (New British Cinema Quarterly) a collaborative distribution scheme for releasing independent British films in the UK and Ireland through event-led screenings and providing international representation through Soda Pictures International.

About Ffilm Cymru Wales
Established in 2006 and formerly known as the Film Agency for Wales, Ffilm Cymru Wales has a remit to help to develop a film sector in Wales and maximise the economic, educational and cultural benefits of film.

Ffilm Cymru Wales supports Welsh or Wales-based writers, directors and producers with development and production funding, industry assistance and mentoring opportunities. We aim to bring filmmakers and audiences together by encouraging more people to see more films in more venues. We also promote the use of film in education and community regeneration, producing educational resources in conjunction with teachers to aid literacy and general learning.

BFI
With over £26m to invest a year, the BFI is the UK's largest public investor in film - supporting first-class film-making through development and production, to distribution and international sales.
Recent releases backed by the BFI Film Fund include Mike Leigh’s critical and box office hit, Mr. Turner. Matthew Warchus’s Pride; Lone Scherfig’s The Riot Club; Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin; Yann Demange’s ’71; Amma Asante’s Belle; Ken Loach’s Jimmy’s Hall; Joanna Hogg’s Exhibition; Stephen Frears’ Philomena; Destiny Ekaragha’s Gone Too Far!; Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank; Dexter Fletcher’s Sunshine on Leith; Ruairi Robinson’s The Last Days On Mars; Richard Ayoade’s The Double; John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary; Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s 20,000 Days on Earth; and André Singer’s Night Will Fall.

New films that the BFI Film Fund has backed include James Kent’s Testament of Youth; John Boorman’s Queen and Country; Randall Wright’s Hockney; Peter Strickland’s The Duke Of Burgundy; Carol Morley’s The Falling; Guy Myhill’s The Goob; Duane Hopkins’ Bypass; Daniel Wolfe’s Catch Me Daddy; Debbie Tucker-Green’s Second Coming; Gerard Johnson’s Hyena; John Crowley’s Brooklyn; Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years; Louise Osmond’s Dark Horse; Rufus Norris’ London Road; Sarah Gavron’s Suffragette; Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster; John Maclean’s Slow West; Terence Davies’ Sunset Song; Richard Bracewell’s Bill; Brian Hill’s Thomas Quick; Jon Wright’s Robot Overlords; Morgan Matthews’ X+Y; Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise; Omer Fast’s Remainder; Esther May Campbell’s Light Years; and David Farr’s The Ones Below.

The BFI Film Fund supports Cinematic/Sinematig, Ffilm Cymru Wales’ film development and production programme. The Lighthouse is one of three features supported by the programme, complementing Just Jim, the first feature to be directed by Craig Robertson (Submarine) and Y Llygrgell/The Library Suicides directed by Euros Lyn.

BFI
The BFI is the lead organisation for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:

• Connecting audiences to the widest choice of British and World cinema

• Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations

• Investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work

• Promoting British film and talent to the world

• Growing the next generation of film makers and audiences

BBC Films
BBC Films is at the forefront of independent filmmaking in the UK, developing and co-producing around eight films a year. Christine Langan is the Head of BBC Films.

Recent releases include box office hit Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie, What We Did On Our Holiday from the creators of the hit BBC comedy series ‘Outnumbered’, Matthew Warchus’ critically acclaimed British comedy drama Pride, and Lilting, starring Ben Whishaw and directed by Hong Khaou.
Upcoming releases include My Old Lady starring Maggie Smith; James Kent’s powerful WW1 memoir Testament of Youth; Saul Dibb’s Suite Française starring Michelle Williams; X + Y which is directed by Morgan Matthews and stars Asa Butterfield, Rafe Spall and Sally Hawkins; Alan Rickman’s A Little Chaos starring Kate Winslet; Thomas Vinterberg’s Far From The Madding Crowd starring Carey Mulligan; The Face of an Angel starring Daniel Brühl, from award-winning director Michael Winterbottom; and Richard Bracewell’s family comedy Bill.

BBC Films has an impressive back catalogue, which includes titles such as BAFTA, Golden Globe and Academy Award® nominated Saving Mr. Banks from director John Lee Hancock; Stephen Frears’s BAFTA winning and Golden Globe and Academy Award® nominated Philomena; BAFTA and Academy Award® nominated Ralph Fiennes’ The Invisible Woman; no.1 hit comedy Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa from director Declan Lowney; Simon Curtis’s Academy Award® nominated My Week with Marilyn; Lynne Ramsay’s intense thriller We Need to Talk About Kevin; Lasse Hallström’s Golden Globe nominated romantic comedy Salmon Fishing in the Yemen; Cary Fukunaga’s gothic romance Jane Eyre; Nigel Cole’s compelling true-life drama Made in Dagenham; Lone Scherfig’s Academy Award® nominated and BAFTA award-winning An Education; Armando Iannucci’s Academy Award® and BAFTA award-nominated In the Loop; Jane Campion’s Academy Award® nominated Bright Star; and Andrea Arnold’s BAFTA award-winning Fish Tank.

@BBCFilms

About Creative Skillset
Creative Skillset is the licensed Sector Skills Council for the Entertainment Media, Fashion and Textiles, Publishing and Advertising. It is owned and invested in by employers working in social partnership with unions. It aspires to have the best skills and talent in the world to drive growth of the industries and the UK economy. Creative Skillset brings all parts of the Creative Industries together to add value through collaboration on workforce development.

• Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, as part of its film skills strategy, is funded by the National Lottery via the BFI and through the Skills Investment Fund, which comprises industry and government co-investment. The film skills strategy focuses on addressing the vital skills and training needs of the industry to deliver maximum economic and cultural return: creating jobs, strengthening skills, building skills for the future and ensuring world-class film education.

About S4C
S4C is the only Welsh language television channel in the world. As a public service broadcaster, it commissions independent production companies in Wales to make the majority of its programmes, and BBC Wales produce around ten hours a week of programming for the channel too. S4C broadcasts over 115 hours of programming for people of all ages every week – from sports, drama and music to factual, entertainment and events. S4C is available through all of the main television platforms, and is also widely available on digital platforms. While it is a Welsh language channel, S4C offers provision for those who don’t speak Welsh through subtitling and, for some broadcasts, an English language audio feed which is available via the red button.