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21/05/2003

‘Virgin of Liverpool’ premiered at Cannes

A feature film shot and set entirely in Liverpool recently premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
The film ‘Virgin of Liverpool’ - starring Ricky Tomlinson, ‘Full Monty’ star Paul Barber and comedian Johnny Vegas - is due to go on general release later this year.
Financed and produced by Senator Entertainment, the film is a comic tale of a 12-year-old girl who tries to find a new home for a statue of the Virgin Mary after it is earmarked for demolition.
The city council's Film Office was also at Cannes, promoting Liverpool as a place to make movies. Manager Lynn Saunders attended the Festival where she met with a number of producers - including a company which wants to shoot another feature film in Liverpool, though details of this are still under wraps.
Saunders said attending the festival was invaluable: "Producers and directors from around the world go to Cannes with the intention of finding locations to film their next project. I was pitching Liverpool to them.
"As well as fabulous locations, Liverpool now has its own film studios and a talented base of local crew. Most of all, we have a galaxy of creative talent available from internationally known actors to fabulous set designers and fantastic writers. We are developing a worldwide reputation as a great place to come and make fantastic movies. It is vital we capitalise on that - and Cannes is the place to do it."
Movies filmed in Liverpool as a result of contacts made at Cannes in recent years include ‘My Kingdom’ starring the late Richard Harris, ‘Al's Lads’ and ‘Hilary and Jackie’.
Liverpool councillor Warren Bradley, Executive Board member for Leisure and Culture, said: "The film industry in Liverpool is thriving and it is essential that the city builds upon the infrastructure which is now in place.
"Cannes is the film industry's biggest trade event and if the city wants to attract more producers and directors to Liverpool then the Film Office can't afford not to be there.
"The film industry in Liverpool creates jobs, contributes immensely to the regeneration of the city and attracts tourists who see the city on the big screen and want to come here. I wish Lynn every success with this year's trip."
It is estimated that the film and television industry contributes some £12 million-a- year to the Liverpool economy.
(SP)
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