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Hebden 500

Award for film shot in Colden: Sound of the Bell comes to HB500 film festival

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Sound of the Bell

An award-winning film shot at Colden School and in the surrounding area is to be screened during the HB500 film festival.

The Sound of the Bell, written by Francoise Gouliardon and directed by Esteban Gitton, tells the story of two young boys. Javed lives among the dunes of Rajasthan in India, where his work as a shepherd means he can’t go to school. Alex, on the other hand, lives in Yorkshire and rather reluctantly goes to school every day.

Sound of the Bell

The film, which won the award for best short film at the Cineposible International Film Festival 2010, will be shown at the Picture House on Thursday, May 27, along with A Boy, A Girl and A Bike — a locally made film starring Honor Blackman that played to a packed audience at its last Hebden screening.

Sound of the Bell

Children in the top class at Colden School shared their lessons with a film star for a couple of weeks during the shooting of The Sound of the Bell. The crew filmed the class just as it was, but with the addition of actor Pablo Gitton, the son of the director.

There was another addition too. Colden children don’t wear uniforms, but that didn’t fit with the director’s vision. So, the whole class had to wear a uniform with shirts and ties during the filming.

Debbie Coup, a teaching assistant at Colden School, volunteered her house when the crew needed a boy’s bedroom for some of the scenes. It wasn’t her son Benjamin’s room that they chose, though; it was hers.

The crew rearranged the room to create the boy’s bedroom they were after and, over two weekends, Debbie, husband Mark and Ben had to stay downstairs while the filming went on above them.

"We just got on with normal life, except when someone called for absolute silence," said Debbie.

While Ben’s room might not have starred in the film, Ben certainly did. He was chosen to play the main character’s friend and even had some lines to speak. As did his dad, whose "ideal Northern accent" was just what the crew had in mind for a grumpy dad trying to get his son out of bed!

The HB500 film festival is part of the exciting mix of events to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the stone bridge that made Hebden Bridge.

Local film-maker Nick Wilding and the Picture House are presenting a season of movies that have used the local area as a backdrop to their stories.

On May 20, there will also be a fascinating insight into the TV series How We Used to Live at the Little Theatre. Freda Kelsall, who wrote the programmes throughout the series’ 27-year history, will tell a mixture of intriguing and funny stories interspersed with extracts from the programmes. 

It’s hoped the climax of the festival will be the return to Britain of the lost film Helen of Four Gates, not seen in this country for 90 years.

If this coup comes off, Hebden Bridge will be the very first place in Britain to screen the silent classic picture since its original release in 1920.

As well as the film festival, the HB500 calendar is packed with more than 30 happenings, including walks, talks, a Civil War re-enactment, the Handmade Parade, music, drama and more. A birthday bash and civic celebration of the bridge are set for June 19.

There’s a full listing of HB500 events at Hebden 500 website.

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