Entertainment Barricaded in a cabin - The North Wales film written before pandemic that eerily mirrors lockdown
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A film which bears eerie resemblances to lockdown just before the coronavirus crisis hit is being showcased on the international stage.
The New Girl - shot in Prestatyn and St Asaph - tells the story of three people barricaded inside a remote cabin with a stockpile of food, fearful of what's happened outside.
Written, directed and produced by Will Davies from Prestatyn, the script was written in November last year and mirrored some of what happened when Covid-19 forced the UK into lockdown.
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Filming was mired with problems ahead of lockdown as the pandemic worsened, including medical emergencies and cast and crew members self-isolating.
But despite the odds, the short film has been selected for 16 film festivals across the world including New York, Prague, Florence and Venice, however Will was most proud of its place at Wales International Film Festival.
"If The New Girl hadn't gotten into that, I'd have been devastated," the movie-maker said.
The thriller, which was the last professional production to complete in the UK before lockdown, has also been shortlisted for seven international awards.
Will added: "I'm so pleased that all the work we put in is being recognised internationally.
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"I've worked on countless TV programmes and films over the years now, but taking on your own production is a different challenge entirely.
"It was stressful at times, but hugely rewarding if the story works, the right people are around you helping you make it, and a little luck as always.
"We finished production in the nick of time before lockdown meant all cast and crew had to go home.
"We'd wrapped about 20 minutes earlier and were on set huddled around the antique radio at the wrap party listening to Boris close the country down at 8pm.
"It's weird because there are some eerie resemblances to lockdown in the film."
The inspiration to make The New Girl ultimately came to Will from his experience of working on other people's bigger budget films alongside the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Anthony Head and Richard Brake.
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The father-of-two decided it was time to test himself by producing one of his own.
He said: "It wasn’t hard to decide to do it, in fact that’s the easiest part.
"Then you’ve got to come up with a synopsis storyboard it, then write it.
"But for my first film it was obviously going to be a lot smaller in production, in every way.
"We couldn’t afford Arnie but we did manage to secure the talents of the amazing Leona Clarke, Danny Thornley, Parvinder Shergill, and the North Wales born and bred talent of Molly-May Thomas.
"They all exceeded expectations and delivered brilliant performances."
He added: “The idea was simple – we’ll take the idea that the scariest and most unsettling thing is basically what we don’t know.
"Create a story around uncertainty, bring a fight between being open and welcoming right up against self-preservation, and see where it leads.
"In this case, it leads to The New Girl."
Currently director of photography for a Netflix Victorian Series in Cumbria, next on the horizon for Will is a feature film with some household names interested, but Will is remaining tight-lipped about it for now.
For more information about The New Girl,
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