Dir. David Nicholas Wilkinson | 2015 | 106 minutes | GB | (tbc) | Documentary feature
CAST: DAVID NICHOLAS WILKINSON | SIR TOM COURTENAY | SIR RONALD HARWOOD | JOE ESZTERHAS | MICHAEL HARVEY | LIZ RYMER | TONY EARNSHAW | BERNARD ATHA | ADRIAN WOOTTON | SARAH LANCASHIRE | BEN EAGLE
The story, both tragic and triumphant, of the life, disappearance (and death?) of ex-pat French inventor Louis Le Prince, the man who created the first moving pictures. The First Film proves that Le Prince and not his many competitors – including the Lumiere Brothers and Thomas Edison – shot the first films in October 1888 in Leeds, Yorkshire, England.
My 2008 book Made in Yorkshire covers the Le Prince story and was one of the spurs for writer, producer and director David Wilkinson to make the film. It received its world premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival on June 23 2015 followed by a gala charity premiere at the Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds on July 1. It later played at festivals in Ghent, Belgium, and in Moscow at the XVI New British Film Festival.
See the IMDB listing HERE
“… moving and mysterious… there’s no faking the passion and sincerity Wilkinson brings to the few seconds of footage at the heart of this story. [Audiences] will be captivated by a flickering story that blends intrigue, industrial espionage, and possibly even murder.” – Mark Kermode, The Observer. (July 5 2015)
“… intriguing and impressive … fascinating … works as a detective story [and] would make a very good fictional thriller …” – Geoffrey MacNab, The Independent (July 3 2015)
“… essential for anyone with an interest in screen history …” – David Parkinson, Radio Times
“[Wilkinson] has a real story to tell [and] makes a clear case that Le Prince was a prototypical film artist, and a genuine pioneer.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (July 2 2015)
“… by the end of this hunt for the man alleged to have literally ‘the first film’ we are gripping the seat arms, saying ‘Oh let it be so!'” – Nigel Andrews, The Financial Times
“… a detective story that eventually becomes a global hunt for evidence … [Wilkinson] comes as close as anyone ever will to fulfilling his own quest …” – Tony Earnshaw, The Yorkshire Post (July 3 2015)
“… interesting and lovingly researched …” – Carol Allen, Close-Up