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Purely Belter

Synopsis

Following Brassed Off and Little Voice, Purely Belter is director Mark Herman's third film to be rooted firmly in the North of England - in this case Newcastle. And like his two critically-lauded hits, it uses a comic energy to tackle serious, gritty reality. "That is his talent as a director - taking ordinary people and successfully combining the comedy and tragedy that make up their lives," says producer Elizabeth Karlsen, who also worked with Herman on Little Voice.

The film, based on Gateshead teacher Jonathan Tulloch's debut novel The Season Ticket, follows two Geordie lads whose wild ambition is to get season tickets for their football team, Newcastle United. Gerry (Chris Beattie) and Sewell (Greg McLane) are broke but they are also resourceful, devising schemes and scams in their attempts to raise the £1,000 they need. However, real life - Gerry's violent dad, Sewell's pregnant girlfriend - keeps getting in the way.

"Football does form the backbone of the story, but it is less a film about football than a film about the boys' dream," says Herman. "It captures the spirit of being a working-class teenager on Tyneside," adds Kevin Whately, who plays the boys' teacher.

DoP Andy Collins helped catch the energy of the story - and of the two young unknowns playing the leads - by using a lot of natural light and shooting with a hand-held camera on a dolly.

Purely Belter, the first film from Mumbo Jumbo, was selected to screen in Directors' Fortnight at Cannes this year.

Details

Year
2000
Type of film
Features
Director
Mark Herman
Music
Ian Broudie,
Dir
Mark Herman.
Exec prod
Stephen Woolley.
Prod
Elizabeth Karlsen.
Scr
Mark Herman, based on Jonathan Tulloch's novel "Season Ticket"
DoP
Andy Collins.
Prod des
Don Taylor.
Ed
Michael Ellis.
Main cast
Charlie Hardwick, Tim Healy, Roy Hudd, Kevin Whately, Chris Beattie, Greg McLane.
Funding
FilmFour.

Production Company

MUMBO JUMBO
19-23 Wells Street
London W1P 3FP
Tel: (44) 20 7344 8095
Fax: (44) 20 7344 8096.

Sales
Company

FilmFour International
(44) 20 7868 7700.