Cinema owner Lara travels across Europe to make new film

Lara Hewitt outside The Palace in Longridge
Lara Hewitt outside The Palace in Longridge

The owner of Longridge’s Palace cinema has once again turned filmmaker - to capture the mood of Europe at a turning point in its history.

Lara Hewitt packed her bags and set out on an unusual Continental tour, keen to chronicle the changing moods in the European Union amid the Brexit debate.

Now she is back home editing her work. She said: “I spent six weeks filming in 11 countries. I’ve just started editing the stuff I filmed and writing.”

She hopes to write a podcast or book as part of the project which saw her visit countries from France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Austria to Italy, Slovenia, Hungary,the Czech Republic and Poland.

The scope of her filming was wide. She said: “I was inside the European Parliament in Brussels. I talked to the far right in Germany and with people in Austria.”

Her visit was timed as the German equivalent of UKIP had significant gains in elections.

She said the nature of the project had changed as her journey progressed: “It also became a journey about love and goodbyes as well.”

Aware it had been the 30th anniversary of the collapse of Communism in Hungary and the removal of its border fence with Austria, she was keen to visit the Austrian/Hungarian border too.

Lara said: “I left on the day Boris Johnson took office (as Prime Minister) and got back to Parliament closing. We had all the chaos going on here and we still do have.

“The title at the moment is ‘Love, Europe’ like a letter. It’s about love, loss, about a goodbye and how you don’t really say goodbye if you’ve loved places..how they always stay with you and you fall in love again.”

* Lara’s first film ‘Datsche’, named after East German holiday summerhouses, which looks at differences between German and international ways of life, goes on release in Germany on October 3.