Preston company produces film to thank frontline workers who are keeping the UK running during the coronavirus pandemic

A Preston-based film company has produced a film in collaboration with poet Carla Mellor to thank everyone who is working on the frontline during the coronavirus pandemic.

Friday, 3rd April 2020, 7:53 pm

Northern Heart Films have produced 'We are a Kingdom United' - a film which celebrates all the people who are working hard to keep the UK running during the coronavirus pandemic.

Award winning filmmaker Natasha Hawthornthwaite, 27, was inspired to make the film after hearing a poem written by Carla Mellor - a Northern writer who has been writing poetry since she was seven years old.

Carla, 30, explains how the poem was written as a way of thanking workers who are at the frontline of the Covid-19 crisis that may be forgotten about.

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She said: "There's a lot of people out there doing a lot of key jobs that people wouldn’t necessarily think of.

"There are people working in factories making things for the NHS, growing our food and making deliveries to supermarkets, and it was a way of looking at all those people who are keeping everything going.

"It took about a day to write in the end. I think once you feel strongly about something it’s easier to write it down."

Despite being produced during lockdown, the idea to make the film came a week before Boris Johnson's strict new measures were announced on March 23, meaning Natasha and Carla faced a new challenge - producing a film without any social contact.

Northern Heart Films have produced a film which celebrates allthe people who are working hard duringthe coronavirus pandemic.

"I was already arranging to do some filming at a distance with a couple of people, so when the lockdown was announced we had to entirely rethink how we were going to make this film," Natasha explained.

"We’ve worked with the Mirror quite a few times and they’ve got an archive called Mirrorpix. They kindly let us use some photos for the film so without them it wouldn’t have been possible."

As well as using around 100 archive images, Natasha and Carla also filmed short video-clips of the streets of Wigan - where the pair live - in their car as they drove to the supermarket.

The film took about three to four days to produce, with Scott Bradley, one of the founders of Northern Heart films, taking on the producer role, and Mark Roscoe creating the sound mix for the film.

NatashaHawthornthwaite (middle) and Northern Heart Films had a short film shortlisted at the LA1 Shorts film festival in Lancaster last year (2019).

Natasha said: "It’s the first time we’ve made a film using only archive, but it worked and it flowed. It was also something I was passionate about editing so it felt like a nice project to work on.

"Strangely, I think for some people it doesn’t actually register they are photos and people think they are video clips from some of the comments I’ve received."

The reaction to 'We are a Kingdom United' has been overwhelming, according to Natasha.

She has received messages from people who have thanked her for producing the film as it has encouraged them to keep going during these difficult times.

Carla Mellor (pictured) is a Northern writer who has been writing poetry since she was seven years old.

Natasha added: "I almost feel like we’ve got a duty now, especially since getting these messages from people saying thank you, to get as many people seeing it as possible who are working in those roles to keep them going and to give them an encouraging message."

To find out more about Northern Heart Films and their work, click HERE.

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