Principal photography has wrapped on scripted short film “Spirit of Place,” headlined by Oscar, BAFTA and Tony-winning actor Mark Rylance.
The film, written and directed by Jack Cooper Stimpson (“Alex’s Dream”), is a meditation on identity and follows two young protagonists as they spend time in and around inner-city wetlands. Through chance encounters and some curious discoveries, they begin to learn about themselves and their relationship with the natural world. It is executive produced by non-profit media and conservation organization On the Edge and being made in association with wetland conservation charity WWT (Wildfowl and Wetland Trust), of which Rylance is an ambassador.
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The cast also includes Hannah Chinn (“Domina”), Jordan Peters (“Pirates”), Rakhee Thakrar (“Sex Education”) and Sam Thorpe-Spinks (“A Spy Among Friends”). It is produced by Lewis Brierly and Izzy Meikle-Small and being funded and executive produced by Beth Blood and Karen Vermeulen at On the Edge.
Cast and crew are implementing Equity’s Green Rider tool for talent that generates better environmental standards and expectations for working on TV and film projects to help reduce the carbon footprint of the production, without compromising on production standards across all departments.
Rylance said: “As a proud ambassador for the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust I’m delighted to be involved with ‘Spirit of Place,’ exploring our vital but under-appreciated wetlands habitats and the crucial role they play within our precious ecosystem. In this era of ecological crisis, I hope this story inspires audiences of all ages to go out and spend time in nature, to discover for themselves the power of reconnecting with our planet, and helps to promote the conservation and creation of wetland spaces.”
Stimpson added: “Our wetland habitats were not on my radar prior to this project and it has been fascinating researching them and learning more about their quirks and characteristics, alongside their scientific function. Putting that on screen has been a wonderful challenge.”
Blood said: “When Jack Cooper Stimpson approached us about creating a film about wetlands, a lesser known ecosystem compared to forests and oceans, using a scripted live action format over documentary, we jumped at it. It was 100% in line with our mission and what we try to do with all of our content.”
“Spirit of Place” was shot entirely on location, at Woodberry Wetlands in North London and WWT London Wetland Centre in Southwest London.
Laura Williams, WWT campaigns manager, said: “We are building a movement of wetland champions – led by ambassadors such as Mark. This will help us achieve our ambition of creating 100k more hectares of wetlands in the U.K., unlocking their potential and benefiting even more people.”
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