Rebecca Front to star in Exmouth filmmakers’ new short

John Panton, Rebecca Front and David Quantick on the set of Valentina's Dream. John Panton, Rebecca Front and David Quantick on the set of Valentina's Dream.

Monday, August 4, 2014
9:36 AM

An Exmouth film collective is reaching for the stars after shooting its latest film with a top TV actress.

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And this excitement for Meat Bingo – led by director John Panton, Exmouth artist Moose Allain, and TV writer David Quantick – follows hot on the heels of an international prize-winning short, which has opened up new opportunities for the group.

Their latest project, Valentina’s Dream, stars Bafta-winning actress Rebecca Front – best known for her roles in such TV shows as The Thick of It and The Day Today – as Valentina Tereshkova, the Russian cosmonaut who was the first woman in space.

John said: “I found it really hard to find someone locally with the right sort of look and who would be interested in playing a retired female cosmonaut.

“I sent David Quantick an email saying ‘I’m struggling with casting, what do you think about Rebecca Front?’ – not expecting a definite answer, and a day after I got an email address for her agent.

“Having looked at [previous Meat Bingo film] Lot 13, she really liked it, and she and her staff have been nothing but brilliant in making the film happen.

“I was terribly nervous about meeting her, but she was very funny, self-deprecating and brilliant to work with. She’d done masses of research, watches documentaries about Valentina Tereshkova, and studied images so she could work with the makeup artist to get the right sort of look.”

The filming took place entirely in front of a green screen, which in the finished film will be filled with backgrounds created by Moose.

John said: “Even though it will be a very short film, it is our most epic in scale, as it starts off in Valentina Tereshkova’s Moscow apartment and ends on Mars!”

John says he is hoping the finished film will be ready within six months.

The project follows the success of Welcome to Oxmouth – a film shot on the streets of Exmouth, which started life as a music video, before being converted into a symbolic, special-effects laden comment on a young couple dealing with tough economic times.

Named as a winner of the Radical Democracy European Video Challenge in Warsaw, it netted Meat Bingo a €2,500 cash prize.

John said: “I was seriously over the moon that it did so well, and the cash prize means I’ve been able to put Lot 13 and Welcome to Oxmouth into more film festivals.”

To see Welcome to Oxmouth, visit http://vimeo.com/82327609.

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