Young people celebrate the completion of Pre-Production of feature film Fortune Cookies

Young people celebrate the completion of Pre-Production of feature film Fortune Cookiesthe first feature film to be based in a shopping centre.

Primary school children operating a Panavision Genesis

Primary school children operating a Panavision Genesis

During the week commencing 2nd March 2015 a number of finale events will take place in The Movie Hub in Weston Favell Shopping Centre, Northampton, to mark the completion of the first stage of the production of film-for-cinema Fortune Cookies. Invitees will be the first to see the Fortune Cookies living room set created in collaboration with the young people, which will be on display at the event. With the support of Weston Favell Shopping Centre, who donated a retail unit to the project, local young people have worked alongside film industry professionals over 8 weeks to develop transferable life, literacy and work skills on the Pre-Production of the film.

Kath Kelly, Board Member of Reelscape Community, the not-for-profit organisation running the scheme, says, “It has been a wonderful experience being based in such a visible, accessible place in the centre of the community we are serving. A shopping centre has proved to be the perfect place to base a film production office with all the amenities it offers, and, as a voluntary organisation, it has been invaluable that Weston Favell staff have volunteered on the project too. We’re excited to be marking the achievements of the young people involved and planning the next stage of production where young people will be able to undertake work experience on the film itself.”

Becky Adams, MD of the Fortune Cookies production company Reelscape Films, says, “We’re really excited about this model for producing films. By collaborating with Reelscape Community, we not only get to give young people from disadvantaged backgrounds an insight into an exciting, multi-disciplined and often inaccessible world, it also gives us the opportunity to work with our target audience while developing the project, increase our exposure and expand our funding possibilities. As ever, we’ve been bowled over by the support of companies like the Centre itself, Panavision and CARRIER-media.”

To give the project its full name, The Learning, Literacy & Livelihoods Community Hub secured funding from the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund, the Ernest Cook Trust, Growing Together and Tesco Charity Trust. Young people, primarily from East Northampton, have worked alongside the film’s Director and other crew on the script, Set Building, Production and Costume Design, and Cameras and Lighting. The scheme has focused on developing confidence and employability, and increasing engagement with school, literacy and careers.

Fortune Cookies is a cross-cultural family comedy about a young girl struggling to balance her father’s desire to give her a traditional Chinese upbringing with her own ambition of becoming an actress. With a strong lead female character and female Director, its regional production and a cultural context not often represented in mainstream media, Fortune Cookies is a truly unique project set to star Fiona Rene (Snatch ‘n’ Grab) as Susan Lee, with Les Dennis (Coronation Street), Pik-Sen Lim (Johnny English Reborn), Liz Sutherland (Bad Education), Daniel York (Whitechapel), Ozzie Yue (Doctor Who) and Jenny Bede (BBC Comedy Feeds).