A new period film focussing on the bond between a black and a white woman in the 18th century is set to be shot in Hartland this summer.
Farewell She Goes is set to be filmed at the end of August and its creators believe it is incredibly topical in the light of the Black Lives Matter movement.
It is being filmed by an all-female cast and crew from Backscatter Productions and is inspired by the real life of Dido Elizabeth Belle, an 18th century mixed [heritage] heiress.
It will star co-creators, producers and actors Isabella Speaight and Cat White and will explore female friendship, race and women’s rights, with the hope of inspiring awareness today as well.
The short film has raised £10,000 through crowdfunding but the producers are still looking for donations to get it over the line.
The aim is to create a ‘proof of concept’ for a full length feature film.
Cat was recently on national television in the BBC mini-series Dracula and had been about to make her West End debut just before coronavirus struck. While Isabella has numerous stage and film credits including feature film Fortune Cookies which is set to be released in 2021.
Dido Elizabeth Belle was born into slavery in the West Indies to an African slave and an English father, but was raised in England in an upper class family.
Isabella said in light of recent events, the story had never felt more important.
She said: “We have seen the horrors of not seeing the humanity of black people which, in part, is because we don’t see enough inclusive and expansive stories on our screens.
“Here we have an unbreakable bond between a white woman and a mixed race woman who grew up as sisters, as best friends but most importantly as equals in their own eyes.”
Cat added: “Stories matter. You can’t become what you’ve never seen. The burning question remains then: why do the majority of period films that we see either entirely neglect black people or continue to tell the same tired narratives of crime, civil rights and slavery?
“Farewell She Goes is here to challenge this and to change it. By placing a friendship between a white and a mixed race woman at its heart, where race is relevant but is not dominant and where the bond of sisterhood trumps the societal doctrine of marriage, it tells a story of possibility.”
To find out more about Farewell She Goes or support the project, go to https://www.backscatterproductions.com/farewell-she-goes .