Young filmmakers take Grace Darling story on UK tour

Beacon Films are bringing their UK tour of films and music on Grace Darling to Tynemouth.
Beacon Films are bringing their UK tour of films and music on Grace Darling to Tynemouth.

A group of award-winning filmmakers are taking part in a national UK tour showcasing one of the north east’s most famous heroines.

The team from Beacon Films, based in Newcastle after moving from Wallsend, are telling the story of Grace Darling.

Beacon Films are showcasing the story of Grace Darling.

Beacon Films are showcasing the story of Grace Darling.

And as part of the tour, the National Lottery-funded project, made up of filmmakers with disability and autism, will be visiting Tynemouth.

In September 1838, Grace Darling and her lighthouse-keeper father William rescued nine passengers and crew from the stricken ship Forfarshire when it hit rocks near the Farne Islands, off the Northumberland coast.

The interactive display includes three films and an original music composition, which explore Grace’s life before the rescue, the rescue itself and the aftermath.

The Grace Darling film and music project is being produced in partnership with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) Grace Darling Museum in Bamburgh.

It will visit the Watch House, Spanish Battery, Tynemouth, in June, with exact dates still to be confirmed.

Daniel Ratcliffe, filmmaker from Beacon Films, said: “I had never really heard of the story of Grace Darling before this project.

“I feel ecstatic about the national tour. I feel really pleased that more people will see it. I’ve really enjoyed working on the animation. It’s the first time I’ve properly done animation, everything I’ve done so far has been live action.”

Fin Baird, filmmaker from Beacon Films, said: “I loved meeting local historians in Bamburgh and hearing about the time she lived.

“Our work is going to get out there and more people are going to see it. I hope they enjoy it and get an idea of what our work ethic is like.”

Marleen Vincenten, RNLI heritage development manager, said: “When Beacon Films approached the RNLI Grace Darling Museum about partnering up on this project, we jumped at the opportunity.

“It’s been wonderful working with the group and supporting it in its research.

“The three films provide a new take on the Grace Darling story, something which I’m sure our visitors will enjoy.”

Will Sadler, development director at Beacon Films, said: “The rich diversity of our filmmakers with learning disabilities, autism and additional needs leads to a unique ability to tell stories differently.

“We’ve really enjoyed telling the exciting tale of Grace Darling.”

He added: “We hope that through this UK tour, other organisations will get in touch to discuss how we can bring their stories to life through our filmmakers’ special creativity and talent. Thank you to National Lottery players for making this project possible.”

Ivor Crowther, head of HLF North East, said: “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players and the hard work of some incredible young filmmakers, the inspiring story of Grace Darling will be heard across the UK.”