By Graham Chalmers
The Harrogate director of Testament of Youth has tweeted the Harrogate Advertiser to say he’s delighted by the success of his new film
Based on Vera Brittain’s moving memoir about love and loss in the First World War, James Kent tweeted@HarrogateGigs after spotting the movie in the Advertiser’s local cinema times guide on our website.
The tweet said: “from James Kent who directed Testament and brought up in Harrogate! Love the place and the Odeon as a child.”
James, 51, is the son of the late Rodney Kent, a Liberal councillor and former Mayor of Harrogate, and Testament of Youth is his first big screen movie after years of success with documentaries and major TV dramas.
Having reminisced about the town and its cinema, he went onto to tweet us exciting news about the film’s success here and abroad.
“Over the moon. In the summer Testament gets American release via Sony! Big smile on Harrogate boy!”
Part funded by Screen Yorkshire, the BBC and the British Film Institute, James was picked for the film by producer David Heyman, one of the team behind Harry Potter.
Talking to the Yorkshire Post earlier in the year, he praised leading actress Alicia Vikander, who plays Vera herself, and who stars alongside fellow youngster Kit Harington and veterans Dominic West and Miranda Richardson.
“She claims the film. It’s hers. To be honest she overshadowed the boys. But you need an actress who has that kind of cinematic presence.
“She reminds me a bit of another great Swedish actress, Ingrid Bergman – she’s got those big, round eyes. She can hold a close-up!”
He added he had been keen to get the blessing of Vera Brittain’s daughter, politician Shirley Williams.
He said: “She was anxious about two things: that it wouldn’t be as good as the television series, and also [it might be] a Hollywoodisation. So she read the script, and she came to see it before we finished it. We wanted to make sure whether there were any changes that she wanted but she wanted none.”