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Glitzy world premiere for film shot at Norfolk US air museum

PUBLISHED: 11:17 09 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:11 09 October 2018

The cast and crew of Magpie at the special premiere screening at IWM Duxford. Picture: Jon Wilson

The cast and crew of Magpie at the special premiere screening at IWM Duxford. Picture: Jon Wilson

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The world premiere of a film partly shot in South Norfolk and telling to story of the friendly invasion of US airmen during the Second World War has been held in the fitting surroundings of an aircraft hanger at the IWM Duxford.

The cast and crew were among the audience as locally made independent British drama Magpie got its first showing on the big screen at a special immersive event created by House of Cambridge that also included live big band jazz and historical re-enactors.

Directed and co-written by Bury St Edmunds-based filmmaker Paul Cook and fellow co-writer Carmel Hannant, the film has been four years in the making and was filmed at former US airbases, including the 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum at the RAF Thorpe Abbotts near Dickleburgh.

More than 350 people attended a special premiere screening of Magpie in a hanger at IWM Duxford. Picture: Jon WilsonMore than 350 people attended a special premiere screening of Magpie in a hanger at IWM Duxford. Picture: Jon Wilson

Other locations were the 95th Bomb Group at Horham, near Eye, the 390th Bomb Group Museum at Parham, and the 95th Bomb Group Hospital Museum.

Mr Cook said reaction to the film had been overwhelmingly positive. “It was really special. It was really well received which from my point of view was the most important thing. A lot of people commented on the performances particularly, that it was quite a powerful film that drives home an important message.

Director Paul Cook and Andrea Cockerton, co-founder of House of Cambridge and film track composer, at the premiere of Magpie at IWM Duxford. Picture: Teele PhotographyDirector Paul Cook and Andrea Cockerton, co-founder of House of Cambridge and film track composer, at the premiere of Magpie at IWM Duxford. Picture: Teele Photography

“That was important to us that people watched it and felt that we had told a faithful story and that it was historically accurate because a lot of people who were interested in seeing the film were interested from that perspective as well with our connections with the 95th and 100th Bomb Group.”

Among those at the premiere were lead actors Matt Downton, from Bury St Edmunds, who plays British serviceman George, and Mateo Oxley, who grew up in Bressingham, who plays an American airman. However lead actress Hannah Morrish was unable to attend as she is currently starring in Anthony and Cleopatra at the National Theatre.

Filmed and set in Norfolk and Suffolk, the film Magpie had a special premiere screening at IWM Duxford. Picture: Teele PhotographyFilmed and set in Norfolk and Suffolk, the film Magpie had a special premiere screening at IWM Duxford. Picture: Teele Photography

Final tweaks are now been made to the film before it is submitted to film festivals around the world with the hope of getting a wider distribution. There are also plans for a series of screenings across East Anglia.

Me Cook said: “We have some plans in place already but we just need to make sure they don’t clash with film festival exclusivity.

The premiere of Magpie at IWM Duxford also included nostalgic period live music and entertainment. Picture: Jon WilsonThe premiere of Magpie at IWM Duxford also included nostalgic period live music and entertainment. Picture: Jon Wilson

“We have spoken to Thorpe Abbotts already and Horham and we are going to do additional screenings for people to come and see it in that environment which is really special.”

• For more about the film visit magpiethefilm.com

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