Film company hopes to put Huntingdonshire on the map

A NEW film company is aiming to put Huntingdonshire and the surrounding areas on the film-makers map with a project to use the region s talent and locations. The Ermine Street Project (ESP) has been set up by Sharon Cannings and Martin Nicholls, who met

A NEW film company is aiming to put Huntingdonshire and the surrounding areas on the film-makers' map with a project to use the region's talent and locations.

The Ermine Street Project (ESP) has been set up by Sharon Cannings and Martin Nicholls, who met acting for Shakespeare at The George - an annual summer event at the 17th century George Hotel in Huntingdon.

The project aims to create films based in the region stretching along the old Roman Road from Huntingdonshire to Yorkshire, employing local actors and crew and offering graduates not unpaid work experience but industry standard rates of pay.

Sharon Cannings, from Buckden, a former Hinchingbrooke School pupil and Martin Nicolls from Huntingdon, who went to St Peter's School, met during a production of Measure for Measure, she played Isabella and he played Angelo. After they left drama school, the couple set up a production company called Kahbyah Films (the name is Burmese for "mixture") and are now working together on ESP, which is backed by Lincoln University.


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They are about to film the first ESP assignment, a thriller set in a modern office block called Lateshift. Both Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire will provide the backdrop.

The couple are already planning a second film, Gordon's Delivery, about a man having a conversation with his daughter at the roadside, to be filmed in Huntingdonshire in the autumn.

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They also hope to create a series of short films to be shown at festivals and on television and will offer paid work to two graduates a year and work experience to undergraduates.

Sharon, 37, who went to Mountview Drama School and is the winner of an Edinburgh Fringe First Award, told The Hunts Post: "There is a lot of unpaid work experience for young actors on offer at the moment but we want to pay everybody for what they do."

Martin, 38, who won best media project award from East Coast Media for his short film, Flotsam in 2005, said: "Much of the home-grown talent is moving about to London, Manchester, Bristol, Glasgow and Cardiff to work in this medium, which is a great shame because we are losing what they have to offer. There are few opportunities for work in film in this region."

Acting with Martin in the 20-minute film Lateshift will be Alex Perkins who has appeared in the television series, Foyle's War.

Sharon said: "We have both won awards for our work but you can't wait for things to happen in theatre and film which is why we are creating our own projects and inviting other talented people to join us."

INFORMATION: Contact: Sharon@darkmatters.tv or Martin@darkmatters.tv

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