A GODMANCHESTER writer and director has completed shooting for his first film.

Lewis Critchley spent hours researching the perfect location for The Lost Mantle of Elijah.

The 40-year-old, of Cambridge Street, used London and the south coast as a backdrop for many of the scenes but, for the most atmospheric shots, he realised the perfect location was very close at hand.

“Godmanchester is beautiful and historic,” he said. “When you look at the landscape with the gnarled trees, the river and the meadows, it conjured up exactly the mystical atmosphere I was looking for.”

In the movie, which is in part inspired by Star Wars, young hero Kai is given Elijah’s miraculous cloak, which he believes can help save his mother from being killed by pirates.

Mr Critchley spent three years working on the film, storyboard, casting and preparing for the shoot, which he had to fit into a 16-day schedule restricted by costs and actors’ availability.

Whereas the average budget of a Hollywood title is millions, Mr Critchley worked with a micro-budget of under £200,000.

Nevertheless, he attracted some relatively big names to the film including Huggy Leaver, who appeared in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and Andrew McHale, who is starring alongside Vinnie Jones in a new feature film.

Established actor and playwright Harry Meacher agreed to be the evil Medicine Man after seeing a trailer, which was filmed on the old railway track in Godmanchester.

“You could say that shooting a feature film over sixteen days on a micro budget is a miracle in itself,” Mr Critchley said.

“I hope the audience is excited by the film, not just because it was shot locally but because it’s a cracking story with some great actors.

“I’d like it to become cult viewing over time, although I wouldn’t say no to it becoming a more immediate success!”

The film will be released in October at the Raindance Film Festival in London.

INFORMATION: For behind the scene photos, visit www.facebook.com/lostmantleofelijah and www.lostmantle.co.uk