There is one early West London film studio which is largely forgotten - Isleworth Studios. From 1914 to the early 1950’s, Worton Hall Studios in Isleworth, played a vital role in the development of cinema from silent film to talkies, from early black and white hand cranked cameras, through to 35mm glorious colour. Britain’s early film moguls, Bertie Samuelson and Alexander Korda set up a factory here to rival Hollywood. The great names of cinema came here to work: Buster Keaton, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Humphrey Bogart, Katherine Hepburn and John Huston. As young actors, Richard Attenborough, Richard Burton, John Gielgud, David Niven and Bernard Lee made some of their earliest films in Worton Hall. Paul Robeson worked here, as did HG Wells, Winston Churchill and even Kenyan President, Jomo Kenyatta, who played an extra when he was a student in London. English actresses Diana Dors, Irene Handl and Anna Neagle established themselves as national treasures following their work in Worton Hall.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
It will rejuvenate an area where levels of footfall have been decreasing over time, leading to negative impact on businesses and the community. The Festival has the potential to encourage large amounts of domestic and international film tourism, leading to greatly increased footfall and a high profile for Isleworth as an attractive destination to visit, live and invest in.
Steps to get it done:
This Festival has the potential to grow and become an annual event, covering other locations in the area. The festival has the potential to develop further additional heritage and film tourism activities in the borough.
We are currently applying for a Heritage Lottery Fund bid to work with young people on film heritage and filmmaking. The output of this will be a film which will be screened at the festival.
In 2014 a programme of films in Hounslow's parks was established and we are discussing potential linkages with this and opportunities to attract further sponsorship and footfall.
The festival has the potential to attract an international audience from Hollywood and India, who are fascinated by the creation and birth of what is now the world’s leading art form.
About the space
One of Hounslow's large, local centres
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