Cast and crew for ‘Their Finest’, a romantic comedy set in World War Two, spent several weeks filming in Swansea buildings including Guildhall and the Grand Theatre last autumn.
Starring Gemma Arterton, Sam Clafin, Bill Nighy and Jeremy Irons, the movie tells the story of a British Ministry of Information team making a morale-boosting film about the Dunkirk evacuation during the Battle of Britain and the London Blitz.
Arterton, aged 30, also starred in James Bond movie ‘Quantum of Solace’ alongside Daniel Craig, with Clafin, also 30, known for his role in ‘The Hunger Games’ franchise.
Based on a 2009 novel by Lissa Evans, ‘Their Finest’ also stars Richard E. Grant and Helen McCrory.
Swansea Council worked closely alongside the production company behind the movie to ensure that the use of the Grand Theatre and Guildhall as film locations was as hassle-free as possible.
The council also helped facilitate filming in Glamorgan Street and close to Rhyddings Park Road.
Frances Jenkins, Swansea Council’s Strategic Manager for Culture, Tourism, Marketing and Events, said: “Early reviews for ‘Their Finest’ based on advance screenings have been extremely encouraging, with Swansea buildings like Guildhall and the Grand Theatre clearly recognisable not just in the movie trailer, but also in the still images that have now been released.
“Gemma Arterton, Bill Nighy, Jeremy Irons and Richard E. Grant are among the biggest stars in British cinema, so welcoming them to Swansea was great news for the city. These types of activities help attract tourism, raise Swansea’s profile and generate spending in our local businesses because of the large number of cast and crew who stay in the city during filming.
“This industry also plays an important role in helping to support and develop our creative and cultural economy and strategy, which is very much in the spotlight at the moment as we bid for UK City of Culture 2021.”
Parts of Guildhall were also transformed into New York City’s iconic Chelsea Hotel in 2015 for a movie about Dylan Thomas called ‘Set Fire to the Stars’. Former Dr Who stars like David Tennant and Kylie Minogue have visited Swansea in the past to film scenes for the hit BBC sci-fi programme.
The building was also used as a backdrop for many scenes in ‘The Collection’ – a TV series on Amazon Prime, set in a post-war Paris fashion house.
Frances said: “We set up a dedicated one-stop shop a number of years ago to handle filming enquiries, promote Swansea as a film-friendly destination and make the process as seamless as possible for production companies who contact us. This approach means we’re very successful in converting enquiries – particularly when the location being sought isn’t necessarily unique and we’re in competition with other locations.”
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