Soyland-born director’s film fesitval screening

Francis Lee
Francis Lee

Soyland-born actor-turned-director Francis Lee is having his latest film screened tomorrow at the Leeds International Film Festival.

The Farmer’s Wife - shot in Howarth - received critical acclaim at international film festivals this year.

Francis Lee's film The Farmer's Wife

Francis Lee's film The Farmer's Wife

It will be shown on Saturday at the Hyde Park Picture House at 2pm.

To book, visit and find Yorkshire Short Film Competition 2012 in the A-Z.

** The Farmer’s Wife tells the story of a woman struggling to keep her hill top farm going alone after her husband dies - until her daughter persuades her to sell the farm.

The film happens on the day of the auction.

Geraldine James (Caldendar Girls), who Francis met while performing in the Chekhov play The Cherry Orchard, plays the lead.

He said: “I thought she was perfect for this film so I rang her up and she read the script and wanted to do it.” Francis says he has always felt “intrinsically linked” to the countryside because of his Yorkshire roots. “I’m slightly obsessed with whether one owns land or whether land owns you. The whole idea that you can become part of the land. “Obviously my father is still a farmer - and I wanted to look at what it takes to maintain a farm and the hardship you suffer and so on.” The film was shot by Gary Shaw, who had previously worked on the film Moon with Kevin Spacey.

Francis said: “He made the film look amazing, really beautiful.” Daryl Macdonald, director of the Palm Springs International Film Festival wrote to Francis: “Your film literally took my breath away, and left me in stunned (and incredibly moved) silence for what seemed like hours after watching it. Every detail - right down to her removing her shoes outside the hay house she’d built as her funeral pyre - was pitch perfect. I can’t say enough about it, and in fact have singled it out in a number of interviews as one of the best films of the Festival (even going so far as to make it my favourite in two of those interviews). “You and Lee (Hickman, executive producer) have made a beautiful, resonant work of art, and you should be hugely proud of it. I thank you for the opportunity to premiere it here, and will continue to sing its praises long into the future.”

For more details on the film visit