Taking festival lead

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A film shot on location in the Calder Valley by Emmerdale actor Dominic Brunt has been chosen to open the prestigious Leeds International Film Festival next month.

Brunt, who plays vet Paddy Kirk in the long-running soap, and who lives in Hebden Bridge, has produced and directed the psychological thriller The Taking, which stars his wife Joanne Mitchell and Hollywood star Victoria Smurfit, who they became friends with as students at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

Smurfit, who starred with Hugh Grant in About a Boy, and who flew in from Los Angeles to spend a month filming in Calderdale, stars as Bex to Mitchell’s Dawn, two market stall holders who borrow money to realise their dream of opening an up-market cafe. But the dream becomes a nightmare as they sink into an underworld of debt and destruction.

“It was great to have the dynamic of Vicky and Jo together and the friendship really shines on screen,” says Dominic.

“It is a huge honour to be opening The Leeds International Film Festival. The Taking was filmed in Yorkshire and it feels only right for it to be receiving its world premiere in Yorkshire,” he added.

The Taking, which was written by Emmerdale writer Paul Roundell, has worldwide distribution with Metrodome International and also stars Halifax actor Adam Fogerty.

lThe festival opens on November 5 and the film will be shown at Leeds Town Hall. Details from http://www.leedsfilm.com/