Film crews spotted in Lewes – this is why
Lewes has played host to filming more scenes for Vindication Swim, written and directed by the UK’s youngest film director.
It is the second feature film for 19-year-old Elliott Hasler, who lives in Hove. The former Shoreham College student, who is currently at Exeter University studying history but spends his spare time making films, has been described as the most exciting emerging talent in the country and won high praise after completing his first feature, Charlie’s Letters, at the age of 16. His Brighton-based production company, Relsah Productions, is now aiming for Vindication Swim to screen at Cannes 2021. On Sunday (June 28), cews were spotted filming at the famous Lewes Flea Market in Market Street. Classic cars from the Bexhill 100 club featured – with one once owned by Winston Churchill. Vindication Swim tells the story of Brighton-born Mercedes Gleitze, the first British woman to swim the English Channel, and is played by Kirsten Callaghan, who was born in Brighton. Kirsten had to train for three months for the huge amount of swimming involved in the film. Within the shadow of the First World War, she fights to overcome the patriarchal society of 1920s England, along with her troubled coach Harold Best, to become the first English woman to swim the Channel. However, after a rival comes forward claiming to have already accomplished the feat, Gleitze is forced to battle against the Channel Swimming Association in order to retain her record and her legacy. John Locke who has appeared in two recent Oscar winning films, Darkest Hour and The Favourite plays her coach, Best. Director Elliott told the Express this week that Lewes’ period buildings ‘lent very nicely to the film’ and he plans to return to the bottom of the high street near the antique shops for more filming. “It has been a great experience,” he said, adding: “It is looking good so far and we are looking to take it to the Cannes Festival next year or the year after – then, hopefully it will be on cinema screens.” Elliott’s dad and manager, Simon, said his son’s passion for films started at the age of ten. “He has made a film every year from the age of ten,” he told the Express. “We used to have a movie night at home and the family would be the actors. We also used to have a red carpet with a buffet. It’s amazing for him. He wants to be a world-known director making great films. When you’re young like he is, if you are good enough, you might as well go for this dream.” He added that lots of people came out in Lewes on Sunday to watch crews and take photos. Filming for Vindication Swim has also taken place at Amberley Museum and at Worthing Town Hall for the filming of court scenes.