Henfield amateurs among the film extras for tale of pioneering swimmer

U3A Vindication Swim extras (contributed pic)U3A Vindication Swim extras (contributed pic)
U3A Vindication Swim extras (contributed pic)
Members from the U3As in Brighton, Worthing and Sussex feature in vintage costumes as extras in the upcoming film Vindication Swim which is to be released on International Women's Day.

A spokesman said: “The film tells the true story of swimmer Mercedes Gleitze, played by Kirsten Callaghan, who in 1927 became the first British woman to swim the English Channel. Written and directed by Elliott Hasler at the tender age of 18, this biographical drama tells of the bravery and determination of one woman to succeed against all odds. And because of this, the film will be released on International Women's Day on March 8. To see which cinemas will be showing the film and to book tickets, go to: https://linktr.ee/vindicationswimfilm.

“Relsah Films, the independent production company run by Elliott and his father Simon, wanted the U3A to be involved in some way. So after contacting the various U3A groups in the region, they asked members to come along and have a taste of Hollywood glamour by acting as extras in the movie.”

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Simon Hasler said: “The U3A members who came along to join us in making this film were so valuable to Elliott. We hope they had as much fun as we did! And we think the amazing results speak for themselves!”

Suzanne Bystry, of Brighton U3A, said: “We spent the time happily chatting with other extras, many of whom were from the Henfield amateur dramatic society or local areas. We spent the day walking up and down a road, in crowd scenes and best of all, interacting with a beautiful old 1920s bus with outside stairs, open top deck and being issued with authentic 20s tickets by a very smart 20s-dressed conductor. We got on and off many times and were driven along the museum's roads for numerous takes, both downstairs and upstairs with a little black car of the period following us. It really was an extremely interesting and enjoyable day and furthermore, two of my three friends are now members of the U3A! "

Another U3A member added: “It was a really great experience working for Elliott. What impressed me most was his calm and quiet manner on set. He had a very good way of getting the cast and extras to give their best. He was both the director and the cameraman. He would quickly explain to us what each scene was trying to depict and then it was ‘Action!’ We would do just three or four takes perhaps and when he thought he'd captured the scene, he'd quickly watch it back and say ‘That's a wrap!’ He seemed to know instinctively when he had each scene in the can. Then we'd move straight onto the next one. A very talented young man who I'm convinced we'll hear much more of.

“U3A is a national learning organisation for those who have time to spare to come together to develop their interests, make new friends and have fun. There are more than 1,000 U3As spread right across the UK. Whatever subject you can think of, a U3A will be doing it somewhere – from walking to talking, geology to genealogy, yachting to yoga. For a modest annual fee, you can join your local U3A giving you access to interest groups and national initiatives. If you are interested in joining the U3A, visit www.u3a.org.uk.”