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Salvage yard job influenced UK art house film

Posted on | By Thornton Kay
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West Yorkshire, UK - 'Spring. Yorkshire. Young farmer Johnny Saxby numbs his daily frustrations with binge drinking and casual sex, until the arrival of a Romanian migrant worker for lambing season ignites an intense relationship that sets Johnny on a new path' - a synopsis from IMDB of the film 'God's Own Country'.

Francis Lee gave up acting for writing and got a job in a London working for an architectural salvage business. Lee, who was brought up on the family's Yorkshire moorland farm, had an idea for a film about two men.

There was a Romanian working in the reclamation yard, with whom Lee struck up a friendship, which inspired him to make one of the characters in his film a Romanian immigrant.

He was awarded funding from the British Film Institute for a low budget film which he made in the area around his father's farm with help from "the Yorkshire mafia" as he put it.

The finished film, called God's Own Country, was released in 2017 and has received a number of awards including best film at Edinburgh and Sundance.

Will Young recently interviewed Lee for his podcast: <I>The interviewee is Francis Lee, a director whose first film, God’s Own Country, has been nominated for a Best British Film Bafta for its nuanced portrayal of same-sex love in the kind of rural, working-class milieu that’s rarely given an outing on screen. As soon as we cross the threshold, Young realises he’s met Lee before, when Lee was working as a sales consultant at an architectural salvage yard in central London. “Oh my God, yes!” says Young. “I bought that white skirt from you, the one from the Royal Opera House’s wardrobe department!”</I>

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Note: Which salvage yard did Lee work for? It might possibly have been Architectural Forum in Islington. If you know where please send details to thornton.kay@salvo dot co.uk

Story Type: News