It has been another remarkable year for film in Britain, a buzz reflected in the wave of nominations and awards for UK films, directors, actors and production crew at the 2020 Oscars.
Having received an incredible 10 nominations, wartime drama 1917 scooped three awards, including Best Cinematography for Roger Deakin. Featuring a strong British cast and crew, including actors Colin Firth and Benedict Cumberbatch, the film also saw Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson awarded Best Sound Mixing, while members of its technical team received the Oscar for Best Visual Effects. 1917 was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay for writers Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns, with Mendes also scooping a nomination for the coveted Best Director award.
Written in Glasgow and filmed on location in Wiltshire, Country Durham and Scotland, as well as at Surrey’s Shepperton Studios, 1917 has shone the spotlight on Britain this year, with visitors flocking to check out the filming locations behind this epic wartime tale.
Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire is one of the major filming locations for 1917, with the gently rolling 300-square-mile area doubling as the fields of France in the film’s opening scene, among others. Visitors looking to explore the site can then travel just a few miles up to road to discover a more ancient side to British history, on a visit to the pagan monolith, Stonehenge.
The ancient rapids of the River Tees form another backdrop to 1917, with the Low Force Waterfall immortalised on screen as it cascades 18 feet over the Whin Sill, a craggy volcanic rock face 295 million years old. Visitors looking to experience the rapids for themselves can then head over to the Tees Barrage International White Water Centre – another filming location – and try their hand at a wide range of activities including white water rafting, stand up paddleboard and powerboating.
Visitors can embark upon a 1917-inspired history and heritage trip to Glasgow, including a chance to explore one of the film’s major filming locations - Govan Graving Docks. Built in the mid to late 1800s, the docks were once the epicentre of shipbuilding and repairs in Glasgow and remain an important landmark in the city’s rich past. A short walk from the docks lies the Fairfield Govan Heritage Centre, where visitors can delve deeper and get more of a taste for Glasgow’s important shipbuilding heritage.
Looking to discover more? Lovers of nautical history can take a twenty-minute stroll from the docks and dive into the rich world of Glasgow’s Riverside Museum. Designed by acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid, this striking building is home to a diverse range of displays, including a deep dive into Glasgow’s maritime history. Located directly next to the museum is The Tall Ship at Riverside - an impressive Victorian ship that was built in the Glaswegian docks and survived five trips around the globe. Visitors can scrub the decks, play in the cargo hold and retrace the footsteps of many an old sea dog or ship’s captain, who explored the world on this historic vessel.
Want to taste some Scottish heritage? Cross the River Clyde and enjoy a tour and whisky tasting session at The Clydeside Distillery. Discover their dockside roots and wake up your taste buds with a guided chocolate and whisky tour. Alternatively, experience the epic cinematography of 1917 in 3D at the Glasgow IMAX, located within the Science Centre.
It wasn’t just 1917 that fared well at the Oscars. British rock star Elton John, alongside songwriter Bernie Taupin, scooped Best Original Song with I'm Gonna Love Me Again, written for his biopic, Rocketman. British designer Jacqueline Durran received an Oscar for Best Costume Design for her work on Little Women, while Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone, from UK production firm Grain Media, won Best Documentary – Short Subject.
Londoner Cynthia Erivo was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role but missed out to category winner Renée Zellweger, whose role in Judy saw the American actress filming in London locations including Hackney Empire and the Noël Coward Theatre. Oxford-born Florence Pugh received a nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her role in Little Women. Knives Out, featuring British actor Daniel Craig, received a nomination for Best Original Screenplay, while Welsh acting legend Anthony Hopkins was also nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for The Two Popes, with the film itself being nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.
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