Kettering movie premieres on big screen documenting efforts to preserve historic lost mosaic artwork
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The rise, fall and rebirth story of one of Kettering’s most prominent artworks has debuted on the silver screen at the town’s Odeon Cinema.
Attending the premiere were the cast, crew and supporters of the Kettering Civic Society project to revive the Kettering Grammar School Mosaic.
The Lost Mosaic tells the battle to save 1960s artwork from demolition and the trials and tribulations to bring it back to the town.
Crew, cast and production team members were given a huge round of applause after the packed showing last night (March 16).
Monica Özdemir, the driving force behind the film and mosaic campaign said: “It was just so wonderful to share the story with everybody. The response was really positive. Reality hasn’t really sunk in yet but it was one of the greatest moments of my life.”
It has taken nearly two decades to bring the mosaic back to Kettering – a finale caught on camera for the documentary.
The campaign by Kettering Civic Society to save the mosaic began in 2005 when Kettering’s former Grammar School building – taken over by Kettering Boys’ School and Tresham College – was set to be demolished. Attached to the outside wall was the 45ft by 15ft mosaic created by artist Kenneth Budd in 1963 told the town’s history.
Public funding allowed the original work to be dismantled in 2007 but the mosaic, not made with frost-resistant tiles, subsequently disintegrated whist in storage.
Made by UKFilm School using talented young film makers from Kettering and Corby, it was funded by Historic England and presented by actress Victoria Wicks – literary giant H E Bates’s eldest granddaughter. The Darling Buds of May author attended Kettering Grammar School.
Victoria Wicks arrived with Mayor of Kettering Councillor Keli Watts in a stretch limo to the ‘red carpet’ event.
After the screening, Councillor Watts said: “The film makes me feel very proud to be part of Kettering. What a touching story, told with such sensitivity and so beautifully filmed. Well done to all involved.”
Filming took director Gary Halliday and his crew to Boughton House, The Alfred East Art Gallery, Wicksteed Park and around Kettering.
Kettering High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) is a £4.75million programme funded jointly by Historic England and North Northamptonshire Council, aimed at revitalising Kettering’s historic town centre. It has been working with local business owners to deliver schemes to convert disused buildings, restore historic character to shopfronts, carry out essential repairs, and improve the public realm.
The film premiere was attended by Dr Dale Dishon, Historic England’s lead officer for Kettering High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ).
She said: “I am delighted that Historic England was able to fund the making of the film through the HSHAZ cultural programme, and was so impressed with the outcome. Congratulations to Monica Ozdemir, who has been the driving force behind the story of the mosaic, and to everyone involved in the making of the film. They have produced a beautiful and informative film, which both tells the fascinating story of the Kettering mosaic, and is a lovely ode to the history of Kettering itself.”
A DVD of the movie will be made available.