Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Island's first collaboration with Pinewood begins

Gugu Mbatha Raw
Image caption Gugu Mbatha Raw will star in the period drama, Belle

Filming for the Isle of Man's first collaboration with Pinewood Studios is starting in the island.

Miranda Richardson and Gugu Mbatha Raw will star in the film, Belle, which is expected to bring £1m to the Manx economy.

Laurence Skelly MHK said: "Belle heralds the start of a fruitful and exciting period for the Isle of Man and its film industry."

The period drama will shoot around the island for three weeks.

Mr Skelly added: "We are delighted to welcome such a star-studded cast and we hope it will be the first of many collaborations.

"In addition, the cast and crew will be leaving approximately £1m in the local economy, revenue that is always welcome, particularly outside the traditional tourist months of the year."

'Very excited'

In June, the Manx parliament approved proposals for a multi-million pound deal with Pinewood Shepperton studios - the two-part investment involves the island buying up to 20% of shares in Pinewood, at a cost of £24m.

The second part of the Pinewood deal would mean the management of a further £25m, formerly given over to Isle of Man production company, CinemaNX, is handed to Pinewood Shepperton.

Hilary Dugdale from Isle of Man Film said: "We are very excited to welcome such an exciting cast for our latest production.

"The feature film will see many stars of the future working alongside established names like Miranda (Richardson)."

Hundreds of island residents will also appear in the films as extras.

Following a three-week shoot on the Isle of Man, Belle will move to Pinewood Studios, Oxford and London to complete production.

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