NEARLY 80 people attended the premiere screening of a short film starring Keswick and Cumbrian community members at the Keswick Alhambra cinema.

The film is the outcome of a long-running art project called Desire Lines focused on Crow Park in Keswick exploring the relationship between the communities in the town and the local landscape.

The Desire Lines project has been hosted by the National Trust and was led by artist Rebecca Beinart, who has worked with over 100 people in Keswick since January 2020, ranging from the pupil’s arts council at St Herbert’s Primary School, to members of Sustainable Keswick and Keswick Natural History Society.

The film had been a collaboration between Rebecca and a number of Cumbria-based artists and creatives, including film maker and sound artist R.L. Wilson, film maker Laurence Campbell, writer and artist Wallace Heim and costume designer Maggi Toner-Edgar. Local community participants helped to form the script, and make the costumes.

To create a world premiere atmosphere, the cast and guests walked the red carpet and had their photos taken at a special photo booth.

Rebecca had also collaborated with Keswick café owner Kat Hale to create bespoke refreshments which were provided on the theme of a creative writing workshop ‘Eating the Landscape’, beer was provided by Keswick Brewing Company and Rebecca made a bespoke mocktail called ‘Derwentwater Sweet Soup’ with Cumbrian apple juice from Eva’s Organics.

Jessie Binns, from the National Trust, said: “It was great that we had a full house for our socially-distanced screening – it was a brilliant evening and we’re so grateful that so many people turned out to support us and make it such a success, especially after the challenges of contending with the pandemic throughout the project.”

One guest commented after watching the film that it was “a different experience from the ‘normal Lake District’: thoughtful, philosophical & timeless”.

There was lots of support for similar projects in the futue with the National Trust audience was asked if they’d like to see the National Trust do more of this kind of project and the answer from many was a resounding ‘yes’. One person commented “It’s involved the community and … you found the people with the stories and engaged with them. You ‘trusted emergence’ and a beautiful feeling emerged. A great success.”

The short film will be made available to watch online via the website, once final editing and subtitles are complete.

The Desire Lines project is part of Trust New Art, the National Trust’s programme of contemporary arts, supported with public funding by Arts Council England and produced with support from Arts&Heritage.