A CHANCE meeting in a church has led to a group of Crewkerne film-makers being invited to visit New Zealand where their film is a big hit.
The New Zealand connection first came about when Anorak Communications, part of Crewkerne & District University of the Third Age (U3A), was shooting its film last year.
Called ‘The Power and The Glory’, it tells some of the fascinating stories associated with historic churches in Somerset and Dorset.
While the members of Anorak Communications were at East Chinnock Church they met a couple from New Zealand, Jim and Anne McEwen, who were there at the same time researching their family history.
Anne took a picture of the Anorak team standing in front of the Agnus Dei screen in the church.
A copy of the film was sent to the couple and Anne has now sent an email to Alan Keene of Anorak Communications “and all the amazing team” with an invitation to come to New Zealand.
She says: “I gave a talk on my family ancestors from East Chinnock, which was followed by a screening of your film ‘The Power and The Glory’.
“It was a complete success and I have been asked to pass on our grateful thanks from all 55 members present. It was unanimous that we would love to see more of your team’s informative work.
“In fact, we would love to see you all out here.
“One of our members belongs to a local U3A group here in Tauranga and she said you would be welcome to visit groups throughout New Zealand.
“I encouraged her to go back to her group and discuss this with them (I did mention you would need your fares paid.)”
Alan said: “We’re thrilled that they enjoyed our film so much that they would like us to visit New Zealand. I’m not sure it will happen, but it’s fantastic to be asked.”
Many other people also love the film, the latest of 18 to have been made by the group of seven who do everything involved in making a movie – from the story concept and script to the filming and editing.
The seven members of Anorak Communications – Tom Jones, Brian Lawrence, Colin Mayes, Stuart Nuttall, Tom Downey, James McCosh and Alan Keene – may be the smallest group in Crewkerne & District U3A but they make a big impact.
So far ‘The Power and The Glory’ has been shown to seven organisations in the area, with three more screenings to come this year and more in the pipeline in 2017.
More than 30 copies of the DVD have been sold as far afield as Germany and, nearer home, Reading, Aylesbury and Liverpool.
The group started in 2007 and the subjects of earlier films have included the Taunton to Chard canal, old cinemas in Somerset and a year in the life of Merriott.