Take the themes of a dark Western and transplant them into a bleak, wild Cornish setting of the mid-19th century and you’ve got yourself the award-winning All in the Valley, which is having a special screening followed by a Q&A at the Exeter Phoenix.All in the Valley, which picked up the Best Feature Film at the Cornwall Film Festival, is the debut feature of writer/director Luke Hagan.
With themes of migration, wilderness and lawlessness -your classic Western fodder -transported to Victorian Cornwall, All in the Valley pulls on Cornwall’s cultural heritage and makes the most of its wonderful landscape.
“When I started doing research into the history of the region the themes of migration, independence and lawlessness kept appearing, and it struck me that, along with the landscape, these were really the same themes on which Westerns are based,” Luke told Scotty Myers on the Go Into The Story site.
“After that the decision to develop the story as a movie was a natural one because it meant that we could use the themes, tropes and archetypes which appear in the classic American western (and spaghetti westerns) and transplant them to the south west of England.” Add to that a landscape which inspires a narrative backdrop, and you may well have stumbled on a new film genre.
All in the Valley is set in Cornwall in 1855 and follows the desperation and redemption of Crimean War veteran Joseph Ballam. Returning home with nothing, Ballam is offered a way out -a chance to emigrate to Van Dieman’s Land by wealthy mine owner Mr Lincoln. But in exchange Ballam must track down the Tallack brothers, a dangerous gang of thieves, and return the money they have stolen from Lincoln’s company.
All in the Valley was filmed on location over several months, with a small and dedicated crew on a micro budget. You can watch All in the Valley and quiz Luke during a Q&A following the film at a special screening at the Exeter Phoenix on April 15, 2015. Book now!
(If you miss it, the film is due to be released on demand at the end of April -we’ll keep you posted!)