`

Young Harrogate film-maker overwhelmed by support for sci-fi project

Joe Simmons, 25, wrapped up production of his new film Lacuna last weekend
Joe Simmons, 25, wrapped up production of his new film Lacuna last weekend

A young Harrogate filmmaker says he was left overwhelmed by the support shown across the town to produce his new sci-fi project, as he prepares to enter regional and international festivals.

Joe Simmons, 25, wrapped up production of his new film Lacuna last weekend (May,6), which is set to feature several locations from across Harrogate. The graduate of the Northern Film School put the film together on a loan of £2,000 and shot in locations including Harrogate Grammar School, Oliver’s Fish and Chips and in parts of the Duchy area.

Lacuna follows a couple who use futuristic technology to maintain their relationship

Lacuna follows a couple who use futuristic technology to maintain their relationship

Alongside location fees being waved and actors from across the area coming forward to take part Joe said the response helped see the project through.

Joe said: “I grew in Harrogate, I went to Pannal Primary School and then to Harrogate Grammar. I am proud to be from here and its is because of connections in the area that have made this production was possible. People were so generous with their time and I was overwhelmed by people's willingness to be a part of this.”

He added: “Everyone has been so supportive, we haven’t been charged location fees and the reaction has been so positive.

“I wrote, directed and produced this film but it is because of a massive team effort that this was possible, my family too did so much too and helped out with things like catering."

While filming scenes in the canteen at Harrogate Grammar School Joe was also reunited with his former drama teacher, Lucy Vincent.

Lacuna follows a couple who use futuristic technology to maintain a long-distance relationship, the use of technology in this way is something Joe hopes to highlight the benefits of.

He said:”This is not a hard sci-fi film it but looks at people’s relationship with technology. It is about a guy who is based in the area and a girl who moved back to America with her parents to take care of them.

“The technology, which is called U-plus, allows them to connect their bodies to a program which lets them be together. I believe technology can be a link for human interaction, unlike a show like Black Mirror I tend to look at it in a more positive way.”

Having worked on 40 films Joe has already had recognition overseas at the El Gouna Film Festival in Egypt last year with his film Impression, which also won an award at the Love Your Shorts Film Festival in Miami.

He said: “We are hoping to get this out in time for entry into the top international and regional film festivals. I think you have to aim high or you are in the wrong game, you need to be ambitious."