CHRISTMAS came early as Santa Claus made a surprise appearance in Leeds this week – to film a high-speed car chase.
British actor Jim Broadbent plays the festive figure in new film ‘Get Santa’, which is due to be released at the end of the year.
The Marshall Street, Sweet Street and Water Lane areas of the city centre were taken over and turned into a film set on Tuesday night.
Filming was also underway at a house in Rothwell last week as movie crews descended on the city to shoot several scenes.
Oscar-winning actor Jim Broadbent is best known for his roles in ‘Hot Fuzz’, ‘The Iron Lady’ and the ‘Bridget Jones’ films.
Actor Warwick Davis, known for his appearances in television shows including ‘Extras’, ‘Life’s Too Short’, ‘Doctor Who’ and the Harry Potter films, was also seen on set this week, and seemed to have the role of an elf in the new festive adventure movie.
Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills said: “Leeds has a proud history in screen arts and the industry is of huge social and economic benefit to the local area.
“Let’s hope we can look forward to even more success in the near future!”
A £7.5million boost from the European Regional Development Fund, through the has helped Screen Yorkshire put money towards the ‘Get Santa’ film, which boasts Ridley Scott as one of the executive producers.
The money will also be invested in other projects including family comedy ‘Bill’, and paranormal thriller ‘Residue’.
Sally Joynson, chief executive at Screen Yorkshire, said: “Leeds has a long track record as a major production hub and the creative industries remain an important driver for the city’s economy.”
Rafe Spall, known for his work in ‘Prometheus’ and ‘Life of Pi’, also stars in the festive film, as well as Ewen Bremner and Stephen Graham.
‘Get Santa’ is also backed by the British Film Institute (BFI), Screen Yorkshire’s Yorkshire Content Fund and Ingenious Media.
WHAT’S THE STORY?
‘Get Santa’ tells the festive story of nine-year-old Tom, who is played by young actor Kit Connor, who has to team up with his father in a bid to try and save Christmas.
The film sees Santa lose his reindeer and it follows his journey as he desperately tries to find them.
His adventure lands him in prison, meaning Tom is his only hope.
The young boy and his father have to work together to try and reunite Santa Claus with his reindeer and return him to Lapland in time for Christmas so that everyone gets their presents.