Leeds: First Film’s Hyde Park premiere

Louis Le Prince shot moving images in Leeds in the laste 19th century.
Louis Le Prince shot moving images in Leeds in the laste 19th century.
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A documentary that seeks to prove that the first film ever produced was shot in Leeds will be screened in a fitting local venue.

The Hyde Park Picture House will host the premiere of The First Film, which tells the story of Leeds-based French inventor and artist Louis Le Prince who reportedly filmed the first moving images in the city in the late 19th century.

The First Film follows director David Wilkinson and his quest to ensure the Frenchmen his rightful place in cinema history.

Leeds-born Mr Wilkinson said: “For decades when someone in the film industry in Hollywood, New York, Cannes or Berlin would ask me where I was from, I would say where the first film was made.

“People would reply, ‘You don’t sound French or American’. Most would laugh when I said the first film was shot in Leeds.

“I’m hoping what we have put together will go a long way to setting the record straight.”

Mr Le Prince took his footage in the city in 1888, which included grainy shots of Leeds Bridge.

But he disappeared mysteriously in 1890 after catching the Dijon to Paris train, leaving Thomas Edison and the Lumiere brothers, Auguste and Louis, to step in and claim the glory.

Mr Wilkinson said Le Prince’s pioneering work was mostly forgotten and his name is little remembered outside of Leeds.

He hoped to set the record straight. The premiere at Hyde Park will take place July 1 and will be followed by a question and answer session with the director.

Tickets are priced £20 with a copy of a book and DVD. Money raised will go to the Alzheimer’s Society. Visit www.hydeparkpicturehouse.co.uk to book.

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