Empire of Light, Sir Sam Mendes' latest feature film, which stars Olivia Colman and has been nominated for an Oscar and mutiple BAFTAs has received mixed reviews from audiences and critics, but its location has won much fanfare.
Yesterday it was announced the movie, which is set in a coastal town during the 1980s, will have the chance of securing an Oscar for its cinematography.
The film's location, Margate, has received extensive coverage in the press for its recent regeneration, and even inspired the former Bond director to rewrite his script during a "scouting visit" before filming began.
Speaking to Visit Thanet, the director, who also helmed American Beauty and Skyfall, said: "I was drawn to this particular place because it offered so much opportunity in the scale of the visual landscape."
“Margate really lends itself to being a filmic piece,” says production designer Mark Tildesley. “It’s superbly contained – almost like the backlot of a film studio.”
Since the release of the film, Margate's allure as a place to live and visit has been widely celebrated by national and international press, including features in The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Spectator, The Sunday Times, and iNews among many others.
The Times article 'The UK seaside town that’s the surprise star of a new film', explains:
Meanwhile, The Guardian highlighted how the film captures Margate's magic with much to look forward to in the town going into 2023, going on to say:
Legendary local venue, Dreamland was transformed into a cinema named the Empire for the picture, while other locations in the town, such as restaurant Wildes and Café Darcy, also featured.
The cinematographer, Roger Deakins, has already bagged two Academy Awards for his work on Blade Runner 2049 and 1917. Mendes previously revealed that he was motivated to film in the Kent town because of its beauty. "It’s where JMW Turner painted most of his famous paintings – he went there because he said the skies were the finest in Europe." explains Mendes.
Blueberry Homes also has a project set to begin in Margate very soon, Gallery Walk Margate, consisting of brand-new luxury apartments located in Margate's burgeoning art district, neighbouring Tracy Emin's brand new art school.
Gallery Walk Margate will only be a short walk away from the vibrant Old Town of Margate, Turner Contemporary art gallery, the revitalised Dreamland vintage theme park, and iconic Margate Main Sands beach.
Learn more about the film's location and Gallery Walk Margate here.