taking our culture forward

Manx film at prestigious festival

Wed, 30 Mar 2022

A Manx film has won a place in one of the most important media festivals in the British Isles.

Remembering the North Barrule Air Crash, 1945,’ a film about one man’s annual commemoration of the Isle of Man’s most devastating aviation accident, is amongst the official nominations for the Celtic Media Festival in June.

The film has a place at the prestigious event alongside productions from the national broadcasters of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and others, including Sky Arts, BBC Alba, S4C, TG4 and France 3 Bretagne, which makes it extra special to have been nominated.

The 6-minute-long film produced by Culture Vannin and directed by Brook Wassall is in the Short Form category of the festival which has been running for over 40 years and is to take place in Quimper, Brittany, this year.

The film was made just under a year ago, before 23 April 2021, the 76th anniversary of the most serious aviation accident the Isle of Man has ever seen.

Just weeks before the end of the Second World War, an American B-17 Flying Fortress was taking a group of servicemen from their station in Essex for a short period of leave in Northern Ireland. However, at around 10.25am the plane crashed into the side of North Barrule.

All 31 lives were lost.

A young boy at the time, Mike Corlett and his friends cycled out from Laxey to the Corony Valley in Maughold to see the wreck. Since then, he has come to the site every year to ensure that the American flag flies at the site of crash on the date at which it happened.

This film follows Mike up the hill to raise the flag again, recalling as he goes his own connection to the site and to its continued commemoration.

Directed by Brook Wassall, the film rises above merely telling the history of the event, or even just the act of commemoration, and points towards the deeper connections possible over time and in the Manx landscape.

Online & Educational Resources Officer for Culture Vannin, James Franklin says:

“This is an incredibly powerful film about history, memory, landscape and remembrance. It takes us on the journey interweaving Manx and international stories and histories through the land and through our actions we make today. It is beautiful, and we’re proud to have it representing the Isle of Man at this year’s Celtic media Festival.”

The film was made with the help of the Manx Aviation and Military Museum & the Maughold Parish Social Club, who commemorate the crash each year.

Breesha Maddrell, Director of Culture Vannin says:

“We are enormously proud of this incredibly moving film about the North Barrule Crash. That it sits alongside productions from the likes of the BBC only confirms its importance and relevance on the international stage.”

The film was first released in time for the anniversary of the crash last year and it is available on the Culture Vannin website and YouTube.

As well as this film, Culture Vannin is delighted that Dark Avenue Film’s short film, ‘The Lost Wife,’ will also be at the Celtic Media Festival this year. Nominated in the Short Drama category, it was supported by a number of organisations, including a grant from Culture Vannin.

The Celtic Media Festival is an annual three-day event that promotes the cultures of the Celtic nations and regions in media. It combines a major conference of seminars and master classes with presentation of the coveted prizes in an international competition across all the main content genres in TV, radio, film and digital media.

‘Remembering the North Barrule Air Crash, 1945’ can be watched on the Culture Vannin website or YouTube.