World premiere screening of film Lightships at Letchworth's Broadway cinema

A scene from Lightships. The film can be seen at the Broadway Cinema & Theatre in Letchworth.

A scene from Lightships. The film can be seen at the Broadway Cinema & Theatre in Letchworth. - Credit: F00lishPe0ple

A science fiction/fantasy film partly shot on location around Hitchin will have its world premiere at the Broadway Cinema & Theatre in Letchworth.

Written and directed by local filmmaker John Harrigan, Lightships will be screened at the cinema in Eastcheap on Saturday, July 3 at 7.30pm as part of the 'Sci-fi at Broadway' festival season.

There will be a Q&A with the director following the movie.

A scene from Lightships. The film can be seen at the Broadway Cinema & Theatre as part of the Letchworth Film Festival 2021.

A scene from Lightships. The film can be seen at the Broadway Cinema & Theatre as part of the sci-fi season at the Letchworth cinema. - Credit: F00lishPe0ple

Lightships is adapted from the book Remembrance by author and celebrated UFO contactee Maryann Rada.

From F00lishPe0ple, and co-produced with GHRL Ltd, it will have you questioning your beliefs about reality.

The majority of Lightships was filmed around Hitchin, Hertfordshire, and Hinwick Hall in Wellingborough, and is prophetic, as visionary director Harrigan explains on the film's website.

"Lightships is a film that emerged before the global pandemic, but now in retrospect, it appears prescient," writes Harrigan in his director's statement.

"I had no way of knowing when I completed the screenplay in January 2019 just how much of the story would come to shadow our experiences in lockdown during a global pandemic less than one year later."

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The film explores how imagination, belief, the sacred and spiritual are all inextricably linked.

In Lightships, Eve awakes in an unstaffed medical facility, awaiting diagnosis for a mystery illness.

A scene from Lightships.

A scene from Lightships. - Credit: F00lishPe0ple

Her world and reality have begun to unravel, and she must unlock the mystery of the visions and transmissions she is experiencing. Her family is missing and her journal holds the key to finding them.

With no recollection of how, why or when she was admitted, she joins a group of outcast patients who cannot leave the locked down facility, for fear of what their sickness will unleash upon their families and the world beyond.

Is Eve a prisoner, a patient… or dead? 

Filmmaker John Harrigan behind the scenes of Lightships.

Filmmaker John Harrigan behind the scenes of Lightships. - Credit: F00lishPe0ple

Harrigan writes: "The masks the patients wear are a haunting reminder of the often prophetic power of film and art, to give strange form to things yet to come.

"Like the visions that make Eve question her reality, Lightships is a fever dream that I don’t fully recall making."

The F00lishPe0ple founder adds: "When we explore the realms of our imagination through creativity, art and storytelling, do we commune with worlds beyond our own?"

Filmmaker John Harrigan behind the scenes of Lightships.

Filmmaker John Harrigan behind the scenes of Lightships. - Credit: F00lishPe0ple

Growing up in Letchworth, the Broadway Cinema had a big influence on Harrigan's imagination throughout his childhood, and the movies he saw there have played a part in shaping his life as an artist and filmmaker.

He also spent time studying with Kirk Foster, artistic director of the Market Theatre in Hitchin, when he was 19 years old, when Kirk lectured at North Herts College.

Harrigan screened his first feature Strange Factories at Hitchin Lavender as part of its UK cinematic tour in November 2013 in collaboration with Sundown Cinema.

Lightships can be seen at the Broadway Cinema & Theatre as part of the Letchworth Film Festival 2021.

Lightships can be seen at the Broadway Cinema & Theatre in Letchworth. - Credit: F00lishPe0ple

As for his latest project, he says: "The visions Eve transcribes in her journal are taken from the book Remembrance by Maryann Rada, a celebrated UFO contactee.

"When I was asked to adapt her book, I wasn’t sure it was even possible.

"As I read Remembrance I recalled the conversations around Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs and the debate around if it was possible for Cronenberg to adapt into a film.

"Naked Lunch was once believed to be a book that could never be translated into film.

"I was also reminded of the quote, 'If it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed' by Stanley Kubrick."

Lightships will be screened at the Broadway Cinema & Theatre as part of the Letchworth Film Festival 2021 on July 3.

Lightships will be screened at the Broadway Cinema & Theatre as part of the sci-fi film season on July 3. - Credit: F00lishPe0ple

The film has already won awards at the Queen Palm International Film Festival in Palm Springs, and been selected for the Brighton Rocks Film Festival and the Fortean Film Festival 2021 in Gloucester.

The director adds: "The aspect of the film that I’m most satisfied with is how the screenplay encapsulates, protects and presents passages from Remembrance as the visions Eve records in her journal.

"I’m deeply proud of Lightships. My talented collaborators and I have created a puzzle box; a film that invites our audience to decide for themselves the true nature of Eve’s reality.

"Like all the best stories, it is a mystery that I’m still unravelling for myself."

Visit www.broadway-letchworth.com to book tickets for the screening.

The Broadway's sci-fi season also includes screenings of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner: Final Edition Cut, Solaris and Aliens.

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