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American Film Company Plans To Make Film About Town's Missionary

Friday August 9 2013

James Hudson Taylor James Hudson Taylor

AN American film company plans to bring the story of a Barnsley missionary to the big screen - and local people want it to be filmed in the town.

The story of James Hudson Taylor, who moved to China and founded a Christian movement, is to be the subject of a feature-length film.

Denver-based Half Crown Media plans to make the movie about the 19th century medical student's life to tell the remarkable story of how he came to be revered as a hero by 70 million Chinese Christians.

Hudson Taylor was born in Barnsley in 1832 and moved to China, founding the China Inland Mission.

He ventured from coastal Chinese cities to inland provinces where other Westerners were afraid to go.

UK-based screenwriter and filmmaker Bart Gavigan is writing the screenplay.

He has a track record of bringing larger-than-life historical figures to the big screen, such as 2003's Luther and the award-winning 2006 film, End of the Spear.

Chairman of the James Hudson Taylor Group, John Foster, said: "We're talking big names here, it's a big movie.

"They want to make two documentaries and a feature length movie at the same time, using the same footage for each.

"One will be used in churches and will be slightly different to the one for general release, which will also be different to the movie."

John said some of the filming should be done in Barnsley but many film companies prefer to shoot historic scenes in Belfast.

"We've got this competition with Belfast. Because of the troubles, there are a lot of premises and streets which have not changed since the 1800s, which has made it a fantastic film location for period films.

"If you look at Barnsley from Elsecar to Penistone to the town centre and areas like Old Town, there are lots of places which could be good for film sets.

"Why film it somewhere else when you can film it in the real place?"

He said it was important to include Salem Chapel, on Blucher Street, where Hudson Taylor used to preach, in the film so people could then come and visit it.

Half Crown Media's chairman and producer Ken Haron said: "This film has enormous potential. The universal appeal of this extraordinary drama deserves the talents of Bart Gavigan and others who together will create an outstanding production and worldwide release."

The film is under development and Half Crown Media is pursuing opportunities for prospective investors, cast and crew members.

John said he was hoping to go to Colorado to meet with Mr Haron.

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Reply Posted by barry norman on Friday August 9 2013 at 18:14
Be a reyt film

Reply Posted by fu manchu on Friday August 9 2013 at 18:16
Ah so...I'm in it.

Reply Posted by Des Barnes on Saturday August 10 2013 at 11:17
Bet Speilberg's shitting himself.

Reply Posted by lol on Sunday August 11 2013 at 13:06

Reply Posted by maxine on Tuesday August 13 2013 at 09:51
lol I'll take part as I did in the "Burt Rigby you're a fool" movie that was filmed in the old theatre on wellington street... Now, who remembers that??

Reply Posted by flapper on Saturday August 17 2013 at 08:51
Ive been waiting AGES for a bus