Film sequel is big surprise

Published: 29 May 2011 16:30

THERE was more than one surprise in store for a director who told the tale of an historic episode where not everything was as it seemed.

FATAL ENCOUNTER: James Ford, who plays Edmund Allain, Philip Delancy and Michael Dacre as Cournet

When first-time short film maker Don Rutherford and his team from Sweet Pictures went along to the British Independent Film Festival with their creation, The Last Duel, based on an event which happened on Priest Hill, Old Windsor, they were lost for words when it was declared best short film.

The film, partly shot in Windsor, is based on an actual event that happened in the village in 1852 when two Frenchmen met to carry out the last fatal duel in England.

But their unexpected win was one of two surprises for Mr

Rutherford since the beginning of the project.

The Englefield Green-based

director who makes corporate films and TV programmes, said:

"We discovered the story written on the rafters of the Barley Mow pub. No one had done a story on it, we thought it was amazing that we are living so close to such a significant piece of history that hadn't been told.

"We found the original story that appeared in the newspaper at the time, but it didn't seem to add up. We think what is written in the paper is a cover-up because it looks like one of the guns might have been tampered with and actually it was a murder. So we made a film of what might really have happened from the view of the newspaper writer."

The film stars Windsor actor Philip Delancy as one of the French men, Baronet, who attended the fight between doomed French politician Frederick Cournet who died in the Barley Mow on Englefield Green following his duel with Emmanuel Barthelemy. James Ford plays Edmund Allain who also attended the duel.

The film was shot on Priest Hill where the filmmakers believe the fateful meeting took place and also features scenes shot at Windsor Guildhall. Music is by Old Windsor composer Guy Bunce.

Mr Rutherford, originally from New Zealand, went along to the awards ceremony to support his fellow film-makers and was shocked to hear his name read out. He said: "I was a little bit lost for words, I hadn't written a speech or anything! "

Visit www.thelastduel.com to find out more about the film or follow the film on Twitter - @thelastduel

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