- Title: UK: NEW FILM "DOT THE I" BEGINS SHOOTING IN LONDON.
- Date: 6th June 2002
- Summary: VARIOUS PICTURES OF NATALIA VERBEKE DANCING ON SET. MEMBERS OF THE CAST LOOK ON AT HER PERFORMANCE.
- Embargoed: 21st June 2002 13:00
- Location: LONDON, UK
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: General,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA1YVMR31TUCENABARL1WQ58125
- Story Text: Gael Garcia Bernal, star of Alfonso Cuaron's hit "Y tu mama tambien," and Natalia Verbeke, featured in Oscar-nominated Son of the Bride (El Hijo de la Novia) and Bafta-winning Jump Tomorrow will next star in Summit Entertainment and Arcane Pictures' "Dot the I," which commenced shooting in London on 21 April 2002. Reuters TV caught up with the cast and director of this much talked about film on location in the East End of London.
Set in contemporary London, 'Dot The I', tells the emotional tail of a modest Spanish burger bar waitress Carmen ( Natalia Verbeke) who thinks she has found love with an Englishman, Barnaby (James d'Arcy), but whose life is turned upside on the eve of her wedding when her husband to be allows her to kiss a complete stranger Kit ( Gael Garcia Bernal) as gesture symbolizing the end of her innocence. But it is this one kiss that changes her life irrevocably.
Torn between the safety of her fiancÃ© (d'Arcy) and the passion of this new romance, Carmen will be forced to learn that things are never quite what they seem, "When you are in love and suddenly appears a guy and god your head is a mess, I think that everybody has passed through those things." says Natalia Verbeke.
This twisted tale that toys with illusion and reality, passion and artifice and cleverly uses all the tools of contemporary filming has given debutante writer director Matthew Parkhill a delectable vehicle to launch his feature film career.
Producers Meg Thomson and George Duffield where quick to see the potential of Parkhill's compelling script and with financial backing from Summit Entertainment were able to fast track the project into production. "We ended selling it to an American because funnily enough the English didn't get it. But the Americans where Spanish is virtually a second language, they saw the potential of this film and they wanted to be immediately involved when they saw the script". George Duffield also feels that 'Dot the I' is a refreshing departure from the humdrum monotony of recent UK gangsters flicks and period pieces. "We also wanted to make it more international than a small low budget British film with a sort of bigger ambition and bigger reach and by having the hottest Mexican in the world right now and a sexy Spanish girl we are hopping to broaden the appeal".
But back on set the cast had other issues to contend with.
Finding the passion needed to portray a woman caught up in a complicated love triangle would be one of many mountains to climb for actress Natalia Verbeke. Developing the grace and raw emotion needed to convincingly pull of the roll of an accomplished flamenco dancer could prove to be the hardest, "I am shy and dancing to me is something so particular like. I don't like to dance in front of people, I get really shy when I dance. Maybe it is the only thing that scares me in the movie, not just other things like acting and stuff, no, I don't care if there are thousands of people I don't care. I concentrate on myself and I just do it. If there is a camera in front of me it is better because I am not myself it is some other person, but when I dance it is something so un-private."
Producer George Duffield acknowledges that Natalia is under tremendous pressure to deliver, "This is a big scene for her because she really has got to dance just beautifully and the audience has got to fall in love with her right now. So what happens today dictates whether or not millions of fans around the world think she is the most wonderful thing in the world, which we think she is."
For Parkhill too, this day would prove to be one of great significance, as the inception of his film was born from a vision of a flamenco dancer. "Today was a good moment because we did the flamenco dance sequence this morning and that has been in my head for a couple of years now. So occasionally during the film there are the odd moment that work out exactly like you imagined it. That is really magical, because you think about it, you sit in your bed room like two years ago in your twisted imagination you come out with all these things and then two years later you see it in front of you."
With the spectre of Hollywood stardom beckoning for Gail, he portrays all the confidence of a young man in total control of his destiny, "I am just enjoining meeting lots of people and I think film making is for that". Gail easily talks of his love for film and acting and understands that that will one day will see him return to his native Mexico to follow dreams of a more personal nature. "I would love to direct. I would love one day, to be in between acting and directing, not film, theatre most of it. But lets see, right now I need to raise a bit of money because I am building a theatre in Mexico so if you are interested call 0800....."
George Duffield plays down Gail's modest opining of himself believing him to be on edge of something great, "He is going to be a simply enormous star and suddenly finding out that he speaks perfect english and he lives in London and wanted to make a film in London was to good an opportunity no to capitalize on. But eventually in time he will just be a huge super star and the fact that he is Mexican will be immaterial to the world".
'Dot the I' has attracted an international crew to match its international cast. Brazilian cinematographer Affonso Beato (All About My Mother, Live Flesh, Ghost World), Editor Jon Harris (Snatch) and Costume Designer Louise Stjernsward (Stealing Beauty, Sexy Beast) are aboard the team.
With filming set to continue in London until 6th June 2002 and forecasted release set for early 2003 audiences will still have some way to go before sampling this tantalizing film on the silver screen.
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