Members of u3a become extras in 'Vindication Swim'

Members of u3a become extras in ‘Vindication Swim’

Members of u3a become extras in ‘Vindication Swim’, released on ‘International Women’s Day’.

Members of u3a become extras in 'Vindication Swim'

The u3a‘s from Brighton, Worthing and Sussex have been tripping the light fantastic donned in their vintage costumes as extras in the upcoming film ‘Vindication Swim’

The film tells the true story of swimmer Mercedes Gleitze, played by Kirsten Callaghan, who in 1927 became the first British woman to swim the English Channel.  Written and directed by Elliott Hasler at the tender age of 18, this biographical drama tells of the bravery and determination of one woman to succeed against all odds.  And because of this, the film will be released on International Women’s Day 2024 on March 8th.

Relsah Films, the independent production company run by Elliott and his father Simon, wanted the u3a to be involved in some way.  So after contacting the various u3a groups in the region, asked members to come along and have a taste of Hollywood glamour by acting as extras in the movie.

Members of u3a become extras in 'Vindication Swim'Simon Hasler says “The u3a members who came along to join us in making this film were so valuable to Elliott.  We hope they had as much fun as we did!  And we think the amazing results speak for themselves!

Suzanne Bystry of Brighton u3a commented “We spent the time happily chatting with other extras many of whom were from the Henfield Amateur Dramatic Society or local areas. We spent the day walking up and down a road, in crowd scenes and best of all, interacting with a beautiful old 1920s bus with outside stairs, open top deck and being issued with authentic 20s tickets by a very smart 20s-dressed conductor. We got on and off many times, and were driven along the museum’s roads for numerous takes, both downstairs and upstairs with a little black car of the period following us. It really was an extremely interesting and enjoyable day and furthermore, 2 of my 3 friends are now members of the U3A! 

Members of u3a become extras in 'Vindication Swim'

Another u3a member stated “It was a really great experience working for Elliott. What impressed me most was his calm and quiet manner on set. He had a very good way of getting the cast and extras to give their best. He was both the Director and the Cameraman. He would quickly explain to us what each scene was trying to depict, and then it was, “Action!” We would do just 3 or 4 takes perhaps, and when he thought he’d captured the scene, he’d quickly watch it back and say, “That’s a Wrap!” He seemed to know instinctively when he had each scene in the can. Then we’d move straight onto the next one. A very talented young man who I’m convinced we’ll hear much more of.”

Lee Spicer Howard kindly gave us use of the picture below which shows members from Worthing u3a having a ball!  She said “Several members answered the call for extras on the movie and spent the day at Worthing Town Hall filming. We are thrilled to announce that the film is being released on International Women’s Day Friday, March 8th!

This is just another example of the amazing opportunities which can be found if you join as a member of u3a.  Founded in 1982, u3a now has around 1,000 u3as, with more than 40,000 activity groups meeting every week throughout the United Kingdom, of which there are 400,000 members.  The aim is simple, to encourage those who now have more time on their hands and looking to forge new friendships to come together and enjoy a whole host of subjects, skills and activities.

Poppy Watt


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