Lad: A Yorkshire Story is the tale of teenager Tom Proctor, who comes to terms with the death of his dad through a friendship he forms with national park ranger Al Thorpe.
It has already taken the Golden Oosikar – the main prize – at the Anchorage International Film Festival and writer/director Dan Hartley, who based the story on his own experiences growing up in the Dales, will also be picking up a best feature film prize at Worldfest in Houston, Texas.
The character of Al Thorpe was modelled on the late Al Boughen, who was a Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority ranger in the 1980s. Dan, who used to live in Austwick, said that, as a teenager, Al was his mentor and inspiration for several years.
The film, shot at national park and National Trust sites, will have its invitation-only premiere on 27 March at Skipton's Plaza Cinema.
The following night it will be shown at Victoria Hall in Settle before starting a month-long tour of the UK’s other 14 national parks — including further North Yorkshire dates — where the filmmakers will stage a series of workshops to honour the community participation that led to its creation.
Dan Hartley worked closely during the making of the film with rangers and officers – some of whom had known Al as a colleague and friend.
He said: “I felt it was essential to give the film an authentic and contemporary voice and so I used people from the community who had never acted before and used role play and workshops to devise the script.
“The result, I think, is a film that is both honest and inspirational.
“The Dales is quite simply one of the most beautiful places in the country and it was a privilege to capture both the stunning landscape and the strong sense of community that thrives there.”
Alan Hulme, the national park authority's head of ranger services, said: “It is fantastic that the film not only captures the spectacular scenery of the Dales, but it also recognises the role that rangers play in local communities across the national park.
"Much of this work goes on unseen and much is taken for granted by locals and visitors alike, so it is really gratifying that the film captures the work of people like Al Boughen who keep the Dales as such a special place to live in or to visit.”
The North Yorkshire dates of the nationwide tour are:
- 27 March, Skipton
Venue: Premiere at Plaza Cinema
- 28 March, Settle
Venue: Victoria Hall
- 29 March, Skipton
Venue: Plaza Cinema – for one week
- 8 April, North York Moors National Park
Venue: Burniston and Cloughton Village Hall, Scarborough, Yorkshire
- 19 April, Bentham
Venue: The Ribblesdale Area Moving Picture Show
- 27 April, Clapham Village Hall: The Ribblesdale Area Moving Picture Show.