Sleaford filmmakers’ Second World War project set for national cinema and global DVD release

A scene from Lancaster Skies, due for release in selected cinemas from next month.
A scene from Lancaster Skies, due for release in selected cinemas from next month.

A band of Sleaford filmmakers are watching their Second World War project take flight, after securing a distribution deal which will see it at selected cinemas nationwide and available to buy at shops around the world.

Tin Hat Productions have teamed up with the London-based Kaleidoscope Film Distribution to get their Bomber Command-inspired tale, Lancaster Skies, in front of audiences.

From next month, it will be screened in cinemas, and from May it will be available to take home on DVD and Blu-ray in countries as far afield as the US, Japan, and Australia (and can also be watched via video-on-demand).

Tin Hat Productions is Andy Burn, son Callum Burn, both of Sleaford, and Sam Parsons, of London, who attended film school with Callum.

The trio have also had loyal support from Scott Ellis, of Lincoln.

The Standard first spoke to them about Lancaster Skies – originally titled Our Shining Sword – five years ago this month.

The troupe overcame numerous obstacles in their path to get the film in the can last year.

They made costumes, built sets (including a replica Lancaster), crafted models for special effects sequences, and held fundraisers again and again and again – achieving a number of high profile endorsements along the way, including from TV personality Stephen Fry.

Stephen’s endorsement helped pave the way for the distribution deal, said Andy, which he described as ‘a dream come true’.

He said: “We are really, really pleased. For us, it’s akin to winning the lottery.

“The hope was we would get some sort of DVD deal. We would never had dreamt we would get a cinema release. That kind of thing doesn’t happen and it certainly doesn’t happen for films that cost 80,000 quid.”

On the advice of the distributors, the picture has been transferred back from black-and-white back to colour to give the film its best chance of success in America.

Andy says they have been told they should at least make their investment back, and one encouraging sign of this is that three screenings are already sold out.

Andy paid tribute to everyone who has supported the project, saying: “Thanks to all the people who are buying tickets, and thanks to all the people in the community who helped because there were lots of them, whether they were actors or local businesses that put money in. We haven’t forgotten,”

You can find local screenings at www.lancasterskies.com