April 2014

In 2013 Empire Magazine described the ORNC as ‘the most popular film location in the world’. You won’t therefore be surprised that the Painted Hall features in the latest blockbuster to hit the screens, Belle.

Belle is a fictionalised adaptation of the life of Dido Elizabeth Belle who was the illegitimate mixed race daughter of Admiral Sir John Lindsay and an enslaved African lady, Maria Belle. Today her portrait, which is attributed to Johann Zoffany, hangs in Scone Palace in Perth in Scotland, and her uncle lived at Kenwood House in Hampstead, which also features as a location in the film.

The film shows familiar faces Tom Felton (Harry Potter), Emily Watson (Miss Potter) and Matthew Goode (Birdsong) and charts Belle’s childhood growing up in late 18th century London living with her uncle Lord Mansfield. As a young woman she rebels against established systems and finds herself falling in love with a vicar’s son. Her uncle’s position as Lord Chief Justice is challenged by her existence and he is forced to evaluate the country’s role in the Atlantic slave trade.

It took two days of filming for the Painted Hall at the ORNC to be transformed, and dozens of extras in period 18th century costume gathered amongst the baroque ORNC buildings. Watch out for it in the trailer at 2.03 minutes.

Belle will be released in cinemas in June 2014. Every film shot here helps to support the ORNC.

Belle Official Trailer (HD) Gugu Mbatha-Raw by JoBlo Movie Trailers.

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