Film set in South Shields set for homecoming premiere

The film is set in South Shields, with scenes including this one at The Groyne.
The film is set in South Shields, with scenes including this one at The Groyne.

Lights, camera, action – a film set in South Shields is hoping to reel in the plaudits at its homecoming premiere this week.

Coming-of-age drama Bliss! will be shown at The Customs House, in Mill Dam, South Shields, on Friday.

It will be the first airing of the film in the North East, with the opening night also set to include a post-screen question and answer session with director Rita Osei, Jarrow-born writer Alex Ferguson and actress Natasha Haws.

Some of the drama’s scenes were filmed at Marsden Beach, Souter Lighthouse and The Groyne, as well as on location in Norway.

Ms Osei said: “It has been a long journey.

“The film has been many years in the making, a real labour of love and I am really happy with the result.

The film is set in South Shields.

The film is set in South Shields.

“The younger members of the cast became like children to me, mainly because I met them when they were so young.

“I knew they were the right people for this film, and I wanted to keep the cast together.”

“It was wonderful to be able to show South Shields off for its beauty in the film.”

The world premiere of Bliss! took place at the 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival, last year.

It was wonderful to be able to show South Shields off for its beauty in the film

Rita Osei

It was nominated for a Europa Junior Award at the Seville European Film Festival, also last year.

The film focuses on 16-year-old Tasha Robson, who sets out on an emotional journey to find her father.

Tasha’s younger sister, Debbie, is played by young South Shields actress Chloe Cuskin.

This was Chloe’s first film, and she was selected after taking part in workshops at The Customs House.

A signed copy of Little Mix's debut single Cannonball features as a prop in the film.

A signed copy of Little Mix's debut single Cannonball features as a prop in the film.

She said: “Working on my first feature film was obviously a very new experience, but it was all just a learning curve.

“On the first day of filming I was very nervous, but once I got past the first couple of days I started enjoying it.

“What made it so much better was having a good cast and crew.

“Everyone gets on so well, it just put me at ease and Rita is such a great director.”

Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall auditioned for the role of Tasha’s elder sister Jenny before her pop career took off.

A signed copy of the girlband’s debut single Cannonball features as a prop in the film.

This will be the first airing of the film in the North East.

This will be the first airing of the film in the North East.

Among the others who star in Bliss! are Freya Parks, who has appeared in Creation and Jane Eyre, as well as South Shields-born Natasha Haws, Game of Thrones and Grange Hill actor Reece Noi and Pride actress Lauren Johns.

Customs House executive director Ray Spencer has a small cameo role.

He said: “We are delighted to be hosting the premiere.

“The film has been a long time in the making and to finally see it on the big screen in all its glory is a joy for everyone involved and I’m sure it will delight audiences.”

After Friday’s screening, which starts at 8pm, Bliss! will be shown at 8pm every day from Sunday until next Friday, excluding next Thursday, It is rated 12A.

Tickets are £6 for adults and £5 for concessions.

The film was nominated for a Europa Junior Award at the Seville European Film Festival.

The film was nominated for a Europa Junior Award at the Seville European Film Festival.