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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Barrow woman is set to become star of international films at age 101

A HEART-WARMING film which tells the story of the friendship between a Barrow woman and a German prisoner after the Second World War will be screened at some of the world’s most famous film festivals.

The German Who Came To Tea captures the connection Annie Day, now 101, struck up with Philipp Hammermann, who was housed at the Earnse Bay camp in Walney.

Detainees were allowed to mix with the locals and one afternoon Mrs Day’s son, Brian, asked if they could host two Germans for Christmas dinner.

Mrs Day’s family took an immediate shine to Phillip, often taking him to the cinema and for fish and chips.

The eight-minute film by Barrow-based Signal Films and Media will be shown at six prestigious festivals in the United States, including the New York City Short Film Festival and the Cincinnati Film Festival.

Producer and director Kerry Kolbe, 35, who grew up in Ulverston, said: “It’s wonderful that something positive from our area is going abroad and telling something about Barrow. In America, this sort of story will be really alien to them and I bet they might struggle with the Barrow accent too!

“But it will be interesting to see the reaction of an American audience as it is a very special story.”

The film begins with Mrs Day, who now lives at Risedale Retirement and Residential Home, asking viewers: “Have you ever thought what a wonderful thing your memory is?”

It tells the story of the pair’s unique friendship, using footage from a number of locations in Walney.

Mrs Day’s and Mr Hammermann’s friendship was cut short, when he was sent to a POW camp in the United States. The pair were reunited 35 years later when Mr Hammermann unexpectedly turned up on Mrs Day’s doorstep.

Miss Kolbe said: “I’m proud and delighted for Annie, mainly.

“It relives her story and she is full of life and energy, even now at 101.”

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