The hugely anticipated cinematic adaptation of Vera Brittain’s iconic and powerful WW1 memoir, Testament Of Youth was released at cinemas nationwide on Friday 16 January 2015. The production filmed extensively in Yorkshire in spring 2014, following investment from Screen Yorkshire’s Yorkshire Content Fund. From award-winning television director James Kent, Testament of Youth stars Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Dominic West and Emily Watson.
Award-winning writer Juliette Towhidi adapted the screenplay from Brittain’s searing story of love and war, which was first published in 1933. In Towhidi’s script Vera, irrepressible, intelligent and free-minded, overcomes the prejudices of her family and hometown to win a scholarship to Oxford. With everything to live for, she falls in love with her brother’s brilliant friend Roland Leighton as they go to University to pursue their literary dreams. But the First World War is looming and as the boys leave for the front Vera realises she cannot sit idly by as her peers fight for their country, so volunteers as a nurse and sets off for France.
The all star cast includes Alicia Vikander (A Royal Affair, Anna Karenina), Kit Harington, (Pompeii, Game Of Thrones), Taron Egerton (The Secret Service, Inspector Lewis), Colin Morgan (Merlin, Doctor Who), Dominic West (300, The Wire), Emily Watson (The Book Thief, War Horse), Joanna Scanlan (The Invisible Woman, Death Comes To Pemberley), Hayley Atwell (Cinderella, Restless), Jonathan Bailey (Broadchurch, Leonardo), Alexandra Roach (Utopia, The Iron Lady) and Anna Chancellor (Fleming, The Hour).
Locations included Brodsworth Hall in Doncaster, Sheffield Town Hall, Sum Studios, Leeds City Varieties, Little Germany Bradford, Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, Leeds Art Gallery & Leeds City Library, Robin Hoods Bay, Cloughton Wyke, Whinbrow, Goathland area, and the Old Terry’s Chocolate Factory in York. The production also filmed scenes in Oxford, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and London.
Testament Of Youth is directed by James Kent (The Thirteenth Tale, The White Queen) and produced by David Heyman (Gravity, Paddington) and Rosie Alison (Paddington, The Thirteenth Tale) for Heyday Films. The co-producer is Celia Duval (Turks & Caicos, Salting The Batttlefield).
The Executive Producers are Christine Langan (Philomena, Saving Mr. Banks) and Joe Oppenheimer (Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Broken) for BBC Films; Richard Mansell (Tiger House, Only Lovers Left Alive); Zygi Kamasa (The Railway Man, Salmon Fishing In The Yeman) for Lionsgate UK and Hugo Heppell (’71, Peaky Blinders) for Screen Yorkshire. Natascha Wharton is the lead executive for the BFI Film Fund.
Testament of Youth is financed by BBC Films, Screen Yorkshire’s Yorkshire Content Fund, BFI, Ingenious, Nordisk Film Production and LipSync. Protagonist Pictures is handling international sales and Lionsgate UK is distributing in the UK and Australia. Creative England supported the production by sourcing locations, crew and filming permissions.
The Hollywood Reporter: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/testament-youth-london-review-740740