An award-winning independent feature film shot in Darlington and Bishop Auckland is now available on Amazon Prime.

Give Them Wings was filmed in various locations across Darlington and County Durham in 2019, and since then has gained national and international recognition.

Give Them Wings is written by Paul Hodgson and produced by GTW Productions Ltd and directed by Sean Cronin.

Phoenix Worldwide, the sales agent to the film, has closed deals for Latin America (Distributer Encripta), Scandinavia, Australia/New Zealand (Distributer Bulldog) and North America (Distributer Stadium Media).

The Northern Echo: Toyah Willcox in Give Them Wings. Picture: Give Them Wings LtdToyah Willcox in Give Them Wings. Picture: Give Them Wings Ltd (Image: Give Them Wings Ltd)

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The film celebrates the life of disabled Darlington F.C. fan Paul Hodgson based on an adaptation of his bestselling autobiography Flipper’s Side that came out in 2000.

Although Paul expected the film to be well received, he has been overwhelmed by the response and support of people from far and wide.

The film was screened at Darlington’s Vue Cinema in July 2022, and then again at The Hullabaloo in February 2023, and both were extremely well-attended.

The film was directed by Sean Cronin and is based Paul’s life, with an emphasis on coping with life after contracting meningitis at just ten-months-old, and how football brough joy into his life.

The Northern Echo: Bill Fellows in Give Them Wings. Picture: Give Them Wings LtdBill Fellows in Give Them Wings. Picture: Give Them Wings Ltd (Image: Give Them Wings Ltd)

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The film centres on Paul’s life and stars Washington-born Daniel Watson as Paul, music legend Toyah Willcox as Alice, Coronation Street star Bill Fellows as Norman, and Jacob Anderson as Ian.

The independent feature focuses on 1989, a significant period in Paul’s life on adversity and self-acceptance.

Filming locations in Darlington included the bar and grounds of Darlington Football Club and The Foresters Arms in Coatham Mundeville.

Various interior scenes were shot in Bishop Auckland as Paul wanted the film to be as authentic as possible and to have the ‘feel’ of Darlington and its surrounding areas.

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Interior scenes of the family’s home were shot at a house in Bishop Auckland that had not been redecorated since the 1980s.

Paul Hodgson wrote the book and film inspired by his own life and said that watching it back for the first time was both “eerie” and “a bit odd”, however, he was delighted with how the film turned out.