Hampstead love story in line for Cannes award

A FILM depicting a love story rooted in Hampstead is shortlisted for the top prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. Bright Star, directed by Oscar winner Jane Campion, premiered at the French festival on Thursday. The film tells the story of poet John Ke

A FILM depicting a love story rooted in Hampstead is shortlisted for the top prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.

Bright Star, directed by Oscar winner Jane Campion, premiered at the French festival on Thursday.

The film tells the story of poet John Keats' romance with neighbour Fanny Brawne and stars Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish.

But controversially, Campion shunned filming in Keats House or Hampstead because it was deemed too "fusty".

Instead the New Zealand-born director decided on a reimagining of the setting in a property on the Hyde House estate near Luton.

Speaking at Cannes last week, Campion told reporters: "We did look at Keats House but museums have a way of being a little bit fusty and not retaining their atmosphere because they keep them up so well," she explained ahead of the world premiere of the film at the Cannes Film Festival.

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"They were terribly sweet and did offer, but it presented all sorts of challenges which we thought imsurmountable."

Bright Star faces tough competition to win the prestigious Palme D'Or award. Quentin Tarantino's new film Inglourious Bastards starring Brad Pitt and the acclaimed Fish Tank, are both in the running. Ken Loach's Looking for Eric starring Eric Cantana and Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock are also contenders.

The winner will be announced later this week.