Tyne Tunnel film Dick Lorent proves a big hit around the world

A quirky film shot under the River Tyne proved a hit with passengers on a boat on the Amazon. The film Dick Lorent, made in 2011 in the Tyne pedestrian and cyclist tunnels, has now been seen around the world

A scene from the film Dick Lorent, which was shot in the Tyne pedestrian tunnel

It's the highly unlikely tale of two rivers, which are thousands of miles apart.

But a quirky film shot under the Tyne proved a hit with passengers on a boat on the Amazon.

The film Dick Lorent, made in 2011 in the Tyne pedestrian and cyclist tunnels, has now been seen around the world.

It has been shown everywhere from the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh to passengers on a late night bus in Peru.

It has also been shown at film festivals in France and the UK, as well as in Thailand.

Dick Lorent is a psychological thriller made by London-based filmmakers Nico and Yan Martin of 51-Prod entirely in the cyclist tunnel in 2011.

Nico said: “My brother Yan and I took the opportunity of our nine-month trip around the world to show Dick Lorent in various places and various countries as we have French and Spanish subtitled versions.

“In Phnom Penh we screened the film in a proper cinema, at the French Institute and a group of young Khmer students attended the screening.

“But the most scenic screening took place on an old boat on the Amazon stopping by day and night at all the smallest villages.

“That took three nights and two days to go from Santa Rosa to Iquitos in Peru.

“People slept in hammocks on the deck and that is where they watched Dick Lorent as we showed the film at night time.”

Paul Fenwick, project director for the tunnels’ owner, the Tyne & Wear Integrated Transport Authority, said: “It’s fascinating to hear that the tunnels are appearing around the globe to different kinds of audiences in many countries.

“I can’t imagine what passengers on the night bus between Arequipa and Cuzco thought about the setting for the film and I’m not expecting an influx of Peruvian tourists to Tyneside as a result, but it is a cause of pride to everyone involved with the tunnels to know that they have travelled, through the medium of film, to distant lands.”

The film, which had its premiere in London last year, was shot entirely in the tunnels in overnight sessions during January.

The script, based on a true story, called for a tunnel setting and the brothers scouted locations in London.

”But places like the Greenwich tunnel were too white and when we came across the Tyne tunnels on the web they seemed exactly what we were looking for,” said Nico.

“We travelled to Tyneside to take a look and we loved them. The tunnels are beautiful and their cream and green colours add so much.

“Although the shoot was challenging, it was an amazing location.

“We are so grateful to the Tyne & Wear Integrated Transport Authority for giving us permission to make our film.”

Mr Fenwick said: “The tunnels are unique and provide an interesting setting for photographers and film-makers. We were delighted to allow Nico and Yan to film in the tunnels.”

The tunnels, which run between Jarrow and Howden, were opened in July, 1951, and are now listed.

They are currently closed for refurbishment and are due re-open in August next year.

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