Cast and film crew from across the world descended on Cornwall recently to shoot the darkly psychological coming-of-age drama Summer in the Shade at locations including Trebah Garden and Kynance Cove.

New York based film-maker Alice Millar has used her own childhood holidays in Cornwall as the loose inspiration for a tale of sunny innocence and sinister undertones. Although not a direct autobiography, the film is set at her mother’s magical holiday cottage near Constantine, and tells the story of two young friends poised between childhood and adulthood.

“I have wanted to make a film set in this location for the last 15 years,” said Alice. “I have a unique understanding of the location: the house, the garden, the forest that comes with the property have been a fixture of my life as I developed.”

Summer in the Shade is set in the 1990s, which is when Alice and her London school-friend, the film’s writer Isobel Boyce, were spending long summer holidays together in Cornwall.

The protagonists are the troubled Grace, played by Niamh Walter, who comes on holiday with carefree Asta, Nyobi Hendry, and her bohemian mother Kate, Rebecca Palmer. When the girls discover a homeless man sleeping in the fort they have built in the forest their imaginations, and the dynamics of their world, make a dramatic shift.

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