Following decisions by the House of Commons Administration Select Committee and the House of Commons Commission to allow appropriate commercial filming on the Estate when the House is not sitting, Suffragette is the first commercial filming proposal to be taken forward, and will serve as a pilot for any future proposals. Commercial filming aims to generate income to offset the running costs of the House of Commons. All commercial filming proposals will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Suffragette is directed by Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane) and based on a script by Abi Morgan (Brick Lane, The Iron Lady). Carey Mulligan stars alongside Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson, Anne-Marie Duff and Meryl Streep. The film is produced by Ruby Film & Television for Pathé, FilmFour and the BFI in association with Redgill Productions and with the participation of Canal+ and Cine-Cinema.
Sir Alan Haselhurst MP, Chair of the House of Commons Administration Committee, said:
“The Committee is pleased to open the House for the filming of Suffragette as it will help to bring an important period of our country's history to a wider audience. As a British film which clearly relates to Parliament’s history and heritage, this is an ideal pilot for the House of Commons to identify the opportunities for location filming and income generation. We hope the film will engage the public with Parliament’s history and heritage, and will offer a new way to bring our iconic buildings to a wider audience.”
Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said:
"London is one of the most popular filming destinations in the world and the production industries are a vital driver for our economy and support thousands of jobs. Opening up such an iconic location as the House of Commons for filming is fantastic news. This unique location promises to attract more production to the capital, and by working with the industry and our partners, we will help ensure it can get the most out of filming, while protecting the integrity of this very special building. And I look forward to seeing it on screen in the star studded Suffragette, which will be a fantastic showcase of British talent, behind and in front of the camera, and this very special new location."
Sarah Gavron, director of Suffragette, said:
"Our film is inspired by the true stories of the foot soldiers of the Suffragette movement, women who were willing to sacrifice everything in their fight for the right to vote. We are honoured to be allowed to recreate a crucial moment in that long journey towards equality by filming where the Suffragettes actually brought their protest over 100 years ago."
Image: Emmeline Pankhurst, chalk drawing by John H.F. Bacon, c.1908, WOA 5438 www.parliament.uk/art