Express & Star

Trailer released for Midlands-based film You Are My Sunshine

Movie fans have been given their first glimpse of a heartfelt and dramatic love story which was filmed in the West Midlands.

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Tom (Steve Salt) and Joe (Jack Knight) first meet in the 1970s

The trailer has been released for You Are My Sunshine which is set across two decades.

It was filmed at locations across the Black Country, including Walsall Leather Museum, the Manor Arms in Rushall and The Mindful Gifts shop in Darlaston.

Award-winning director David Hastings and producer Troy Dennison are behind the film, which stars Steve Salt, Jack Knight, Charlie Clark, Charles O'Neill, Ernest Vernon, Rosemary Manjunath, Jonathan Butler and Hellraiser's Simon Bamford.

It tells the affectionate story of the lifelong romance between Tom and Joe, from their first humble meeting in the 1970s, a world only just waking up to homosexuality, through to their heartbreaking final days, decades later.

Watch the trailer:

David said: "I wrote the film back in 2015, and didn't plan on ever directing it myself, but the more I thought about it, and in a world where hate-crimes have been unfortunately rising and the LGBTQ community are being persecuted evermore in particular countries such as Russia, I just felt more and more compelled to take up the challenge and surrounded myself with the most amazing cast and crew ever, who just put their hearts and souls into making the absolute best film we could.

"I hope the trailer shows this as a tantalising teaser, full of hope, conflict, but ultimately love.

"I cannot wait for people to see this cast in the film, because they were making us all well up behind the scenes in certain scenes.

Modern Day Joe (Charles O'Neill) and Tom (Ernest Vernon)

"Ultimately love is love, and this film, I hope demonstrates that more so than ever in these times," added David, a film lecturer at Walsall College.

"I cannot wait for people to see our film. It is a cumulation of so much hard work and effort on very little budget.

"But we have produced a film which people are already getting emotional at from watching the newly released trailer, so we really hope people will enjoy the final film when it's ready," added Troy.

The team, who began filming in 2018, are currently aiming for a later summer release.

The official poster for You Are My Sunshine

During a break between scenes at Walsall Leather Museum in 2018, Walsall-born Jack, who plays a young Joe, spoke about why he had been attracted to the role.

He said: "When we first see Joe, he's shy and reserved, a turtle inside his shell but Tom manages to coax him out of this and you see the real Joe.

"I think I could see part of Joe's upbringing that were in line with my own and I could relate to him questioning his identity because I've struggled with that too, that's what drew me to the role," he told the Express & Star.