|Directed by||Nick Willing|
|Produced by||Michele Carmarda|
|Written by||Book Author:
|Music by||Simon Boswell|
|Edited by||Sean Barton|
|PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
The Arts Council of England
|Distributed by||Entertainment Film Distributors (UK)|
|Running time||104 min.|
In Switzerland in 1912, photographer Charles Castle (Toby Stephens) and Anna-Marie, his fiancèe, are married in an Alpine church. The following day, they are walking in the mountains when a snowstorm closes in. They are returning to the village when a crevasse opens and Anna-Marie falls into it. Charles tries to pull her out but he loses his grip and she dies. During the Great War, Castle serves as an army photographer in the trenches of France. He is photographing corpses with his assistant Roy (Phil Davis) when a mortar lands close by. Roy returns to the trenches but Castle seems unconcerned and continues photographing. He returns to the trenches just before the mortar explodes.
After the war, Castle and Roy run a photographic studio in London. Castle specialises in photographic trick work, including photomontage. He attends a lecture at the Theosophical Society, where Arthur Conan Doyle is examining a projected image of the Cottingley Fairies. Conan Doyle seems convinced they are genuine, but Castle stands, publicly debunks the image and hands out business cards to the audience.
At his studio, Castle is visited by Beatrice Templeton (Frances Barber), who shows him a photograph of her daughter. She is convinced that a mysterious shape is a fairy, but Castle dismissed the idea. However, he investigates the photograph, sees the shape laterally reflected in the girl's eye and makes multiple large prints to discover how the picture was made. Unable to explain or debunk the photograph, Castle hastily travels to see Beatrice in a village called Birkenwell, where upon arrival he sees and recognises Templeton's daughters, Ana (Miriam Grant) and Clara (Hannah Bould), and follows them to their home. Beatrice tells Castle that the photograph no longer matters – she has seen the fairies. She asks him to meet her at the great tree in Birkenwell Woods the following day.
At the appointed time, Castle walks to the great tree, where Beatrice is waiting. Before he arrives, she removes her hat and shoes then climbs the tree. When he arrives, Castle discovers Beatrice's removed clothing, then finds her lifeless body on the ground. After making a statement at the local police station, Castle encounters the Templeton girls, who are greeted by their father, a Christian minister.
- Toby Stephens as Charles Castle: a photographer.
- Rachel Shelley as Anna-Marie Castle: Fiancée of Charles
- Edward Hardwicke as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- Ben Kingsley as Nicholas Templeton: a Christian minister.
- Frances Barber as Beatrice Templeton: Wife of Nicholas.
- Miriam Grant as Ana Templeton: Daughter of Nicholas and Beatrice.
- Hannah Bould as Clara Templeton: Daughter of Nicholas and Beatrice.
- Emily Woof as Linda: Nanny of the Templeton household.
Time Out London said of Photographing Fairies "Aided by a fine cast (notably Kingsley as the girls' vicar father) and, appropriately, stunning photography by John de Borman, it's a fresh, rewarding film, intelligent and very beautiful."
"What if the next world is a place as real as Clacton-on-Sea?"
- Cottingley Fairies
- FairyTale: A True Story, another 1997 film also inspired by the Cottingley Fairies