Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Regan Hall|
|Produced by||Damian Jones|
|Written by||Jay Basu
|Music by||Richard Canavan|
|Edited by||Lewis Albrow|
Fast Girls is a 2011 British drama film directed by Regan Hall and written by Jay Basu, Noel Clarke and Roy Williams. It stars Lenora Crichlow, Lily James, Bradley James, Noel Clarke and Rupert Graves. The film follows the story of two women as they become professional sprinters and join the British relay team for a World Championship event. The film was launched at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011, before having its world premiere in London on 7 June 2012. The film was released on 15 June in the United Kingdom.
Athlete Shania Andrews (Lenora Crichlow) competes against Lisa Temple (Lily James) at a local level, and have an ongoing rivalry as they work their way into the British 4×100 metres relay team and compete in the World Championships.
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Casting was conducted in Regent's Park in London, where producer Damian Jones and first time movie director Regan Hall chose the four actresses who would become the 4×100 metre relay team in the film. The aim was to find actresses who would be believable on screen as athletes. The athletic extras in the film are from athletic clubs in London, Edinburgh and Loughborough.
- Lenora Crichlow as Shania Andrews; Crichlow had previously been best known for her main role in the BBC Three television series Being Human.
- Lily James as Lisa Temple; James wasn't able to participate in the audition in Regent's Park, but instead made a video recording of herself running for the casting.
- Bradley James as Carl
- Noel Clarke as Tommy
- Rupert Graves as David Temple
- Lashana Lynch as Belle
- Jake Pennington as Leo Temple
- Phil Davis as Brian
- Lorraine Burroughs as Trix
- Tiana Benjamin as Tara
- Dominique Tipper as Sarah. Tipper had previously appeared in 2008's Adulthood, which was also written by and starring Noel Clarke.
- Hannah Frankson as Rachel
- Jonathan Illori as Usain Bolt
It had originally been intended to base the athletics competition in the film on the 2012 Summer Olympics. However, due to its tight legal restrictions the use of Olympic trademarks, the International Olympic Committee disallowed any reference to the Olympic Games in the film, and the script had to be re-written to make the competition a fictional one. Co-writer Noel Clarke took inspiration from Rocky, saying that if you made a film about any sport you'd want it to be the equivalent of what Rocky was to boxing. He also noted that the movie was deliberately designed to be released just before the Olympics, as a feel-good film in which Britain did really well.
The actresses portraying athletes completed six weeks of intensive training at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre prior to the beginning of the shooting phase of the film, being trained by sprinters Jeanette Kwakye and Shani Anderson. The training sessions involved up to a thousand sit-ups each day, six days a week.
On the first day of shooting, Lenora Crichlow was diagnosed with stress fractures in her ankles which she attributed to running on track spikes without proper training. Body doubles were employed along with the use of certain camera angles to reduce the need to show Lenora running. By the time the film completed filming, she was keeping her feet on ice most of the time. Special flooring was laid during re-shoots in February 2012 in order to allow her to run more comfortably. Crichlow was pleased that the film features a staple feature of sports movies; a training montage.
The GB Qualifiers scene was filmed in Queen Elizabeth II track, Enfield. The Championships in Barcelona were filmed inside Lea Valley Athletic Centre, also in Enfield. The derelict track where Lenora's character trains is filmed in Feltham, West London.
Promotion and release
The film was launched at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011 as Hall's first full-length feature. Members of the film's cast were promoting the film at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival in order to secure an international distributor for the movie, with the rights pre-acquired for the UK distribution by StudioCanal UK at the time of the film's launch.
The premiere of the film took place in London's Leicester Square a few weeks ahead of the 2012 Summer Olympics, also to be held in London. The red carpet was not traditionally plain, but instead had track markings on it to simulate an athletics track. Guests attending the premiere included British athlete Dame Kelly Holmes. It went on general release in the UK on 15 June 2012.
Leslie Felperin reviewed the film for Variety when it aired at Cannes. She felt that the portrait of the environments in the film felt credible and while the film was also technically solid, it was quite obvious when stand in athletes were used in long shots. Simon Reynolds saw the film for Digital Spy, saying that while it was entertaining, it was also cheesy and won't be considered a classic in the future. He gave the film three out of five stars. Mark Adams gave the film four out of five stars for the Daily Mirror, saying that it was an uplifting bit of pre-Olympics entertainment.
|14th Pyongyang International Film Festival||Best Photography||Won|
- Felperin, Leslie (22 May 2012). "Fast Girls". Variety. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- Thorpe, Vanessa (27 May 2012). "Fast Girls: how the Olympics dream inspired 'the new Chariots of Fire'". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- Bayley, Leanne (1 June 2012). "10 minutes with Lily James". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- McCormack, Kirsty (8 June 2012). "Where's your fellow Sugababes? Jade Ewen attends film premiere alone while Dominique Tipper arrives wearing a very low-cut dress". Daily Mail. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- "Noel Clarke's anger over Fast Girls". Yahoo Movies. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- Reynolds, Simon; Mansell, Tom (2 May 2012). "Exclusive: 'Fast Girls' preview: On set with Noel Clarke, Lenora Crichlow". Digital Spy. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
- Shoard, Catherine (22 May 2012). "Fast Girls: the Cannes sprint". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- Wilde, Jon (9 June 2012). "Run fast girls run: The stars of the British athletics film reveal their gruelling training regime". Daily Mail. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- Kemp, Stuart (9 August 2011). "Toronto 2011: Commercials Director Regan Hall to Make Big Screen Debut With 'Fast Girls'". Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 15 January 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- "Fast Girls on track at premiere". The Press Association. 8 June 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- Reynolds, Simon (9 June 2012). "'Fast Girls' review: 'Being Human's Lenora Crichlow runs for Team GB". Digital Spy. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- Adams, Mark (10 June 2012). "Fast Girls: Brit flick is a real winner". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 12 June 2012.