The main role of ‘Odette’ at the film festival

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A LONG-TERM Wellington Film Festival is slated to take place later this year.

Wellington City Council’s downtown committee has been discussing holding a film festival for a few years, but everything has been put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But now it looks set to run from September 30 to October 2 with the Somerset Film organization providing a program of events.

The festival will include the film Odette, made in 1950, which will be screened at Odette’s tea room in High Street, Wellington.

The tea room was named after Odette Hallowes, an agent of the United Kingdom’s Special Operations Executive in France during World War II.

Odette lived in Whiteball, just outside Wellington, before the war, and her courageous actions in France saw her receiving the George Cross, an MBE, and the Legion of Honor, France’s highest honor for courage.

She was captured by the Germans in 1943, sentenced to death and sent to the Ravensbruck concentration camp to be executed, but unexpectedly she survived.

Odette was also known as Odette Churchill and Odette Sansom, and her name was Lise.

The film Odette stars Anna Neagle as Odette and Trevor Howard as Peter Churchill, the British agent she worked with and married after the war. Peter Ustinov plays their radio operator Alex Rabinovich.

Councilors have agreed to carry over £ 8,000 from the council’s current 2021-2022 budget to help fund the film festival.

A website for the film festival is available at www.wellingtonfilmfestival.org.uk and a schedule of events will be published at a later date.

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