Feature Film Biopic on the life and times of Mary Anning,
founder of palaeontology
Based on her true story, the feature film biopic follows the life of the pioneering palaeontologist Mary Anning - an 1800s Jurassic Coast fossil hunter - navigating her career and research in a patriarchal society, at a time when women's research was unrecognised or plagiarised by male peers.
To this date, Mary is predominantly unknown - despite her spectacular finds including Ichthyosauri, a Plesiosaurus and Pterodactylus and the fact that Darwin's 'On the Origin of Species' was highly influenced by her spectacular discoveries and research.
Our quest in producing the film biopic is to bring Mary Anning's work, life and plight to light, gaining the recognition she truly deserves, for her contribution to science, geology and palaeontology and for her to be renowned globally as the most influential and celebrated palaeontologist of all time.
Her story was inspired during my visits to Lyme Regis to fossil as a child, the Philpot Museum in Lyme, plus the Natural History Museum.
As a keen fossiler, I began researching and writing her story around the year 2000. My daughter was an infant at the time and we were on a fossiling expedition in Charmouth, Dorset. She was on a cliff wearing a dress, fossiling - and I said 'Whoever fossils in a dress' to which she replied 'Mary Anning!'
We found the most beautiful iron pyrites ammonite that day - the first of a myriad of finds.
Katharine is now playing Mary in this production. She recently gained a 1st Degree in Earth and Ocean Science at the University of Brighton.
The film features Jenny Agutter - 'The Avengers', 'Call the Midwife', 'Walkabout', 'Golden Brown', 'Logan's Run', 'Burke & Hare', 'Outside Bet', 'Queen of the Desert'(with Nicole Kidman) and Jonathan Moore of 'Two Graves', 'City of Vice', 'My Beautiful Laundrette'. Katy Hamilton plays the younger Mary in the first part of the film.
The film was shot on real Super 16mm Kodak film stock using Arriflex and Panavision Cameras, on location in Dorset and on set in Cornwall.
The first of this two-part epic begins with Mary's childhood, leading up to her spectacular discovery of the complete Ichthyosaur - a Jurassic Marine Reptile. The second part being the story of her adulthood and her magnificent discoveries of the Plesiosaur and the Pterodactyl.
Having just completed the film, it is due for release in 2024, for the first Gala Screening and film festivals.
Sharon Sheehan, Director - January 2024