A GROUP of Lancashire filmmakers are thrilled to bring the UK’s only rapping nana to the big screen at a film festival. 

The film, entitled 'Joy Uncensored - Retirement to Rap', features Salford school teacher turned hip-hop sensation Joy France, 63, as she makes her journey into the heart of the traditionally male dominated battle rap scene.

Director Natasha Hawthornthwaite, from Darwen, believes the film is about living life to the full and hope that it will inspire viewers, whatever their age, to be themselves and follow their ambitions.

'Joy Uncensored' had its premiere at the Hebden Bridge Film Festival on Thursday. 

Ms Hawthornthwaite said: “It’s been touch and go planning to hold the Joy Uncensored premiere during a national lockdown, but we’re just so pleased the world can finally meet Joy.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

The rapping pensioner made her name with a series of YouTube videos and has already featured on BBC Breakfast earlier this year and will be delivering a live Q&A session after the film’s premier.

The documentary came about thanks to work carried out by Lancashire-based Northern Heart Films.

Other films produced by the company include Freedom of the Moors, about the construction of Darwen Tower which will be screened by the Kendall Mountain Film Festival and Lazerian, The story behind the Weaver Bird which focuses on the creation of the sculpture that sits in the centre of Darwen Market.

However, Joy’s story captured the filmmakers’ imaginations like no other.

Northern Heart Films co-founder Scott Bradley, who went to Blackburn College with Natasha, said: “When we went to Coventry to film the final scene, Joy’s real-world rap battle with Blunt Ted, I had no idea what to expect.

“It was an incredibly surreal experience and I’m really looking forward to seeing how people respond to Joy’s performance.

“Her journey has been really inspiring, I honestly have never filmed anything quite like it!”

Lancashire Telegraph:

With Joy’s journey new brought to a wider public, the team at Northern Heart Films are now turning their attentions to a new project entitled ‘Finding ‘Appiness’ and are looking for editors who may be interested in working with them.

To find out more, go to: www.northernheartfilms.co.uk/editor.