Memories of When Hollywood Came to Blaenavon
by Tom Moody | South Wales Argus | June 8, 2021
Picture: Katrina Maving
Viewers from Blaenavon might just recognise some local landmarks, or even themselves.
Dream Horse follows Jan Vokes, from Cefn Fforest, who brought together a syndicate of local people to breed a foal, named Dream Alliance, raising him on an allotment and going on to win the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow Racecourse in 2009.
Filming took place in Blaenavon in May 2019, with many residents taking up the call to appear as extras in the film.
Following the release of the film, a number of residents have shared their memories of being involved in the production. Here are just a few.
Ben Symons with Dream Horse star Owen Teale. Picture: Ben Symons
Chloe Whiting and her partner Jonathan Morgan appeared in the film as extras, and Mr. Morgan’s land also doubled as the allotment where Jan kept Dream Alliance.
Jonathan Morgan and Chloe Whiting with Dream Horse star Owen Teale. Picture: Chloe Whiting
“I was an extra, playing one of Jan and Brian’s nosey neighbours, and my partner was the postman,” said Ms. Whiting.
“We were also approached about a year and a half before the filming to approve filming on my partner’s land. They used it as the allotment area where Jan kept the horse, Dream Alliance.
Jonathan Morgan’s land being transformed into the allotment where Jan Vokes kept Dream Alliance. Picture: Chloe Whiting
“It took them three weeks to transform it into the allotments and stable.
“We had a lot of the big stars on our land filming, including Toni Collette, Damian Lewis and Owen Teale.
Filming of a crowded street in Blaenavon for Dream Horse. Picture: Ben Symons
“It was an amazing experience to be a part of, both as an extra and using our property. The amount of people it takes to produce these films is astonishing.”
Katrina Maving with Toni Collette, who plays Jan Vokes in Dream Horse. Picture: Katrina Maving
Katrina Maving said it was incredible to be involved in the film, and added it had helped her develop a career in acting.
She said: “It was absolutely amazing to be part of it.”
Katrina Maving with Joanna Page during the filming of Dream Horse. Picture: Katrina Maving
“It really did change my life. From Dream Horse I have gained a new career in acting and from filming to watching the movie at the premier screening it was really emotional.”
“It’s such a breath-taking warm-hearted movie and with all the community being involved it really was incredible.”
Tanya Blatchford with Dream Horse star Damian Lewis. Picture: Tanya Blatchford
Tanya Blatchford said: “The experience was fantastic. We got to have make-up and were well looked after.”
“I got to see the film last night and it was fantastic. I was in it about 14 times throughout the film. It’s fab how it all came together in the end.”
Ben Symons with Dream Horse star Toni Collette. Picture: Ben Symons
And Carol Symons said she loved watching the film, where her son Ben was an extra during filming.
Read the rest of the original article at South Wales Argus here
More photos of filming in Blaenavon in our Gallery here
More photos of behind the scenes photos and Film Festival photos in our Gallery here
More photostills of the movie in our Gallery here