York features in a new Christmas film for the second year running – this time on Netflix.
Father Christmas Is Back is one of Netflix’s new additions to its festive repertoire, and its locations include York and venues in North and East Yorkshire.
The film is directed by Phillipe Martinez and Mick Davis and produced by York-based production company MSR Media.
It’s two times the charm for York as Davis also directed My Dad’s Christmas Date, another Christmas film set in the city that arrived on Amazon Prime last year.
Father Christmas Is Back has a star-studded cast that includes Kelsey Grammer, John Cleese, Elizabeth Hurley and Kris Marshall.
The comedy centres around the four sisters of the Christmas family who have reunited for the holiday. But it’s a holiday that’s haunted by memories as their father (Kelsey Grammer) left them on Christmas day.
Now he’s back and long-buried secrets must come to light…
A lot of the filming took place at Highfield Grange Studios in Bubwith near Selby, while a number of Yorkshire venue’s were locations for the movie.
And the whole cast and crew relocated to York and were living in a bubble for the duration of the shoot, according to a report by Sky News last year.
Filming wrapped in September 2020 – with stringent Covid-19 safety measures in place throughout.
Beautiful but brief
York’s moment in the film is beautiful but brief – an idyllic view of the River Ouse.
This sole shot is repeated twice during the film, and it’s definitely a blink and you’ll miss it moment!
But there’s plenty more stunning Yorkshire locations to enjoy.
Birdsall House, Malton
Birdsall House is a Grade II* listed building and historic house near Malton that is a popular wedding venue – and unique filming location!
In Father Christmas Is Back the house is transformed into ‘Dunnock Manor’ – the Christmas-Hope family home, and where the rest of the family come to spend the holiday.
Unsurprisingly, it features as a backdrop for many of the family dramas that unfold, including the more emotional moments.
The inside of Birdsall House is stunning – especially as it’s all decorated for Christmas. Who wouldn’t want to cosy up on one of those sofas in front of the fire?
Birdsall House posted on Facebook that they “can’t wait to watch.”
They also said that it was “an amazing project to be a part of, especially at a moment when the rest of life stopped turning.”
The Plough Inn, Allerthorpe
Also featured is country pub The Plough Inn in Allerthorpe, a village near Pocklington.
When Vicky (Talulah Riley) escapes her family in a stolen Rolls Royce, she heads straight to the local pub – a decision I’m sure many of us would make.
Unfortunately, the pub was only used as a location for outside shots. All scenes inside ‘The Plough’ were filmed elsewhere, most likely in a studio.
The lovely market town Howden in East Yorkshire is seen looking very festive. With a twinkling tree and Christmas lights – it’s the picture of seasonal joy.
One scene sees Caroline (Nathalie Cox) walk out of Atkinsons Bakery, which specially decorated their display windows for the shoot.
We don’t get to see what delicious delicacies Caroline might have bought but I bet they were good…
The film itself isn’t quite the laugh-out-loud caper you might expect it to be, but with lots of familiar faces in the cast and some fantastic Yorkshire locations it’s worth a watch.
Father Christmas Is Back can be streamed now on Netflix.