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Friday, 7 April, 2000, 15:37 GMT 16:37 UK
Miracle Maker proving a hit
Miracle Maker
The Miracle Maker is doing well at the box office
Figures just out reveal the Welsh-made animation film 'The Miracle Maker' has raked in 300,000 in its first week.

The film, which tells the story of Christ, is the product of a Welsh/Russian venture commissioned by the Welsh-language television channel S4C.

It is currently showing on 100 screens across the UK, and is hovering just outside the UK Movie chart's top 10 - in 11th place.

Four years and $10m

Chris Grace, Animation Chief at S4C, welcomed the movie's perfomance at the box office, which has taken 100,000 more than forecast.

The film was jointly funded by S4C, British Screen and the BBC.

It took four years and $10m to make using award-winning crews in Wales and Moscow.
Miracle Maker
An American company has bought the film

Stars providing voices in the story include Rebecca Callard (as a sick young girl Tamar), William Hurt (her Pharisee father, Jairus), Julie Christie (her mother) and Ralph Fiennes as the voice of Jesus.

The 90-minute film was an epic undertaking since the animation was created by filming 24 frames for each second of finished film.

The Miracle Maker is said to take the techniques of animation design to new heights with a mix of model, drawn and computer animation.

Computer special effects

In a unique collaboration, the drawn (2-D) animation was done at Cartwn Cymru in Wales and the model (3-D) animation was done at Christmas Films in Moscow.

The world of First Century Palestine - the stone houses and grand temples, the fishing boats, the clothes and customs, even the plants - were extensively researched and are authentically recreated in the models and animation.

Computer special effects were used to combine sequences and add water, fire, clouds and rain.

The film has also become the first British feature in nearly 20 years to be bought up by a US Network.

American network ABC plans to air the movie on Easter Sunday.

In association with BBC Education, curriculum-based material from the film is being developed to help teachers in Junior and Secondary schools in the UK.

Printed books and material will be available for purchase. Videos are being released in the UK in the Autumn.

Solomon and Gaenor star Ioan Gruffudd will provide the voice of Jesus in the Welsh language version.

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See also:

01 Sep 99 | Entertainment
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17 Mar 00 | Oscars 2000
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