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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 February 2008, 06:50 GMT
Town hopes to land Earhart role
Hilary Swank (left) and Amelia Earhart
According to reports Hilary Swank will play Amelia Earhart
A harbour town hopes to land a starring role in a new Hollywood film about the first woman to fly the Atlantic.

Double Oscar winner Hilary Swank will reportedly play legendary aviator Amelia Earhart in the biopic.

In 1928 she touched down in Burry Port in Carmarthenshire after a 21-hour flight from Newfoundland.

Earhart enthusiast and local councillor Les George said he was sure filmmakers "would be welcomed with open arms" if they chose to shoot in the town.

Hollywood trade paper Variety says Swank, who won best actress Oscars for 2004's Million Dollar Baby, directed by Clint Eastwood, and 1999's Boys Don't Cry, will play Earhart in the formative stages of her career.

The film, Amelia, which according to the paper will get off the ground in April, is being directed by Mira Nair and produced by Avalon Pictures.

Mr George said: "I would be delighted to see a film because it's a lovely story and it would be a wonderful thing for Burry Port.

The Friendship in Burry Port harbour
They thought they were flying up the English Channel when in fact hey were on the Loughor Estuary
Les George

"We are very very proud of the fact she landed here and if they were to film here I'm sure they would be welcomed with open arms."

Earhart, pilot Wilbur Stultz and mechanic Louis Gordon were greeted as heroes after their sea plane, the Friendship, touched down on 18 June, 1928.

But Mr George said it came as a surprise to them as their intended destination was Southampton.

"Although it was a long summer night there was a lot of low cloud. They thought they were flying up the English Channel when in fact they were on the Loughor estuary. They had one hell of a shock."

News of the flight was reported around the world, with journalists sent from London to the small town.

"People came from everywhere. She stayed the night in the Ashburnham Hotel and then carried on to Southampton the following day," he added.

But Mr George said it was not the first time there had been talk of making a Hollywood film about the flight.

"Going back some time ago a lady came to see me because Annette Bening and her husband Warren Beatty were thinking of filming the story."

He said while the harbour where the plane was moored had been developed there was a nearby dock that still looked as it did 80 years ago.

"I'm sure they could make it look as it did back then, and I'm sure there would be no shortage of people willing to turn out dressed as they did in the 1920s as extras."

Carmarthenshire Council said it would be more than happy to help accommodate filming.

Executive board member Clive Scourfield said: "It would be fabulous if her association with the town is marked in the proposed film because it made world-wide history.

"The council would be delighted to help even if it meant allowing part of the inner dock or sections of the harbour to be used in the re-enactment of that historic day."

SEE ALSO
Town celebrates aviator link
18 Jun 03 |  South West Wales
In Pictures: Amelia Earhart
18 Jun 03 |  Photo Gallery
Swank's second shot at glory
28 Feb 05 |  Entertainment
Mira Nair - it's just not Bollywood
15 Jun 05 |  South Asia

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