Hartlepool set for Ridley Scott celebration marking milestone for his 1982 masterpiece Blade Runner

The Northern School of Art is backing celebrations of one of the greatest ever sci-fi films - directed by its most famous former student Ridley Scott.

Monday, 16th September 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th September 2019, 12:52 pm
Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard in the 1982 film Blade Runner.

The Teesside Cyberpunk Convention is holding a series of events to mark the importance of Hartlepool and other nearby towns to Scott when creating his 1982 masterpiece Blade Runner, which is set in 2019 and stars Harrison Ford.

A four-day marathon of screenings, outdoor cinema, speeches, talks, debates, workshops, markets and “dystopian music nights” take place across the area from November 7-10.

There will be an outdoor screening of Blade Runner at Wilton, the chemical plant that inspired the film’s opening sequence.

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Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard in the 1982 film Blade Runner.

A bike ride will be staged, from Scott’s old house to Hartlepool, re-enacting his first film, Boy and Bicycle, which will be given an outdoor screening. It was shot entirely in Hartlepool and Seaton Carew in 1962.

Guests at the event will include Joanna Cassidy, who played Zhora Salome in Blade Runner and Katy Haber, production executive on the film.

Debates and speeches will come from a range of academics, journalists and critics, including Dr Robin Bunce from Cambridge University and author of Blade Runner 2049, a book about the movie’s sequel.

The Teesside Cyberpunk Convention is being organised by arts organisation Static Trading.

Blade Runner director Ridley Scott studied at the Northern School of Art.

Convention director Paul Sullivan said: “I recorded Blade Runner on VHS in the mid-eighties when it was first screened on TV and it seeped into my own memories after being paused, rewound, studied and replayed on a seemingly endless nocturnal loop.

“As the fictional date of Blade Runner was becoming real, it was imperative that in November 2019 something had to be done.

“I have been visiting Teesside in order to develop the project and have been blown away by the hospitality and encouragement of the people of Teesside and everyone associated with the project.”

Pat Chapman, vice principal at Northern School of Art said: “It’s great that Paul and Static Trading have worked to develop this celebration of all things Blade Runner, and that the events in Hartlepool celebrate the talent and vision of both Sir Ridley and Tony Scott, both of whom studied here.”

Blade Runner star Joanna Cassidy will appear at the Cyberpunk Convention in November.

The programme for Teesside Cyberpunk Convention is available at www.cyberpunkconvention.com/

A still from Ridley Scott's first film, 1962's Boy and Bicycle, shot in Lynn Street in what was then West Hartlepool.