Elstree 1976 To Get A UK Tour, iTunes And DVD Release

The feature-length documentary looking at the people behind the masks of the original Star Wars movie, Elstree 1976, is getting a UK tour, iTunes and DVD release!

Elstree 1976 Tour

Elstree 1976 is a feature-length documentary looking at the lives of the people behind the masks and beneath the helmets in the original Star Wars movie. The film is released in the UK on Itunes and special edition DVD by Soda Pictures on 14th November 2016.

Canal Cat Films’ independent cinema tour in support of the UK release commences on 6th November at the legendary Prince Charles Cinema in London and continues across the UK throughout November. All dates include a post- screening director and cast Q&A including Laurie Goode (the Stormtrooper who banged his head) and Anthony Forrest (These aren’t the droids we’re looking for Stormtrooper). The dates:

6th November, Prince Charles Cinema, London
10th November, Jill Craigie Cinema, Plymouth University
12th November, The Electric, Birmingham
19th November, NCC, County Durham
21st November, Chapter, Cardiff
23rd November The Lexi, London
24th November, JW3, London
26th November, The Ritz, Lincoln
30th November Ultimate Picture Palace, Oxford
8th December, The Commonweal School Performing Arts Academy, Swindon


Over the summer of 1976, a wide array of North American and British actors, along with an inexhaustible supply of film extras, donned crazy costumes and headgear to populate George Lucas’s universe. Few of them understood what the film even was, let alone the impact it would go on to have culturally on a global basis. Filmmaker Jon Spira has tracked a cross section of these people down and explored the bizarre community they have formed, to find out what it means to exist in the shadow of such a phenomenon.

Elstree 1976 is a Canal Cat Films Production, made in association with The Works, Verax Films and British Film Company. The film was made between 2012 and 2015. Post-Production was funded by a highly successful Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign. The film premiered at London Film Festival 2015 and was released on all platforms by Transmission Films in Australia/NZ and Film Rise in the USA 2016.

Director Jon Spira is a documentary filmmaker based in London, England. His first film ANYONE CAN PLAY GUITAR was named one of the top ‘music films you must see’ by the NME. His films tend to be about people who exist in the shadows of pop-culture success. Jon makes his feature documentaries in his spare time, whilst working as an in-house documentary filmmaker for the British Film Institute.



A thought-provoking exploration of the dawning of our current age, in which level of fame doesn’t necessarily match up with level of genuine accomplishment, and individuals can find themselves transformed by fast-moving fads and phenomena beyond their control. NEIL GENZLINGER, THE NEW YORK TIMES (Critics Pick)

“Elstree 1976” (named for the studio outside London and the year where much of “Star Wars” was filmed there) is a sweet, quietly funny, fascinating and contemplative study of 10 character actors and extras, none of whom had any idea back in the 1970s they’d forever be defined by the one or two days they spent on the set of a sci-fi movie featuring little-known stars and a space cowboy story. RICHARD ROEPER, CHICAGO SUNTIMES

A genial study of fleeting fame and its aftermath STEPHEN DALTON, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

it offers a slice of enjoyable nostalgia, capturing a sense of life as silly, surprising, regretful and all too fleeting. CHARLES GANT, SCREEN DAILY

As soon as I finished watching Jon Spira’s Elstree 1976 there was one question that just kept running through my mind – how come no one is talking about this documentary? Elstree 1976 is a look at Star Wars from an angle we’ve never seen before and to me that is a truly fascinating look.  CHRIS COFFEL, BLOODYDISGUSTING.NET

Part comedy, part tragedy, part anthropological study of the grungy side of moviemaking. NEIL GIORDANO, THE ARTS FUSE

Feature Running Time 97 Minutes BBFC Certificate 12

Brian Cameron
Brian is an obsessive collector of Star Wars books, comics, and magazines. With a collection extending into the tens of thousands, he is obsessed by variants, and the more obscure a publication the better! Brian was the Literature Editor for Jedi News, and was also host of the podcast Take Cover on the Jedi News Network until August 2017. Brian stepped down from Jedi News in August 2017 for personal reasons. At the end of October 2017 he was part of the team that launched Fantha Tracks.