St Albans Film Festival flooded with entries from young future filmmakers

13:27 28 January 2014

Hilary Greatorex has been visiting schools in Hertfordshire dressed at Alice Guy Blache, the first woman film director, to inspire children to explore filmmaking.

Hilary Greatorex has been visiting schools in Hertfordshire dressed at Alice Guy Blache, the first woman film director, to inspire children to explore filmmaking.


Tomorrow’s top filmmaking talent have already started piling in their entries to this years film festival, with topics ranging from drug abuse and mental health.

Sir John Lawes in Harpenden and Fleetville in St Albans are just two schools whose pupils are now in the running for the Young Student Film category, in addition to a number of individual entries from local young filmmakers.

Hilary Greatorex, the festival’s schools’ coordinator and a local actress, said: “Last year, we had 60 entrants for the Young Student Film, which included applicants from Canada and the US.

“The winner was 12-year-old Oscar Simmons, who is a pupil at Beaumont School. His short film ‘Dog’ was about a lonely old lady who befriends a toy dog.

“He went on to become the overall winner of last year’s BFI Kids for Kids Award at the National Film Theatre in London for another film, ‘A Spark’, which he wrote, filmed and directed.

“We were incredibly lucky to find such a talent on our doorstep. He’s hoping to make film making his career, so he’s well on his way. We want his story to inspire other young filmmakers like Oscar to enter - especially those from the local area.”

Schoolchildren have until March 1 to enter as a class or as a group from a club they attend or on their own. Those with films shortlisted will be in the running for a cash prize and will also get to see their film screened at the festival, score a ticket to the red-carpet awards ceremony and win a trip to Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour London.

Hilary has spent time presenting assemblies to a number of schools in the district to inspire children to explore filmmaking: “Films are a great way to tell stories. This competition encourages young people to use their phones, tablets and cameras in a really creative way.

“Last year, we were amazed at how inventive and imaginative the entries were. It was brilliant to see the pride on the faces of the selected film makers as they watched their films screened at the Festival. I can’t wait to see what they come up with this year.”

Entrants must me aged between five and 15 and the film must be edited and be no longer than 20 minutes. The entry fee is £10, which can be paid via Paypal, by cheque payable to St Albans Film Festival Ltd, or by debit or credit card by calling 079583089609.

For more details on how to enter your film and information about filmmaking workshops visit the film festival’s website:


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