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Film students are given red carpet treatment
THEY have been working hard putting together four films over the school holidays. And on Monday, the budding actors were treated like movie stars for the day at the Hollywood-style premiere to show off their creativity. The 39 youngsters, aged seven to 18, created the short films at workshop run by drama school Youngstar which holds weekly lessons in Oxford, Abingdon, Wantage and Kidlington. The five to 10 minute films were the culmination of a term’s work at classes in Oxford and Abingdon and they were shown at Oxford’s Phoenix Picturehouse in Walton Street on Monday. Youngstar Oxford manager Angela John said: “They were excellent.
“It was lovely to see how much their confidence had grown, it was brilliant seeing their faces all lit up with themselves on the screen.”
The course aims to teach youngsters a “natural” poise suited for modern television, she said.
She added: “It gives them a lot more confidence for future life skills, whether they want to be an actor or to give them more confidence with public speaking.”
The films were Lurking in the Shadows, a mystery about pupils locked in a school disco and The Visitors, about a drama class which discovers a group of mysterious children.
A Long Way Home is about a group of friends investigating a ghostly mystery while The Dwellers shows a group of youngsters discovering a hidden civilisation in a forest. Among them was East Oxford Cheney School pupil Beri Simmons, 12, who counts American actress Selena Gomez as among her favourite stars. The Dwellers actress: “It was really fun, I like that we got to help make it, we directed some of the lines and I liked making it with people who are my friends.”
Mum Elise Benjamin – a Green Party councillor for Iffley Fields on Oxford City Council – said: “I was very proud of her. We are all film buffs, she has grown up with it.”
Co-star and action movie fan Jack Turner, 13, added: “It was really fun, it was a very good learning experience.”
The d’Overbroeck’s College pupil said: “Acting is one of my options that I want to do when I’m older.”
Oxford Academy’s Alicia Campbell, 13, said she enjoyed “being a different person” when she took part in filming for The Dwellers.
The East Oxford youngster said: “We worked so hard for it and it paid off.”