Pupils make movies for Crouch End school’s first ever film festival

A school is holding its first ever film festival featuring movies created by its own pupils - as part of its vision to inspire young people to choose careers in film-making.

Highgate Wood School, in Montenotte Road, Crouch End, will be showing a selection of films comprising animation, action, ghost stories and comedy, created by 30 students aged 11-18.

Some of the students have been making films as part of their art, media or photography courses, but others are doing it for fun.

Pupil Kika Adamou, 16, who acted in a film called Gertie, said: “I really enjoyed it. I’ve always been interested in acting so it was a great experience. It’s a kind of ghost story but it’s also quite funny and there’s a moral to the story.”

Matthew Astrop, head of art, explained that the project was about giving pupils confidence in their creative abilities.

“Film-making is something which kids sometimes think is too much for them, but that’s partly because so much of our film culture comes from America,” he said.

“Our project is about bringing film back to England, and celebrating what is a natural activity for young people.”

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The festival, which takes place on Friday, November 25 and Saturday, November 26, will include a screening of the first Ealing comedy Hue And Cry - a genre of films synonySmous with Ealing Studios and made from 1947-1957.

It was chosen because it was produced in London studios and focuses entirely on the adventures of Camden teenagers.

“It’s about kids like ours,” said Mr Astrop. “It fits our model of films made for and by young people.”

In years to come it is hoped the festival will become much larger and attract films by school pupils all over the country.

Diane Randall, a film director who helped the children, said the project should provide a boost to young people and the British film industry.

“I hope this festival might open the door to the resurrection of a viable British film industry,” she said.

“We should stop allowing Hollywood to reign supreme in this field.

“Our young people need recognition in their own country and most importantly the opportunity of a future career.”

Tickets for the festival are available from the school on 020 8342 7970, priced at �3 for adults and �1 for children.