Prince of Wales First School children’s film to be shown at major festival

Dorset Echo: SCREEN DREAM: Alistair Nisbet, Sharon Hayden and Emma Hibberd with Prince of Wales pupils SCREEN DREAM: Alistair Nisbet, Sharon Hayden and Emma Hibberd with Prince of Wales pupils

BUDDING filmmakers from a Dorchester school are to have their work showcased at Britain’s oldest film festival.

Running Blind, a film made by disabled and able-bodied children at Prince of Wales First School, is to be shown as part of the 2012 Co-operative Film Festival in Manchester next month.

Children across the school worked with a team of experts to write, draw, animate, voice and direct the film.

It tells the story of blind football legend and Paralympian David Clarkes and his quest to find a match ball that goes mysteriously missing at a pre-games training camp at Maiden Castle.

The three-minute film, which was funded by the National Lottery through the British Film Institute’s First Light Initiative, was screened during the Paralympic Games in the ICCI 360 Dome in Weymouth and on the Potter’s Field big screen on London’s South Bank.

Project producer Sharon Hayden, a dramatherapist, said children filmed each other taking part in a range of Paralympic sports and used those live action sequences to create elements of animation.

She said: “We put the school’s 12 physically disabled children at the forefront of this project. Seeing themselves and their drawings animated on screen was an empowering and exciting process for children who find it difficult to access their voices.

“They set the film on Maiden Castle and in the farm fields around the school, giving the film a strong sense of place and identity.

“Through drama sessions and work with both their teachers and our scriptwriting mentor, they came up with a great story.

“We are incredibly grateful to funders First Light and West Dorset District Council for giving these children a voice and an opportunity to make something which is being seen by thousands.”

Acting assistant head at the Prince of Wales School Gary Spracklen added: “The team from our production partner Nisbet Media have done a wonderful job involving the whole school in this film.

“A highlight for me was seeing how children with severe physical disabilities were able to use professional level production software.”

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