Pupils set for starring roles in film festival

PUBLISHED: 18:45 19 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:34 30 March 2018

Elstree Studios

Elstree Studios


Pupils from Potters Bar schools are set to take part in a film festival organised by experts from one of the country’s top studios.

Elstree Film FestivalElstree Film Festival

Elstree Studios is running its now annual Elstree Film Festival for young people in Hertsmere, including Potters Bar.

Working in collaboration with Elstree University Technical College (UTC) in Borehamwood, the project will offer master classes, expertise and guidance from the world of filmmaking to participating school students in the borough.

Speaking at the film festival launch, Roger Morris, managing director of Elstree Studios and chairman and co-founder of the Elstree University Technical College, said: “Elstree Studios has and always will be an important integral part of the local community.

“The economic benefits to the local community reach much further than for the people that just work at the studios.

Elstree StudiosElstree Studios

“Currently filming at Elstree Studios is hit drama series The Crown, who use the Studios, the studios’ backlot and locations all over Hertfordshire.”

Those locations for The Crown include Hatfield House in the first series, Knebworth House and St Albans Cathedral.

Open to 10 to 18 years olds, Hertsmere pupils taking part in the festival will enjoy a master class from a filmmaking professional at Elstree UTC, with tutorials and support to guide participants to create high quality films.

Workshops are being held on April 4 and April 5.

Elstree Film FestivalElstree Film Festival

The master classes will use state-of-the-art equipment, combined with expertise and production know-how to help budding Steven Spielbergs to learn aspects of the filmmaking process.

Participants will attend an award celebration at Elstree Studios later in the year.

The theme of the proposed films will pay tribute to the heritage of Elstree Studios, which is celebrating its 91st year.

Elstree has a proud history in both filmmaking and TV productions, with recent shows ranging from Big Brother to Strictly Come Dancing.

An aerial shot of the George Lucas Stage at Elstree StudiosAn aerial shot of the George Lucas Stage at Elstree Studios

The original Star Wars trilogy was filmed as Elstree by George Lucas, as was the first Indiana Jones blockbuster Raiders of the Lost Ark.

More recently, award-winning movies such as The King’s Speech and The Danish Girl, starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander, and Paddington were made in Elstree.

Roger Morris added: “Local Hertsmere residents have stories linking their families to the Elstree studios over the years.

“Elstree and Borehamwood were once known as ‘The British Hollywood’ and we want to celebrate that by using our film and television industry expertise to encourage and inspire the filmmakers of the future.

“The film, television and theatre industry in the UK is booming and we hope young people will recognise the career opportunities that it creates.”

The film festival will celebrate the heritage and filmmaking at Elstree Studios and how it has impacted the lives and livelihood of the residents of Hertsmere.

Students can produce the films in a genre of their choice – it could be an animation, a documentary or a romantic drama.

Chris Mitchell, principal at Elstree UTC, said: “Our teachers and students are delighted to be working closely with the word-famous Elstree Studios and the local community and very excited to be supporting students in our local area.

“The Elstree UTC is now in its fourth year and has over 350 students. Its vocational education syllabus covers film, television and theatre as well as conventional National Curriculum education.”

• For further details visit www.elstreeutc.co.uk/elstreefilmfestival

• For more about Elstree Studios visit www.elstreestudios.co.uk

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