Sep 8 2010 by Judith Tonner, Airdrie & Coatbridge
Monklands film producers win international awards
BUDDING film producers from three Monklands schools have earned two top global awards and high praise from a cinema legend.
Pupils from Airdrie Academy and St Ambrose and St Andrew’s High Schools in Coatbridge were honoured for their production, Backfire, at international youth film festivals as far apart as Wales and South Korea.
The S4-6 youngsters, who made the multiple prize-winning film through Lensheads film school, then received a letter of congratulations from Sir Ian McKellen.
Celebrated for his roles in Lord of the Rings and X-Men, the star wrote to hail the “thrillingly ingenious” film and its “well-deserved win”.
Backfire had already been recognised at Scottish and UK award ceremonies before being further honoured at the two international events.
Judges at the Seoul international youth film festival awarded Lensheads their artistic experiment award, saying: “The film shows remarkable creativity and potential in its theatre, structure and expression.”
Six of the group’s most recent films were also shown at last month’s annual Deep Fried film festival in Coatbridge.
Now a new group of recruits are wanted for this year’s intake at Lensheads, which is run by North Lanarkshire Council’s learning centre, a multimedia production house.
The project is free for interested participants aged between 15 and 18, who will gain an SQA qualification in video production.
Film school manager Willie Davidson said: “It’s a unique chance to make films with professional filmmakers and equipment.
“While many young people come along for fun, it also gives pupils who want to pursue a career of this kind experience for their CVs.
“Creative industries like TV, film and drama are ferociously competitive and extremely difficult to break into, and Lensheads gives youngsters an opportunity not available anywhere else in the country.”
For further information, links to previous film sand an application form, visit the website http://lensheads.thelearningcentre.org.