Glitz and glamour of the Oscars all the way to Crossgar

Glitz and glamour of the Oscars all the way to Crossgar

11 May 2022

HOLLYWOOD came to Crossgar last week when St Colmcille's High School showed off its young stars of the silver screen.

The school held its inaugural film festival on Wednesday evening complete with glitz, glamour, paparazzi — and even a limousine.

The foyer was transformed into a reception area fit for VIPs and the assembly hall became a cinema where the audience enjoyed six short films made by and starring the pupils themselves.

Some of the teaching staff also got involved, filming their own version of clips from famous films which were met with rapturous laughter and applause. 

As with all the greatest film festivals, the winners were presented with their trophies and the coveted award for Best Film was handed over to universal acclaim.

A second awards ceremony was held the following day, with the whole school in attendance, to recognise the contributions of many  pupils during pre-production and filming. 

A school spokesperson said the idea for the film festival came as a result of the Covid pandemic.

“We were hit hard during the pandemic with both staff and pupil absence and in a small number of cases the loss of family members,” he said.

“At its height, in one week we had 23 of our 39 staff absent and over 50% of our pupils absent with Covid. The return to normality has been a difficult road for us and we had been searching for a way to build enthusiasm and put fun and enjoyment back into our pupil learning.”

The spokesperson said it was was decided to do a project based on the theme of film.

“We know the power of film to transport us to another world and allow us to give freedom to our imaginations.  Our pupils began to talk about genre, setting, plot, characterisation, s, camera angles and most importantly we witnessed energy, enthusiasm, laugher, and of course, competition emerging from our pupils.

“The darkness of the virus was being replaced with a passion to succeed and a desire to enjoy learning and to show the family spirit that typifies our school.

“Each class across Years 8 and 9 worked hard to come up with a film idea. Then, over several weeks, they storyboarded, scripted, starred in and directed their very own films.”

Working with the local film company 3fortyfive Films, each class were given one full day filming where they were provided with professional help to direct and produce their films. With films set in a prison, a forest and a school, the range of characters including villains, heroes, doctors, lawyers, teachers,  zombies — and even a dancing dinosaur.

The spokesperson added: “The creation of the films has generated wonderful excitement among our pupils and given them something to smile about again after the darkness of Covid.

“We have definitely discovered some rising stars. Hollywood here we come.”