Ashcroft film festival will play out life in forces

Yousef Alam 6, Isabella Doyle 6, Halle Wellham 6, George McKechnie 6 and Isabel Manchip 6 with one of the islands they made out of papier mache

Children get creative with the help of The News

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YOUNGSTERS are finding out about life in the armed forces to help create a unique film festival.

Children from schools across Fareham and Gosport are working with the Ashcroft Arts Centre on the project thanks to an £18,650 grant from the Armed Forces Community Covenant fund.

Through a combination of visits to schools by sailors from HMS Collingwood, the navy’s training base in Fareham, and trips to historical sites such as the Submarine Museum in Gosport and HMS Victory in Portsmouth, dozens of pupils are putting together a series of short films.

Rebecca Stancliffe, from the arts centre, in Fareham, said: ‘The idea of the project is that they are looking at raising awareness of what life is like for people in the armed forces.

‘And we’re obviously heavily influenced by the armed forces in this area, particularly the Royal Navy, and their families, so we wanted to do something to celebrate this and the heritage we have on our doorsteps.’

Cams Hill, Bridgemary and Brune Park are among the secondary schools taking part, as well as Redlands and Newtown primary schools.

Charlotte Constantine, local arts development officer at the centre, has been working with the children alongside professional film company Cass Productions, in researching their chosen topics.

She said: ‘We are delighted that HMS Collingwood has been so keen to get involved in the project.

‘It will make a real difference to the children’s research and creation of their films.’

Sailors have already visited Newtown Primary School in Gosport where children conducted their own filmed interviews

The resulting films will be shown at the Ashcroft Forces Film Festival from July 4 to 6, which will include a black-tie premiere.