Bafta brilliance on the cards for Portsmouth filmmaker Ben

Ben Gratton and his girlfriend Jessica Tallett
Ben Gratton and his girlfriend Jessica Tallett
  • University graduate set to have his film featured at prestigious festival
  • It could potentially lead to a Bafta nomination
  • Six-minute short film cost just £60 to make
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BAFTA glory could be just around the corner for one ambitious young director after his film was nominated for a major award.

Talented Ben Gratton, of Portchester, has been selected from thousands of entries to screen his film The Last Fairy at this year’s Aesthetica Short Film Festival.

A still from the The Last Fairy

A still from the The Last Fairy

The event is a major UK and Bafta qualifying film festival, meaning if movie buffs like Ben’s work, he could be in line for a Bafta nomination.

His film is a mere six minutes long and is laden with visual effects – but only cost him and his girlfriend, Jessica Tallett, £60 to make.

Former Mayfield School pupil Ben, 23, who recently graduated from the University of Creative Arts in Farnham, said he was stunned by the honour.

‘To be nominated is just out of this world,’ he said.

I was so happy, it took a while for it to sink in because I never expected it to be nominated

Ben Gratton, 23

‘I was so happy, it took a while for it to sink in because I never expected it to be nominated in a Bafta-backed festival like this.’

Ben, formerly of Copnor but who now lives in The Ridgeway, said he had a second, more expensive film, entered.

‘This one cost us £2,000 to make and was more difficult and complex yet it was the one that cost £60 that was picked,’ he added.

Ben describes his film as a ‘steampunk narrative poem’.

It follows the story of a son trying to fulfil his dying father’s wish to hunt the last remaining fairy and serve it for his father’s final supper.

The film uses ‘green screen’ special effects techniques and transforms its actors into silhouette animations, Ben added. He said: ‘I started it in November last year but left it on the back burner until March. I eventually finished it in May.’

The film festival, now in its sixth year, will be held between November 3 and 6 in York and will feature some 400 short films from across the world.

And there will be movie-making masterclasses in directing, editing, acting and sound design by leading figures in the film world.

Cherie Federico, festival director, said: ‘We’re thrilled with this year’s Official Selection, which offers a window on to cutting-edge filmmaking practice from around the world.

‘The programme is bigger than ever for the festival’s sixth edition, and we’re delighted so many speakers from leading film organisations are attending to lead masterclasses, network with filmmakers and provide industry insight to audiences.’

Ex-YouTuber Ben added he hopes the screening will help him get a job in filmmaking.